Courtesy of Surbhi Bharadwaj and Reilly Johnson
On Monday, Aliesa Bahri ’22 and Reilly Johnson ’22 began their terms as Yale College Council president and vice president, respectively.
Bahri, who previously served as YCC policy director, and Johnson, who served as a YCC senator and Ezra Stiles College Council president, ran together on a ticket. Bahri and Johnson have previously served together as president and vice president, respectively, of the First-Year Class Council and then reversed their roles on the Sophomore Class Council last year.
Bahri — who is the fourth female YCC president in the past two decades — was elected with 64.17 percent of the vote, while Johnson garnered 44.36 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Chloe Adda ’22 also began her term as Events Director following an uncontested race. Former YCC Vice President Grace Kang ’21 announced the results in an email to the student body on Sept. 19.
“While we are bracing ourselves for the challenges we’ll face ahead in leading students through this pandemic, we are grateful that we have one another and so many of our peers to lean on,” Bahri wrote in a Monday email to the News. “YCC is about stepping up for one another in difficult times and making a difference in our communities. For those who want to be active changemakers within the YCC, you will always be welcome on this team.”
Bahri and Johnson ran on a platform with three sections: “Ideas for a Just Yale,” “Ideas for an Equitable Yale” and “Ideas for a Safe Yale.” The platform was further divided into 30 different issues the two plan to tackle, including disarming and disbanding the Yale Police Department and expanding Yale’s COVID-19 support and testing efforts to students not living in New Haven.
Bahri and Johnson told the News that they met at the Women’s Table on Cross Campus to find out the election results, which Bahri called a “fitting place” for the moment. Johnson recalls jumping around outside of Sterling Memorial Library upon hearing the news.
“I was certainly stressed during the election, but it was also a really productive experience,” Johnson wrote in an email to the News on Monday. “The students that helped Aliesa and I on our campaign taught me so much about selflessness and hard work — our team was amazing and they did it all out of passion for the good of the student body.”
Bahri and Johnson ran against Abey Philip ’22 and Matthew Murillo ’22 — who ran on one ticket for president and vice president, respectively — and Carlos Brown ’23, who ran alone for vice president.
Students also voted in Chloe Adda ’22, who was selected as YCC events director. For the past two years, Adda served as YCC deputy events director and ran unopposed in last week’s election.
Adda told the News that she is planning to prioritize three areas during her time as events director: student wellness, community bonding and working with New Haven. She said that all events in the near future will be virtual, both to adhere to public health guidelines and to include the many students not living in New Haven this semester.
“Having events that inspire community bonding is super impactful,” Adda said. “It really does bring people together, especially in such a rigorous environment like Yale … I’m definitely very excited; I feel very prepared for the role.”
Bahri, Johnson and Adda will replace outgoing YCC President Kahlil Greene ’21, Kang and Events Director Steven Orientale ’21.
Greene, who did not endorse or weigh in on any candidates during the election, told the News that he is “very excited” about Bahri and Johnson’s win.
“Aliesa and Reilly have been in YCC for a long time; they have a lot of experience,” Greene said. “And I think we’re leaving student government in great hands with those two. And I’m really excited to see what they do with the organization.”
Greene told the News that he is proud of his legacy of partnering with student activists, and of being a president “who was always visible and who always showed up whenever there was an issue on campus that needed to be addressed.” He said he hopes that future YCC leaders continue in that tradition.
Greene added that as the first Black president of the YCC, he is proud of the strides he has made in terms of diversity within the YCC.
“Looking back, we got so much done, and I feel very proud of all the accomplishments and achievements of my team, and the YCC,” Greene said. “But right now, I think after a year and a half of just tons and tons of success, it is a great time to kind of relax and focus more on schoolwork and relationships to round out the senior year.”
YCC elections took place on Sept. 17 and 18.
Amelia Davidson | email@example.com