In a race that will decide the future of the Yale College Council’s internal management, Brian Levin ’11 is counting on experience and dedication to win him the right to succeed two-term Vice President Emily Schofield ’09.
Levin said he hopes to leverage two years of experience in student government in order to make academic minors a part of the Yale curriculum and give students the option of gender-neutral housing, among other proposals.
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Levin said he is counting on his demonstrated commitment to the work of the YCC to win over voters.
“I’m not one of those guys that joins a lot of groups,” Levin said. “I really made YCC my priority this year working on things like gender-neutral housing, discussion-section reform and academic minors.”
Levin stumbled across what would become his main work this year — a 30-page proposal to institute academic minors — by going door-to-door in Silliman College, soliciting feedback from his constituents. Levin spent many long nights in Au Bon Pain working on that report, Morse YCC Representative Hannah Kieschnick ’11 said.
“He doesn’t join just to join,” Kieschnick said. “[YCC] is his passion and his main activity.”
Levin said that commitment to policy sets him apart from opponent Abigail Cheung ’11. While Cheung has worked on initiatives with Levin, he said, “I’ve led them all.”
Cheung said her background offers a holistic combination of experience in issues and events-planning. In the latter, Cheung said, she distinguishes herself from Levin.
“I’ve also been involved in other project groups and Brian’s only involved in one right now,” Cheung said. “The second one [first being academic minors] I’m involved in is completely events-based.”
Levin said his work with last year’s Harry Potter dance and this year’s Unity Ball show his aptitude for event-planning.
When Levin is not working to reform discussion sections, broaden student coalitions or institute academic minors, Levin can often be found impersonating celebrities, listening to T-Payne or Bob Marley, or drinking a grande peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks.
“He was never just another member in the group, but took the initiative,” Ezra Stiles YCC Representative Vidur Sehgal ’10 said.
Levin said he believes that next year the YCC should increase transparency, ensure a smooth merger with YSAC and rally more student involvement for ad-hoc committees like this year’s Student Dean Search and New Residential College Advisory committees, both bodies on which Levin served.
“[These] committees showed me that there are so many students not in YCC that are genuinely interested in these issues,” Levin said. “The more students involved, the more the work is strengthened, and the administration is more compelled to listen.”
Open communication and leadership is not new to Levin, said his mother, Susan Levinson, who first saw her son as a “natural born leader” while he was attending middle school in Chicago.
“I just wish I could vote for him,” Levinson said.