Tag Archive: Yale Decides 2008

  1. Deep-Fried Post-Election Glory with the new Taber

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    Rich Tao could not be convinced to make his first appearance at the Toad as YCC President, even despite the promise of scantily-clad Berzelius taps handing out milk and cookies. Instead, Tao went to his favorite booth at Yorkside with his new secretary, Jasper Wang. I’m not one to turn down a free chicken wing or two, so I held court with them and basked in the deep-fried post-election glory that eluded me last year.

    News of Tao and Wang’s victory had only hit the street two hours earlier, but it was already obvious I was rolling with celebs. People in line for pizza whispered and pointed. Waitresses brought us free milkshakes. The guy from Ivygate who valiantly attempted to make fun of this blog even gave Rich his number.

    Before long, three of Tao and Wang’s friends piled in the booth and suddenly, as one of them pointed out, I was the token white guy.

    The friends – Hans, Yuen and James – had mostly encouraging things to say, remarking on the quality and quantity of the e-mails sent on Rich’s behalf. “[Ethnic Counselor] Funmi’s [Showole] was amazing,” Hans said, “and the Dwight Hall…that’s like the most legit endorsement you can get.” Take that YDN. By the way, first year in a while the YDN picked the whole slate (except UOFC chair…I keep acting like that race didn’t happen. Go BT!).

    After letting Hans’ comment sink in, James chimed in, “I didn’t hear anything about you Jasper.”

    “I won by 30 percent,” Jasper retorted. Man’s got a point.

    I mentioned that Abby Cheung had run an impressively aggressive campaign for a freshman, but Yuen interrupted: “No man. Jon Wu. That kid was everywhere. Yes Wu Can. Wu Hoo…”

    Jasper might not remember saying this: “A lot of people hate on Jon Wu. I’m just gonna let the haters hate.” He continued, “Rich, I’m gonna hate on you on JuicyCampus.”

    Rich responded, “I’m gonna hate on you back. It’s anonymous so it’s all good, baby baby.” And if you don’t know, now you know.

    Eventually, I had to depart to do a problem set, which apparently reminded Jasper that he had a Chinese presentation in less than nine hours worth 40 percent of his grade that he hadn’t started.

    He brushed that dirt off his shoulder: “Think I’ll go play Super Smash Brothers.”

    Update 12:36 p.m. – Jon Wu isn’t the first Jon Wu to run for treasurer. Last year, Jon Wu ’09, roommate of the infamous Ned Fulmer who should probably just go home or at least not to Wednesday Night Toad’s, finished third behind Harrison Marks and Carrie Nguyen (Hi if you’re reading this in Spain, Carrie). Wu ’09 – wait, they could be like the Bushes, 41 and 43, except ’09 and ’10 – was a PTPer: baller on FCC, deadpan humor in YCC meetings, and giver of sick handshakes at SigEp parties. But somewhere between Yes Wu Can and the YDN endorsement, ’09 became Jon Wu #2 and ’10 took control of the top spot. ’09 seemed to be taking it in stride. At least people who google him will think he won now.

    Update 12:38 p.m. – Ran into Colin Leatherbury walking out of Yorkside. I tried to get a witty quote from him, but I couldn’t really understand what he said, so I just smiled and laughed like I heard him.

    Update 12:39 p.m. – Big embrace from Zach DeWitt. “Thanks for the shoutout on the blog.” Wow. People actually read this?

  2. Tao, Schofield, Wang, Wu, Leatherbury Take YCC Posts

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    Updated at 9:26 p.m. I completely forgot about the UOFC race. I’m surprised someone remembered it. Thank you anonymous commenter.

    Your new YCC E-board:

    President Rich Tao

    Vice-President Emily Schofield

    Secretary Jasper Wang

    Treasurer Jon Wu

    YSAC Chair Colin Leatherbury

    UOFC Chair Bryan Twarek

  3. Liveblogging the Election Returns

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    By Zach Marks

    8:55 p.m. – This is what it all comes down to. This is what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, Taber from me. The last five minutes.

    I’m here at Rudy’s with YCC President Rebecca Taber and her harem of fine young gentlemen callers she likes to call the Election Committee. I’ll be liveblogging the election returns as they pour in to see whose last-minute text messages and e-mails paid off and didn’t.

    8:57 p.m. A pitcher of Blue Moons arrives. The final votes are being tallied. Some races are dangerously close to that run-off/not-run-off border. OMG I just spilled my beer.

    8:59 p.m. – Okay. I cleaned up my beer, but my ww key is sticking.

    9:00 p.m. – It’s over. Ladies and gentlemen, you have a new YCC President and his name is Richard Tao. Emily Schofield will be serving a second term as VP. Jasper Wang was able to capitalize off his legendary last name to become secretary, and Jon Wu rounds out the e-board, adding yet another title, YCC treasurer, to his already stacked resume. Colin Leatherbury will get a chance to plan another Spring Fling as YSAC chair next year. If he doesn’t get Jay-Z, I’m getting Travis Long to impeach his ass.

    9:02 p.m. – Taber and the boys (Aniket Shah, Geoff Buller and Sam Hafer) just stepped out to call the candidates. I want to follow. I have to watch their beer. I’m such a punk.

    9:08 p.m. – I get a call from Rich Tao. I’m on the phone with him. He has a question. A serious question, he insists. “Should I call Harrison or wait til he calls me?” I recommend waiting til 9:20 and then doing the honors. I hollered at Taber the minute after I got off the phone with last year’s VP, Steve Engler, and I imagine Harrison and Katrina will be similarly eager to congratulate Rich.

    9:16 p.m. – Aniket’s buying frites. He can’t decide what sauces to order. We let this man monitor a YCC election and he can’t pick Samurai on his own. WTF?

    9:18 p.m. – Text message from Ryan Russell. “How the hell did I not get invited to Rudy’s? This some bullshit.” Well, Ryan. Because you’re a loser.

    9:21 p.m. – Aniket buys me a drank. (To the tune of the T-Pain song.)

    9:24 p.m. – Test message from Katrina Landeta: “Tell Rich to answer my calls!! 🙂 Shoutout to my fav blogger.” She gave me a shoutout! She wrote me a smiley! I wish there was an emoticon for those dimples…

    9:28 p.m. – Anonymous commenter reminds me there was a UOFC chair race. Congrats Bryan Twarek! BT is the student manager of the Saybrook Dining Hall. He always keeps the granola flowing for carb-fiends like myself. I’m sure he’ll do the same with Yale’s money for student organizations.

    9:34 p.m. – Anonymous member election committee’s commenting on the racial makeup of the past few YCC presidents…”Taber, you’re white. Before you, [Steven] Syverud. White. Andrew Cedar. White. Elliot Mogul. White.”

    9:35 p.m. – Taber’s switching heads from race to consulting. “The YCC-McKinsey connection is crazy. Cedar, Mogul, Syverud’s VP Marissa Brittenham, me, Zach, Schofield, [VP from a few years ago] Nirupam Sinha…Aniket, would you ever consider selling your soul?” Aniket: “Well…I’m working at Goldman Sachs…”

    9:40 p.m. – Wow. I can’t believe I forgot last year’s president, Emery Choi, in that 9:35 post. Hi Emery.

    9:41 p.m. – Taber has a question for the populace: “Hot Tomato’s and Toad’s or senior essay?” Discuss.

    9:47 p.m. – Zack Abrahamson, YDN’s legit version of me, calls Aniket for quotes. Man, I been had them quotes. Zack, you don’t have shit on this Zach.

    9:52 p.m. – Whoops. Wrong Zach. DeWitt.

  4. Bursar at Toad’s? A Campus Cash vet weighs in

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    By Zach Marks

    In my post about the treasurer race, I tried to talk a little policy in addition to the usual horserace commentary, noting that Jon Wu’s promise to make Campus Cash, a plan to get Yale IDs accepted as credit cards at New Haven vendors, didn’t really bring anything new to the table. Danny Seifert, a candidate for VP last year and treasurer the year before, has been working on the Campus Cash project for the last two years and is thus much more qualified to comment on Wu’s campaign and make snarky comments should he choose. Here’s an e-mail he asked I post on the blog:

    Jon Wu is definitely a legit candidate for Treasurer, but he might making empty promises about bringing Campus Cash to school in the

    fall– or, at least, about his role in the process. Obviously, it’s a popular issue, so it makes sense for candidates to trumpet their dedication, but I think this one’s a bit of a stretch. Here’s an update on the project, in case anyone is interested:

    I’ve been working on the Campus Cash project– it will probably be called Bulldog Bucks when it debuts, but the name is still up for debate (YCC survey, anyone?)– since freshman year, and although progress has been ridiculously slow, all signs point to a fall implementation.

    Victor Stein, the administrator in charge of the program, said that responsibility for development of Bulldog Bucks has passed from his team to a third-party vendor, CBORD Group, which specializes in on- campus card software. Since Yale uses the Odyssey software system for its dining halls, CBORD is the best choice to develop a compatible card-payment system. Check out the system here: http://universities.cbord.com/solutions/solution.asp?id=14

    In order to make CBORD’s system truly comprehensive at Yale, several YCC members met with Mr. Stein throughout the year. In essence, we combined Yale’s various, confusing payment options (e.g. EliBucks, Flex Points, bursar) into one declining-balance account which covers laundry, printing, movie rentals at WHC, and a variety of off-campus restaurants. The meal plan is on a separate account, also stored on the ID card. In the future, Yale will likely get vending machines that accept our ID cards.

    The program is long overdue, but full implementation requires a massive amount of new hardware and software, and thus considerable work from ITS. The complexity of the program discouraged the Yale administration for about two years, and it was only at the end of last year that they agreed, in principle, to explore the idea. 

    Believe me, I want Campus Cash more than anybody, so I’ll make damn sure the system rolls out in the fall.

    There’s a lot of work left to be done once the system actually goes into effect, and Jon Wu might be a factor in tweaking Campus Cash, but most of the groundwork has already been laid. Like I said, I think Wu can be a very solid Treasurer, but he might be embellishing his role on a few YCC projects. Then again, it’s never too early to starting beefing up that resume.

  5. Bank of America Presents Spring Fling: A modest proposal from YSAC candidates…and a modest proposal of my own

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    By Zach Marks

    Updated at 2:48 a.m.

    In a year of such hotly contested YCC elections, namely a fierce presidential race between three candidates with an exceptional number of Facebook friends, I’ve been a bit surprised to find my inbox being filled with more plugs for YSAC candidates than for any other position. Feels like every other e-mail is telling me why Colin Leatherbury is so hot right now – he got today’s YDN endorsement – or why Jon Terenzetti deserves to be the shortest male to ever serve on the e-board. Leatherbury and Terenzetti are the insiders of this race: Leatherbury was Spring Fling co-chair and Terenzetti served as a YSAC representative from Davenport.

    colin.jpg

    That’s naughty, Colin.

    But the two outsiders deserve major attention too. Kristian Henderson’s resume impresses me more than any candidate in this race. Leatherbury got Sean Kingston, The Roots and Jimmy Eat World to come for Spring Fling, but Henderson got Lupe Fiasco. Not only is Lupe a hotter act than all three Spring Fling artists combined, Henderson did this essentially on her own initiative as head planner of the three-day Black Solidarity Conference in early March, whereas Spring Fling is something that YSAC throws every year. That’s not taking away from Leatherbury: running Spring Fling is incredibly challenging and Leatherbury seems to be doing all the right things so far. But Yale sets aside a budget for YSAC to throw a concert every year while Henderson had to raise over $100,000 from corporate sponsors to cover the cost of the conference, which brought over 1,000 students from campuses around the country to hear an impressive list of speakers, including Tavis Smiley and Gov. (then Lt. Gov.) David Paterson of New York.

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    Kristian hopes bringing Lupe to Yale will help her kick, push, kick, push her way to victory.

    The other outsider of the race, Travis Long, is also worth checking out if for no other reason than his ridiculous rhetoric:

    Since the seasoned age of 17, I have been on Wall Street and through that experience I was able to establish connections with extraordinary people at the Royal Bank of Canada, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan-Chase, and through them I was able to meet exceptional politicians, scholars, entertainers, and some well-established bankers through forums like: Crisis Pipeline, a successful event held in the Chelsea Piers section of Manhattan. So, what does this mean? It means I may not know Chris Brown or Mariah Carey, but I do know the people that can bring them in because in America, MONEY TALKS…and although I barely have enough money in the bank to buy books, I know people who have the power to DO THE TALKING!

    This idea of bringing in outside funding for YSAC activities has been voiced by some of Long’s opponents as well. Prob is, according to YCC President Rebecca Taber, there isn’t all that much outside funding knocking to come in. Apparently YSAC tried to sell out this year, but there just isn’t that much interest in the corporate world for the naming rights to Spring Fling. You could probably get Red Bull to throw cans into the crowd or maybe even set up a Jaeger bomb station, but Wachovia’s not gonna subsidize Jay-Z just for the prospect of opening a few checking accounts.

    Anyway, this should be an interesting race to watch, with each candidate’s base of support in different circles on campus. Jon Terenzetti’s Facebook group is in the lead with 82 members, followed by Travis Long’s which has 72, Kristian Henderson’s 69 and Colin Leatherbury’s 33, a surprisingly low showing for the race’s closest thing to an incumbent. Then again, Taber didn’t even make a Facebook group last year and she kicked my ass.

    Bring back Lupe!

    Update: I’ve been enjoying the e-mails for this race. I just received one from Shawn Hickman – a friend of mine from the Student Ambassador program, a sick dancer in Rhythmic Blue (they have a show this weekend), and co-president of the Black Student Alliance (his e-mail signature reminds us that that’s not all he does) – endorsing Travis Long. This is interesting in part because Hickman has served on the BSAY board with Kristian Henderson. The only reason I really bothered with this update, though, was that the e-mail was a bit misinformed (can an e-mail be misinformed? no, but i don’t want to call Hickman out like that). Hickman mentions that Long “plans to contact top-artists during the summer to gage how much they will cost, while making a full effort to assemble a strong Student Activities Committee.” There hasn’t been a single YSAC Chair who hasn’t done this. Starting in June will not bring Kanye to Yale. Then came a passage that left me scratching my head:

    Here’s a little interesting fact to get Toni Morrison to give a guest speech, it costs approximately $50,000.  Considering this fact, imagine how much it would cost to contract a headliner like Jay-Z or the Dave Matthews Band!  The fact of the matter is, for too long YSAC has been constrained by a $110,000 budget.  Imagine running all of the events on campus in addition to bringing in Jay-z which would cost around $75,000 if he’s feeling generous, on only $110,000!  That would be more than a stretch!

    The fact of the matter is this: You need someone who is financially savy and has the deal-making skills necessary to persuade someone like Jay-z into lowering his fee, while augmenting the YSAC Fund through corporate sponsorship. Travis Long’s track record on Wall Street, and his strategic plan for incorporating the best event-coordinators on campus into the Yale Students Activities Committee, more than qualifies him for the job, a job that he guarantees to devote at least 4 hours a day to.

    I’m sure Travis has had some ridiculous internships and met crazy i-bankers, but his “track record on Wall Street” will not get artists to lower their fees. Jay-Z will never feel “generous” enough to give a show at Yale for $75,000.

    Ooo, another update: Kristian Henderson just added me as a friend. OMG should I accept? Too soon? Should I wait? I should wait. I can’t wait! OMG!

  6. That’s a No-No, Abby: Our first violation of the season

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    By Zach Marks

    Corrected at 2:42 a.m. An earlier version of this blog post said Kristian Henderson won the YDN’s endorsement for YSAC Chair. Colin Leatherbury in fact won the endorsement. 

    No more than a few hours of voting had passed before reports of the election’s first violation started trickling in. Yalies in (at least) the Davenport and Silliman dining halls with an appetite for some news with their grass-fed burgers found Abigail Cheung for Secretary stickers on the front of their YDNs. Friends of Cheung’s opponent Jasper Wang and clean election advocates naturally responded by snitching to employees working the ID swipe stations.

    “This some bullshit,” one student was heard yelling. “True, true,” the ID swiper responded before dumping all the YDNs tarnished with the Cheung sticker in the recycling.

    Cheung will undoubtedly suffer some bad publicity for her violation. But the tactic may have helped her in the short run: her stickers resulted in the mass trashing of YDNs, causing many Yalies to miss today’s YDN endorsement of Cheung’s opponent, Jasper Wang. So Yalies who voted today might have done so without having seen the YDN’s endorsement and without knowing about Cheung’s transgression. The other YDN-endorsed candidates – Rich Tao, Emily Schofield, Jon Wu, Colin Leatherbury and Anne Xu – will likely handle their beef with Cheung in that shady, smoke-filled room kinda way that politicians handle their beef.

    abby.jpg

    Yalies weren’t so happy when they found Abby’s stickers on their YDNs.

    This isn’t the first complaint about Cheung’s campaign. One of the most talked-about tactics of this election has been Cheung’s distribution of CDs with hit songs that she encouraged Yalies to rip and return. She wrote me an e-mail this morning defending the practice:

    i checked with the EC [election committee] and taber before putting up my putting up my cds, and they are legit. i feel like the manner in which you presented my putting up the cds makes it appear as if they are not allowed, which suggests that i am breaking rules, when in fact i am not. i would really appreciate if you removed that implication.

    Cheung was referring to Ryan Russell’s mention of the CDs (which he claimed he loved…but who doesn’t love NOW! That’s What I Call Music mixes?). They may be legit under YCC election law, but it’s understandable that some are questioning the ethics of using pirated music for self-promotion. Abby, you’re not the first to get hit by the long arm of the law and you won’t be the last. But dirty politics gets you put on blast.

  7. Where there’s a Will, there’s a sick dude. Siiiiiiick.

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    By Zach Marks

    I’ve been showing YCC Treasurer candidate Jon Wu love on the blog the past few days, but his opponent, Will Alexander, deserves it too. His campaign theme – “Where there’s a Will, there’s a sick dude” – isn’t quite as sick as “Yes Wu Can,” but it still registers a significant reading on the sickness scale.

    I’ll talk policy later, but for now, the story behind the slogan, in Alexander’s words:

    I was slogan brainstorming with Margaret Blume TD ’10 and we were stuck. We thought “where there’s a will, there’s a way” had potential but was way too cliche. So we tried to find words that rhymed with “way,” but no dice. Luckily at this exact moment John Sheffield ’10 and Paul Rice ’10, beers in hand, stormed into my room. We told them our dilemma and Sheff blurted out, “just make it something retarded like, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a treasurer.”

    We all agreed the random non-sequitur conclusion was legit. Finally Paul Rice goes, “Just tell them the truth. Where there’s a will, there’s a sick dude.” And a campaign slogan was born.

    Most people have liked the slogan, including students outside what blogosphere pundit Ryan Russell calls my athlete and fraternity crowd. Every once in a while I get the blank stare followed by, “I don’t get it. You’re not that sick.”

    Hey, can’t win ’em all right?

    I’m not on a sports team or in a fraternity, and I love the slogan. That said, it really does shed some insight to who makes up Alexander’s base. I’m a big fan of Alexander’s candidacy because of the background he brings to the YCC. He plays rugby and he’s in DKE. His Facebook group is mostly sick dudes and DKE all-star Zach DeWitt was the first to post a message on the group’s wall. And there’s this:

    alexander.jpg

    Will’s the sick one on the right.

    Wu has certainly amassed an impressive track record in his first year at Yale, serving as Vice Chair and now Chair of the Freshman Class Council and as Saybrook’s YCC Representative. On his website he claims credit for just about everything the FCC has done this year and for his involvement on a number of YCC committees including dining, Eli Days, gender neutral housing, and New Haven Nights.

    But with an extra year at Yale under his belt, Alexander is the more experienced candidate. He served on the FCC last year including holding it down as Activities Chair during the spring, which means he organized the Freshman Olympics and the inaugural End-of-the-Year Freshman Address. He’s been a dedicated YCC Rep this year, working on “reforming freshman advising so that freshmen are advised by their seminar teachers, establishing the DVD library in Bass, pushing for an extended hours pilot program in Bass this reading week, and bringing the MTVu channel to Yale.”

    Both candidates have some interesting ideas for what to do with the treasurer spot. Alexander wants to issue a Student Activities Fee distribution survey to allow students to determine how much cash different student government organizations get. He wants to expand the Student Development Directive and publicize budget moves on a “Treasurer’s Corner” on the YCC website.

    Wu also wants to make the YCC budget public, although he doesn’t say specifically how he’d do so. Whereas Alexander wants to incorporate student input through surveys, Wu proposes holding focus groups, “which give more complete feedback than surveys.” I can tell you right now, Jon, you’re gonna have a tough time getting folks to come to these focus groups even if you bribe them with free food.

    Wu wants to “bring back the sustainability competition among colleges.” I didn’t realize the competition had ended, with all the “Push the 15” buttons I keep seeing, but if Wu’s right, it’s a fine idea (although maybe more a job for STEP than the YCC treasurer).

    Wu also promises to bring Campus Cash to Yale. This is like the “No New Taxes” of YCC elections. Candidates promise it every year but WTF? We still don’t have it. Not sure what he’d do about it that Alexander wouldn’t. Shame Will didn’t take advantage of this populist issue and put it on his platform too. Or maybe it’s a sign of mature restraint not to go promising things you’re not sure you’ll be able to keep.

    This will be an interesting horserace to watch. Wu has tons of energy and a strong freshman following. Alexander will be in a good place if he can turn out frats, sororities and athletes, but that’s a big if, and his Facebook group is down 61 members to J. Wu’s (191-130). Alexander will get a nice push from the fact that most of the candidates, including all three presidential hopefuls, are sophomores so 2010 will have high turnout. He can also expect lots of votes in his home turf of TD, which will get a lot of GOTV attention from collegemates Harrison Marks, going for president, and Abigail Cheung, running for secretary.

    Ryan Russell gave J. Wu 2:1 odds and Will 3:1. I’d say that’s about right. Siiiiiiiiiiick.

  8. Election 2.0: YCC Campaigns Go Digital

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    By Zach Marks

    As of 8 p.m. Sunday night, Harrison Marks’ campaign website had 566 hits. If the number of visitors to a candidate’s site has any correlation to the number of supporters he has, Harrison will need to draw a bit more traffic to be competitive in this race. Then again, Marks’ site is the only one that has a traffic counter, so it’s hard to tell who’s getting the most love on the internets.

    Each of the candidates’ sites do some things better than those of their opponents. Marks’ features some sweet pics and a forum for visitors, but you have to register to participate, which pretty much renders it useless.

    zen.jpg

    Harrison Marks gets his zen on in an attempt to woo the crucial 5 o’clock yoga bloc.

    Katrina Landeta welcomes visitors to her site with a beautiful smile and dimples that may propel her to the presidency on their own. Landeta’s site is done in a more minimalist manner than Marks’. Its simple, straightforward organization – like her dimples – may remind voters of Rebecca Taber.

    katrina.jpg

    Katrina Landeta plans to capitalize on voters’ cries for “One More Year of Taberesque Dimples!”

    Marks and Landeta have created informative sites, but Rich Tao’s easily takes the cake for most impressive. The home page offers five video testimonials, each from a Yalie representing a different segment of campus. There’s Adrian Latortue, Tao’s varsity fencer roommate who serves as co-moderator of the Asian American Student Alliance (anyone know if a non-Asian – Adrian is African-American – has held that post before?), who talks about Tao’s “personality and passion.” Then there’s senior Shruti Gupta, who’s worked with Rich on diversity issues – she’s active in the Coalition for Campus Unity and Yale’s Minority Advisory Committee. Then comes freshman Sam Schoenburg, an active member of Yale’s political scene who’s lead Yale for Obama canvasses and phonebanks, who recalls the time Rich came by his room in the beginning of the year as a YCC representative to ask what issues were important to him. And so the videos go on. Just like Jon Wu did in “Yes Wu Can,” Tao has assembled a diverse group of students – young, old, black, white – who all have decided to endorse him based on their experience with him in different settings. Each testimonial ends with the endorser saying something to the tune of, “I’m voting for Rich Tao on April 14,” followed by that awesome opening riff from The Beatles’ “Come Together.”

    The parallels between Wu and Tao go a step further. Just as “Yes Wu Can” established Wu as the Obama of his race, Tao’s website has done the same in his. Tao’s “Come Together” is arguably a better choice for a theme song than Obama’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” given Yale’s demographics. Tao’s site’s red, white and blue theme just feels a bit more presidential than the neon green thing Marks has going on. Plus, the fact that Tao bought www.richardtao.com instead of using freewebs.com’s hosting service as Marks and Landeta did means visitors don’t have to filter through ads to browse the site, although I can’t say I’m not interested to “Meet hot single girls waiting for you in Danbury, CT” as an ad on Landeta’s site encouraged me to do earlier today.

    All three sites offer some interesting bio information – Katrina always wishes at 11:11…OMG ME TOO!! – but the hidden gem of these three sites is the picture of a scrawny high school Rich Tao rockin a Troy basketball tee.

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    “Troy stand up!” says an enthusiastic Rich Tao.

  9. 2008 Endorsement Meeting – (YSAC)Idealism runs rampant

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    By Ryan Russell

    I was going to do a running live-blog, but there was just too much information to process; luckily, I took decent notes so I’ll share my impressions of the meeting…

    President:

    Katrina Landeta:

    Initial Impressions: Dressed professionally and spoke confidently despite being the first up.

    Content: Katrina attempted to distinguish herself as a YCC outsider because she, “Is the only candidate who has been a president of a student organization outside the YCC.” The relevance to this distinction is certainly debatable considering the important leadership positions her opponents have held.

    Overall (B+): Katrina was assertive and confident, but didn’t say enough to distinguish herself from her opponents.

    Harrison Marks:

    Initial Impressions: Harrison had a lot to say so he talked REALLY FAST. He’s also got this Euro polo shirt thing going on that Matty Eissen was a big fan of.

    Content: Took credit for student development directive, dvd library, and u-haul lobbying. Apparently, Harrison knew he was destined for the Presidency when he stood in front of the DVD library and realized, “I can really make changes at this school.”

    Overall (A-): Harrison got his message across, emphasized his track record on the executive board and displayed a ton of passion for YCC.

    Rich Tao:

    Initial Impressions: Rich brought out the shirt and tie for his speech and delivered it confidently.

    Content: It was a very progressive and lofty speech. Rich began by talking about how Yale was now at a crossroads and later discussed abolishing gender binary distinctions. Finally, he distinguished himself from the other two candidates by emphasizing his experience in formulating policies with the administration.

    Overall (A-): Rich has taken a “visionary” approach to his candidacy and his speech was an adequate reflection. My criticism of Rich from the beginning has been whether or not he can get the student body to buy into his vision, which may appear overly idealistic.

    Vice-President

    Jarrett Burks

    Initial Impressions: Jarrett switched it up a bit by going without the microphone and standing in the center where everyone can see him. Plus, he gives me a shout out in the back of the room just to make sure I can hear (immediate bonus points).

    Content: Jarrett addressed why he was away from student government for the past year (admirably working in the community) and his reasons for desiring to come back.

    Overall (B+): It appears Jarrett’s goal is to structure the YCC through the VP position to improve the Yale social community. He cited his experiences outside of student government as his relevant qualifications and his informal speech was a solid step in the right direction to making this happen.

    Emily Schofield:

    Initial Impressions: Emily was very confident and clearly knew what she was talking about.

    Content: Cited 3 reasons why Vice President was the right position for her and included her realistic goals for the future.

    Overall (A): This wasn’t necessarily an exciting speech, but it was as solid a statement for the technical responsibilities of the Vice-President position as you could probably have.

    Treasurer:

    Will Alexander:

    Initial Impressions: Will “I’m a normal guy” Alexander was the first of the candidates to give his speech in a business suit.

    Content: Will holds the treasurer position as the most accountable to the student population because of the $50 student activity fee. Also pointed to the Student Development Directive as a means of promoting initial student investment and ideas while allowing the administration bankroll in perpetuity.

    Overall (B+): Will adequately demonstrated his understanding for the Treasurer position.

    Jon Wu:

    Initial Impressions: Jon Wu was also dressed in a suit and confidently projected his voice better than any candidate up to that point (which I appreciated sitting in the back).

    Content: Jon Wu contributed three ideas including making student budget more readily available to students: creating a database to list funding options for organizations and collecting student input through more focus groups.

    Overall (A): Solid Speech, tangible ideas, very comfortable in front of large audience.

    Secretary:

    Abigail Cheung:

    Initial Impressions: Dressed casually, seemed a little nervous.

    Content: Cited FCC leadership position and presence at most YCC meetings. Suggested subsidiary groups being forced to head to YCC meetings and wanted to publicize the successes of the YCC so that more students were in the know.

    Overall (B): Speech was Vanilla… but I’m giving her points for making that sweet CD mix (although, I’m not sure it is legal in the international copyright sense… )

    Jasper Wang:

    Initial Impressions: Jasper appeared very confident in his business casual wardrobe and his voice projected very well.

    Content: Didn’t want to discuss experience since most of the candidates had it, but separated himself in terms of vision.

    Overall (A-): Solid speech, Jasper sought to distinguish his innovative expertise from his candidate and was successful.

    YSAC Chair:

    Kristian Henderson: Inspiring speech about her experience securing corporate sponsorships, connections with MTV and VH1, and … BRINGING LUPE FIASCO TO YALE!!!!! Only problem is, I’m not sure that it is possible to secure corporate sponsorships on behalf of Yale College… much more plausible to do it for minority student groups. Great idea though! And it will probably be enough to sway a few votes…

    Colin Leatherbury: Cited YSAC experience and passed out a flier outlining his plans for next year.

    Travis Long: Hands down, BEST SPEECH OF THE NIGHT! Let me share a few excerpts: “I can get in contact with politicians, bankers, and entertainers! I know these people!! MONEY WILL NOT BE AN ISSUE!!!” It basically went like that for a good 3 minutes… Extremely entertaining.

    Jon Tarenzetti: Davenport YSAC representative… had a tough act to follow.

    UOFC Chair: I was fading by now…

    Matt Marr: Collects money.

    Bryan Twarek: All his friends call him BT.

    Anne Xu: Was shocked at the UOFC problems and wants to clean it up!

    Anxiously awaiting your angry responses…

    -Ryan

  10. Getting Out the Freshman Vote

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    By Zach Marks

    It’s no secret. If you want to win a YCC election, you need to do well with freshmen. They consistently turn out in higher numbers than upperclassmen – last year 33% of voters were freshmen, compared to 30% who were sophomores, 22% juniors and 15% seniors. Since freshmen are less likely than their older peers to write off the elections as a time for resume padding, they also get more involved with the campaigns – sending e-mails to friends, canvassing entryways and helping make YouTube videos.

    So candidates are setting up shop on Old Campus for today’s Freshman Olympics, pretending like they’re just here to relive their wonder years as freshmen and then handing out campaign stickers when I’m not watching. I see you, Will Alexander. Your stickers are practically a part of the TD uniform. Unfortunately, your opponent in the race for treasurer Jon Wu’s stickers seem to be a part of all the other 11 colleges’ uniforms. Those “Yes Wu Can” stickers are hard to miss – Wu’s boldface white type on a black background was probably a better choice than Alexander’s Times New Roman 12 pt. on a transparent sticker.

    To Alexander’s credit, his travel to Old Campus seems as much for pleasure as for business – he’s lining up to participate in the “Funny Relay” (whatever that is) with his boys from last year’s Freshman Class Council, presidential candidate Rich Tao and secretary hopeful Jasper Wang.

    Oh, hold up. Harrison Marks sighting. 2:34 p.m. Walking from the water balloon toss to the dodgeball arena. Could this be symbolic of the shift in tone we should expect from his campaign?

    We’ll see tonight when he and the rest of the field invade the freshman entryways for their last chance to reach out to voters before polls open tomorrow Morning.

  11. Preliminary Odds as Field Emerges

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    By Ryan Russell

    Disclaimer: Take these predictions with a grain of salt. I obviously have no idea who will win, but I’m basing these guesses as objectively as possible on how receptive I think students will be to each individual’s personality and campaign.

    President:

    Rich Tao – 2:1

    Why He’ll Win: Extremely likeable candidate with a deep understanding of Yale College’s current problems and historical position.

    Why He’ll Lose: May lack ruthless political nature necessary to mobilize student body vote.

    Harrison Marks – 3:1

    Why He’ll Win: Experience and drive. As the reigning Treasurer, Harrison can point to his experiences on the e-board as a concrete strength. Harrison has been eyeing the Presidency for quite some time and has steadily built up his contacts throughout the school.

    Why He’ll Lose: Blind ambition. Harrison’s apparent “March to the Presidency” has soured many students opinion of him as another YCC tool.

    Katrina Landeta – 8:1

    Why She’ll Win: Very involved with AASA and community service groups. May attract female vote.

    Why She’ll Lose: Seems to be pretty overmatched by other candidates in just about every important Presidential characteristic.

    Vice-President:

    Emily Schofield – 2:1

    Why She’ll Win: Undeniable Election and Executive Board experience.

    Why She’ll Lose: Yalies may look for a changing of the guard on the E-board.

    Jarrett Burks – 15:1

    Why He’ll Win: Extremely likable individual who may have some sort of trick up his sleeve.

    Why He’ll Lose: Lacks YCC and student government experience necessary for crucial Vice Presidency position.

    Treasurer:

    Jon Wu – 2:1

    Why He’ll Win: Very likable, hard-working candidate with the ability to mobilize the freshman vote. O ya… and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b7-dOl5OWg

    Why He’ll Lose: Might be too much too soon. J Wu held down a FCC Presidency and YCC representative spot this year. Student body may resent his quick ascent up YCC ladder.

    Will Alexander – 3:1

    Why He’ll Win: Also a very likable candidate who has built solid contacts throughout the student body.

    Why He’ll Lose: Will’s athlete and fraternity base is probably the least voting-day reliable on campus.

    Secretary:

    Abigail Cheung – Push

    Why She’ll Win: Ability to mobilize freshman vote.

    Why She’ll Lose: Lacks YCC experience.

    Jasper Wang –Push

    Why He’ll Win: Experienced, well-spoken YCC candidate who worked on solid YCC projects including Job-shadowing day and Credit/D/Fail reform.

    Why He’ll Lose: Might lack the charm to turn the crucial freshman vote.

    YSAC Chair:

    Not sure about any of the candidates but I’ll give the edge to Colin Leatherbury because of his experience with Spring Fling.

    UOFC:

    No Idea.