This year’s Spring Fling may be the Yale Student Activities Committee’s last.
Members of YSAC and the Yale College Council plan to meet Sunday to decide whether to restructure — or even eliminate — the separate events body, YCC officials said Tuesday. Plans to restructure the organizations have not been met with universal approval from YCC and YSAC representatives, though heads of both organizations said Tuesday that events planning is currently handled inefficiently.
“The current structure is inefficient and problematic,” YCC President Rich Tao ’10 said. “There was an increasingly blurry line between what is a YCC activity and what is a YSAC activity.”
A Tuesday e-mail from YCC announcing guidelines for this year’s executive board elections, set for April 13, contained a footnote alerting students interested in the YSAC Chair position that the two bodies would “hold a vote which may affect the organization of YSAC, and thus the position of YSAC Chair.”
Tao and YSAC Chair Colin Leatherbury ’09 said no final plan to restructure the two organizations had been approved as of Tuesday. Active proposals include integrating YSAC into YCC — effectively eliminating the former — or creating subcommittees, similar to this year’s Spring Fling selection committee, to take charge of all events currently run by YSAC. Alternatively, council and committee members could simply vote to retain the events-organizing body in its current form.
YSAC’s formation five years ago was an experiment in separating the policy duties of the YCC from its event-planning duties, Tao said. Since its founding, YSAC has organized events like the Fall Show, Winter Formal and Spring Fling. But over the last few years, Tao said, YCC has increasingly reasserted itself in planning events such as November’s Iron Chef event, January’s Unity Ball and December’s Yale-only train to New York City.
That trend, Tao said, showed that the boundaries separating the two organizations had to be redrawn.
While he supports a YCC-YSAC integration, Leatherbury said any shift must safeguard the passion for events planning exhibited by current YSAC members.
Natasha Sarin ’11, Calhoun’s YSAC representative and this year’s Spring Fling chair, said she sees no reason to limit events-planning to a single body. Having two groups handling campus events planning, Sarin said, is “awesome.” Although Sarin said she thinks next year’s YCC will be able to make up for the loss of a YSAC, she said she is not sure the same level of enthusiasm for planning events could be guaranteed.
“It would be unfortunate if there were no activities committee whose sole purpose was to plan events for the school,” she said.
Redundancies in this year’s Spring Fling selection process, which included an affiliated spring fling selection committee composed of outside students, led in part to the review of YSAC’s purpose, Tao and Leatherbury said. That committee both gauged student opinion and made recommendations for possible lineups. Still, YSAC made the final decision on the line-up, leaving some members of both bodies wondering why there were two committees.
“If YSAC is deferring its power to a Spring Fling committee, then it’s kind of like, what’s YSAC doing?” Spring Fling committee member Sean Owczarek ’11 said.
The YCC and YSAC will debate final proposals and amendments Sunday before voting on a proposal at the same meeting.