As she nears the end of her term as the Yale College Council’s Pierson College representative, Sara Miller ’16 looks to the YCC presidency as a role that can make the Council more accessible to the student body.
Miller, who is also a photography editor for the News, said she has a “clear vision” of how the YCC should interact with the student body — a vision that makes her stand apart from the other candidates, she said. She stressed the importance of increasing the Council’s transparency so that students can always feel informed regarding the group’s activity.
“I want to foster a greater relationship with different organizations on campus because I actually care about what happens at Yale,” Miller said. “One goal is actually listening to the student body and engaging them.”
Miller’s platform includes pushing for gender-neutral housing, University divestment from fossil fuel companies and reform of the Undergraduate Organizations Committee. She also pledges to address changes in academic policy, including moving the academic calendar back to a week-long reading week and extending the deadline for Credit/D/Fail grading conversion.
Miller said she would work to make Yale’s promise to low-income students a reality, by ensuring that students have access to jobs, expanding collaboration with Undergraduate Career Services, reforming the International Summer Award and pushing for a change in the student income portion of financial aid packages.
In terms of other policy changes that she would like to implement as YCC president, Miller said she would like to add a survey question to YCC’s weekly emails to the student body, in order to effectively collect student input on specific topics.
Miller also intends to post meeting minutes and agendas as soon as they are available and make meetings open to those who take interest in a given issue. All of these resolutions will make YCC more accountable, she said.
Miller hopes to build stronger relationships between YCC and student organizations than those that have existed in the past. She proposes holding rotating office hours amongst the residential colleges so that students can come and talk in a casual setting, she said.
“I think the president’s position fits my personal strengths because I work well with other people and feel comfortable talking to them,” Miller said. “I have the ability to foster a relationship with other organizations instead of fighting them. I think I’m an approachable person and am willing to listen and talk to everyone.”
Michael Marcel ’16, who has worked with Miller on YCC this past year, said Miller’s contributions to YCC thus far regarding financial aid and Facilities Appreciation Day have already displayed the scope of her dedication to the Council. Marcel added that Miller’s policy initiatives regarding gender-neutral housing, fossil fuel divestment and improvements to mental health on campus are some of her most progressive — yet achievable — goals.
Aside from her position on YCC, Miller is an intramural volleyball captain for Pierson and a member of the Pierson Student Activities Committee.