The Yale student body is lucky to have four enthusiastic and competent Yale College Council treasurer candidates this year. The race is an embarrassment of riches: Kwabena Boateng ’14, Eric Eliasson ’14, Cece Xie ’13 and Archit Sheth-Shah ’13 all displayed a dedication to not only managing the council’s funds but also pushing for broader policy reform.
We have confidence that all of them would be good caretakers of the council’s budget. Some, however, seemed to have a better understanding of the treasurer’s responsibilities than others. And only one inspired us with his determination to make the most responsible and effective use of limited funds. Although Sheth-Shah’s published platform focuses on goals such as extending Yale Transit services and expanding UCS’s reach, his experience and fiscally responsible approach to allocating funds convinced us that he would be the right person to serve as treasurer next year.
As the current YCC representative from Morse, Sheth-Shah is the only candidate with substantial YCC experience. That is not to say the other candidates are not qualified to serve on the council: Eliasson, in particular, proved a successful Freshman Class Council chair this semester. But the treasurer may be called upon to lead committees and spearhead policy initiatives, and Sheth-Shah’s experience on three YCC committees and a standing committee would serve him well.
All of the candidates had good, if mostly similar, ideas. We applaud Xie’s desire to make the budget more accessible and transparent to students by publicizing a breakdown of the expenses that go into each event the council funds. Eliasson’s idea of allowing students outside of the YCC to participate in some funding discussions would be a positive step as well. We agree with Sheth-Shah that projects such as the $10K Initiative deserve continued support next year. And all of the candidates pushed to better connect the YCC with the class councils this year.
In his interview with the News, Sheth-Shah spoke forcefully and articulately about the need to examine every item in the budget, especially large expenditures such as Spring Fling. He argued for cutting down bloated expenses, rethinking the costly Eli Adventures program and increasing oversight of the UOFC system. He had interesting proposals for how to use savings from the current budget — staging a Fall Concert, for one — but what truly impressed us was his dedication to fiscal restraint and knowledge of the budget. A treasurer with clear priorities will give the Events Director and Spring Fling chair a solid foundation on which to work.