Sonia Ruiz

This has been a transformative year for Yale, and we in Yale College Council leadership have been working diligently to build a new, more representative student government that remains at the forefront of student-driven campus improvements and initiatives. We have presided over the first expansion of Yale College’s student body in a generation, the closing of Commons and the transitioning in of a new College dean. Ours is a new Yale, redefined in the wake of 2015 activism.

Despite these changes, YCC’s mission remains the same: to make the Yale experience more accessible for all students, present and future. YCC has been and continues to be the primary advocate for policy change on campus. A new $4,000 domestic internship grant, increased time to declare a class Credit/D/Fail, the first ever credit-bearing American Sign Language classes, the creation of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee to empower student voices in our school administration — the list of YCC’s real and tangible impact goes on and on. We are proud of our members’ accomplishments, and we continue to develop and implement new solutions to the everyday challenges faced by our students. While change at Yale may sometimes come slowly or only after significant campus conversation, this year has proven that there is new momentum and strong partners who want to hear students’ voices and make tangible changes.

YCC may focus on the Yale undergraduate experience, but our impact shapes futures far beyond the Yale bubble. By providing the resources for students to belong and succeed here as undergraduates, we ensure that Yale continues to nurture leaders in fields as diverse as academia, politics, medicine, business and the arts. And so we have worked to build a more equitable campus, one in which we can all access the resources necessary to succeed here in our own unique way. A Yale where everyone can live up to their potential is a powerful place with the capacity to move the world. And that Yale is exactly what YCC strives to create.

To achieve this goal, YCC needs you. The more voices in student government, the stronger our representation becomes. Whether you’re majoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology or history of art, a member of Students Unite Now or a Buckley fellow, from down the road or across the world, there is a place for you in YCC. YCC provides a tangible opportunity to make change on this campus, so if you are interested in making a more equitable Yale, having a say in University decisions or representing your college, YCC is the place to bring your voice. As an organization and as a campus, we have made a lot of progress in the past several years, but there is always still much more to be done, systems to be reformed and long-persisting legacies to be addressed. This work must be carried forth by a new generation of Yalies and a new set of student government leaders representative of our new Yale. We’ve redefined the internal tools and processes to reflect a new set of values for YCC. Now it’s up to you to bring about the change you wish to see on campus and in the world.

Yale needs you. Run for the 2018–19 Yale College Council. The deadline to register is Thursday, April 5 at 5 p.m.

Nicholas Girard is a junior in Ezra Stiles College and Yale College Council vice president. Contact him at