During his two years on student government at Yale, Eric Eliasson ’14 has not only served as chair of the Freshmen Class Council, but he has also headed the YCC’s Academics Committee, and served on the Events, Dining and Communication committees. Now, Eliasson hopes to use that experience to serve students as the YCC president next year.
Eliasson said he breaks his platform into three initiatives: improving overall student life, improving how the YCC interacts with committees in the Yale College Dean’s Office, and improving the quality of interactions between the YCC and the student body.
“I think part of the reason why the YCC was so successful last year is what the [executive] board brought in experience and institutional memory,” Eliasson said at the conclusion of the YCC debate Sunday afternoon. “We’re all really great guys and we have really different platforms. But think about experience when you go to vote.”
Freshman will soon find Eliasson on their doorsteps: After launching a campaign website, Facebook page and YouTube video (featuring stop motion animation with an Eliasson voice-over), Eliasson said he will be going door-to-door on Old Campus for the rest of this week. He added that while this is a daunting task, he looks forward to meeting many members of the Class of 2015.
Eliasson’s student life proposals include opening Commons Dining Hall as a study space in the evening and creating a centralized campus-wide events calendar. He also wants to create a way for students to change their ID photos. Eliasson said that while these are not broad policy reforms, “updating little things” can go a long way to improving student life.
After an interaction he had with the Dean’s Office academic committee this fall, Eliasson said he wants to change how the YCC interacts with the various committees in the Dean’s Office. Eliasson said his committee on the YCC submitted a report about the Credit/D/Fail system to the Dean’s committee in October and did not hear back until two months later that the Dean’s Office wasn’t able to follow through with any of the YCC’s recommendations for change.
“I want the YCC to work more closely with the Dean’s committees and Dean Mary Miller and communicate with them about how we can make real change,” Eliasson said.
Eliasson said he also wants to involve more students with the YCC by creating opportunities for them to weigh in on the issues they care about most. He said that students may be too busy to serve full time on the YCC, so he would create issue-based committees with lower time commitments.
“Students could join that committee, become a part of the YCC and put in effort that way, but not have to dedicate all of their time to student council,” Eliasson added. Beyond accomplishing his platform ideas, Eliasson said he wants to create a more open YCC.
“Saying ‘the YCC did a lot this year’ is a great thing, but being president is also about making representatives feel comfortable in meetings and including the student body in decisions, in addition to tangible goals,” Eliasson said.
While YCC is his main extracurricular activity, Eliasson is also involved with the Berkeley College community, as both a master’s aide and member of the college’s council.