Meet the Presiding Officers

Tucker Cholvin Talks about Cats Too Much

Name: Tucker “Cats Change Lives” Cholvin

# of years on Mountain: Two years as a delegate. This is No. 3

School: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service

Major: International Political Economy

Home State: Washington STATE (holla)

Favorite Sport: Badminton

Movie: Sound of Music … and PROUD

Place to Visit: Orcas Island, Wash.

Books: East of Eden, Steinbeck. War & Peace, Tulstoy.

Hobbies: Writing, kayaking, CATS

Music: Sad 80’s British pop-jazz fusion, GAGA

Role Model: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Best CONA Memory: Last year when my proposal passed Plenary, I think I blacked out a little, but I do remember throwing my hands in the air and feeling totally, utterly happy. I have never felt something like that outside of CONA.

Which YMCA core value do you think you best represent and why? Responsibility. I am a very talent-oriented person, but I am also afraid of letting people down. However, my favorite thing to sing is absolutely “Respect” by Aretha Franklin.

What is the most important thing CONA has taught you? Believe in yourself. You are so much stronger than you may ever realize. Believe in others. There is a world full of things to learn from them.

What does it mean to you to be back as a PO? CONA delegates are the best to watch. I’m so very honored to be able to see you all shine this year; and to help make it happen in some small way.

Compiled by Jessie High, Oklahoma

Tyler Gross Admits Being a Mama’s Boy

Name: Tyler Gross

# of Years on the Mountain: This makes four.

School: Michigan State University

Major: Public Policy/Integrative Studies

Home State: Michigan

Favorite Sport: Soccer

Movie: V for Vendetta or Pan’s Labyrinth

Place to Visit: New Zealand

Book: Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card

Hobbies: Card games

Music: Aesop Rock

Role Model: My mom (Jennifer Marshall). She is the strongest, most amazing person I know.

Best CONA memory: Passing plenary with Melissa Weaver.

What YMCA core value do you think you represent and why? Honesty. Mostly with myself. I always try to stay true to myself, and the rest just comes.

What is the most important thing CONA has taught you? That people and friendship are more meaningful than accolades.

What does it mean to you to be back as a PO? Quite simply, it is the greatest honor of my life. I’m so thankful.

Compiled by Kyle Denman, Ohio


Name: Jake Friedler

# of years on the Mountain: Four years
School: Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.
Major: Symbolic Systems
Home State: California
Favorite Sport: Volleyball (to play), football (to watch)
Favorite Movie: The Truman Show
Favorite Place to Visit: Ireland. I lived there for a year during middle school!
Favorite Book: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 1984
Favorite Hobbies: hiking, reading, swimming, eating
Favorite Music: Justice, Kanye West, Bassnectar
Favorite Role Model: PaavanGami
Best CONA Memory: My first year at CONA, I brought a proposal to ban in-vitro. I didn’t actually agree with it, but I did it in an attempt to challenge myself and understand the religious argument in the abortion debate. It made it to GA, and I will never forget the number of placards in the air when they called for the first “con” speech- there must have been at least 100.
Which YMCA Core Value do you think you best represent and why? Honesty. To echo a previous Presiding Officer (aka T- Gross) said, I always strive to stay honest with myself and in doing so, be honest to others about my values and priorities. Honesty is the key to respect, trust, and friendship.
What is the most important thing CONA has taught you? CONA has taught me what it means to truly be a statesman – not just as a debater but as a poised and respectful delegate with more concern for the heart of the issues than arguing for the sake of it. It has also introduced me to some of the greatest friends I have ever known. Holla to my cats and bongos!
What does it mean to you to be back as a PO? Getting to come back to my favorite place in the world and serve 598 of the coolest, most impressive students in this great nation! USA!
Compiled by Staff Writer Jessie High, Oklahoma

Gami Thinks CONA’s Fetch

Name: Paavan Gami

# of Years on Mountain: 4

School: Yale University

Major: Economics, Computer Science

Home State: South Carolina

Favorite Sport: Debate

Movie: Mean Girls

Place to Visit: Pretty Place, South Carolina

Book: Infinite Jest, American Jest

Hobbies: Sleeping in hammocks, hating cats

Music: Bon Iver, The Temper Trap

Role Model: Fareed Zakaria

Best CONA memory: Accidentally signing up for the intent on the wrong side of my first year.  I ended up changing a lot of my beliefs as a result.

Which YMCA core value do you think you best represent and why? Respect – I think the fundamental belief that all individuals have merit and should be respected is integral to our world becoming the best it can be.

What is the most important thing CONA has taught you? CONA has taught me to separate individuals’ beliefs and character.

What does it mean to you to be back as PO? I’m so grateful.  This has been one of the most fulfilling weeks of my life.

Compiled by Kyle Denman, Ohio

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