We are impressed with both women running for Yale College Council events director, Amour Alexandre ’17 and Megan Ruan ’17. Both candidates have valuable experience planning events. Both have thought carefully about the role of events director. We are confident that either candidate would be effective in the position. In fact, we wish we could say the same for candidates in all four races.
We are especially confident in Alexandre, however, which is why we endorse her for the role of events director.
This role is bound to change in the 2015–16 academic year, as the Student Activities Fee increases, most likely augmenting the funds at the disposal of the Events Committee. While Ruan has more experience in the YCC, we are not convinced that she would experiment with new events or reach out to students who have not traditionally attended YCC events. Alexandre brings innovation to the position, envisioning events that appeal to a broader audience.
Alexandre has solid experience that she would bring to this position. She has spent two years on the Events Committee and has executed several successful events, including the Inaugural Ball and Night at the Planetarium. She is also a member of the Davenport College Council.
Ruan currently serves as the deputy events director and as the Pierson College representative to the full Council. She is also a member of the Spring Fling Committee. Our single reservation about Alexandre is her lack of experience planning Spring Fling. Her challenge will be learning on the job as co-chair of the Spring Fling Committee next year.
In an endorsement meeting with the News, Ruan said she would not make overarching changes as events director. Her primary goals are improving communication within the Events Committee, encouraging athletes to join the Spring Fling Committee and planning a greater number of small events, targeted at groups of 12 to 18 students. She would like to see the majority of the additional SAF revenue go toward Spring Fling. We are concerned that her platform is too narrowly focused on Spring Fling and that she doesn’t have a concrete plan to expand the audience for YCC events.
Alexandre, on the other hand, plans to launch several new events-oriented initiatives in the fall. The first, “Yalies’ Choice,” involves the YCC crowdsourcing event ideas on a monthly basis. Students will vote via email polls each month, choosing everything from the type of event to the food items served.
Second, as part of an initiative called “YCC Collaborate,” a registered student group will co-host an event with the Council each month. Alexandre intends to choose groups that need resources and may not be popular enough to garner a large audience on their own. Both of these initiatives aim to increase attendance at events by appealing to a larger number of students. They are up against structural problems of student apathy and insular social circles, but they represent valiant efforts to make YCC events accessible to anyone who might want to take advantage of them.
Third, Alexandre hopes to plan workshops called “YCC Reality Checks” that will teach students basic life skills, such as financial management and networking. Similar workshops are currently offered by the Office of Career Strategy and the Association of Yale Alumni. Alexandre told us that she does not intend simply to multiply existing workshops, but to streamline all workshops through the YCC.
We are glad to see that Alexandre has concrete ideas beyond Spring Fling improvements. Her vision for the Events Committee is a testament to her creativity, which is the most important characteristic in a job that could otherwise be perfunctory.