Participation up in YCC race

Last week’s Yale College Council elections are over — almost.

One race was still tied Monday night, and it remained to be seen whether the YCC’s widespread publicity campaign had worked as expected.

After postponing both the registration deadline for candidates and the elections last week following the Jan. 17 fatal crash that took the lives of four Yale students, the YCC improved both its candidate and electorate numbers. But, just like some recent American elections, this one didn’t finish on time. Since Calhoun’s candidates managed to split the vote, the last YCC representative won’t be decided until tonight.

In an effort to increase student interest, the YCC went on an advertising blitz this month to drum up candidates and voters. YCC members placed advertisements in the Yale Daily News and the Yale Herald, plastered the campus with banners and posters and sent mass e-mails to urge students to run for office and vote. In addition, the YCC postponed the registration deadline for candidates from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20. The elections were not held until Jan. 23 and 24.

YCC Vice President Ryan Sheely ’04 said 1,566 undergraduates voted in last week’s computerized elections, up from 1,148 who voted in the fall. The overall class vote increase was about 8 percent. Of the freshman class, 48.6 percent voted, while 39.37 percent of sophomores, 15.73 percent of juniors, and 16.1 percent of seniors voted in the elections.

“I think it was a definite improvement. I hope it’s a start of a trend,” Sheely said.

Sheely said he hoped the disparity in voting percentages reflects the individual classes rather than endemic cynicism among upperclassmen.

YCC President Andrew Allison ’04 said he was pleased with voter turnout.

“We had a great turnout. At least in my college, half of Timothy Dwight voted — that’s at least 300 percent up from last semester,” Allison said.

Still up in the air is the Calhoun election. Both Lenore Estrada ’05 and Sailaja Paidipaty ’06 received 55 votes in the race. To determine a winner, the YCC extended voting in Calhoun from 5 p.m. yesterday until 5 p.m. today for those Calhoun students who had not yet cast their votes.

Estrada currently serves as Spring Fling chairwoman.

Because of network problems across campus over the weekend, the YCC was unable to begin the extended voting earlier, as students in Bingham did not have Internet access until yesterday, Sheely said.

Last night, new representatives came together to learn what was expected of them as YCC representatives. Allison said the introductory meeting was implemented to jump-start the council’s efficacy.

“Last semester, there was about a month while reps were getting acclimated,” Sheely said.

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