Progress: Sufyan Davis-Arrington lays out his plans for the senior class

A historical election of this newcomer as class president set a precedent for North Penn’s diversity.

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Progress: Sufyan Davis-Arrington lays out his plans for the senior class

Davis-Arrington plans to prioritize student involvement and staff appreciation during his tenure as class president.

Davis-Arrington plans to prioritize student involvement and staff appreciation during his tenure as class president.

Simeon Barrett

Davis-Arrington plans to prioritize student involvement and staff appreciation during his tenure as class president.

Simeon Barrett

Simeon Barrett

Davis-Arrington plans to prioritize student involvement and staff appreciation during his tenure as class president.

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TOWAMENCIN -“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

These words were once famously said by civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. However, with history comes change; the same is true of people. That’s what Sufyan Davis-Arrington set out to do when he ran for class president in early 2019. In a shocking upset, Davis-Arrington not only won the election, but made history in the process. 

As a junior, Davis-Arrington was known best as a student-athlete, as one of the best sprinters on the track team. He felt like that wasn’t enough; he wanted something more out of his high school experience.

 “I just didn’t feel like I was doing enough besides sports, you know? I wanted to do something more,” Davis-Arrington said. 

But why run for such a high position as class president, you might ask? Well, he found that running for it would be a way to better himself as a person and better the school. If he were to be elected, he would get much more recognition and would be able to talk to many more people.

“I love interacting with all students of every ethnicity, race, and religion,” said Davis-Arrington. This seems to have been a winning strategy, as his accomplishment also made history.

Davis-Arrington is the first African-American male to become North Penn Class President. As fair representation and inclusion have become more discussed topics over the past few years, the 2019 Class Cabinet Election showed signs of new possibilities.

 “As an African-American student in this school, I just wanted to set myself apart from others and do something that isn’t typically done…[Last year], I was the only African-American to run for any position for a class office…This is something that isn’t really done by my people,” Davis-Arrington pointed out.

 When asked how he feels about the situation, he described it as insane, as he didn’t expect to win due to his being in the district for only two years. Nevertheless, his election embodies a breakthrough that was difficult to achieve for many years.

 “I’m glad, because I want to represent Blacks in this school in a positive way, and by me winning, I definitely achieved [one of] my goals,” Davis-Arrington proclaimed. 

As for his family’s reaction, his parents kept things honest, as they told him that even though winning is great, being a class president holds a lot of responsibility that one must complete to the best of his or her ability. 

“It’s more than just a title. I have to upkeep that title. I have to do good with what I’ve been given,” Davis-Arrington explained.

It’s more than just a title. I have to upkeep that title. I have to do good with what I’ve been given.”

— Sufyan Davis-Arrington

Last year, in his candidacy speech for class president, one of Davis-Arrington’s biggest pitches to sway the juniors was a proposal to change the music that is played at North Penn’s special events. As hip-hop is rapidly becoming America’s most popular music genre, its high demand can be seen everywhere, especially at parties and gatherings. The music played at an event can make or break its enjoy-ability, even at North Penn. 

Davis-Arrington acknowledged this, stating, “As long as the songs are appropriate, students pick the playlist [and can submit songs to me].”

For his other plans, Davis-Arrington considers North Penn High School’s faculty another main focus.

“I want to start giving back, as much as possible, to teachers,” he said. 

To do this, he wants to expand Teacher Appreciation by gathering students and handing out letters and ‘Thank You’ cards, as well as paying for the for the staff’s food and socializing with teachers. 

In addition, Davis-Arrington  wants to push the problem of student health to the forefront by creating a health awareness initiative to “express the dangers of the wide phenomenon of vaping currently…[also] diabetes and heart disease.” Eating healthy and being active is essential to physical health, and Davis-Arrington asks that the student body pays more attention to its benefits. As well as physical health, he is also planning to start a mental health awareness group where students can convene and express their struggles. The pressures of college preparation and extracurricular activities that occupy many students can be damaging to a students’ mental health. Physical and mental health are connected, and Davis-Arrington knew that he could not address the issues of one without the issues of the other. 

Davis-Arrington’s election is a symbol of what African-Americans have struggled with throughout our nation’s history. They were always seen as outsiders who never seemed to have the chance to reach higher places. However, with enough attention and perseverance, they were able to change the narrative, becoming both national heroes and voices for the voiceless.

 “I feel like minorities in this school definitely have a lot to offer. If a lot of people step out of their comfort zones and do things such as what I did…the student body would be much stronger,” said Davis-Arrington.

When asked to reflect on his legacy at North Penn High School, Davis-Arrington’s answer was simple:

“I think about this a lot, but what I want to be remembered as is just that guy who was kind and spoke to everyone,” Davis-Arrington said. 

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