Ben Ackerman ’16 asks students a simple question: “Who wouldn’t want more Benjamins?”
Ackerman, one of four candidates running to chair the Undergraduate Organizations Committee, said he wants to streamline the current funding process. His platform has six key points that involve simplifying and updating the way student organizations receive money, share information and reserve facilities. He added that he not only wants to direct financial changes in the UOC but also increase communication between student groups.
“I want to bring students into the fold of student government,” Ackerman said.
Ackerman describes himself as positive, energetic and outgoing. This year, he served on the Yale College Council as an associate member and webmaster. Ackerman said his experience working with University administrators has allowed him to be involved with a number of projects, including the Bike Share program.
But over the past year, Ackerman said he has realized that the current UOC funding process is “cumbersome.”
“It provides unnecessary stress that kids don’t need,” Ackerman said.
In order to affect change, Ackerman breaks down his platform into six key points: “Easy funding, easy room reservations, easy communication, easy equipment rental, easy representation, easy information.” He added that the emphasis is on making the funding process accessible.
Ackerman explained that from his time on the YCC, he has realized that students are incredibly devoted to their extracurricular activities. The process of receiving funding from the UOC is unclear, and the information is not well-presented, he said. He wants to make the entire process easier so students can spend more time organizing events rather than hassling for money.
To improve the system, Ackerman hopes to redesign the UOC website. Since he is the YCC webmaster and designed his campaign’s page, he believes he is uniquely positioned to achieve this goal.
“I think I can effectively make the changes that need to be made,” Ackerman added.
Current UOC Chair Aly Moore ’14 said in an email that while Ackerman does not have previous UOC board experience, he is passionate about his projects and adopts leadership roles. Still, Moore cautioned that any candidate not already on the UOC board would have difficulty catching up, though she added that she is “confident [Ben] would put in the time to do so.”
Fellow YCC council member Eugene Yi ’15, who is running for YCC treasurer, has worked extensively with Ackerman. He said Ackerman’s ability to organize and work hard will serve him well as UOC chair.
“Ben is a miracle worker,” Yi said. “I full-heartedly endorse him.”
Beyond the YCC, Ackerman serves on the Student Technology Collaborative Developer Steering Committee and is a member of Squash Haven.