To the Editor:

Watching the Ward 1 Committee meet last night, I was disappointed I did not have the opportunity to participate. As a committed Democrat, I chose to remain registered in Nevada, a swing state, through the presidential election. I never, however, received notification informing me that to participate in the Ward 1 Committee process, I would have had to change my registration before the aldermanic campaign even began. If the committee had made this aware to me at the time, I would have more than happy to do so for a chance to make my voice heard.

I’m a freshman, and I am concerned that, for the rest of my time at Yale, I may be represented by someone I never had the chance to vote for or against, selected through a process inaccessible to me. It is clear, given the makeup of the committee, that I am not alone in my disenfranchisement. There are over 1,000 freshman in Ward 1, and yet, the Ward Committee included only four freshmen, less than 10 percent of the committee. This represents a fundamental failure of the Ward 1 Committee to be truly representative of the future Ward 1 alderman’s constituents. While it may not be the responsibility of the co-chairs to ensure that the committee is completely representative of Ward 1, it is disturbing that entire sections of the community were never given adequate opportunity to join the process.

Jen James ’08

March 23, 2005