“Election.” It is the last word I wanted to hear in January, next to possibly “recount.” Those two words could provide a sadist with hours of pleasure. Fortunately, in my line of work, a recount does not exist, and the pleasure comes from running the Yale College Council election and not the presidential type. On Jan. 18, Yalies will once again cast their votes for candidates for the council of representatives.

As 12 terms expire, it seems only appropriate to thank those members whose terms end for their dedication, and to congratulate them on their accomplishments. Last semester, we saw a successful continuation of the Bradley Airport shuttle service, a substantial overhaul of Credit/D/Fail policies, progress in plans to create a stronger advising system, a better understanding of a range of sexual health issues from condom distribution to reporting sexual assaults and a renewed interest in granting students universal keycard access. We have helped implement programs that will greatly reduce Yale’s environmental impact, that will seek to continue Yale’s commitment to a diverse faculty and student body and that will utilize the University’s fiscal resources to recruit and reach out to under-represented high school students. Yet, there is still much more to be accomplished.

The success of this year’s YCC will largely depend on the next class of representatives fulfilling the promises that remain unfulfilled and inspiring fresher and bolder ideas. The YCC will remain dedicated to its multi-year plans, such as improving the dining system, reviewing Yale’s alcohol policies, creating an opt-in cellular student plan, increasing the number of freshman- and sophomore-only seminars and continuing to ensure that Yale remains a leader among universities in its commitment to responsible and progressive policies. Furthermore, we will continue fulfilling our traditional yearly obligations; namely, Winter Ball, Community Service Day, Spring Fling and providing nominations to Yale’s standing committees. We will even be inaugurating a new “tradition” with the beginning of a Winter Arts Festival in late January showcasing the arts at Yale, from music to dance to film to architecture.

I always find it amusing when a student asks, “What does the YCC do?” The breadth of possible replies seems limitless, yet when you boil the question down to its core, it’s simple. We work to make Yale better. That’s our mission. YCC members, past and present, care about this University and feel that through hard work and perseverance, our energies foster a better community. Our job is to tackle any issue, whether in the community, classroom or colleges, that prevents this University from reaching its full potential. We accomplish our goals by developing and maintaining relationships with University policymakers. When University decisions are made, from finding a new dean to starting a Yale tsunami relief effort, the YCC is at the center of these decisions, representing and communicating the thoughts and desires of students to the dean, president and Yale Corporation.

If you are like us and have the University’s and students’ best interest at heart, then you are an ideal candidate. If you have a love for this community and want to make a difference, then you should run for your college’s seat on the council of representatives. We need passionate people who want to be a part of creating positive, active change at Yale, and there are very few opportunities for creating this change more efficiently than by serving as a representative. Is this the job for you? Then submit your candidacy statements online at www.yalestation.org before midnight on Sunday. I look forward to working with you.

Chance Carlisle is a senior in Saybrook College. He is vice president of the Yale College Council.