With 68.25 percent of the student vote, Joe English ’17 cruised to victory in this year’s Yale College Council presidential election. While English received 1,225 votes, his opponents — Ben Martin ’17 and Andy Hill ’17 — garnered 316 and 254 votes, respectively. Maddie Bauer ’17 was elected YCC vice president in an uncontested race.
“I’m so excited to be serving Yale as president of the YCC next year,” English said upon learning thathe had won. “I’m excited to bring the YCC to students and work with different student organizations, as well as the administration, on a whole host of issues.”
This year’s race saw a dramatic drop in turnout, with 825 fewer votes cast this year compared to last.
During his campaign, English ran on a platform of pursuing five policy areas. These included continuing current YCC initiatives such as reforming mental health policies while also pursuing new projects, such as the creation of a task force on campus dining and a comprehensive evaluation of distributional requirements.
English said his first order of business will be to meet with members of the Yale Corporation on Friday. During the meeting, he plans to address a variety of issues ranging from reforming financial aid to improving the cultural houses. The YCC also began its search for candidates to fill positions on its executive board with a schoolwide email soliciting applications on Sunday evening, English said.
Although Martin and Hill said they were disappointed by the results, both contenders said they think English will make an effective president. Martin said English’s commitment to the YCC and his experience in the organization are both evident.
Although he will not return to the YCC next year, Hill said, he still plans on pursuing his campaign platform’s policy initiatives: reforming the cultural centers and establishing an interfraternity council. Martin said he is unsure whether or not he will continue to serve on the YCC.
English attributed his success to his campaign team, adding that their work had reaffirmed his belief in Yale’s supportive community.
“I wish Joe and Maddie all the best of luck, and of course, I think he’s qualified for the position,” current YCC President Michael Herbert ’16 said. “I worked with him a lot this year, and he definitely has a lot of experience with the YCC, so I don’t think it’ll be too much of a learning curve for him.”
Students interviewed expressed their desire to have the incoming YCC board work on a variety of issues — ranging from grading policies and communication with the student body, to changes in mental health policies and the approval of academic minors.
Christina de Fontnouvelle ’16 said she would like the YCC to continue sending out emails and comprehensive reports to the entire student body, while also providing more opportunities for student involvement in the YCC. Michael Zanger-Tishler ’18 said rather than social events, the YCC should focus on being an effective advocate for students and promoting policies that address student concerns.
“Yale students are looking for change on a lot of different fronts,” Megan Valentine ’16 said. “If the new YCC president can get the Yale administration and the Yale Corporation to listen to at least one of these it will be a really big step.”
Daniel Tovbin ’17 and Amour Alexandre ’17 won the elections for finance director and events director, respectively. The YCC will turn over on May 8.
This article has been updated to reflect the version published in print on April 13, 2015.