Q&A with Mock Trial, DECA and Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council members over social distanced summer activities


Submitted Photo

The Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council (CMYC) poses for a photo after their annual Howl-o-ween fall event. Howl-o-ween, former Bow Wow Bash, is an event hosted by the council that features a doggie costume pageant as well as various activities for Carmel’s dogs and their owners to participate in.

Maddie Kosc

CMYC, Nimish Bhat, rising senior

1. What impact did the coronavirus pandemic have on your most recent term (19-20)? “It had a lot of different impacts on the council. One main thing is the fact that we can’t meet in person. Especially right now, since our new term is starting, it is really important in the beginning for everyone to get to know each other, which is much easier in person. Because of coronavirus, we haven’t been able to meet in large groups and we are having to do our introductory stage, like elections and getting to know each other, via Zoom.”

2. What events or activities does the council normally take part in during the summer? “Usually we do Bike Parking which is a really important activity for the council because it is actually our only source of revenue. Even though the Farmers Market is open, we have talked to our advisors and members of the council and ultimately decided that Bike Parking is not something that we will be able to do this summer, for safety reasons and not wanting to risk council members’ health. Other than that, we usually continue our bimonthly meetings throughout the summer as well.”

3. Does the council have any further plans for the rest of the summer? “Everything is pretty tentative because it depends on what we get okayed for and what we don’t from the mayor and our advisors. Hopefully, as July rolls around and as restrictions in the community loosen up, we will be able to have our bonding events in person or in smaller groups. This way we can make the most of the summer as a council.”

4. How will the council stay in touch over the summer? “We send out emails for more formal matters, and then we have a GroupMe where anyone can text easily. We have our regular meeting through Zoom, and we just try to keep as many open lines of communication as possible so that way everyone is up to date with all of the council matters. We have exchanged phone numbers and have all of these avenues so that members can reach out at any time for any of their needs.

5. What are you most excited about for the new term? “I am very excited to harness the potential of all of our members, and try to step out of the bounds of what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years. I think what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years has been really successful, but I hope that this year and this term we are able to build on that success even more.”

DECA, Melissa Su, rising senior

1. What impact did the coronavirus pandemic have on your most recent season (19-20)? “The biggest impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on the 19-20 DECA season was the cancellation of the International Career Development Conference. We had over one hundred students who qualified for this conference and were looking forward to this year’s competition in Nashville. But unfortunately due to the COVID-19 situation, they did not have the opportunity to compete at the international level.”

2. What events or activities does DECA normally take part in during the summer? “During the summer, DECA leadership members work together to plan ahead for the upcoming year to make sure that the transition into a new year is smooth and efficient. Some of these activities include Cafe employee training, reorganization of the DECA rooms, etc. However, COVID-19 has caused some uncertainty in the timing of our activities but we are working to ensure that we are prepared for any changes or setbacks.”

3. Does DECA have any further plans for the rest of the summer? “The DECA leadership teams will continue to work towards preparing everything needed for the upcoming school year so that DECA can be super successful next year!”

4. What are you most excited about for the coming season? “I am definitely most excited about having a fresh start! I miss being around all our DECA members and I am so excited to work with our leadership teams to plan new and exciting things for our members. I am also super excited to see some new faces and can not wait to work towards having a fun and successful season!”

Mock Trial, Zoe Edwards, rising senior

1. In a normal year, what is the length of the mock trial season? “The mock trial season officially lasts from February to March but we normally start practices in November.” 

2. What impact did the coronavirus pandemic have on your most recent season (19-20)? “Actually, the mock trial team was extremely lucky in that we have our state final competition just before quarantine started, so we were able to get through our whole season but we also had to touch elbows with the judges instead of shaking hands.”

3. What events or activities does the mock trial team normally take part in during the summer? “The team as a whole doesn’t actually do much during the summer, but since I’ll be the president of the team next year, I do have to work on planning stuff for the next year over the summer.”

4. What are you most excited about for the coming season? “We’ve recently been discussing with Mr. Browning the possibility of expanding the team by adding more official paralegal positions, or even adding a second team, and I would be really excited to try that out so we’ll see how that plays out.”

5. Do you anticipate any changes to the coming season due to the coronavirus pandemic? “I anticipate the possibility of some changes. Obviously our club depends on meeting in court with people from different schools and with judges who are government officials, so there is the possibility, if social distancing measures stay in place through February of next year, that we could have some problems, but the team itself is actually small enough that we can meet on our own. We are only about 10 people plus two to three lawyers at a time, so we can meet without infringing on social distancing measures.”