NEWS’ VIEW: The first step toward legitimacy

Three uncontested elections is unprecedented, but Danny Avraham ’15, Kyle Tramonte ’15 and Eli Rivkin ’15 will have an opportunity to legitimize the YCC this year.

The Yale College Council has nothing to lose and everything to gain from this election. So do Yale students. At a point when our faith and interest in student government seems to have ebbed to its lowest point, we look forward to turning a new page this week. We deserve legitimate student representation.

We are disappointed by the three uncontested races for executive board — especially the race for the presidency. For better or for worse, the YCC president serves as the face of the student body to the Yale Corporation and our administration. It is a position with plenty of potential, and it deserves a vigorous campus competition each year.

Through elections, candidates are forced to evaluate and refine their platforms, better positioning themselves to lead should they win. We hope the uncontested candidates will take the opportunity to critically examine their own platforms even without provocation.

The News will not be endorsing candidates in the three uncontested races. Our lack of endorsement should not be read as a vote of no confidence. Instead, we hope to give the candidates’ platforms the public evaluation they would have received in contested races.

We are cautiously optimistic about the candidacy of Danny Avraham ’15. He is respected around campus, and his choice to launch a small-scale campaign in the absence of a competitor has impressed us.

Avraham has rightly recognized the structural issues that have plagued the YCC, particularly the lack of overlap between YCC committees and analogous groups within the Yale administration. He says he will work to move student selection for these committees later, and he will need to find a way around the confidentiality that makes administrative committees difficult partners. But Avraham has already had success as YCC vice president, reorganizing the council around projects, rather than committees, during his tenure.

We remain unconvinced, however, that the Yale College Council needs three new executive board positions — one of Avraham’s central goals — especially when the council already has trouble recruiting candidates. We hope to see Avraham achieve within the current structure, rather than attempt to reform the council with unnecessary layers of bureaucracy.

We hope Avraham will remember that the most successful Yale College Councils develop productive relationships with administrators. Avraham must realize the art of conversation will be his most useful tool; he cannot only arrive with a survey.

Avraham’s own ideas range from the ambitious to the easily achievable. Moving forward, we hope he will not forget to look outside the YCC for inspiration, enabling the YCC to serve as truly legitimate form of student representation.

We are excited about the candidacy of Kyle Tramonte ’15. Tramonte seems prepared to be a proactive leader, rather than resigning himself to the reactive attitude this year’s council has embraced. He understands that reforming the YCC means not only repairing the council’s relationship with the student body as a whole, but also cultivating a more motivated, more efficient and more effective YCC internally. He will be a listener, and we hope Avraham will consistently turn to him for advice.

We are satisfied with the candidacy of Eli Rivkin ’15 for events director. Event planning is already the YCC’s stronger suit, and we expect consistency under Rivkin’s leadership. He has proved creative throughout his time on the YCC, and we look forward to seeing him develop new events for the student body. And with the right choice for Spring Fling Committee chair, Rivkin will be able to build upon the greatest success of this year’s YCC.

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