News’ View: Mathilde Williams ’11 for YCC director of events

With the YCC set to absorb the Yale Student Activities Committee, it is imperative that next year’s director of events have the spirit and the enthusiasm to ensure that event-planning does not get lost in the traditionally policy-heavy world of the YCC.

Both Natasha Sarin ’11 and Mathilde Williams ’11 served on YSAC this year and possess the experience to assume this newly created position. But we believe Williams’ passion for Yale’s traditions and her level-headed demeanor would make her more effective in the long run.

Sarin is a co-chair of this year’s Spring Fling, and she argues that next year’s concert will not live up to its potential unless she is put in charge of it. But by all accounts, this year’s event has been mismanaged: Its planning has come down to the wire, and it is said to be over budget.

With the integration of YSAC and the YCC, the previous 36 representatives will be reduced to 24. In a year when fewer people will be asked to do more, we are not convinced that Sarin will work cooperatively on non–event planning duties. Her interests are specific and unyielding, and some within the YCC described her as frustratingly strong-willed. We saw these qualities on display earlier this semester when Sarin approached the News forcefully — and, we have reason to believe, dishonestly — to push her uncompromising ideas of Spring Fling into the paper on this page.

Neither candidate was impressive in their interviews, as Sarin at one point referred to Yale’s “6,000-plus undergrads,” a point of confusion unacceptable for a student government candidate. Williams, for her part, was not particularly eloquent in talking about the nuances of the YCC-YSAC integration and was vague in some of her other answers when we interviewed her. As a result, our endorsement has some hesitation.

But on the whole, Williams conveys a very different professional attitude from Sarin, and thus we think she will be a more productive presence within the YCC. Her plan to use this year’s Spring Fling selection committee as a model for increasing student involvement — and manpower — in the planning of other events is a prudent and inclusive step. And she seems genuinely enthusiastic about planning events for the sake of others, not for herself. This was apparent from her work reviving the Winter Formal and her interest in reviving the great tradition of Bladderball (which, it is worth noting, this newspaper called for last spring).

Considering she is in charge of this year’s Spring Fling, Sarin puzzles us with her “A vote for change” campaign slogan. But we agree with the sentiment: Yale should vote for change, and that change will come by electing Williams.


  • ysacmember

    for the record, i personally know that mathilde wanted the spring fling line up to be--and i quote--"an educational musical experience"--meaning that she wanted underground bands that are not mainstream and/or appealing to headline--i repeat HEADLINE--spring fling. i personally wanted akon, who natasha had booked and who would be headlining, if it weren't for the delights over at the ydn who published some freak grad school student's editorial about akon's live shows being morally reprehensible or some other hypersensitive label. THAT editorial got the dean of student affairs involved, and he is the one who canceled akon. by this time, it was too late to get anyone else good. i applaud natasha for getting n*e*r*d at the last minute. once again, ydn gets it wrong and screws everything up.

  • Anon

    "Sarin approached the News forcefully — and, we have reason to believe, dishonestly"

    Will the YDN please explain this allegation?

  • YCC2011

    These endorsements have become personal attacks on all of the candidates instead of constructive contributions to student decisions. I find these to be mean-spirited. Remember that these are your peers, not real-world politicians.

  • i love natasha

    i'm just confused… how did the ydn endorse someone (williams) with neither experience nor a platform nor the ability to speak (did anyone else see her election video?). the endorsement just trashes sarin unfairly and says nothing positive about williams… it seems the ydn has a hatred for natasha (she's an editor for the herald, maybe that's it) and this endorsement is based on their personal sentiments rather than the reality of the situation, which is sarin would make a BETTER director of events.

    VOTE NATASHA. there really is no chocie.

  • disgusted

    this is ridiculous. can you seriously imagine mathilde running a meeting? commanding a room? what we are talking about here is an EXECUTIVE position, not a cute cuddly babysitter. Natasha has the vision, the brains, the glamour, & the attitude to get shit done. No amount of petty ad hominem attacks from the YDN is going to change that.

    Vote Natasha!

  • confused

    wow, ydn. picking the candidate with neither experience nor a platform. moronic even by ydn standards.

  • y09

    I second commenter #2's request. I checked the Op-Ed page's Spring Fling coverage from this season, and could not find anything about the incident to which the YDN refers. If this is internal YDN business, then it's fine that the board considered it when making an endorsement, but don't allude mysteriously to it in the paper and assume that students will get the point.

    A lot of this year's endorsements have featured this sort of vague, serious-sounding allegation against candidates the YDN didn't choose. To be honest, at times they read like something out of a bad spy novel. I've been in group deliberations for elections and endorsements (though never with the YDN), and I know that this sort of anonymous criticism often sounds serious enough to carry a lot of weight. In group discussion, sometimes that's inevitable. For an editorial that was presumably written and edited to persuade students outside the YDN board, it's ineffective and inexcusable.

  • Who cares?

    I'm not impressed with Sarin. She thinks she represents our mainstream. If that's so, Yale is a messed up place. The only thing she seemed to do for the Spring Fling committee was complain about not getting Akon.

    If only real people started running for these positions, not high school student-government wannabes.

    Rich Tao could have masturbated six new proposals for academic minor (all of which would ultimately be rejected) in the time it takes to craft one of those stupid YCC campaign videos or websites. This business is overrated.


    Why do we even consider the YDN's endorsements? How are they more credible than anyone else at Yale?

    Natasha is absolutely a shoe-in for the job. And Mathilde's campaign, particularly her slogan, is something a 9th grader would present.

    Please, vote for experience, passion, and capability, not the idiocy of "Yale is a party and I want to throw it."

  • Anonymous

    The YDN endorsements have always been completely worthless. That a group of ten random Yale students with no special knowledge (the YDN Board) has been able to even potentially swing elections in the past is a shame. At least now they are no longer even pretending to endorse based on objectivity, and it is now clear to everyone that these endorsements are entirely personal. Thank you for clarifying that, YDN.

    I don't care which candidate you vote for, but shame on anyone who votes based on this.

  • Anonymous

    For a newspaper so concerned with "professionalism," where's the sourcing? Since when is Spring Fling over-budget? Since when has it been mismanaged?

    How can you allude to such claims without backing them up?

  • choatealum

    just fyi, for those of you puzzled by this insane ydn endorsement, tom kaplan and williams went to high school together - they go way back. it's a pity the m-board wasn't able to divorce their relationship with these candidates to pick the passionate individual who deserves to win this election (sarin)

    it doesn't really matter though - sarin will obviously win. tom should reexamine those "journalistic ethics" he seems to care so much about though.

  • SLC-Yale-Lover

    I personally know Mathildie, and know that she has what it takes to be an events cord., she is the kinda person that will rise to any challenge and do the best that she can, at this point thats all that matter. Good Luck Tealy !!!!!!


    if this is a 'mismanaged' fling, then will you mismanage again for us natasha???


  • Anonymous

    congrats, Mathilde!