Karla Martinez

College/Year: Calhoun ’08

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Major: History and International Studies

Karla Martinez ’08 wants to use the position of Yale Student Activities Committee chair to better determine student interest in campus-wide festivities and to propose new ideas, such as a semi-formal dance and a Yale College field day.

“I would poll students before going ahead with ideas,” she said. “We need better communication with students through more frequent polling and e-mails, utilizing our reps from every college to gauge student interest.”

Martinez said she came up with the idea of a field day-type event from other colleges, where it has been successful.

“It would feature intercollegiate events and be a kind of reliving of Freshman Olympics,” she said. “It would be nice to bring upperclassmen back to Old Campus.”

Her experience organizing previous last year’s Spring Fling and this year’s Fall Show qualifies her to chair the YSAC, Martinez said.

“I’ve gone through the experience of planning Spring Fling and Fall Show, so I know everything that’s involved in that,” she said. “I’m running on a better allocation of the student activities fees and the outlining of a strict budget at the beginning of the year with plans to put money into things like a school-wide dance.”

Martinez said she would like to look into the possibility of trying out a homecoming dance in the fall.

Michael Lehmann

College/Year: Saybrook ’08

Hometown: Powell, Ohio

Major: Political Science

Michael Lehmann ’08 said he is running for YSAC chair because he hopes to improve communication between students and the body, so that it can better serve student needs.

“The YSAC needs to poll students more often,” he said. “It’s nice we poll students for Spring Fling and Fall Show, but how about the Fool’s Ball, for instance? We need to be talking to students more.”

Lehmann said increasing students’ trust in YSAC is critical because it will mean increased participation in the optional Student Activities Fee, which will allow the committee to provide more exciting events.

“I think that YSAC should be for everybody,” he said. “Most people don’t even know how it works or who’s one it. This better understanding can create trust. This is crucial because the Student Activities Fee, if we can elicit more trust from them, more people will pay it then.”

Lehmann cited the Fall Show, improved club sports, and the show by pop star Gunther in February as examples of projects he has helped organize as Saybrook’s representative on YSAC this year.

Making communication with the committee more efficient is among his top goals, Lehmann said.

“YSAC is a great system in theory, but it’s not run efficiently,” he said. “It’s a broken system. I have a familiarity with the system. I’m in a perfect position to reform the system. YSAC should become a flexible machine that is accessible to undergraduates.”

— Candidate profiles compiled by Carrie Lynn and Cullen Macbeth.