The Yale College Council confirmed Saybrook College representative David Roosth ’09 as the successor to departed YCC Treasurer Priya Kim Prasad ’08 at its meeting Sunday night.
Roosth, who was the first nominee put before the full Council by the YCC Executive Board, was approved by a 13-2-4 vote, barely garnering the two-thirds majority of those present needed for confirmation. In the case of mid-year departures of YCC officers, the board nominates replacements, who must then be confirmed by the full council. Prasad resigned last month to devote more time to academics and other activities, she said.
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Roosth demonstrated his dedication and ability to crunch numbers while organizing the council’s recent efforts to introduce a new Campus Cash system that would allow students to consolidate different campus payment accounts and charge meals in New Haven restaurants to their bursar accounts, YCC Vice President Steve Engler ’07 said.
“Dave breathes this stuff,” Engler said. “He worked with students and the administration and demonstrated student support on Campus Cash … We were impressed that he could come in and learn this stuff so quickly.”
YCC President Emery Choi ’07, who served as treasurer last year, said the board interviewed seven candidates for the position on Friday and evaluated them on the basis of their overall competence, proficiency at planning events and ability to work with other members of the Council. He said the board looked for candidates who had their fingers on the “pulse of the campus.”
While board members said they think Roosth has the enthusiasm and commitment necessary for the job, some YCC representatives at the meeting raised concerns about his relative lack of experience in planning and executing campus-wide events.
Michael Ma ’09, who represents Morse College, said at the meeting that he thinks Committee for Campus-wide Activities Chair Bill Fishel ’08, who also interviewed for the treasurer position, has a larger presence on campus and is better suited to the job because of the support he received in his campaigns for treasurer in 2005 and 2006.
“All positions on the Executive Board are elected by the entire campus,” Ma said. “By having some support on campus and going out and getting signatures to get on the ballot, he already made a step toward being on E-Board.”
Associate YCC representative Larry Wise ’08 said he thinks Roosth lacks the experience and relationships with University administrators that Fishel would have been able to utilize. But Wise said he thinks Roosth will excel in the position.
Roosth said his lack of other serious extracurricular responsibilities will allow him to fully devote himself to the treasurer position. He plans to spend the rest of the semester meeting with Prasad and Yale Student Activities Committee Chair Mike Lehmann ’08 in order to learn about the state of the YCC’s budget and its various finance structures.
“I am really putting [the YCC] before everything else, especially next semester,” Roosth said. “I was really lucky in the timing of the appointment. It came at the end of the semester when things are slowing down for the YCC and YSAC, which gives me time to … catch up on everything that is going on.”
If Roosth’s confirmation had failed, the council would then have voted on the board’s second nominee, Branford College representative Emily Schofield ’09.
Representatives at the meeting deliberated over how to vote on Roosth’s nomination. Mark Godfrey ’08, who represents Trumbull College, introduced a motion to vote by secret ballot, which was seconded by several others. But Choi killed the motion and forced an open vote, saying student government should be conducted “out in the open.”
Godfrey and Berkeley College representative Carolyn Nguyen ’09 voted against Roosth’s confirmation.