Like most Yale College Council members, Omar Njie ’13 keeps busy on campus. But Njie has an accomplishment under his belt few other YCC members can claim: He once helped deliver a baby while volunteering in a rural community in Gambia.
“The woman actually named the baby after me,” Njie added.
When not delivering children, Njie serves as president of the Sophomore Class Council and worked to expand the council’s influence by doubling its size. Njie said his experience with the Sophomore Class Council helped him develop strong working relationships with Yale administrators, which will allow him to implement his platform next year. Njie said he believes the YCC works best when it “works on the margins” and improves already existing policies.
“I think it’s important to have bigger aims, but also look at smaller things and figure out how you can improve pre-existing models,” he added.
One of the pre-existing models Njie wants to improve as vice president is the residential college mental health counseling program. Yale HEALTH currently assigns a mental health liaison to each college, Njie said, but few students realize the program exists. To solve this, he said he wants counselors to visit dining halls and hold workshops and study breaks related to stress management.
Njie also hopes to standardize the housing draw process by creating an online system that allows students to view available rooms and pre-select configurations. His academic plans center on adding language certificates and improving qualitative grade feedback from instructors.
An advocate for reform of the Credit/D/Fail grading system, Njie said he wants to allow students to switch from a letter grade to Credit/D/Fail in the middle of the semester. He described such a change as a “kind of safety net” for students.
Audrey Ballard ’13, one of Njie’s best friends, said Njie is “very determined, very driven, very focused, but always just very joyous.”
His peers on the Sophomore Class Council are equally supportive of his candidacy. Shivani Vohra ’13, current secretary, said Njie increased sophomore class involvement in campus events and worked well with University administrators, adding that he is approachable and friendly. Still, she said, council members respect his leadership.
“When Omar wants us to do something, people definitely understand that it’s not just joking around and that we have to actually get things done,” Vohra said.
Njie currently serves on the YCC’s Academics Committee, Spring Fling Committee and Residential College Seminars Standing Committee.