News’ View: Abigail Cheung ’11 for YCC vice president

We had a hard time deciding between the two candidates for vice president since they are, by their own admission, very similar. Neither Abigail Cheung ’11 nor Brian Levin ’11 make a strong case for this endorsement, but we have reason to believe Cheung may be somewhat more effective in the position.

In their interviews, the candidates enumerated nearly identical policy platforms. Neither impressed this board by repeatedly stressing commitment to academic minors, an issue we editorialized against earlier this year. We were glad to hear enthusiasm for gender-neutral housing, but neither candidate indicated how next year’s YCC may be more successful on the issue than this year’s council.

Levin has marginally more experience leading committees and planning events, but his conception of the vice president’s role seemed narrowly focused and ineffective. He explained that he would like to speak more often to students and meet more frequently with leaders of student organizations. He did not specify how he would like to work with other members of the YCC — the vice president’s role, as expressed in the council’s charter, is as the primary coordinator of the various council members and projects — beyond saying the vice president is “not necessarily a cheerleader,” but rather a “motivator or counselor.”

Cheung did not offer a significantly better-articulated vision for specific action as vice president, but her acknowledgement that the vice president runs meetings and “sets the tone” for the YCC’s operations was more substantive than Levin’s description of the duties he hopes to take on. And Cheung’s ideas about how specifically to engage student groups — by working with other groups on campus to fund and advertise events — showed more potential than Levin’s nebulous promise of improved communication.

From our knowledge of Levin and Cheung’s contributions to this year’s board, we have reason to believe Cheung has been a marginally more reliable presence. But in this way, too, it is hard to distinguish the candidates. Our endorsement for Cheung is therefore tepid.


  • anonymous

    wow I am struck by the condescending tone of all these "endorsement" statements from the ydn. The final sentence "our endorsement is thus tepid" blatantly confirms all stereotypes of the YDN as pretentious and condescending.

  • yanni

    yeah.. sheesh. whoever you support, abby or brian, this endorsement seems rather harsh. it is not nice to be condescending.

  • Useless

    This endorsement provides so little information on either candidate. The point of an endorsement isn't just the YDN flaunting its views, but rather to inform students. This is just pretentious nonsense.

  • YCCer

    Is this a joke?--"We have reason to believe Cheung has been a marginally more reliable presence."

    Brian has consistently been a strong presence on the council, actively participating in discussions and taking the lead on some of the biggest issues the YCC has tackled. The same cannot be said for Abigail.

    Where does this info come from?

  • Anonymous

    Second #4. I have never heard the viewpoint of the YDN's unreferenced source before, and I know plenty of people on the YCC.

    Very unprofessional to cite this hearsay, especially given that different hearsay indicates the opposite.

  • @ #4

    "take the lead" seems to be playing fast and loose with reality. from what i've heard (both from people on the ycc and munty), brian is somebody who loves taking credit more than actually doing work.

    sort of a bad approach to have when you're supposed to be leading the council and motivating others, wouldn't you say?

    abigail is sweeter, funnier, and less focused on getting credit. she was even careful to use the pronoun "we" on her website when talking about her work as opposed to lying like brian about "spearheading" issues or "authoring" reports.

    when all's said and done, even if he did take the "lead" on some of the "work" he claims, it's still bad form to be so driven on getting credit. what a silly boy. will the real b.lev please stand up?

  • freshman

    both brian and abigail made their rounds around old campus, and i have to say abigail seemed refreshingly down-to-earth (though also very focused and taking everything seriously--which can't be said about some other candidates' campaigns), very approachable and not at all cocky, all of which are invaluable qualities in a vice president--they're really the ones who are going to be doing a lot of the reaching out to the student population.

  • MC '12

    i was very impressed with brian when he came through durfee. he stayed in our room for a long time and seemed really interested in my ideas. i didn't understand gender neutral housing until he explained the logic behind it to me and now i think it makes a lot of sense. he seems really approachable and funny and also talked to me about good classes for next year which i appreciated.

  • sophomore

    I know both Abigail and Brian and although Abigail is nice, Brian is one of the smartest, most dedicated, talented student leaders that I have ever met. I am certain that one day he will hold an elected office in the United States government. He is not only focused on the issues, but expresses himself in a way that everyone listens. He is a true gentleman and would make an excellent vice-president.

  • Interesting…
  • Anonymous

    The sophomore #9 above said it all.
    Brian was a leading figure in the council and was shadowing other members in the council that were on the e-board with his structured and informed opinion on issues.

    His overall personality would make a great VP out of him.

    As for Abigail, I think she has merit in serving on campus and I believe she had executed her role well this year in the YCC but she cannot be compared to Brian.

    His leading figure and advocacy skills will be of great use next year in leading the YCC in policy issues.

    And think of it this way: If Ryan Beauchamp is elected for President, Brian will more than make-up for any lack of policy issues that some credit on Ryan, as his VP.