CANDIDATE PROFILE: Agastya Rana ’24￼
The candidate running for events director of the Yale College Council discusses his experience in the YCC and his plans for the coming year.
Courtesy of Agastya Rana
Agastya Rana ’24 said he feels nothing less than “excitement” when thinking about the possibility of being events director and helping to improve the campus community next year.
A current sophomore in Davenport College, Rana was born and raised in Bangalore, India and has served on the Yale College Council Events Committee for two years. In his first year, Rana was the campus life director. He currently serves as the deputy events director and is now running to continue his tenure in the YCC events branch as the next events director.
“I’ve loved working with other diligent, passionate and kind people to bring campus events to life: the enthusiasm has been palpable, and the conversations (often while transporting more Garden Catering chicken nuggets than I could count) have been unforgettable,” Rana said.
Outside of the YCC events branch, Rana is a physics and mathematics and philosophy double major. He enjoys researching quantitative biology in the Emonet Lab as well as swimming with the club swimming team. Rana will also be leading programming for the Orientation for International Students as the head counselor this coming August.
Rana’s platform is centered around two core goals: rejuvenating “iconic but lost” Yale traditions and introducing year-round events to “improve student wellness,” he said. Rana said he will aim to populate the events calendar with a “solid” array of events to reinvigorate student interest that may have been lost during the pandemic.
Some of the Yale traditions Rana said he hopes to bring back are the Fall Comedy Show, ice skating at Ingalls Rink, Night at the Museum, Last Comic Standing and Hoedown. He said he is excited to “prioritize” their return and set a “strong precedent” for years to come.
Rana said that improving student wellness should be a “central concern” of the events branch, which caters to “a population of Yalies too often plagued by stress and burnout.” To combat stress, Rana’s plan for year-round programming ranges from coordinating visits from Handsome Dan and Heidi to offering art therapy and cooking classes. He said he hopes that Yalies will be able to “find some respite” in the “uplifting activities” every week.
According to Rana, his two main goals should facilitate three outcomes: building institutional memory, increasing public awareness of events and supporting local businesses.
Changes will also be made to the mechanics of the event-planning process itself, Rana said. Namely, he hopes to encourage the YCC to obtain more student input, facilitate a greater exchange of ideas among its five separately-run committees and ensure the compilation of documents summarizing actions taken for each event.
“My platform is founded on both inaugurating new events and bringing back old events,” Rana said. “I hope to use the majority of our budget to fund the classic old events that have not been seen on campus in years.”
The remainder of the budget will be distributed between smaller, year-round events that he wants to host in collaboration with the Good Life Center and Yale College Community Care.
Rana said he has learned “first-hand” how to be events director during his time in the events branch of the YCC. He added that he is particularly familiar with the administrative, logistical and financial elements that are “imperative” in putting together a successful event.
Throughout his campaign process, he has been focusing on catering to what he called the two “most pressing desires” of the Yale student body: being able to experience “normal” Yale campus life and having access to stress-relief programs.
“I am confident that however Yalies come across my platform, whether it be through the YDN, my voting booth statement, word of mouth or social media, they will see their needs and interests represented and will be compelled to vote for me,” Rana said.
Voting for the YCC elections began today, Thursday, April 21 at 9:00 a.m. on YaleConnect.