Yale College Council presidential candidate Andy Hill ’17 wants to create a YCC that goes beyond bike racks and chicken tenders.
Hill, who served as a YCC associate member before being appointed a full-time Berkeley representative in February, has set his sights on the loftier goal of uniting the campus voice and allowing students to serve as their own advocates.
“Honestly, I think a lot of other candidates are asking voters to believe in them, but instead of saying believe in me, I am saying, ‘Believe in we,’” he said, citing his slogan. “The idea is that together we can accomplish all of these things we are striving for, all of the things people care about.”
Hill listed a wide range of issues that he plans to tackle if elected, including eliminating the student income contribution, reforming mental health policies and improving the sexual climate on campus. Other major positions of his platform include increasing accountability of standing committees, creating an interfraternity council and expanding the Intercultural Affairs Council.
But for Hill, the “key goal” of his presidency would be securing a seat on the Yale Corporation for a student.
“The idea is that if we have a student in the room, we can know that our opinions were heard, and we will get feedback on whether they really considered these proposals in depth,” Hill said. “I 100 percent believe that if all of us are working together and united, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”
Though he noted that this goal will be a challenge, Hill said he has already met to discuss the matter with Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway, who expressed some concern about the feasibility but ultimately said he would “give his full support” for the effort.
“I think he will truly take ideas to places where others don’t see as a possibility,” said Brynne Follman ’17, a member of Hill’s campaign. Follman highlighted the fact that he had taken initiative to speak with Holloway.
During his first two years at Yale, Hill has been active on campus through a variety of roles. He is a member of Yale’s Mock Trial Team, the Yale Black Men’s Union and the Chi Psi fraternity, and he serves as a Berkeley College Intramural Secretary. He also holds two other student jobs at the Office of Admissions and the Office of Development.
If elected, however, he said he would dial back on the activities in which he is now involved. But he does not see his existing commitments as a weakness.
“I think my experience in the past of being involved in a variety of organizations, being out in the community and being involved has prepared me the most to be able to connect with them,” Hill said.
During his time on the YCC, Hill has served as a student coordinator to the Office of Sustainability and is currently working on scheduling a “listening session” for students to weigh in on Yale’s broader goals in regard to sustainability.
Anna Lu ’17, Branford representative and co-coordinator to the Office of Sustainability, said Hill is dependable in both scheduling and attending meetings. However, she said he does not possess a lot of experience in student government.
But Hill said he is not concerned about lacking as much experience as other candidates, as current YCC president Michael Herbert ’16 has proven a successful leader despite not serving as a representative before being elected. Still, Hill said that during his time serving on YCC, he has come to understand how the council works, how proposals are developed and how to speak with administrators.
He added that his largest challenge in the campaign will be galvanizing support and increasing voter turnout.
“Getting students motivated that don’t normally vote will be key,” Hill said.