Once again, an executive board position on the Yale College Council will be filled by default. Though we wish the election for YCC vice president were contested, Maddie Bauer ’17 is qualified and ready to do the job. Her time at Yale has been defined by her continued loyalty to student government: She has served on the Freshman Class Council and as a representative to the full YCC, in addition to her current role as the University Services Director of the YCC.
The vice president’s portfolio is expansive. She must forge partnerships with administrators, run the day-to-day operations of the YCC and oversee projects. Her prior experiences prove she is exceedingly well-prepared for the job. As the YCC’s director of University Services, a member of the Events Committee and a liaison to the University Mental Health Steering Committee, Bauer has shown dedication to every aspect of the YCC’s inner workings. That she is good-natured and diplomatic is important, too; she will build consensus on the Council and work effectively with the winning presidential candidate.
Bauer recognizes that the vice president is not a co-president or a president-in-waiting. Instead, Bauer will focus on holding the YCC to its own commitments: managing the staff, keeping projects on track and ensuring that the Council is well-positioned to serve students.
Bauer has an excellent track record in improving the student experience. She has helped Bass Library install phone chargers, worked to improve the conditions of the intramural playing fields and increased the accessibility of special service vans. Though these projects are small in scope, they inspire faith that Bauer understands the Council’s ability to make incremental but real change in the lives of students. We support her call for the circulation of Harvard-Yale tickets in the residential colleges, as well as for implementation of midterm evaluations for teaching assistants across departments.
Many of her ideas are realistic. Yet others are more lofty aspirations that YCC candidates routinely and carelessly tack onto otherwise sensible platforms. Rather than creating an Asian American Studies major at a time when Yale only offers on average one such course each year, we urge Bauer to push for an increase in the number of Asian American Studies courses — a more feasible ambition.
Bauer told the News that she wants to bolster student confidence in the Council and be held accountable for what she does as vice president, even though she will be seated in an uncontested election. This is an admirable goal. In practice, it means listening to students and making the YCC a vehicle for engagement with the administration, not just an internal forum for policy discussions. While she is wise to promise a nonpartisan YCC, she must be willing to mobilize student government to support causes that energize the Yale community, such as divestment and mental health.
Bauer’s fluency both in her platform and in YCC protocol is promising. Widespread support for her campaign is emblematic of the strong leadership we would like to see more of in the YCC. The vice president ensures that next year’s YCC will continue a legacy of student-driven policy change on campus. As a prominent female voice in student government, Bauer makes us hopeful that a strong legacy of female leadership can take root in the YCC, not just in the vice president’s spot but reaching all the way to the top of student government.
We hope that students vote for Maddie Bauer as YCC vice president — even if she doesn’t need them to.