College/Year: Berkeley ’03
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Matt Nickson said he wants to put the focus of the Yale College Council back on student issues. He plans to reach out to student groups and advocate for them.
Nickson, a former editorials editor for the Yale Daily News, said that he thinks the YCC has been spending too much time creating resolutions on topics that extend beyond the range of its power, such as early decision policies.
“I covered [YCC meetings] as an editor at the Daily. I saw how they brought up resolutions that they had no power to enforce or even follow up on. That has to stop,” he said. “That squanders our political capital in the eyes of the administration.”
Nickson said he hopes to address issues such as getting the dining halls open in the evenings and lowering the prices at Durfee’s, which he called “exorbitant.” He also said he wants to improve non-emergency medical care at University Health Services to decrease the wait for appointments. Noting that Harvard’s library is open 24 hours a day, he said that he wanted to see Cross Campus Library have those hours, at least during finals week.
“I think the YCC can accomplish these goals if it stops distracting the administration with resolutions on topics they have no control over,” he said.
Citing $600 per year as a sum too low to provide adequate support for many student groups, Nickson said he would support higher Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee funding.
Nickson, who was also president of the Yale Political Union, said he would use his experience coordinating events with other groups to help the YCC work better with other groups, such as the cultural houses and the YPU.
“We made sure that the YPU reached out,” he said. “If I’m elected president, I’m going to do my best to personally go to the meetings of other student groups and figure out what they need and represent them to the administration.”