This past Tuesday, candidates for the four Yale College Council executive positions (President, Vice President, Events Director, and Finance Director) convened in a packed LC 102 to present their platforms for the coming year and debate those of their fellow candidates.

At the outset, we should state that The Politic will neither discuss the debate for President nor endorse a candidate. Given that two candidates, Josh Hochman ‘18 and Carter Helschien ‘18, are members of The Politic board, to do otherwise would represent a clear conflict of interest. However, in the last week, The Politic has followed the campaigns and platforms of the other YCC offices represented at Tuesday’s debate.

Preceding the Presidential debates was a debate for the office of Vice President, whose candidates are Christopher Bowman ‘18, Luis Patiño ‘18, Kevin Sullivan ‘18, and Zach Wilson ‘18.

The four candidates similarly addressed a variety of issues that have commanded the attention of campus discussions in the past year––improving Yale’s sexual climate and access to mental health resources, eliminating the student income contribution, and better representing the voices of Yale’s students of color and cultural centers.

Although all four candidates displayed a command of these issues facing our campus, it was clear to The Politic from this debate that Kevin Sullivan is the best choice for the position.

Sullivan, who has extensive experience with the Freshman College Council, the Sophomore College Council, and the Yale Dining task force, by far had the most convincing platform and ideas, consistently demonstrating a strong understanding and vision of what the YCC should be and should accomplish. The Politic was particularly impressed by his vision of a supporting role for the YCC that prioritizes student voices, checks executive power, and strives to be more effective internally, as well as his more comprehensive platform on diversity issues, which included assigning a YCC representative to every single cultural house.

By contrast, we found that Sullivan’s fellow candidates presented platforms that were not comprehensive. We were disappointed in Patiño’s inability to pinpoint exact mental health reforms he would push for, despite stressing this area, and we found Wilson’s platform and proposals similarly vague. While The Politic was impressed with Bowman’s emphasis on LGBTQ resources and track record with administrative committees, Sullivan’s well-articulated policy proposals for making Yale more inclusive make him the clearest choice for that office.

The debate also included speeches by Finance Director candidate Zach Murn ‘17 and Events Director candidate Lauren Sapienza ‘18, who are both running unopposed.

Overall, Tuesday’s debate proved to be crucial opportunity for YCC candidates to pitch their platforms to the Yale public as polls opened this morning.

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