Four months after becoming vice president of the Yale College Council, Danny Avraham ’15 has led the charge against changes to Yale’s grading policy and reorganized the YCC’s internal structure.
Now Avraham is running for YCC president in an uncontested election, and he plans to spearhead initiatives that will make the YCC “stronger and more relevant” on campus. As far as his new role is concerned, Avraham hopes to overhaul alcohol policy and create academic minors. But in order to accomplish his goals, he said he will restructure the YCC executive board to promote efficiency.
“The YCC’s organizational structure isn’t conducive to following through on everything we want to do for the student body,” Avraham said. “It’s critical that the student body feels YCC can be a helpful organization.”
As president, Avraham said he will create three new executive board positions — directors for academics, student life and University facilities & services. He said he also hopes to improve the council’s institutional memory by documenting previous YCC projects on an online platform.
Other initiatives he proposes aim to improve student life. Avraham said he plans to reform the University’s alcohol policy to focus administrators on safety rather than discipline, adding that he hopes to ensure that leaders of student organizations cannot be disciplined by the Executive Committee if guests at their events violate University alcohol restrictions. His plans for academic reform include introducing blind TA grading, restoring reading period to its previous length and developing a proposal for a program that allows secondary concentrations, similar to minors, based on research he has conducted this year.
Though Avraham’s future as president hardly depends on the outcome of the election, students can expect to find him knocking on their doors this week to campaign. Avraham’s campaign manager Jeremy Hutton ’15 said they have arranged to meet with a variety of student organizations in the coming days. Current YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 said one of Avraham’s strengths is his ability to connect with diverse constituencies on campus.
Avraham served in the Israeli military for four years before he came to Yale and he is currently 24 years old. But his friends and co-workers said his unconventional experiences will not preclude him from relating to the student body.
“He recognizes that he’s from a different background, and he’s taking strides to understand Yale undergraduate college life,” Gonzalez said. “He also brings unique insights as an international student.”
YCC members elected Avraham to serve as vice president on Jan. 20 after former Vice President Debby Abramov ’14 stepped down. As vice president, Avraham asked each YCC representative to take ownership over an individual project, abolishing the system of committees that had previously managed YCC initiatives. Gonzalez said Avraham stepped into his new role quickly and easily.
As chair of the YCC Academics Committee, Avraham is working to reform the Credit/D/Fail policy so students can retroactively convert two letter grades into the Credit/D/Fail option.
Avraham’s YCC colleagues describe him as a personable individual who listens to others.
“Rumpus gave Danny the award for ‘best smile’ and I think that’s indicative of his friendly and approachable personality,” Davenport YCC representative Djenab Conde ’15 said.
Aside from his involvement with YCC, Avraham is an Admissions Office tour guide and a Yale Refugee Project volunteer.