For Jimmy Murphy ’13, the Yale College Council’s biggest advantage is its constituency.
As president, Murphy said he hopes to revamp technology services at Yale. Because many Yalies are very tech-savvy, he said, he wants to increase student job opportunities by allowing them to work with ITS to make technology more student-friendly. He said including the student perspective is critical because “they’re the ones actually using Classes*v2.”
His plans for Yale’s tech services are representative of his platform: Murphy said he wants the YCC to be more representative of the student body, and “use Yale students to make Yale better.”
“I love YCC, but sometimes we act more like another student group and not a student government,” he said. “We have a lot of opportunity and potential to work with students.”
Murphy said he started working with the YCC after joining Davenport College student government because it offered him a chance to work with a greater portion of the student body.
In his work with the YCC, Murphy said he has pursued projects that stem from his personal passions, such as technology and foreign languages. Last semester, he tried to push for a “language certification” distinction to give more weight to foreign language studies.
Students were surveyed about the initative in November, but Murphy said the plan failed late in the semester due to backlash from larger academic departments.
Especially in cases such as these, Murphy said the YCC could benefit from increased transparency.
“I think there’s not enough communication with the students about what does and doesn’t work out through YCC in terms of initiatives and proposals,” he said, adding that as president he would include more detailed updates on YCC projects in emails to the student body. “I think students might not be so frustrated with problems on campus if they know why there is a problem.”
Murphy now serves on more YCC subcommitees than any of his fellow members, according to the council’s roster. Recently, he partnered with Jennifer Mosby ’12 to create a short-term cell phone loan program for students who lose their phones. He also chairs the App Challenge Committee, which gives students one month to design a software application that will improve student life and awards the winner $1,000.
Overall, Murphy said that he hopes to use the YCC’s ability to mobilize the student body to help support student groups around campus. By increasing communication between cultural houses, athletic organizations and Greek organizations, Murphy said he thinks the YCC will better represent the whole student body.
“I’ve seen Jimmy in action,” said Nathaniel Zelinsky ’13, Jimmy’s suitemate and co-chair of Davenport Student Activities Committee. “It is a phenomenal show to watch. He is always on top of his stuff.”
Danny Murphy, Jimmy’s 16-year-old brother, said Jimmy is a role model to his community back home in Cranford, N.J. for his strong academic and service records.
Murphy is a STEP coordinator, Davenport College Council member, Davenport Student Activities Committee co-chair, FOOT leader and a business associate for The New Journal.