The Yale College Council has made enormous strides this year in areas ranging from the creation of the Domestic Summer Award to Credit/D/Fail policy reform, impacting the lives of nearly every Yale undergraduate along the way. I’m proud to say that I had a hand in these policies and even led the charge on a few.

I’d like to commend Matt Guido ’19 for his outstanding leadership of the council over the last year. However, next year’s YCC president needs to think even bigger — building on the momentum and goodwill accumulated through the course of this year, the YCC shouldn’t be afraid to tackle more formidable issues, like dining hall hours, funding for student projects across all disciplines and mental health care reform.

Only someone who has been in the field working to solve these problems can offer a credible agenda and plan of action for tackling these issues. Without relevant experience, a candidate’s promises are speculative at best and misleading at worst — a president with extensive experience will have already had the right conversations with the right people while the inexperienced officer is still figuring out where to start. The YCC serves two critical roles on campus: policymaking and event planning. The council of representatives constitutes the policymaking side, while the events committee, Spring Fling Committee and the class councils comprise the events site of YCC. The YCC president needs to be well-versed in both of these aspects in order to effectively lead the entire organization.

From serving for a year on the council of representatives on the science, technology, engineering and math student advisory committee, and pushing for the creation of the Domestic Summer Award, I know how to get the right policies in front of the right people at the right time. After serving as First-Year Class Council president, Sophomore Class Council vice president and a two-year member of the YCC events committee, I’ve put in countless hours of work to plan events ranging from alumni networking events all the way to thousand-student study breaks.

I believe I’m the candidate best equipped to leverage these successes into even more impactful policies. From my experience working with Yale Dining to pull off multiple special events, I have the credibility to actually deliver on reallocating dining hall hours. I’ve spent hours working with and getting to know Yale’s administrators to create the Domestic Summer Award to fund nonprofit projects — I know the right people to talk to secure a printing stipend for students on financial aid. I’ve listened to the concerns of countless student groups and connected them with the resources to pull off the events they want — I have a plan in place to link student organizations, New Haven businesses and the YCC to produce even more events in the future. For more details about my policies, please visit my website.

However, all this progress will be irrelevant if YCC fails to communicate with the outside world. Many students are unaware of who their representatives are or of the policies in focus that year. This has resulted in a negative perception of YCC as an out-of-touch organization that spends an inordinate amount of time on minor policies. As president, I will insist on greater communication with the general student body through emails, website updates and representative outreach.

Amidst the whirlwind of campaigning, flyering and postering happening on campus this week, I want to be very clear: This is all for you. Yale College Council is an organization of service, and I would be honored and humbled to carry on this proud tradition at its helm. I want to listen to your thoughts and act as an instrument for you and your organization to enact the changes you want to see at scale.

And scale is the name of the game — the YCC will be shooting itself in the foot if it forsakes the momentum accumulated over the last year. My track record, connections and know-how uniquely position me as the only candidate who will realistically be able to take advantage of this momentum and serve you at the highest level.

Because of this, the coming year — more than any other — will be a crossroads for Yale’s undergraduates. Let’s work together to make this the year that Yale finally enacts substantive mental health reform, the year that dining halls are finally open when we need them to be, the year that organizations on and around campus are finally held accountable for fostering a positive sexual climate.  I hope you’ll join me in tackling these big issues and more, once and for all.

Aadit Vyas is a sophomore in Pierson College and a YCC presidential candidate. Contact him at .