Some endorsements are hard. This year’s choice for YCC president is not. For his thoughtful policy proposals, deep knowledge of the University and commitment to the position, we at the News endorse Matt Guido ’19 for president of the Yale College Council.
The next YCC president will inherit an unusually challenging landscape. Yale College is expanding for the first time in decades. Dean Jonathan Holloway will depart in July. Conversations about race, inclusion and mental health continue. In this time of change, the YCC president should be a forceful and judicious advocate for students, while also bolstering the relevance of our student government.
At the very least, Yale students deserve a student body president who will give their all to the position. Guido has shown himself more willing to make that commitment than his opponent Adam Michalowski ’19. We are concerned by Michalowski’s decision to simultaneously run for the YCC presidency and to assume the position of executive director of the Yale International Relations Association, which is currently uncontested. We were unmoved by Michalowski’s assurance that he can split his time between the two organizations while still meeting the demands of both. By contrast, Guido’s only other extracurricular next year will be serving as a Camp Kesem counselor.
Guido also has a much more coherent sense of how he can enact actionable change. He will first focus on restructuring the YCC before pursuing broader campus reforms across six main issue areas. In an effort to simplify the YCC’s current structure, he intends to eliminate several positions within the Executive Board and organize members into fewer but more focused policy teams.
In addition to his internal reforms, Guido will focus on six issues that could benefit from YCC input and advocacy. Institutionally, he seeks to offer more support to the cultural houses and continue the process of reforming Mental Health & Counseling. He would also continue the fight to eliminate the student income contribution and work to improve the student athlete experience.
While Michalowski focused on many of the same issues, he did not articulate a compelling plan to break new ground in pursuing them. He argued for more minor reforms to the YCC, partially by using the body’s newly established endowment to fund pilot projects and build stronger partnerships with student groups across campus. Yet when the News pressed Michalowski on the feasibility of his major promises — to elevate the Ethnicity, Race and Migration Program to departmental status, to increase the number of seminars Yale offers, to make the meal plan optional for upperclassmen — he had little to say.
Having a deep understanding of Yale’s inner-workings can be just as important as crafting bold ideas. While Michalowski struggled at points, Guido demonstrated in his endorsement interview with the News detailed knowledge of our administration, the cultural centers and financial aid policy. Before pursuing significant changes, the president of the YCC should have a strong grasp of our University.
If our campus is to look to the YCC for leadership, the president of the YCC first has to take the role seriously. We at the News are confident that Guido will do just that. He will commit to the YCC and the student body and advance lasting reforms that would change both for the better. We urge our peers to elect him. From our perspective, the choice could not be more clear.