Daniel Zhao, Senior Photographer

After an election fraught with technical issues and campaign guideline violations, the Yale College Council on Saturday announced the winners of the First Year Class Council and Senate races.

Elections were held for all FCC representatives, as well as 10 open Senate seats across Davenport, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Pauli Murray, Saybrook and Trumbull Colleges. The window for student voting began on Thursday, Sept. 23 and was originally scheduled to end on Friday, but was extended another day after a technical issue with Yale Connect briefly prevented first-year students from voting. In the days leading up to the election, the YCC election process included several minor violations of campaign guidelines. 

“Needless to say, while the student body only saw glimpses of the elections through infographics and newsletters, there were many obstacles throughout the election process that I had to address,” said YCC Vice-President Zoe Hsu ’24. 

Hsu explained that all student profiles on Yale Connect, the platform where voting for YCC candidates occurs, are linked to residential colleges. This aims to ensure that students only vote for representatives from their own colleges. Although profiles are typically linked to residential colleges prior to the beginning of the election, this was not the case for members of the Class of 2025. Their profiles did not automatically connect to their colleges, so first years were unable to vote until Yale Connect Staff and Yale IT were able to resolve this issue. 

First-year students were prevented from voting from the time voting opened at 9 a.m. on Sept. 23 to around 6 p.m. that evening, according to Hsu. The student voting window was extended to Sept. 25 in order to compensate for the time students were initially unable to vote.

“Unfortunately, I received several disrespectful emails throughout the elections regarding several aspects of the elections, such as the Yale Connect logistical problem — a problem that was completely outside of my control — even though I was actively addressing each and every problem that arose the best that I could,” Hsu wrote in an email to the News.

Even before issues arose with student voting, the YCC’s Council Elections Commission was faced with a series of violations of the YCC campaign guidelines. An FCC candidate was reported for hanging up posters that exceeded the CEC’s guidelines for poster sizing, which prevents candidates from putting up posters larger than eight by 11 inches. According to YCC Chief of Staff Julia Sulkowski ’24, this candidate was prohibited from hanging up posters for 24 hours after the violation was discovered.

Sulkowski said that two violations were also reported among Senate candidates. One candidate was docked 10 votes for sending emails to 30 people above the CEC limit, which requires that campaign emails be sent out to no more than 100 total people. Another was required to send an apology email to their fellow candidates for failing to include a disclaimer in an email they had sent stating that it was promotional material for their campaign. 

“Running the election was more complex and difficult than I had imagined,” Hsu said. “There were many unexpected logistical challenges that I had to solve on a daily basis throughout the entire election process.”

Despite these challenges, the YCC announced the election of 10 senators in a Saturday email to the student body. Twenty-four representatives were elected to the FCC, with races for FCC representative in Morse College and Timothy Dwight Colleges ending in ties. An election that ends in a tie calls for a runoff election, which took place on Saturday.  

According to an email sent by Hsu to the student body, voting for runoff elections in these colleges occurred between noon and 11 p.m. on Saturday. Isaac Moskowitz ’25 and Ciara Lonergan ’25 were elected as the first-year representatives from Timothy Dwight and Morse College, respectively.  

“I was inspired by the possibility to create real, meaningful and lasting change in the lives of students and New Haveners through our student government,” Michael Ndubisi ’25, who was elected to the Senate as a representative from Saybrook College, told the News. “Yale is an institution with a lot of power, and I think student government, if done seriously and with conviction, can be a way to turn that power into a force for good.”

In the YCC, Ndubisi said that he hopes to prioritize reforming the student packaging system, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the issues that most directly affect students’ lives. 

Similarly, Abe Baker-Butler ’25, who was elected as an Ezra Stiles Senator, told the News that understanding the “needs, views and aspirations” of the Stiles community was his central focus in campaigning, and listed the expansion of dining hall services, the Yale Shuttle and access to air conditioning and filtered water on campus as among his immediate priorities in the Senate.

“I think that YCC is really serious about making things happen, so I’m excited to bring a new perspective and help implement changes that will make Yale a truly more inclusive and accessible environment for everyone,” Pauli Murray Senator Akua Agyemang ’24 said. 

In the FCC, Lizbeth Lozano ’25, who was elected as the first year representative from Pauli Murray, told the News that her main goal will be to support New Haven’s small businesses while helping to plan FCC events. 

Lozano suggested sourcing merchandise for the Yale-Harvard game and food for student events from local establishments.

“It was so exciting getting to be a part of the YCC elections which allowed our newest members on campus and returning students to share their visions for a better student body,” Sulkowski said. “Not only a joy to read the statements of all those who ran, it made me extra excited to truly begin our work with a full senate.”

The newly elected YCC representatives officially took office on Sunday.   

Lucy Hodgman is the editor-in-chief and president of the News. She previously covered student life and the Yale College Council. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, she is a junior in Grace Hopper majoring in English.