To the nearly 26,123 members of the Facebook group Yale Memes for Special Snowflake Teens, Shunhe Wang ’20 might best be known for his witty takes on campus life. Now, Wang is vying to lead student life in a more formal role — as president of the 2018–19 Yale College Council.
“This past year, I worked with the YCC, and I think that it is a force of change that affects quite a bit on campus,” Wang told the News. “There are definitely ways that the YCC can be improved, and I hope to be able to change a few things in both the long term and through short-term, actionable items.”
Wang, who currently serves on the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, identified improving sexual misconduct policy at Yale as a top priority of his campaign. He hopes to create an anonymous, online reporting system for sexual assault, which he believes would remove some barriers that keep victims from reporting incidents. He also aims to stagger dining hall hours to allow for late-night dining without overextending worker hours.
Wang has served as one of Morse’s YCC representatives since September. Through his work with the YCC’s pre-law resources team, Wang found that there is a lack of resources for students at Yale interested in pursuing careers in law. To combat this problem, Wang and his team are working on putting together a pre-law handbook, with helpful information for those students, and on meeting with career strategies on April 13.
If elected, Wang said, he would also push to improve the financial aid system in a number of ways. The presidential hopeful said he would work to secure outside funding for a campuswide Leadership Cohort initiative, which would subsidize the term-time income contribution of low-income students in leadership positions who apply.
“Administrators at Yale have come forward and stated the student income contribution is not going anywhere, so I think that an expansion of the financial aid would be beneficial,” Wang stated.
Additionally, Wang said he would clarify tax policies and international tax treaties on international students’ financial aid awards before they matriculate.
As far as internal YCC reforms go, Wang is eager to diversify the council by introducing advisory positions or a Student Outreach Team with members from cultural centers. He also wants to create an internal YCC scholarship to subsidize the term-time income contribution of low-income students who might otherwise be unable to participate in YCC activities due to the time commitment involved.
To improve campus culture, Wang said, he would work with the Panhellenic Council and fraternities, as well as formalize relations with the Yale Society Initiative — an organization dedicated to reforming aspects of Yale’s senior society system by making it more inclusive and transparent — to ensure its continuation.
Beyond student government, Wang was a member of the wrestling team last year and has recently started playing polo. He has also worked as an intercultural liaison for the Asian American Students Alliance and served as political chair for the Taiwanese American Society, of which he is currently co-moderator, according to his campaign website.
Abhishek Srinivas ’21, a first-year representative on the Morse College Council, emphasized that he thought that Shunhe would be a good YCC president.
“He always completed his responsibilities as the Morse College Council secretary, and he was someone that was very personable throughout the college,” Srinivas said. “He always tries to get people to come to the meeting with food incentives, he facilitates Morse College events and he is always on top of his job. He genuinely cares about what he is talking about, too, and works hard to promote a more accessible, safer campus.”
Susan Chen ’20 praised Shunhe’s work on the prelaw team, calling him a dedicated and observant leader. For Chen, those qualities are reflected in his platform.
“When I read Shunhe’s policies, I saw Shunhe,” she said. “He is a leader that listens and a leader that one can find friendship with.”
Isha Dalal | email@example.com