As an outgoing senior, I have little reason to invest myself in the Yale College Council presidential race. In the past I have been openly critical of the YCC, which to me has never focused on the main goal of a college council: improving and enhancing undergraduate life.
Fortunately, a candidate for president has emerged who can make the YCC a more influential body for students at Yale: Bill Fishel ’08. Earlier this semester, the News quoted me stating my belief that the YCC had little real impact on student life (“Poll suggests lack of student interest in YCC,” 1/17). That afternoon, I received a call from Bill, no more than an acquaintance at the time, who wanted to do lunch. For two hours we talked about our views of student government now and for the future.
I discovered that Bill and I not only agree on almost every aspect of what the YCC should be doing, he was already effecting changes. He described to me a program he created called Campus Cash, which would allow undergraduates to purchase food at local restaurants with no more than their student IDs. Bill hinted that he was working with the Saybrook 12-Pack on bringing Gunther to Yale. He explained his concern with the administration’s decision to remove Calhoun, Morse and Stiles colleges from the renovation schedule. As chairman of the YCC’s Residential College Inequality Committee, he ensured that those three colleges got back on the list.
Since then, Gunther and the Sunshine Girls made their first ever U.S. concert appearance in Commons; Calhoun, Morse and Stiles are back on the renovation list; and Campus Cash goes online next year. Bill knows how to get things done. It is rare to find a leader with the capabilities and charisma Bill can provide for the YCC. His past experiences and leadership roles have provided him with invaluable knowledge which I know will guide him in improving the efficacy and responsiveness of the YCC.
The student activities fee changed the potential scope of YCC, but they need that one guy, that one catalyst, to move it in the right direction. Bill has provided that spark. We need a president who is committed to improving campus life and who will bridge the gap between the student body and the YCC. I firmly believe Bill Fishel is that man.
Matt Kennard is a senior in Saybrook College.