Last year Mukul Bakhshi ’02 ran for the chair of the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee unopposed. This year as the Monday deadline to declare candidacy passed, Alyssa Greenwald ’02 looked like she would run with the same luxury.
The Yale College Council extended the deadline to run for UOFC chair to Thursday, and three more candidates have jumped into the race. Responding to the extension, Anthony Cotto ’03, Elizabeth Deters ’04 and Ames Brown ’02 filed petitions to run.
YCC Vice President Leah Zimmerman ’02 said she was surprised, but pleased, with the sudden surge of interest in heading the committee, which delegates and distributes funding to undergraduate organizations.
“It was really strange,” Zimmerman said. “People just came out of the woodwork. I was really surprised by the response.”
The UOFC leapt into the public spotlight earlier this school year after several strange incidents of confusion led committee members to underestimate their budget. Ultimately, the UOFC cleared up the confusion and ran a surplus.
Greenwald, the only candidate to register before the initial deadline, said she had no problems with the YCC extending the deadline and said she understood that constitutionally, the body had no choice but to give other students an opportunity to enter the race.
“It’s definitely something they had to do,” said Greenwald. “I don’t think you should have to beg someone to run. I don’t want to run unopposed or to win just because no one else wanted it.”
Although Brown said he wanted to run for the position before the deadline extension but just missed the initial deadline, Cotto confessed that his decision was “last minute.”
Deters could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Zimmerman said she conjectured that the UOFC chair has failed to attract candidates over the last few years because of its reputation.
“It’s not a fun position,” she said. “It’s not a glorified position. I imagine that’s not completely attractive to people. I think people aren’t aware that UOFC is chaired by a student.”
Bakhshi said the biggest challenge facing the next chair will be dealing with budget expansions.
“Basically they’re going to have to deal with how to prioritize funding,” Bakhshi said. “We have requested major expansions. We’re going to have be a little tighter on who gets that extra money.”