In her two years at Yale, Caleigh Propes ’20 has hidden 4,000 eggs on Old Campus, helped organize the college’s first Trap Yoga event and read all 2,426 responses to the Yale College Council Spring Fling survey. Now, she is set to become the YCC’s events director for the 2018–19 academic year.
Propes, who is running uncontested for the position, said her main objectives are to increase student outreach to student groups and student athletes and to diversity the array of events offered.
Propes, a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major from Paducah, Kentucky, joined YCC’s Events Committee during her first year at Yale. As a sophomore, she became deputy director of the YCC Events Committee, as well as internal director of the Spring Fling Executive Board. Propes cited these experiences as her motivation for running for events director, saying she has seen where improvement is needed, and has enjoyed meeting student groups and running different events.
As the YCC’s events director is responsible for leading both the Events Committee and the Spring Fling Committee, Propes’ platform is divided into two broad sections.
Her main proposal to improve Spring Fling is to increase its budget by making graduate students — thousands of whom attend the event every year — share some of the cost of the outdoor concert.
“The Spring Fling Committee is completely financed by the Student Activities Fee and other grants from Yale College,” Propes explained. “So when you look back on it, it’s kind of like all these graduate students are coming and attending our events on the dime of Yale College students.”
Propes also wants the student body to get more involved in the branding of the event, suggesting a logo competition to showcase student talent and generate anticipation.
For the second part of her platform, Propes’ objectives are to host more meaningful events and increase outreach, especially to student athletes.
In particular, Propes emphasized her desire to move from holding food study breaks — which the YCC Events Committee arranges fairly often — to offering events like yoga sessions on Cross Campus or disco ice skating at Ingalls Rink.
“There are food study breaks here at Yale nearly every other day, and we have a whole group called Free Food at Yale,” Propes said. “As an organization that has the power to cater to all undergraduates, it is not as thoughtful to just have a food study break.”
Regarding her outreach objective, Propes said she wanted to continue fostering partnerships with interested student groups, create an Instagram page for YCC events and increase outreach to student athletes by encouraging attendance at athletic games.
Additionally, Propes said she hopes to use YCC funds that usually go toward the annual Yale-Harvard party when the football game takes place at home to establish a fund for students interested in off-campus events but unable to afford attendance fees, given that The Game will take place at Harvard next year.
“I know quite a few students want to attend the Run for Refugees, or attend a conference at the [School of Management], and might not necessarily be able to afford it,” Propes said. “We don’t want educational or other social activities to be cost-prohibitive for Yale students — especially if we have the budget to help them out.”
The 2016–17 YCC Events Director Lauren Sapienza ’18, whom Propes described as a mentor, called Propes the “ideal candidate” for the position, commending her “creativity, attention to detail, and dedication to the Yale community.”
Current YCC Events Director Tyler Bleuel ’19, who has worked with Propes on both the YCC Events Committee and in the Spring Fling Committee, also said he supports her candidacy.
“If Caleigh says she’s going to do something, you can be assured it will get done,” Bleuel said. “Most likely, it will get done quickly, under budget, and better than you could have imagined.”
Aakshi Chaba | firstname.lastname@example.org