Cedar ’06 to lead Council

This year’s Yale College Council officer election produced three landslide victories — including one for Andrew Cedar ’06 in the presidential race — one closer outcome, and a vice presidential run-off.

The winners are Cedar, Secretary Michael Schwab ’06, Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee chairwoman Rose Jia ’07 and Treasurer Andrew Schram ’06. Vice presidential candidates David Gershkoff ’06 and Chance Carlisle ’05 will face off in Sunday and Monday’s run-off election, current Vice President Nirupam Sinha ’05 said.

Cedar won with 62.07 percent of the vote, far more than second-place finisher Steven Syverud’s 18.91 percent or third-place finisher Alan Kennedy-Shaffer’s ’06 11.13 percent. Cedar’s 1,556 votes surpassed the combined total of the other four candidates — Syverud ’06, Kennedy-Shaffer, William Tauxe ’05 and Zheyao Li ’06 — by over 600 votes.

Schwab won with a margin of over 30 percent, with 65.8 percent of the vote. Jia also won by an over-30 percent margin, with 66.04 percent of the vote. The treasurer race was somewhat closer with Schram beating Brian Ong ’07 with 56.75 percent of the vote.

The vice-presidential race was much closer, with less than a 3 percent margin separating Carlisle’s 987 votes from Gershkoff’s 932.

2,651 voters participated in the elections, Sinha said, marking the highest turnout in recent memory.

“Over 50 percent [of the student body voting], that’s huge,” Sinha said. “Any election where you can get more than half the people voting, that’s significant.”

Saybrook College had the most voters, Sinha said, while Trumbull College had the fewest. Freshmen had the most voters with 837, followed by sophomores with 810, juniors with 627 and seniors with 377.

“It’s about where you’d expect,” Sinha said of the vote breakdown by class.

Cedar said the wide margin in his race was flattering.

“I’m kind of surprised,” he said. “I think everyone thought this was going to be a very, very close race.”

Now Cedar’s goal is to stick to the platform on which he was elected, he said. He said he will split his focus between everyday issues and working for more substantial Yale policy changes. He wants to implement reforms in dining, University Health Services, environmental policies, student access to Yale President Richard Levin, low-income financial aid, and inequities in residential college funding, he said.

Kennedy-Shaffer said he thinks Cedar “fits the mold” too well. The margin might not be as telling as it first appears, Kennedy-Shaffer said.

“I don’t think that it shows much other than that Cedar’s friends actually vote,” Kennedy-Shaffer said.

Syverud declined to comment on the election.

Current YCC President Elliott Mogul ’05 said he has faith in the new executive board, which will take office May 1. He said he hopes all the candidates will remain involved with the YCC.

Mogul said the run-off election could go either way. With 320 votes for Jason Sclar ’05, the Rumpus candidate, in the initial election, there is room for either candidate to pull ahead. He said while some of Sclar’s votes were “joke votes,” others are “up for grabs.”

Gershkoff said he thinks the run-off is winnable for him. With abstentions and Sclar’s votes totalling over 700 votes, he said, the 55-vote margin Carlisle led by in this week’s election is comparatively small.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Gershkoff said.

Carlisle, who lost a run-off election last year to current UOFC chairman Matthew Harsha-Strong ’06, said Gershkoff might have the advantage. Carlisle said he thinks Gershkoff’s voters may be more likely to vote in another election, though he said his campaign can post a victory.

“His base is more politically active than my base is,” Carlisle said.

Sinha said the run-off looks to be a “tough race.” Campaigning, he said, can legally begin Saturday. The polls will be open from 12 p.m. Sunday to 12 p.m. Monday.

Andrew Cedar
Emmanuelle Massicot
Andrew Cedar

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