Ask someone on Old Campus what they think of the FCC, and you might hear their views on the Federal Communication Commission’s broadcasting rules and bandwidth regulations. The Freshman College Council is not always foremost on the minds of Yale freshmen.
Every year, the FCC organizes several high-profile events and works with the administration on issues ranging from hand soap to financial aid. But while nearly half the class voted in last semester’s elections for FCC representatives, some freshmen are unsure of the role the group is meant to play and what effect it has on their lives.
“I don’t know what the FCC is,” Seth Wulsin ’05 said. “I mean, I know what it is, I just don’t know what it does.”
Brian Goldman ’05, a representative for Jonathan Edwards College, said the FCC has two functions — building class unity through activities and conveying student concerns to the administration.
“The issues we examine vary in scope and subject,” Goldman said.
While many freshmen are familiar with large FCC events like the Freshman Barbeque and the Freshman Screw, most are unaware of the many smaller ways in which their representatives influence life on campus, he said.
Goldman said the FCC has refurbished the freshman lounge in the basement of Bingham Hall, organized study breaks, and worked closely with custodial and dining hall services to ensure student complaints and suggestions are heard.
“We also had one rep get the dining halls to now have waffle machines available all the time, including between meals,” Goldman said.
Howard H. Han ’05, a Silliman College representative, said the FCC has been particularly active in increasing freshman access to pre-orientation programs and Undergraduate Career Services.
Han said the FCC is currently pursuing improved coordination among the various pre-orientation programs, such as the Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips and the Freshperson Conference. Currently these and other programs operate independently of each other, and many of their scheduled outings overlap.
The FCC has also organized a UCS information session to inform freshmen of summer employment opportunities and support any long-term career plans, Han said, adding that pre-law and pre-med students in particular do not currently have access to much information.
Despite these new projects and activities, some freshmen remain unconvinced that the FCC is doing enough.
William Glasspiegel ’05 said that the divisions within the freshman class remain strong.
“Everything is divided into colleges and different groups in the colleges,” he said “They need to do things that bring the freshman class together.”
Han said he recognizes this concern and believes the answer rests with the class itself.
“An ideal Yale would be a shift from the long-standing reality of a fractured campus,” he said.
Han said he believes that such an ideal requires the coordinated effort and concern of students channeled through coalitions in order to create a stronger student voice.
There is a practical need for students to voice their concerns to the FCC and their representatives, he said.
“It starts from the bottom up,” he said. “When people really care, they get to us and talk to us.”