A week of controversy surrounding former Yale College Council Representative Alan Kennedy-Shaffer ’06, his failed “Equal Access Amendment” and the unsuccessful impeachment charges he brought against three members of the YCC executive board concluded uneventfully at Wednesday night’s Council meeting.
The impeachment charges against YCC President Steven Syverud ’06, Vice President Marissa Brittenham ’07 and Treasurer Emery Choi ’07, which were proposed by Kennedy-Shaffer at an emergency meeting last Sunday, did not appear on last night’s agenda. Instead, the main item on the YCC agenda was the approval of up to $16,000 in funds from the Committee for Campus-wide Activities for a visit by Swedish singer Gunther — known for the infamous “Ding Dong Song” — set to take place Feb. 3 in the Commons Dining Hall.
The impeachment hearings did not take place for several reasons, most notably a lack of support on the Council, Brittenham said.
“For an impeachment to go onto the agenda, you need two sponsors, and he was the only sponsor,” Brittenham said after the meeting. “Beyond that, he wanted to hold hearings tonight, and you need to hold a vote with a quorum of representatives to hold impeachment hearings.”
Last night, Kennedy-Shaffer gave his final speech as a YCC representative, during which he criticized members of the YCC Executive Board for allegedly preventing the passage of his “Equal Access Amendment.” If passed, the amendment would have altered the YCC constitution to allow second-semester seniors to serve on the Council during their final semester at Yale.
“As a staunch supporter of the democratic process and a firm believer that we must hold our elected leaders to a higher moral standard, I remain committed to the position that the Council does not have the right to exclude seniors from serving as representatives,” Kennedy-Shaffer said.
Kennedy-Shaffer’s “Olive Branch Proposal” — in which the representative offered to withdraw from this week’s election and drop the impeachment charges in exchange for the adoption of the “Equal Access Amendment” — was not discussed at the meeting.
“I announced that I would sacrifice my political future for the good of my fellow students, knowing that the good shepherd must sometimes give his life for the sheep,” Kennedy-Shaffer said. “The Yale College Council does not belong to you or me alone — it belongs to all of us.”
Instead of entertaining Kennedy-Shaffer’s requests, discussion focused on funding for the proposed CCA event. Although some members of the YCC expressed concern about the amount of money required for the event, the item passed with a strong majority.
The Council had to vote to approve the funding because the students who planned the event, members of the Saybrook suite known as the “12-pack,” requested more money than the CCA is allowed to autonomously award, over half of the total $25,800 CCA budget, YCC Representative and CCA member Bill Fishel ’08 said. The approval of the $16,000 was made possible by a budget surplus, he said.
Kennedy-Shaffer said he will not attempt to rejoin the Council as an associate member, a position that does not require election, but will instead focus on making the most of his remaining time at Yale.
“I’m officially finished with the Yale College Council, and I will move on to senior activities, such as the senior essay and partying,” Kennedy-Shaffer said.
YCC representative elections will take place today and tomorrow on YaleStation.