College/Year: Ezra Stiles ’06
Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y
Major: Ethics, Politics and Economics
As current treasurer of the Yale College Council, Andrew Cedar ’06 is the only presidential candidate to have served on the YCC executive board. There, he said, he inherited $25,000 of debt — and got rid of all of it.
Cedar said he also led successful efforts to allow two swipes in the dining hall any time before 5 p.m., to distribute condoms to upperclassmen dorms, and to implement an energy conservation program that saves Yale $5 million each year.
As YCC president, he said, he would “expand to even bigger issues.” To make students’ voices heard, Cedar said he would reinstate student forums held with President Levin. He also said he would address inequality in the residential colleges, a necessity he became aware of through personal experience.
“Stiles gets the shaft,” he said.
His other goals include improving academic advising, making UHS more student-friendly, expanding meal transfers to Durfee’s, introducing late-night dining to the colleges, and re-examining Yale’s financial aid policy for low-income students.
College/Year: Davenport ’06
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Anticipated major: Political Science
After being re-elected as Davenport’s representative to the YCC for his second year, Alan Kennedy-Shaffer ’06 said he thinks the YCC needs to lobby the University’s administration for real change.
“We’ve gotten into this pattern of cozying up to the administration,” he said, “when what we should really be doing is standing up to the administration.”
As a part-time dining hall worker, Kennedy-Shaffer said one issue with which he would confront the administration is the undergraduate meal plan. While the price of meal plans rise, he said, the administration is cutting food costs and laying off workers. He also said he wants to implement universal keycard access, citing the danger of propping open doors, an action encouraged by current, limited key card access.
Generally, he said, he wants to reshape the decision-making system in the YCC.
“The YCC needs to do more discussing and thinking,” he said, “rather than just deciding.”
College/Year: Pierson ’06
Hometown: Watkinsville, Ga.
Anticipated major: Political Science and History
Zheyao Li ’06 is not a current member of the YCC — but that, he said, is one reason why he would make a good president.
“There needs to be more outside involvement in the Council,” he said.
He compared YCC leaders to out-of-touch congressmen. The YCC doesn’t understand or represent the “actual everyday cares of the campus,” he said.
As president, Li said he would try to represent those everyday concerns. He said he would increase the variety of meal plan options and expand the variety of Flex Dollars merchants by lowering the 17 percent surcharge they pay to Yale. He would also attempt to bring first-run films to campus, he said.
He said he would also create a council of leaders from residential college councils.
“There’s been zero communication” between the college councils, he said. The YCC passed a resolution to create an overarching council, he said, but it was not implemented.
Active in the Yale Political Union, Conservative Party, YIRA, and Light and Truth, Li said he would also like to help the YCC bring ROTC back to campus after a 35-year absence. Given “the condition of the world now” and Yale’s “commitment and traditional duty to train leaders,” Li said, “it’s time.”
College/Year: Branford ’06
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
The YCC needs many changes, YCC Student Services Committee Chairman and YCC presidential candidate Steven Syverud ’06 said.
“We’re unproductive, we’re unpopular, we’re illegitimate,” he said. “But we can do a lot to help people.”
He cited the example of the new YCC shuttle, an effort he led for students traveling during spring break. As president, Syverud said, he would continue to improve students’ lives in numerous ways.
Syverud said the student body needs public evaluations of TAs, a goal for which he is already working with the help of graduate students. He also said he would try to give TAs teacher training, office space, and classes in English as a Second Language. Syverud said he also wants students to have more exposure to their faculty advisors, and would implement a “Take Your Advisor to Dinner” night. Another reform high on his list, he said, would be lobbying for freshman- and sophomore-specific seminars.
College/Year: Ezra Stiles ’05
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
William Tauxe ’05 said he is running for president because he won a coin toss to running mate Jason Sclar.
The coin toss determined which Rumpus writer would run for YCC President. The “Party of the Rump” traditionally fields candidates for the YCC, Tauxe said.
First and foremost, Tauxe said he advocates the dissolution of the YCC.
“It needs to go the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.
But, he said, he thinks he could fill the position nicely.
“[The YCC's] overarching purpose is to be a pain in the [butt],” he said. “So I feel like I could probably discharge that pretty easily.”
Tauxe also has a platform, which he said has “populist” leanings. Reforms include offering beer in the dining halls as part of the meal plan, and annexing Albertus Magnus College. He said he is also in favor of universal keycard access.
“Alan Kennedy-Shaffer is saying in his literature that nobody’s ever thought of this before,” Tauxe said, “but in point of fact we did think about it — before he did.”
Tauxe is a fencer, playwright, Rumpus writer — and coin-flipping talent.
— Amanda Ruggeri