YCC releases midyear report

In its second annual midyear report released Sunday night, the Yale College Council outlined its completed projects while looking ahead to initiatives it hopes to work on this semester.

The report outlines the YCC’s completed and ongoing work in 12 sections that include the presidential search, dining, financial aid and off-campus life. The report cites 10 new projects the YCC completed in the fall semester as well as several initiatives YCC members have planned but are still pending administrators’ approval. Students said they are happy the midyear report brings transparency to the YCC but that they hope the organization increases its efforts at publicizing its initiatives.

“The most important thing included in the midyear report was the Presidential Search report, which took up a lot of the YCC’s time last semester,” YCC Secretary Leandro Leviste ’15 said. “In terms of upcoming projects for the spring, it is very difficult to know what will most work out.”

The report highlights several areas in which the YCC has begun new initiatives, including expanded meal options during breaks, a “Yalies on Rails” student technology program and the “STEM Sibs” program. Leviste said the YCC based this year’s midyear report on last year’s, which was released in January 2011.

YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 said that two proposals discussed under the report’s “Academics” section — the Credit/D/Fail proposal, which would allow students to convert a class from Credit/D/Fail later in the semester, and the course withdrawal proposal, which push back the deadline to drop a class — are still sitting with the committee on honors and academic standing. The report also details several other incomplete projects, such as the events calendar, financial aid report, financial literacy workshops and expansion on credits earned for study abroad. Gonzalez said he wanted to include pending projects in the summary of last fall’s work because students might not be aware of them.

YCC executive board members interviewed said several projects that debuted last fall will continue into the next academic year. YCC Events Director Bryan Epps ’14 said the new fall break activities — including a block party, discounted movie tickets and bus trips to New York City — will also occur during next year’s fall break.

The report does not include larger policy recommendations and projects the YCC thinks are not possible to complete during the 2012-’13 academic year, Gonzalez said. He added that the YCC will submit these points to Peter Salovey, who will assume the University presidency on June 30, later this spring.

Students interviewed said they hope the YCC increases its efforts to make students aware of its new projects and initiatives.

“The midyear report reminded me of many things that maybe didn’t apply to me, but could’ve been helpful to know about,” Guadalupe Gonzalez ’15 said. “I didn’t know about the mental health resources sheet, so maybe they could publicize that better with videos or something, instead of just writing about it.”

Kate Byron ’14 said she appreciates the YCC’s efforts to see what students thought of the tradeoff between fall break and a longer reading period, even if there is not an easy solution to the problem.

Sunny Jones ’13 said she thinks the YCC did a good job of gathering student input during the presidential search and hopes the Council will continue to send out surveys.

Two authors of the midyear report — Leviste and former YCC Vice President Debby Abramov — recently announced they will not be at Yale for the spring semester and will be leaving their YCC executive board positions.

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