The Yale College Council voted 12-6 with one abstention to table indefinitely a proposal to improve security Wednesday.
The proposal, written by YCC representative Alan Kennedy-Shaffer ’06, outlined a list of potential security-improving items. Kennedy-Shaffer said he will present a resolution to the YCC Sunday that will directly address one item from the Wednesday proposal — creating a security competition among residential colleges similar to the environmentally-based Green Cup.
If the resolution in its current form is adopted, individual college councils will elect a “security awareness coordinator” to help facilitate the competition, Kennedy-Shaffer said.
YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 said he is not sure if the resolution could pass in its current form.
“As it stands now it might be tough,” Mogul said. “I’ve heard reservations about that resolution both from YCC reps as well as from presidents of residential college councils.”
Mogul said he had not seen a final copy of the proposed resolution.
YCC Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said he was interested in hearing how the resolution would be implemented and whether it would be effective.
Sinha said he voted to table the Wednesday proposal. He said he felt the YCC was not qualified to vote on some proposed reforms, such as giving security officers nightsticks and recommending increased opportunities for security officer advancement.
“I don’t feel comfortable making a judgment call on those,” Sinha said.
Other provisions ranged from staging periodic fire drills in dormitories to asking the University to write students a memo informing them about safety.
YCC Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee chairman Matthew Harsha-Strong ’06 said he voted to table the proposal because he thought some items did not focus enough on student interests.
“I agreed with a lot of the representatives in saying that I thought it was too expansive and that a lot of its goals did not directly relate to students,” Harsha-Strong said. “We are elected to represent the students and by implication their concerns.”
Harsha-Strong said the fire drills were proposed with a “good intention” but he did not think they would be as helpful as an informative security memo sent to all students.
“I think we all know what a fire alarm is and what it sounds like,” Harsha-Strong said. “It’s not high school anymore. A lot of students would just laugh at a fire drill.”
Kennedy-Shaffer said he thought some YCC representatives focused too much on the individual proposed reforms.
“Honestly, I feel like many members of the YCC couldn’t see the overall proposal,” Kennedy-Shaffer said. “When they disagree with one little item, that’s not a reason to kill the proposal.”
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said a memo could be helpful but that students might not read it.
She said the University has to keep the number of memos it sends students to a minimum or else students may disregard them.
Trachtenberg said she recently met with administrators from other schools and thinks Yale’s security is “right at the top” compared to other schools’, though improvements can always be made.
Security is not simply something the University provides but also something for which students have responsibility, Trachtenberg said.
“Security is a two-way street,” Trachtenberg said. “It’s what the University offers and how much the students partake of what the University offers.”