Dwight Hall cabinet elects new ExComm

The Dwight Hall student cabinet, made up of group coordinators and representatives from Dwight Hall student organizations and programs, held elections Wednesday evening to select a new executive committee for 2006.

Ten members were chosen to make up the new committee, which will meet weekly to discuss the Hall’s goals, judge the health of member groups and assess their contributions to the community.

Amy Wojnarwsky ’07 and Helena Herring ’07 will be the Hall’s new co-coordinators. Robert Szykowny ’08 will be the new membership coordinator, Ryan Patap ’07 will serve as financial coordinator, Justin Ash ’07 will be in charge of public relations, and Anjali Varma ’08 was elected to the position of faculty outreach coordinator. The positions of community-based learning coordinator, social justice network liaison and an at-large position were also filled at the elections.

Former co-coordinator Laura Huizar ’06 said the candidate field was larger than in past years.

“We put a lot of effort into recruiting,” she said.

The new executive committee members will assume their new roles on Jan. 1, following a period during which the previous committee members will work with their replacements to ensure a seamless transition, Dwight Hall co-coordinator Ben Staub ’06 said.

Varma said she was enthusiastic about her new role.

“I’m thrilled,” she said. “Dwight Hall was the reason I came to Yale.”

She said a talk by Staub convinced her to attend the University and join Dwight Hall.

Nick Seaver ’07, the new provisional member group coordinator, said he was excited about helping new groups become part of Dwight Hall, as well as making sure that these groups serve a useful role in the community.

Staub said Dwight Hall’s upcoming renovations will be one of the main challenges the new committee will face, as during the renovations, which will take up the 2007-2008 school year, the Dwight Hall building will be closed.

“A large part of this Executive Committee’s work will be setting up the infrastructure to make Dwight Hall more vibrant and active,” he said.

New co-coordinator Helena Herring identified the renovation as a unique challenge.

“With no building, how do you maintain institutional memory?” she said.

Herring said one of her goals is to bring the social justice community, the educational service community and the broader service community together.

Huizar said she was excited about the members taking her place.

“It’s a really strong group,” she said. “They have so much experience.”

She said Dwight Hall is constantly evolving, and that each new executive committee has something to learn.

“We learned a lot from last year’s ExComm, and next year, we’ll see what new plans they come up with,” she said.

Staub said he expects the new members’ skills to strengthen the Hall, but he said making sure Dwight Hall is running smoothly will present a challenge.

“Cohesion is always an issue when you have an umbrella organization with 3,000 volunteers annually,” he said, adding that 80 percent of Yale students volunteer through Dwight Hall by the time they graduate.

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