Courtesy of Zoe Hsu and Bayan Galal

In an email to the student body on Friday evening, Yale College Council vice president Reilly Johnson ’22 announced the election of Bayan Galal ’23 and Zoe Hsu ’24 as the next YCC president and vice president, respectively.

Galal, who ran on a ticket with Hsu, won 56.4 percent of the vote, while opposing candidate Joaquín Lara Midkiff ’23, who ran on a ticket with Jordi Bertrán Ramírez ’24, won 43.6 percent. Hsu won 50.9 percent of the vote to best Ramírez in the vice president election. 2,007 of 6,057 eligible students voted in the presidential election. 

In the YCC, Galal has previously served as a senator from Grace Hopper College, as well as the health and COVID-19 policy chair. Hsu has previously served as a senator from Berkeley College, and as the YCC equity chair.

Galal received 1,131 votes, while Hsu received 1,015 votes in an election that opened for voting the morning of April 29 and closed the evening of April 30.

“So much work went into this campaign, so many people supported me along the way, and seeing it all come together was so exciting,” Galal said. “I’m beyond grateful to the student body for having faith in Zoe and I, and we’re ready to get to work.

According to Hsu, she and Galal spent the last three hours the polls were open working on last-minute outreach, including messaging over 1,000 students each, reminding them to vote.

Hsu said that her election to the position of vice president was “such an honor,” adding that she is excited to represent her intersectional identities as a first generation, low-income student and a woman of color in STEM, in the YCC.

Opposing Galal and Hsu were Midkiff and Ramírez, who ran on a joint ticket for president and vice president, respectively.

“My goal is as it always was, which is to continue on and to do what I can for the communities I represent and the communities I don’t, and keep working on behalf of students who need a strong advocate,” Lara Midkiff told the News. “That’s what I would have done as president, and that’s what I will continue doing not as president.”

Lara Midkiff emphasized his gratitude for his supporters and his running mate, and added that he has already reached out to Galal about plans to work with her administration.

The official campaign season began on April 23 with the announcement of the candidate roster  and included a debate on April 26 at which the candidates discussed their platforms and visions for Yale. 

Galal and Hsu’s campaign was themed around the central idea of “building a healthier Yale.” Their platform focused on five principles: the physical, mental, community, financial and institutional health of the University.

“I’m really proud of how we relayed our platform and our overall goals,” Galal said. “Zoe and I wanted to have a platform that showed our comprehensive vision for building a healthier Yale, and we can’t wait to get to work on fulfilling that vision.”

Galal and Hsu are set to replace outgoing YCC president Aliesa Bahri ’22 and vice president Reilly Johnson ’22.

“Every candidate brought thoughtful policy ideas and a truly inspiring vision for the future to the table,” Bahri said. “Throughout the election, I knew that regardless of who won, YCC would be in very capable hands next year. I am incredibly grateful for their commitment to our organization and our community, and deeply admire their persistent drive to create a more just, safe and equitable Yale.” 

Johnson added that she was proud of the work she and Bahri did to improve student life over the course of their administration, in particular addressing violations of break days, providing textbook stipends to students and creating a positive working environment for students in the YCC community. 

Diba Ghaed ’24, who ran unopposed for YCC events director, was also elected. Ghaed has previously served as the YCC’s deputy director of the Events Committee. 

“After two very unusual years, there is understandable anticipation regarding what a return to ‘normal’ Yale will look like,” Ghaed said. “I am so excited to ensure that when we are able to be together again, it will have been well worth the wait.”

Ghaed added that her priorities as events director will be to collaborate with New Haven businesses to host events for students, and to allocate funding towards events for students such as headshot photoshoots, mock interviews and graduate school mentoring sessions.

Juan Diego Casallas Otalora ’23 was elected Junior Class Council President, while Leleda Beraki ’24 was elected Sophomore Class President.

Galal and Hsu’s term officially began at midnight on May 1, but the 2020-2021 YCC administration will be working with the incoming officers over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

LUCY HODGMAN
Lucy Hodgman covers the Yale College Council. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she is a sophomore in Grace Hopper majoring in English.