After serving on the Freshman Class Council and the Yale College Council, Kyle Tramonte ’15 said he hopes to take an even more active role in campus politics as YCC vice president.
Tramonte said his goals for the position involve tackling what he sees as the two greatest challenges to the YCC — unresponsiveness from administrators and the student body’s negative perception of student government. While the responsibilities of the vice president are traditionally not well defined, Tramonte said he hopes to carve out a role similar to a “YPU whip,” in which he acts as a facilitator among YCC members working on certain tasks.
He said he plans to “[sit] down with [the] administration to carve a new role” for the YCC in which students are consulted before administrators announce new policy changes. But Tramonte said he is also realistic about how effectively student outcry can lead to change.
“It’ll be difficult — to say the least — because Yale is conservative with respect to its own policies,” Tramonte said. “[The YCC] can’t just push through policies on the grounds that students are in favor of them.”
He thinks the YCC should work within the University’s decision-making framework to confront issues such as revising Yale’s grading policy and declining summer financial aid contributions.
Another of Tramonte’s goals as vice president is to encourage increased student interest in YCC activity since he thinks that interest has declined over the past two years. He said he thinks students appreciated the YCC’s “triumph” of postponing the faculty vote on grading but added that the council must continue improving its reputation for efficacy.
“We’ll know we’ve done well if next year every race is contested,” Tramonte said. This year, three candidates are running unopposed.
Eric Stern ’15, who worked with Tramonte when the candidate was treasurer of the Yale College Democrats, said he thinks Tramonte did an “amazing job bringing the [the College Democrats] up to date” and that Tramonte’s “southern hospitality” makes him friendly and approachable.
Omar Njie ’13, former YCC vice president, said Tramonte is prepared for the job because he has a clear vision for the role of vice president and is a “brilliant communicator.”
“He won’t simply be a mouthpiece for the student body — he’ll be a real advocate for the student body,” Njie said.
As a YCC member this year, Tramonte has worked most closely with the Center for International and Professional Experience and Undergraduate Career Services.
Correction: April 8
A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Omar Njie ’13.