Junior class race reopened

The Yale College Council has reopened elections for the Junior Class Council chair, extending the deadline from Tuesday afternoon to 4 p.m. today.

When no sophomores had submitted materials for the position by the original deadline, the YCC asked the five sophomores running for YCC vice president if they wanted to switch their candidacy to JCC chair. The only taker was Justine Kolata ’12, who would have run unopposed.

But many sophomores wondered why the candidacy was only re-opened to those running for vice president, YCC vice president Abigail Cheung ’11 said. She said the council discussed the issue “all day” Wednesday and sent an e-mail to members of the class of 2012 late Wednesday night outlining the new plan: Anyone who submits candidacy materials, including 100 signatures from their classmates, to the Yale College Dean’s Office by 4 p.m. today is eligible to run.

“We took a vote on everyone in the election committee and decided … it would be more fair to open it up to everyone,” Cheung said.

Shortly after the original deadline Tuesday, Cheung said, the Council offered the JCC presidential candidacy to those running for the office with the most candidates — YCC vice president — all of whom had submitted their materials on time.

“What we were thinking initially was that no one had stepped forward,” Cheung said. “To be fair, we need to mention the fact that nobody else submitted the materials [for JCC chair] by the deadline, which was clear from the onset.”

Several students interested in running e-mailed Cheung after the deadline, she said. Because these students had not followed the original guidelines, the YCC found it difficult to make the decision to re-open the election, she said.

Kolata said she is happy with the decision and welcomes the other candidates. She said her original vice presidential platform translated well to the JCC position. Other YCC candidates are focusing on mental health, she said, which she hopes to pursue on JCC if she is elected.

“I don’t care about the title,” Kolata said, explaining why she decided to run for JCC chair. “What I want to do is make a change in JCC and YCC and get some positive initiatives and benefit students on campus. And since nobody was doing that, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to revive JCC.”

Five sophomores interviewed Wednesday evening before the race was reopened said they did not know the position had initially been reopened only to vice presidential candidates, or even that Kolata was running unopposed.

“I had absolutely no idea that nobody was running,” Katey McDonald ’12. “I found out today that nobody was running because I found out that [Kolata is] our JCC president.”

Adi Kamdar ’12 added: “The conversation I’ve had for the past day is, ‘Oh, did you hear that Justine is going to be JCC president?’ ‘What?’ ”

YCC elections take place April 12.

Correction: April 8, 2010

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Adi Kamdar ’12.

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