YCC Vice President: Abigail Cheung ’11

Abigail Cheung ’11 wants people to talk to her — and she promises to listen to them, saying her experience and patience will serve her well as the Yale College Council vice president.

“I’m really receptive to hearing what other people have to say,” she said Wednesday. “I try to channel my efforts into helping them.”

Abigail Cheung
Victor Alquicira
Abigail Cheung

Cheung identified Yale’s student body as the YCC’s most valuable resource. Talking to other students has always shaped her YCC contributions, including the Yale Votes! panel series and registration drive, dances and financial aid initiatives, she said.

“Everyone here has something amazing to bring to the table,” she said.

Coming to Yale from Vancouver, Canada, Cheung speaks three languages and participates in a Dwight Hall language development initiative and the women’s crew team, among other activities.

Cheung has served as Freshman Class Council vice chair, a Timothy Dwight representative to YCC this year and Sophomore Class Council liaison to the YCC, spending many hours in YCC committees. Cheung made an unsuccessful bid for YCC secretary in last year’s elections.

Mindful that the YCC vice president runs the council’s internal affairs, Cheung said she has accumulated a thorough knowledge of its workings and a sense of the issues that matter. She speaks about policy, events and administrative issues with equal passion. In a world without a Yale Student Activities Committee, she said, she would push YCC to dedicate more effort to planning events.

“Issues can’t be publicized without a lot of events,” she said.

Cheung said her experience in both policy and event planning differentiates her from opponent Brian Levin ’11, whom she described as being “really engaged on policy issues.” Although she was reluctant to criticize Levin, she said she had committed herself more fully to project committees than Levin has.

“I think he’s kind of failed to look at the other side of YCC and hasn’t really been involved in events planning,” she said. “I think I’ve already gotten the mentality of focusing on events.”

Levin maintained Thursday night that he has played a significant role in event planning and that, moreover, his policy experience is more substantive.

On the policy side, Cheung singled out academic minors, gender-neutral housing and financial aid reform as ongoing priorities. As an international student, she said, she is dedicated to reducing self-help hours and increasing travel allowances in student aid packages.

Despite her commitment to policy work, Cheung said she believes it is the president’s role to lead policy initiatives. She envisions the vice president mediating discussions, reaching out to students and helping other YCC officers.

“I see myself as being a really good support person,” she said — one reason, she added, for her decision to run for vice president and not for president.

Cheung’s suitemate Lynn Wang ’11 described Cheung as patient and genuinely interested in helping everyone she meets, citing one occasion on which Cheung stepped in, unasked, to help her organize a banquet, though Cheung did not belong to the organization and was overloaded with work.

Cheung is a double major in international studies and political science.

Comments

  • a YCC-er

    Cheung is running a campaign rubbing her experience against Levin's. That is self-distruction strategy and does not showcase her work.

    Levin was by far superior in running things around the YCC this past year and his presence was standing out on all debates and issues.

    Cheung claims that Levin has no events experience which is a fallacy since he orchestrated the organization of last year's Unity Ball.

    What is more, Levin's expertise in dealing with policy issues will serve the council more next year when the pivotal time for dealing with Academic Minors (that Levin spearheads and runs almost all by himself), an issue that all candidates have picked up as their flagship, which is actually an attempt for mutiny from Levin's captainship on this issue.

    Abigail would serve the YCC as an elected rep greatly next year. But in her run this year, just like last year, oversteps her role in the council and overestimates her ability to lead as she was not a point of reference in any YCC debate in the council's meetings.

  • YCC observer

    In response to #1, Brian Levin did NOT orchestrate the organization of the Unity Ball. If anything, Rich Tao organized the entire event. Levin's main problem is that he epitomizes everything that is wrong with student government- he's willing to use anyone to get to the top spot. From my personal experience, he often uses other people's ideas and claims them as his own. He has done a lot of great work on the council this year, but he also takes a lot of credit away from other people.

    This is not meant to tell you to vote for Abigail, but rather, to explain that whoever posted the comment above is not someone who has actually dealt with Levin and experienced his blatant political manipulation.

  • Y

    she came to my suite the other night to introduce herself. i was not impressed. i think i would've been more inclined to vote for her before she came by and made awkward conversation. didn't strike me much as a leader.

  • YCC Rep

    In response to #2, Brian is one of the most genuine people I have ever met and one of the hardest working YCC reps. I talked to him during Christmas break and he was spending hours on the phone finding and booking the DJs for Unity Ball with very short notice and spent a great deal of time later handling logistics. He claims he was one of the main organizers and that is entirely accurate--that's why he was asked to introduce the DJ.

  • BR11

    Hey! Stop slandering Abby! She's nice.

  • Wait a minute

    A defamatory remark is not slander if it's written. You're talking about libel.

    Also, I thought Cheung's door-to-door campaigning was effective. My roommate and I asked her some tough questions about policy and the presidential platforms, and her answers were intelligent and, as far as we could tell, honest.

  • Anonymous

    Abigail is such a sweet person, but I wonder why she is running for this position. She was silent during the discussion that came before the vote on integrating YSAC into YCC and has not really taken the lead on any major issues or events. She is also spread very thin and it really shows. Not only does serve on YCC, but rows crew, is a managing editor of L'Amouse Bouche and a whole laundry list of activities.