Meet the President and Vice President: Michael Murphy and Jessica Shi

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On January 3, 2018, Michael Murphy (ABF 2019) and Jessica Shi (AMST 2019) were elected to lead BCA’s student body as the new StuCo President and Vice President. They have both been recognized for their charisma as well as their outstanding election campaigns which have won the hearts of the BCA student body. The Chronicle was lucky enough to sit down with them to discuss their experiences and plans for StuCo in this exclusive interview.

 AC: What inspired you to run for StuCo?

Murphy: To keep it short, I absolutely love BCA. There’s no other way to put that. Generally, the community is what constantly drives me; I feel like I have the power to listen to anyone’s comments and to respond to them in a manner that is both respectful and cooperative with administration to make ample change that is necessary.


Shi: Even though I’ve only been on Student Council for a year before, I honestly received so much inspiration during StuCo meetings from our previous president (Brian Kehoe) and previous vice president, Michael, who is our current president. I was really inspired by their teamwork and everything that they did, so I wanted to get my feet straight into the pool and start accomplishing things myself so I could hopefully help set the example for everybody else.


AC: To become a part of StuCo, you need to go through a rigorous campaign process of creating videos and speaking in front of the school. What was the experience like?

Murphy: I’d say it wasn’t out of the ordinary. Without exaggerating, I generally feel like I already talk to everyone in this school – even if it’s just a wave or a smile. It felt pretty normal talking about what I want to do as president, what I saw myself doing as president, and listening to students’ concerns – I felt like I had to do it. More so than reaching out and asking people to vote for me, the process was rather a way for me to engage with the BCA community, even more than what I already have.

Shi: I personally love making videos. I had a lot of fun making my video – there was a lot of times my computer just wasn’t working with the camera I used, so a lot of my footage was deleted. I had to do a bunch of scenes multiple times, but I still had a lot of fun doing it – I love editing videos. As for the speech, I don’t really mind public speaking – I love it!


AC: How do you think the President/Vice President position differs from other positions in StuCo that you have held before?

Murphy: The President position definitely has a big say in the direction and the voice of the student council, which I can definitely feel from firsthand experience this year. It feels nice when you get to reach out to administration and Mr. Davis. On any second, you can just stop by the office and bring up a concern, which I happen to have done several times over the last month – going to Mr. Davis’ office and then voicing a quick concern that I heard – even in last hour – so that’s something that’s really cool about being President.


Shi: Last year, I was the Class of 2019 Representative, which is my graduating class. Honestly, I don’t really think there’s much of a difference in terms of the amount of work that we have to do. I do understand that President and Vice President positions is very publicized, but in the Council, we all kind of do the same thing. Michael and I just facilitate the direction to where we want the Council to go. I feel like Michael and I just work together to help the Student Council to function more easily and efficiently.


AC: What do you think made your campaign stand out from the rest? What do you think led to your victories in the StuCo elections?

Murphy: I think that Kevin Chew and I both had very similar campaigns – both of us would have been absolutely impactful StuCo Presidents for the student body. Honestly, I’m not really sure about what characteristic gave me that edge – I feel like we both did an equally good job.


Shi: Similarly to Michael, I’m not really sure what brought me to my win. Both of my opponents did an incredible job with both their speeches and their videos. Regardless of whoever won, I knew that the future of student council would be in good hands.


AC: What is one unique goal that hasn’t been introduced in the StuCo agenda thus far that you want to implement?

Murphy: Something that we’ve already launched is the newsletter, which I feel like keeps a really good accountability for the student council. We are currently working on a pep rally- I am dreaming of the moment when BCA students will all be united and happy about an event put together. Other than that, some things I really want to do – we still want to make a few major purchases, including the bathroom improvements that I have listed in my campaign as well as having public chargers for students to use.


Shi: We’ve really been wanting to expand to other Student Councils from other schools. I’ve been talking to people from Middlesex County Academies, Stuyvesant, and TJ in the city. I really hoping that I will be able to get the councils together and maybe plan an event together in the near future!  


AC: How do you think your relationship with each other and other members of StuCo will benefit your collaborative work?

Murphy: I definitely feel like all of us on StuCo are really close friends. Even if we didn’t really know each other before the election, we all definitely bonded really quickly – and that’s crucial to any organization or club. We generally do really well with allocating tasks and getting stuff done efficiently, so really it’s just a matter of bonding and making sure everyone feels at home.

Shi: We’re best friends, so it’s a lot easier for us to yell at each other if one of us isn’t really pulling the other end of the rope because we’re so close. Our relationship motivates us because it feels like we’re in a little competition determining who can do the most for the school. I’m really hoping our friendship sets an example for the rest of the council. I everyone to be inspired by the work we all do together. I feel like working together, regardless of how stressful it is, builds a family bonding experience.


AC: What has been your most successful project thus far in StuCo?

Murphy: Again, I’d say that I really really enjoy meeting with Mr. Davis.  But in the scope of all of BCA, I’m definitely very proud of the steps that we are making towards opening up the gym for basketball players – I knew that we have a very vocal community of students who want to play basketball. Having the meeting with Mr. Marmora and Mr. Davis that I helped to facilitate was something awesome, because I know that I’ve made an impact and I’ve voiced the concerns of the students properly so that the issue would become exposed.

Shi: Because the elections were fairly recent, most of January was dedicated to getting everybody settled, getting people to their new positions. Last month, there were quite a few snow days and breaks – at the time, we were still kind of getting the hang of everything! Nevertheless, we were able to submit our application for National Student Council, which (thank you to Josh Gonzalez, our National Student Council Director) we qualified for Gold, and right now, we’re working on the National School walkout and we’re very excited for that to happen on Wednesday, March 14th, and my personal goal is to expand everything outwards and reach out to other schools.

AC: If you could be an emoji, what would you be and why?

Murphy: (🍵) Let me pull up my emoji keyboard…I was going to say poop emoji but that’s stupid. I think I would be the matcha (green tea) emoji. Everyone knows I live off of tea and it’s definitely the reason for how I come to school with so much energy and hype.





Shi: (🤔) I just find the question emoji (the one with the hand on his chin) hilarious. I especially love the memes of the emojis floating around with the math emoji, where the person just looks so confused with everything – I really feel like that’s me in class.

AC: Finally, please send the student body an inspiring message to pull through the rest of the year!

Murphy: I know it is difficult, it is stressful, it is a pain, but in the very end, look forward to each and every Friday. Think about the Friday. Dream about the Friday. At 4:10, or 6:30 if you’re playing sports, just imagine that moment when you potentially have free for two days. Do your work on time, enjoy the rest of the year, and even if you’re not enjoying some of your classes, think about the classes you truly do enjoy and focus on them! Pull through for one more trimester because you will then have a beautiful, open summer for two months.

Shi: No matter what happens in terms of what happens to your grades, your life, or anything, you really need to focus on yourself and understand that you need to be doing what’s best for you. It doesn’t matter whether you get that 93, a 92.9, or even 60, as long as you learn from it and you’re happy from it. As I often say on my finsta account, “Be yourself because everyone else is taken.”

We look forward to the great improvements that both Michael Murphy and Jessica Shi will bring to BCA as StuCo President and Vice President! Make sure to catch them in the hallways to ask them any questions or to simply wave hello!