By Cullen Macbeth
Reversing a historical trend of male leadership, both the president and vice president of the Yale College Council will be women next year.
Branford College Representative Emily Schofield ’09 will be the next YCC vice president after defeating Sophomore Class Council President Ryan Russell ’09, 53 percent to 47 percent, in Friday’s 12-hour runoff election. Timothy Dwight College Representative Harrison Marks ’10 won the runoff race for treasurer, and David Narotsky ’09 emerged victorious in the secretary competition.
The Election Committee scheduled Friday’s runoff vote after no candidate in the three races won a majority or a plurality of at least five percent more than the second-place candidate in preliminary voting, which ran from Monday to Wednesday.
Schofield joins YCC President-to-be Rebecca Taber ’08 at the helm of the Council. Taber will become the first woman to head the YCC in seven years, and she was the first female candidate for YCC president in at least five years.
Among Schofield’s priorities as vice president will be working with administrators to establish more flexible meal plans, longer dining hours and a greater variety of late-night dining options, she said.
“As I was going door to door during the campaign, the biggest issue that came up again and again was dining,” she said. “It is one of the things that affects every student every day. … It needs some serious reform.”
In addition, Schofield said, she plans to compile a list of campaign ideas that other candidates floated during the campaign so the YCC can work to implement them next year. Among the ideas she mentioned was a proposal by current YCC Treasurer and vice presidential candidate Dave Roosth ’09 to increase wi-fi access in classroom buildings and residential colleges.
Although most of the campaigning in this year’s elections was civil, Russell said he thinks the election process is too long and full of “silly” rules that he hopes Schofield, as next year’s Election Committee chair, will reform.
“There was a lot of coattailing with groups,” he said. “When it came to getting endorsements, one person would go after a certain group that another person hadn’t even thought of. But three seconds later you see that person e-mail the same group, and it was silly.”
Russell said he has not yet decided whether he will be involved in student government activities next year.
Narotsky — who edged out YSAC member and Spring Fling co-Coordinator Diego Iturbe ’09, 54 percent to 46 percent — said his central focus as secretary will be increasing communication between the Council and campus organizations such as cultural houses and international student groups. He said he will reach out to campus leaders over the summer in order to establish relationships for next year.
“I don’t want to nitpick and say [the YCC] didn’t do a good job this year,” Narotsky said. “[But] we need to be more of a presence on campus. … I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some big changes made in student government and the way students perceive student government.”
Narotsky said he was pleased with the positive tone of the campaign and that he has spoken with the other three candidates who ran about ways they can stay involved with the Council next year.
The three other races for the YCC Executive Board produced clear winners in Monday’s tallies: Taber decisively defeated Zach Marks ’09 and Brent Godfrey ’08 in her presidential bid, Joshua Tan ’09 will head the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee, and Thomas Hsieh ’08 won an eight-point victory to become chair of the Yale Student Activities Committee.
A total of 1,634 students voted in Friday’s special election — 582 freshmen, 591 sophomores, 290 juniors and 171 seniors. Initial voting at the beginning of last week drew 2,817 voters.