While Yale College Council representatives for the existing residential colleges were elected earlier this month, representatives for the new colleges will not be chosen until the fall.
Incoming YCC President Matt Guido ’19 told the News that the election of YCC representatives for Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin colleges will take place alongside elections for college-specific class council representatives — for the freshman, sophomore and junior class councils — which routinely take place during the fall semester. In line with the current practice, two YCC representatives will be chosen for each of the new colleges. Guido said the campaigns for the elections would likely open in mid-to-late September.
“One of the big things about campaigning for a council election is the physical space … putting up posters within your college, being present in the dining halls with your computer and getting people to vote or telling people about why you’re running,” Guido said. “We wanted to make sure to do it in the fall and not the spring so [candidates] would have the chance to [campaign] in their college with a more concentrated collection of the people who are going to be living in that college next year.”
Guido said the decision to hold fall elections for the representatives of the new colleges was made largely by the outgoing YCC administration, although the incoming YCC board agreed with the logic behind the move. Sitting YCC President Peter Huang ’18 said the current administration felt it would have been “logistically challenging” for the candidates to campaign when they were not physically in the new residential colleges along with their college peers.
Natalie Orner ’19, who transferred to Pauli Murray College, said she was asked to vote for YCC representatives for her existing college during this year’s elections. However, Orner said she was not concerned that Murray does not yet have YCC representatives.
“As Murray is so young, it would be hard to task a rep with articulating our point of view when our point of view has not yet really formed,” Orner said. “We’ve never had freshman PauliMers. … We’ve never held events for the rest of Yale.”
Similarly, Yondeen Sherpa ’18, who will serve as a FroCo in Murray next year, said it did not bother her that YCC representatives for the college are yet to be chosen, particularly since Murray held elections for its internal college council earlier this month.
According to Orner, polls for Murray’s college council election opened on April 5. Although she does not yet live in Murray, Orner said she voted for all the open positions based on either knowing the candidates or reading their statements.
“The members of Pauli Murray College elected our inaugural College Council earlier this month,” Pauli Murray Dean Alexander Rosas said. “We had excellent voter turnout and competitive elections, and [Head] Tina Lu and I are so excited to work with the new council in building our new community to the north.”
But Sherpa said there were initially some uncontested positions within the council, which she said was “concerning.” In response to several inquiries, Murray extended the deadline for self-nominations by a day, ultimately resulting in a “fairer” election, Sherpa said.
In a Tuesday email to the News, Head of Benjamin Franklin College Charles Bailyn ’81 said he did not know much about the YCC’s plans to accommodate the new colleges with fall elections. Bailyn added that the college is working with volunteers and will hold elections for its college council in the fall.
Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin will increase enrollment in Yale College by 800 students over the next four years.