Michael Herbert ’16, president of the Yale College Council, wants to befriend all of campus.
Herbert and Isaac Morrier ’17, YCC’s communications director, have been working to revamp the Council’s image and interaction with the student body. The goal is to make the YCC more accessible, approachable and personable, Morrier said. To this end, the YCC now sends emails from the accounts of individual executive board members, instead of from the “anonymous blue shield” image that decorated its former correspondences, Morrier said. The YCC’s Twitter account has also adopted a more lighthearted tone.
Board members are also including photos of themselves in their emails. Herbert — who released his personal phone number in a Sept. 1 email to all students — said he wishes to make himself known to the campus through personalized correspondence.
“They’re not going to be able to ask for my help if they don’t know who I am,” Herbert said.
Herbert expressed disappointment, however, that students have not yet taken advantage of his contact information. It would be exciting to receive phone calls from students with ideas or concerns, he said.
Still, the YCC’s new personalized email template has generated fair amount of interest from students. YCC Events Director Jaime Halberstam ’16 said in an email that after sending out an announcement for Spring Fling Committee applications, she has been stopped on the street by students interested in submitting an application.
“We’re all very approachable, and the new style helps facilitate the face-to-face, casual communication with the student body that, at day’s end, is one of the key goals of the organization,” she said.
Herbert credits Morrier for the new email setup, but said he has contributed to the YCC communications strategy by making the Council’s Twitter account more “fun and engaging.” The YCC’s professionalism can still be conveyed through meetings and its website, he said.
Herbert said he thinks the new Twitter format engages “with a whole new set of people who are otherwise disengaged from YCC.”
In his Sept. 1 email to students, Herbert urged them to follow the Twitter account, guaranteeing that it would be the “most exciting Twitter of any student government in America.”
Former YCC Vice President Kyle Tramonte ’15, a staff columnist for the News, said he appreciated the changes and that the new email format would allow for a more personal, friendly connection to the student body. He would not be surprised if the new emails received more clicks and responses, he said. Former YCC President Danny Avraham ’15 could not be reached for comment.
“What I think the YCC is going toward, which I support, is an attitude that takes what it does very seriously, but does not take itself too seriously,” Tramonte said.
Morrier said he and the Council plan to utilize social media platforms for other purposes as well. On Facebook, for instance, Morrier and other Council members regularly check Yale Ideas — a page where students submit their thoughts for improving campus life — for potential projects.