News | Student Life

Sarah Yee, CC '16, elected 2016 class rep, referendum on executive board party system sent back to CCSC

  • Kiera Wood / Senior Staff Photographer
    AND THE WINNER IS | Sarah Yee, CC '16, was elected CCSC's 2016 class representative with 44 percent of the vote. Yee, a political science major, previously worked on CCSC as a non-elected member of the campus life committee.

Updated, 2:47 a.m.

Sarah Yee, CC ’16, was elected the Columbia College Student Council class of 2016 representative on Wednesday by 44.3 percent of sophomore class voters. 

Yee replaces Benjamin Kornick, CC ’16, who resigned from the position two weeks ago for “personal reasons.” The turnout for the election was 43 percent.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Yee said on Wednesday night. “I’ve been campaigning hard. I think there’s a lot of relief in it finally being over.”

Yee, a political science major, is a member of the varsity fencing team, a Chipotle student brand advisor, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and served as a nonelected member of CCSC’s campus life committee since her freshman year.

Her campaign platform focused on increasing school spirit, sponsoring more events with student groups, and bringing more awareness to the Students’ Coalition on Sexual Violence.

“We know she has a lot of experience,” CCSC class of 2016 president Ramis Wadood, CC ’16, said. “We really look forward to using that experience to make campus life better.”

“I think Sarah Yee is going to be wonderful,” Daphne Chen, CC ’14 and CCSC president, said.  “She’s been taking charge of so many student life events this year.”

While campaigning, Yee tried to personally talk to every member of the sophomore class, going door to door of dorms including Shapiro, McBain, and Nussbaum to ask students what they wanted from CCSC.

“I’m really excited about being able to put together events that will bring the community together—not only with the class of 2016, but the campus in general,” Yee said.

Yee said that she will continue planning the sophomore formal in her newly elected capacity, and will work with the campus life committee to plan and promote tailgates before games. But, her first priority was getting class apparel for the class of 2016.

“That starts with letting people know that’s an option and having people submit designs,” Yee said.

Sameer Mishra, CC ’16, finished second with 23.7 percent of the vote. 

A referendum to remove the required parties needed for CCSC executive board elections was not approved on Wednesday because it failed to reach quorum—30 percent of the Columbia College student body. Only 18 percent of the student body voted on the referendum.

“I’m a little disappointed. I definitely hoped that we would get 30 percent, but 18 percent is fair,” Chen said. “We knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time to promote the referendum.” 

CCSC will now have to decide whether to take further action on the referendum, according to the council’s constitutional bylaws. 

Chen said the council was impressed that, of the students who voted for the referendum, 91 percent were in favor of it.

“It’s likely that we’ll take this as a vote of confidence,” Chen said.

If passed, the referendum, proposed by CCSC alumni affairs representative Daniel Liss, CC ’16, would have eliminated the practice of the five member executive board running on the same ticket. While the president and vice president of policy would have run together, the vice president for finance, vice president for communications, and vice president for campus life positions would have been able to run without joining a party.

Liss said that he thinks that the “referendum, now a resolution, has a tremendous ability to give students more choice in upcoming elections.”

The referendum will go back to CCSC as a resolution, at which point the council can discuss feedback it received in the past two weeks from students and from the town hall meeting on the referendum hosted last Friday.  

“If all of the remaining students to meet the requirement had voted against the resolution, it would have passed,” Liss said. “I think that gives us a compelling case as a student council to vote on the resolution on Sunday.” 

Chen said she hopes to put a council vote on the agenda for Sunday’s meeting. 

“I think people are pretty eager to get the ball the rolling,” she added.

elizabeth.sedran@columbiaspectator.com  |  @ezactron

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