Since coming to Yale, I have spent a lot of my energy on actively engaging with the communities around me, whether it be my residential college community, extracurricular community or the Yale College community as a whole. Like many Yalies, I found my first community in my residential college. For the past two years, I have served on the Jonathan Edwards College Council. Last year I was the Vice President, and this year I am excited to work with others on the council as the President.
In these roles, I have planned events to benefit all JE Spiders and have worked to strengthen our college community. While still having these great experiences in my residential college, I wanted to work with an even larger part of the Yale community and joined the Yale College Council.
This past year, I served as a JE YCC Senator. During this time, I worked on multiple projects, spanning academics and student life. These included analyzing data on and authoring a report concerning incorporating minors into Yale’s academics and establishing a brand new, college-wide Lunch with Faculty event program.
While working on this student-body wide event, I noticed a disconnect between different parts of the Yale College Council. Specifically, I noticed a disconnect between the Events Committees and the policy-branch of the Council. I strongly believe that this rift needs to be fixed to bring the student body the best YCC possible. At present, these two communities stand apart, but should be united if we want to put on the best events possible.
My unique combination of experience in these two domains – events and policy work – gives me the right perspective to achieve greater cohesion by forming stronger relations between the two bodies. I also believe that I am capable of this position because of my experience working with a large range of people, including leading Yale administrators, faculty and my peers. In addition to forming a more unified community in the Yale College Council, I want to create more unity within the entire student body through the events I hope to put on alongside my team. Yale College is divided by so many factors and I know that Events has the unique position to bring together these different communities. To do this, I have developed a two-pronged approach: the “Ins and Outs of Events.”
The “Ins” aim to increase internal cohesion between the different bodies of the YCC by making Events more transparent and accountable to the student body, and making it better reflect the policy initiatives of the Yale College Council. The Yale College Council’s external budget is procured from two main sources: the Student Activity Fee and a grant from the President’s Office. The Student Activity Fee is a $125 fee that is automatically applied to students’ tuition bills. This means that a majority of this budget consists of student money.
That is why it is important to be as transparent and accountable as possible. Some measures that I will take to do this are to gather more student input and to release information about the inner workings of Events, including publishing meeting minutes to the greatest extent possible. Another aspect of my work to improve inner Yale College Council unity is to create joint-policy projects between the Senators and Events Committee. Examples of this include the newly-created Lunch with Faculty program and a proposed Arts Council Fair, an artistic showcase of local New Haven talent. I envision many opportunities for productive teamwork between Senators and the Events Committee to provide Yale students with the best events and programming possible.
The “Outs” are focused on bringing you a more robust YCC Events group. These initiatives focus on creating a stronger Yale community through student partnerships, increasing the role of New Haven in our programming and enhancing traditional events. One of my biggest focuses is on developing more relationships between both student organizations and Events, to reach an even greater portion of the student body, and between different campus spaces and Events to provide additional spaces for students to spend time with each other.
Another initiative of this part of my platform is to foster more support for athletics. Many of Yale’s sports teams are at the top of their game. To encourage more students to attend sporting events, I propose a lottery prize system that rewards students for going to more events and supporting their peers. What’s more, I plan on more frequently partnering with the Whaling Crew and other student organizations to co-host tailgates and sports-related events.
These, among others, are just some of my proposals for new New Haven events: we will add several new workshops to the Taste of New Haven program series at smaller restaurants, host even more events in New Haven, similar to the upcoming Elm City Sunset Rooftop Party, and invite more New Haven artists, comedians and DJs to brand new nightlife events. I strongly believe that all of these initiatives will bring internal cohesion to the Yale College Council and external cohesion to all of Yale’s communities while maintaining the utmost levels of transparency. In short, that is why you should vote for me, Steven Orientale to become your YCC Events Director.
Steven Orientale is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College. He is running to be Director of the Yale College Council Events group. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .