Aaron Adame

Yale College Council vice presidential candidate Casey Ramsey ’20 hails from Taccoa, Georgia, where he was raised by his mother in the house next door to his grandparents’ home. Coming from a background where “everything’s just small” at times made Ramsey feel lost at Yale, he said.

That feeling is something Ramsey — the current treasurer of the Sophomore Class Council — seeks to combat with two of the main pillars of his campaign platform: better access to mental health services and heightened transparency in financial aid award letters.

“[I saw] that there were problems that need to be addressed,” Ramsey said. “And I have experience in them, so I feel the need to address them … I know I’m not the only one who’s affected.”

Ramsey is running against Heidi Dong ’20 and Remy Dhingra ’20 for the position of YCC vice president. Unlike his two opponents, he is not running alongside a particular YCC presidential candidate.

To improve access to mental health resources on campus, Ramsey said he plans to push for shorter wait times and clinician open office hours closer to central campus, so students do not have to go out of their way to visit Yale Health. Ramsey added that traveling far to see a mental health professional can seem like a big jump for many students, and the “sterile” Yale Health building can feel intimidating.

Ramsey also wants to demystify financial aid awards by lobbying the financial aid office to state clearly how much students must directly contribute to Yale on the initial award letter. This can eliminate confusion between billed and unbilled expenses when students receive term bills in the summer, Ramsey said.

In addition to his central platform items, Ramsey also hopes to lobby for Communication Consent Educators to be present at parties to ensure a safer sexual climate and a Yale Shuttle line that makes stops at affordable shopping and dining options in North Haven, such as Chick-Fil-A and Target.

Ramsey also said he wants to reform aspects of the YCC’s internal structure.

“[The YCC] should be a place where everyone on campus can feel represented, even if it’s not in the ways people have traditionally been represented in the YCC,” Ramsey said.

He hopes to achieve this by adding representatives from the cultural centers to the Council of Representatives so that students who are more involved with their cultural communities than their residential colleges feel better represented.

Although Ramsey’s involvement with the YCC began just this year when he assumed the role of associate representative for Pauli Murray College in the council’s financial aid working group, he said he is confident he knows the structure and mission of the organization well enough to be able to run it.

“I realize that I might not be as experienced as other candidates,” Ramsey said. “But I feel like the experience that I do have — and the fact that I recognize YCC as an important vehicle that accomplishes a lot and is very effective in what is does — will make me a good vice president.”

Beyond student government, Ramsey is a member of DanceWorks, treasurer of Yale’s QuestBridge Scholars Network chapter, and a research assistant at the Yale Child Study Center.

Sophomore College Council President Yesenia Chavez ’20 called Ramsey “an integral part of SoCo” and said the council is ending the semester with more money than expected because of Ramsey’s work managing this year’s budget.

Khai Tran ’20 — a suitemate of Ramsey’s who first met him during First-Year Scholars at Yale, a summer bridge program for first-generation and low-income students — said he thinks Ramsey would be a strong leader.

“I know that sounds vague,” Tran said. “But by that, I mean that he is a go-getter and he will not let anything be in his way because of who he is as a person. He’s just very, very good at getting things done.”

Asha Prihar | asha.prihar@yale.edu

Asha Prihar served as managing editor of the News during the 2019-20 academic year. Before that, she covered community service, Yale's professional schools and undergraduate student life as a staff reporter. She is a senior in Silliman College studying political science.