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Class of 2023: First-Year Class President Candidate Statements

It's nerve-racking being a freshman. Everything's new to you and all of a sudden you feel like a small fish in a large pond. It's impressive when first-year students step out of their comfort zones, especially by doing things such as running for class president. So, let's read what they have to say!

Austin Topham Hi! I’m Austin, and I’m hoping to win your vote for first year class president. Like many of you, CMC was my dream school. And while being here really does feel like a dream, we can do better. For a college that is known for having some of the happiest students, we sure are stressed out all the time, even though the school year is just beginning. My priority as first year class president is to combat stress among freshman and work with ASCMC to better address mental health and wellness. Even before orientation is over, institutes are shoving application due dates down our throats, and the stress that I’ve seen put on many of my friends from those applications is unacceptable. The year is just starting, and academically, it’s only going to get harder, and I refuse to be president of a constantly stressed-out class.

Some other long-term plans I have for this year include creating new study spaces and working with CMC’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee to better provide for our minority students.

And of course, I’ll be there to create the best first year social events to celebrate as well. (5C tour-de-france-style skateboard/scooter dash???)

While I have my own visions for how CMC can be improved, it’s crucial that my focus be on your dreams for CMC. Whether it’s a certain type of party you want, or an institutional problem you want addressed, it’s my desire and responsibility to amplify your voices as a representative of my fellow first years.

I’m so grateful and happy to be here, and that means I’m also fully committed towards you guys and fully driven toward making this year the best it possibly can be. So let’s dream up our ideal freshman year together; dream up your CMC with me.


Desmond Mantle

My name is Desmond Mantle, and I’m running to be your First-Year Class President. I’m from Pasadena, California, and I love hiking, cooking, and editing grammar errors on Wikipedia. You might also know me as the guy who always dresses “business casual” to attend class.

No, I’m not joking. I really am a pretty quirky guy. But as square as I may seem, I do get around (see what I did there?). I’ve already met a lot of you at parties, meals, classes, and in other settings, and it still amazes me how many cool people there are at this school.

I’m a huge fan of First-Year bonding activities, but rather than force my ideas on you, I’d like to hear what you want from me. That’s why I’ve already set up a website where you can suggest ideas, ask me questions, or even just vent about something that’s bothering you. The URL is:

But the most important part of being First-Year Class President is understanding the need for a balanced budget. All of us candidates can promise you “free stuff,” but remember that it’s not really free. We all pay toward the $3,000 class fund with student fees (or equivalent work-study), so having somebody who’s financially responsible in charge of that money is the only way to make sure we keep getting to do fun stuff throughout the year.

I’m the most qualified candidate to handle your money properly. I was treasurer of multiple organizations throughout high school, and I have experience turning an organization with debt into one with surplus funds. I’m willing to spend hours upon hours researching the best deals, so you’ll still get the fun stuff you want, just at a better price.

Vote for Desmond Mantle for a balanced budget!


Sarah Simionas

Hey first-years! My name is Sarah Simionas and I’m running to be your class president. Here’s a little bit about me: I’m from San Jose, California and some of my hobbies are driving to the beach, hiking, hammocking, going to concerts, reading, watching movies with friends, and any sort of traveling I get the chance to do.

The reason I’m running for class president is because I believe in community. The people you meet here at CMC are going to change your next 4 years, your opinions, and maybe your life. I want to give you the opportunities to create these relationships and the amazing memories that will come with. That’ll be through all sorts of class bonding events like class wide parties, events with other 5C first years, holiday/themed parties, career/academic interest events, movie nights, and more.

I want your first year at CMC to be about you. All your ideas, all your concerns, all groups on campus, all your voices represented. I’ll do this by putting together a cabinet representative of all groups on campus, holding class meetings to get your opinions/ideas, having online resources to communicate with me and the cabinet, and more.

Most importantly, I promise to be a friend first and foremost. I plan on continuing to connect with all of you in our grade, be here for any questions you have, and to put on events that’ll help you adjust to and have the best first year of college ever!

Vote for the president who will always put YOU first. Vote Sarah Simionas for First-year President! Please reach out to me on campus with any questions or ideas :)


Colin Sam

CMC 2023,

My name is Colin Sam and I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am looking forward to showing you all I have planned for the Class of 2023 this year. At my high school in Cincinnati, I was the student body president, and I was voted captain of Varsity soccer, Varsity basketball, and Varsity track and field.

I am excited at the opportunity to continue to expand my leadership skills. However, the aspect of myself that I am most proud of is my ability to bond with people through community service work.

In eight months at my high school, I was able to raise $6,000 for the American Cancer Society to help fund cancer research, as well as work with CancerFree KIDS. It’s become very apparent to me that some of the deepest and most meaningful bonding comes from looking beyond your own community and connecting with those who aren’t fortunate enough to go to an amazing college in Southern California. Some of my best friendships and connections have come from conversations about the ways we can better support our community as a whole through service work.

I was fortunate enough to receive a memorial service award at my school for my extensive work with inner city Cincinnatians through a tutoring program as well as my contribution to the cancer foundation.

Beyond community service, I also have plenty of ideas to help bring our class together rather than just awkward mixers, including sporting events and study or movie nights that are all optional.

I do however go very far beyond my small ideas and would love the chance to talk with any of you more about my complete plan for our year. Email me at or come to Marks 317.


Colin Sam


Julia Schulman

What’s up class of ‘23! I’m Julia Schulman, but everyone here calls me Jules. I’m from the Bay Area (I know, shocker.) A few things about me: I own a few pups, I can make a mean cookie and I’ll dance to pretty much anything.

When I first got the email about class president, what stuck out to me was the bit about facilitating class bonding. The CMC class of ‘23 has been a huge part of my experience here. My WOAmies got me through my homesickness with popcorn and Netflix.

One of the best ways we all got to know each other was through different events and parties. I loved hosting things in my room because I got to meet people and make new friends.

As class president, I can’t wait to host more events and make sure we have an inclusive and fun community on campus. Here are a few of my ideas.

  1. Free birthday boba!

  2. Movie nights on the field. Horror movie Halloween anyone?

  3. Party Suggestion Forms! Do you want a certain theme, music or dress code for a Class of ‘23 party? Let me know. I want to make party planning as inclusive and easy to participate in as possible.

  4. Events based on mutual interest: FIFA 20 Tournament Night, Bachelor nights, Ping Pong Play-Offs, The Office Marathons, Trivia Night and more!

As Freshman Class President I’ll help out with those 3 am study sessions, organize events to help mitigate the stress of our first year on a college campus and make sure the class of ‘23 feels at home at CMC.


Maureen Tchatchoua

As you are new to CMC, I am too and getting the hang of things is something we’ll have to do together. As first year class president I cannot promise the world and beyond. What I can ensure though is my promise to always be a beacon of voice and diversity within the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College for all first years looking for it. I will ensure that as well as upperclassmen getting their agendas passed, first years will have the same equal opportunity. Being that we have only started our college career a few weeks ago, we are still within our adjustment period and it is completely understandable if you do not know what you’d like to amend or enhance within CMC as a whole. However, when the time does come where we have some constructive criticism towards our student body, I am willing and able to act on your concerns.

Again, although we have only been here a few weeks, I believe unity is the best policy and it is ideal that we come together as a class to participate in activities like trivia nights, sporting games, or even movies on the quad where we share a quiet night under the stars because sometimes we just need a break from the pre-professionalism agenda CMC encompasses. These events not only focus on bringing us together but having fun while doing so.

As first year class president I cannot promise the world and beyond but what I can promise you is my vocal character. If anything is not satisfactory for our class, I will be the voice to continuously speak at the table in order to amend the issue. Action will follow my words when you speak of a better way of living within CMC as first years. It is in our hands to begin our Claremont McKenna College career the right way, with me by your side as your advocate. Want Mo, Vote Mo.

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