YCC searches for Prasad’s successor

With Yale College Council Treasurer Priya Kim Prasad ’08 set to resign her post at the end of this month, the YCC Executive Board is beginning a search for Prasad’s replacement.

YCC members said they believe it will not be difficult for a new person to assume the role of treasurer and that there are already several candidates for the position. Prasad announced at a council meeting on Sunday that she will be stepping down because her commitments to the YCC, the Yale Student Activities Committee and the Committee for Campus-wide Activities have become too time-intensive to accommodate her life outside of student government.

“I end up spending 15 hours a week in meetings, but most of my work I have to do outside of meetings,” she said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with how the council is run.”

YCC Secretary Zach Marks ’09 said the council’s rules for replacing a resigning officer stipulate that the board will nominate a new treasurer within two weeks of Prasad’s resignation. The nominee — who will be selected from one of the various YCC bodies, including YSAC, CCA, and the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee — must then be approved by two-thirds of the members of the YCC, Marks said.

Though the board hopes to select a replacement nominee by the beginning of Thanksgiving break, YCC President Emery Choi ’07 said, the nominee will likely not be chosen until the end of the first week after break. Choi said the board has several candidates already in mind, but he declined to divulge their names.

“We’ve got a few people who are interested,” he said. “The Executive Board is going to meet some time this week, probably Wednesday, to discuss the possible candidates. We’ll probably meet with all of them to get a better feel for who would be best for the job.”

Choi said the board is looking for a candidate who is familiar with the Council’s multiple finance structures and who has a good relationship with the Yale College Dean’s Office, since one of the treasurer’s principal duties is to work with University administrators.

While Choi said he is not worried about the new treasurer’s transition into the job, YCC Vice President Steve Engler ’07 said the logistical complexity of the post could make it difficult for Prasad’s replacement to take over at this point in the year.

“I think it’s going to be difficult to walk into any job halfway through the year,” he said. “The treasurer job especially is among the more technical and seems to be one where you have a lot of interaction with the various bodies of the YCC.”

Although Prasad will no longer serve on the YCC, she will advise the council and the new treasurer for the rest of the year, she said. Choi, who served as treasurer last year, said he will help the new officer learn about the responsibilities of the position as well.

Prasad’s decision to resign midway through the year has recent precedent.

Mike Schwab ’06, the YCC secretary two years ago, said he stepped down in the winter of 2005 because many council members were not supportive of ideas he proposed and because he could not dedicate the necessary time to the council. Schwab said several YCC representatives threatened him with impeachment because he devoted too much time to his own initiatives — including creating a campus-wide newsletter on YaleStation and increasing the number of tables and benches in outside seating areas around campus — at the expense of other members’ projects.

Steven Syverud ’06, who took over as secretary in 2005 after Schwab resigned and served as YCC president last year, said his own experience makes him think the new treasurer will not have a hard time stepping into Prasad’s place.

“The toughest part — and it lasted maybe two weeks — was getting fully up to speed with the rest of the gang,” Syverud said in an e-mail. “It’s not rocket science.”

The Executive Board consists of the YCC president, vice president and secretary, as well as the chairs of the UOFC and YSAC.

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