Courtesy of Melany Perez

Mimi Papathanasopoulos ’26 and Esha Garg ’26 were elected as Yale College Council president and vice president, respectively, for the 2024-25 school year after polls closed Friday evening. A different ticket was docked 50 votes for a campaign violation, but the deduction did not affect the election’s results. 

Papathanasopoulos won the race with 708 votes — or 35.2 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, competitors Brian Zhang ’25, an Arts editor for the News, won 664 votes — or 33 percent — and Celene Bennett ’26 won 638 votes — or 31.7 percent. This year, 2,010 students voted in the presidential election, 170 less than last year’s total. 

“I am incredibly honored and excited to serve as Yale College Council’s next President alongside Esha. We are profoundly grateful for the student body’s trust in us and are ready to dedicate our time, energy, and love to these roles,” Papathanasopoulos wrote to the News. 

Garg won the two-person vice presidential election by a larger margin, receiving 1117 votes while Juan Borrego ’26 won 889 votes. Garg also won her race for Grace Hopper College senator but subsequently decided to relinquish the seat, leaving it open until the fall. 

Meanwhile, Bennett and Borrego — who ran together — were docked 50 votes due to a campaign violation of the YCC’s endorsement procedures. This penalty, according to outgoing YCC Vice President Maya Fonkeu ’25, was administered after an “initial warning.” 

Bennett told the News on Tuesday that the violation was related to an individual who sits on both the YCC’s Executive Board and the Yale First-Gen and/or Low-income Advocacy Movement board that advocated for YFAM to endorse Borrego and Bennett.  

“This individual was not a part of our campaign team, but urged YFAM to consider us for endorsement,” Bennett wrote to the News. “They attended the debate, however since they did not interview all candidates individually before deciding to vouch for Juan and I, we were penalized.” 

The YCC endorsement guidelines — which Fonkeu included in an April 11 email she sent to students about YCC elections — state that all organizations seeking to officially endorse a candidate must meet three requirements. These requirements include offering all candidates for the position in question an endorsement interview “of equal length and nature,” disclosing any affiliations with candidates they seek to endorse to current YCC leadership and having at least one member of the organization attend the YCC-YDN debate

YFAM ultimately did not endorse any candidates for the election.

The election also determined the 2024-25 events director, junior and sophomore class council presidents and residential college senators. Zhang was elected events director, Kingson Wills ’26 was elected Junior Class Council president and Andrew Boanoh ’27 was elected Sophomore Class Council president. 

Boanoh told the News that while he was happy with the results of this year’s elections, he still noticed “a lot of apathy with regard to the YCC” in conversations with peers and in this year’s voter turnout, which was about one-third of the undergraduate student body. 

Boanoh said he felt inspired to make the YCC’s work more “visible” so that students “feel that we’re actually in their corner.”

“More specifically to SOCO, I think that the next year will present a unique challenge,” Boanoh told the News. “Our class will be scattered across campus to our various different residential colleges, which will make it a bit tougher to come together as a full class at any given point in time. My goal, though, is to create as many opportunities as possible for our class to bond, celebrate, and remain connected throughout the year.”

Zhang wrote to the News that he is “fearlessly prepared” to serve in his new role as YCC Events director for the 2024-25 school year.

Zhang, who previously served as JCC president, said that he “knew that a more externally facing role would suit [him] best.” 

“Creativity, concepts, philanthropy and imagination are all factors I consider when I am hosting an event or fundraiser,” Zhang said. “We are living in uniquely difficult times, and the types of events the Yale student government puts out can be statements to greater issues impacting our communities.” 

The new YCC administration will take office at midnight on Saturday, May 4, following a two-week transition period.

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.