Tim Tai, Senior Photographer

A year ago, current Yale College Council President Julian Suh-Toma ’25 and Vice President Maya Fonkeu ’25 launched their campaign for leadership. 

Now, as the conclusion of their tenure draws near, the candidates for next year’s YCC leadership are preparing for elections. 

“We have very strong tickets this year and I’m excited to hear their ideas on how they would make Yale a better place,” Fonkeu wrote to the News. “All of them bring a unique set of perspectives and I’m looking forward to seeing how they use them to shape their platforms.”

This year, three candidates are running for president, two candidates running for vice president and two candidates running for events director. Two of the president and vice president candidates are joining on a joint ticket. 

Mimi Papathanasopoulos ’26 is running for president on a joint ticket with vice president candidate Esha Garg ’26. Meanwhile, Celene Bennett ’26 is running for president on a joint ticket with Juan Borrego ’26. Brian Zhang ’25, a current arts editor at the News, is running on a solo ticket for both president and events director. 

“I had an idea for someone that I wanted to run with, and unfortunately, she didn’t have the bandwidth to do it,” Zhang told the News. “I really believed in [her], our friendship and our potential to work together. I want to respect that they have a lot of work next year, [so] I’m going to remain loyal to that person … I think it’s important to believe in myself.”

The president leads the Executive Committee body of the YCC. The rest of the Executive Board is determined via application and appointments from the president and vice president. 

Besides candidates running for president and vice president, students also will have the opportunity to vote on who fills other positions. In addition to Zhang, Kasvi Singh ’26 is also campaigning for the events director position, which is responsible for supervising class councils and for allocating resources to the Spring Fling committee. 

Lauren Kim ’26 and Kingson Wills ’26 have both begun their campaigns for junior class president, with Andrew Boanoh ’27 and Carrie Lange ’27 campaigning for sophomore class president. 

Forty-four other candidates are running for their respective residential college senator seats. The entire list of candidates can be found here, accessible to viewers using their Yale email addresses. 

According to a Yale College Council email sent to the undergraduate student population, there are two senator seats open for every residential college. 

“We’re starting from ground zero,” the email read.

The YCC Senate, according to Suh-Toma, is responsible for policymaking. The senate works on projects ranging from health and accessibility to dining policies. The body is led by the vice president.

Public campaigning for all positions began at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 11. Now, candidates can share their platforms through social media, organized events and word-of-mouth. To round out their campaign teams, candidates can recruit up to 40 individuals if running on a joint ticket or 30 individuals if running on a solo ticket. 

“We are looking forward to having conversations with students to understand where community concerns lie and working together to find creative solutions,” Papathanasopoulos wrote to the News. “It’s going to be a fun week!”

While all the candidates have lofty goals for how to help transform Yale during their tenure, Fonkeu urged voters to stay realistic. 

“The candidates are going to make a lot of promises.” Fonkeu wrote to the News. “They should heavily consider whether or not those promises are feasible and whether that candidate has a track record of getting things done.” 

There will be two live, open debates between candidates. The president and vice president candidates will first appear in front of the Dwight Hall Cabinet on April 12 to answer questions from various affiliated organizations. The president, vice president and events director candidates will participate in the annual YCC-YDN Debate on April 14.

“Celene and I are really proud of our platform,” Borrego wrote to the News. “We can’t wait for the debates, events and other opportunities to connect with students.” 

Polls for all positions will open on April 18 at 9 a.m. on YaleConnect. They will close at 9 p.m. on April 19.

Kaitlyn Pohly is a sophomore in Silliman College. She serves as the Student Life Reporter for the University Desk and previously reported on Student Policy and Affairs. Originally from New York City, Kaitlyn is a History major. Outside of the classroom and the newsroom, Kaitlyn dances with YaleDancers.