Run for YCC, take the time to vote next week

Hot off the press: The Yale College Council condemns North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Wait. This isn’t 1992, the last time the YCC made a ridiculous statement dealing with national policy and demonstrating its lack of relevance. Now, in 2004, being a YCC member means working on projects that are appropriate to its purview and have a more immediate impact on students.

With YCC elections approaching, students should be aware of the opportunities available and the ongoing projects of the YCC. We encourage all students to consider running for one of the representative positions open in each residential college, or at least take the time to be an active voter.

Already this semester, the YCC has been asked by President Richard Levin to take an active role in the selection of a new Dean of Yale College. In conjunction with YSEC, members of the YCC will be presenting President Levin with the most comprehensive proposal for energy conservation in the University’s history, and have already impressed members of the Yale Corporation with the plan. The group’s focus has also extended to New Haven with our Community Committee, which is planning an annual campus-wide community service day for the spring.

In addition, as always, representatives, in conjunction with YCC’s Yale Student Activities Committee (YSAC), will have a major role in the planning and execution of Spring Fling — which will be quite the party this year, not that we can tell you anything about the headline act, yet. With the recent incorporation of the UOFC under the YCC umbrella, student groups have seen results in faster check distribution, higher accountability and a more intuitive and comprehensive application process. The features and functions of YaleStation certainly enhance the work done by the YCC and UOFC, but also provide all students with important information and interactive services. Finally, YCC members will also always continue the important job of interviewing the student candidates for all University and Yale College standing committees.

The members of the YCC have made a conscious decision to be more student-driven and to stay away from meaningless issues that waste of everyone’s time. The organization is not flawless in this regard, but so far, we are proud of the successes that have come out of it. Resulting from YCC efforts, there are copies of the New York Times for students in all dining halls. Students are able to swipe twice at any time for meals before 5 p.m., and the new Science Hill shuttle service has been modified to accommodate undergraduate class times.

We look to continue the trend this upcoming semester. The low-cost and convenient Bradley Airport Shuttle Service that was implemented this past Sunday will be expanded to serve more students during Spring Break. In early February, the YCC will distribute savings cards for free to Yale community members, valid for discounts at over 20 local restaurants and businesses. We will continue pushing for changes of Yale’s freshman and sophomore advising systems and demand strong teaching in all curriculums.

These projects, and others not yet formulated, require strong YCC members who have innovation, leadership and seek to gain valuable leadership and business experience in advocating ideas and managing projects. All students should consider the option of running for representative in their colleges. The fall 2003 elections were the most competitive in recent memory, and we expect to build on that momentum.

Even if you do not run, we ask you to spend a few minutes and think about the possibilities for change on campus and to challenge the ideas of those students who do run. The YCC has been working hard to move in a new direction, and your input is critical. If you do not agree with the direction and vision of the YCC, let the candidates and your current representatives know. Most importantly, take 30 seconds to vote on YaleStation next Wednesday and Thursday. Don’t allow candidates that try to tell you what you should care about win — make sure you elect those you trust to be responsive to your ideas, provide convenient student services and plan memorable events. We can only continue our progress with strong candidates and active voters.

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