Following a series of elections last week, the open positions on the Yale College Council Senate and the Freshman Class Council are now filled.
The YCC consists of multiple representative bodies. The Senate features two students from each residential college, whereas the four class councils, including the FCC, are comprised of two representatives per college from a given class year.
On Friday night, nine new senators were elected from eight residential colleges, and 26 first-year representatives — two each from 12 of the residential colleges, and one each from Timothy Dwight and Jonathan Edwards colleges — were elected.
Four of the five contested Senate races drew at least 100 votes. The remaining three races were uncontested; such elections traditionally see lower turnout, according to YCC vice-president Heidi Dong ’20. Two of the uncontested races drew around 60 votes, while the other drew around 80.
In 2017, there were 10 contested and one uncontested residential college races for the YCC Senate, five of which drew more than 100 votes.
“I’d say the turnout was stronger [this year], which I find really exciting,” Dong said. “My hope is that it reflects greater student investment in the YCC [and] more broadly in student representation on campus.”
Dong said the YCC is currently working with residential college councils in Jonathan Edwards and Timothy Dwight colleges to “find people interested in joining as associate FCC representatives” to bring the council’s total to 28 representatives.
The first meeting of the Senate took place last Saturday, according to Sal Rao ’20, YCC president.
“We talked about the broad structure of the YCC, our overarching goals for this year, and how the YCC actually works, which sounds simple and intuitive, but is something that hadn’t been done in past years,” Rao explained. “Heidi and I are just beyond excited to be working with an incredible group of people.”
In previous years, the Sophomore Class Council, also known as SoCo, and the Junior Class Council have held elections around this time of year. However, as a result of low interest in class council elections, as well as the success of other application-based governing bodies such as the YCC committees, the YCC amended its constitution last year to switch both SoCo and JCC to written-application processes.
Elected candidates for both the Senate and FCC told the News they were excited to begin representing their classes and colleges and start working with the rest of the council.
“In terms of what I’m looking forward to the most, it definitely is seeing our university become more connected,” said Joe Allen ’21, who was elected to represent Branford College on the Senate. “Meeting the rest of the Senate and the YCC leadership was very motivating because of just how committed to bettering our campus everyone seemed.”
Kinsale Houston ’22, the sole elected representative from Timothy Dwight College on FCC, also emphasized community, saying he was looking forward to making the first-year class more close-knit.
Amanda Dickerson ’22, who was elected to represent Berkeley College on FCC, noted that she loved knowing she could “be an advocate for first years on campus,” adding that she enjoyed the election process.
“The election process was really fun,” Dickerson said. “I got to know so many people through campaigning that I otherwise would not have, and that was an amazing experience on its own.”
The FCC elections were not switched to written applications, because FCC is one of the only forums for elected representation for first years and typically sees higher interest than equivalent councils for sophomores and juniors, according to Nick Girard ’19, last year’s YCC vice-president.
Grace Baghdadi ’22, elected to represent Saybrook College on FCC, said she “absolutely loved campaigning.”
Nareen Barwari ’22, who will represent Ezra Stiles College on the council, expressed a different view, saying she appreciated that the campaigning in her election was “not very intense.”
“I have always loved student government, but have always hated campaigning, so I really loved that the manner of campaigning for YCC was not very intense,” Barwari said.
The first meeting of the Freshman Class Council will take place this Wednesday.
Aakshi Chaba | email@example.com