Vying for the Yale College Council presidency runs in Jeff Gordon’s ’12 family: His older brother Ben Gordon ’95 ran for the position in 1994. Jeff Gordon said the way his brother tells the story, he won the election but was stripped of the title after the elections committee decided his use of color posters indicated he had exceeded his allotted budget.
“You could say I was running to avenge him,” Gordon said. “But not really.”
Because the University is currently conducting a review of the changes enacted in 2003 by the Committee on Yale College Education, all three presidential candidates are also focusing on academic policy, Gordon said, adding that he will make this issue his top priority.
For example, he said he hopes to implement certificates of proficiency in foreign languages and enhance student advising. In addition, he said he wants to improve student services such as Yale Dining and Undergraduate Career Services, attract new businesses to New Haven and bring in talented entertainers for large campus events. Gordon said he would achieve his goals using data from peer institutions to convince administrators of the feasibility of his plans.
Last year, Gordon — who plays on the men’s club ultimate frisbee team — served on the Freshman Class Council’s issues committee, and he is the YCC representative for Saybrook College this year.
On the YCC, he said he has helped to lobby administrators and faculty to support some of the YCC’s larger projects, such as gender neutral housing, which has been implemented for the class of 2011, and academic minors, which the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted against in February.
Earlier in the year Gordon met with different department heads to try to convince them to approve academic minors, but when he realized the campaign was unpopular with faculty in larger departments, he decided to advocate instead for certificates of proficiency in a foreign language.
Gordon is currently also working to introduce a supplementary advising system, in which freshmen and sophomores can view online profiles of seniors and contact them for advice.
Matthew Prewitt ’12, one of Gordon’s 11 suitemates in the Saybrook 12-Pack, said Gordon is very organized, recalling a political science class the two took together first semester; unlike most of the class, Gordon started researching for the final paper months before it was due, Prewitt said.
“He jumps on things that need to be worked on,” he said.
Less seriously, Prewitt remembered the first few weekly meetings the 12-Pack held to discuss suite issues, during which he said Gordon jokingly took detailed, humorous notes.
Casey Blue James ’12, who is Gordon’s close friend in Saybrook and has worked with him on Saybrook College Council, said she noticed Gordon’s sense of humor upon first meeting him at freshman registration last year.
“He had these really bright orange and blue shoes on, which he had meticulously laced into a diagonal pattern,” she said. “And he was really outgoing, and wanted to get to know people, which remains true for sure.”
If elected, Gordon also promises to regrow the large Afro he had in high school, which has been pictured on the gossip blog IvyGate.
“Anybody with the courage to have that outrageous ’fro has the courage to be YCC president,” he said.