Last Saturday, Michelle Bal ’17 and Caitlin Buckley ’17 won the College Council (CC) co-presidency in an election with 68.8-percent voter turnout. The pair’s ticket earned 46 percent of the vote, with the ticket of Jonathon Burne ’18 and Tyrone Scafe ’17 garnering 36 percent, and that of Jonathan Linen ’17 and Frankie Mork ’17 receiving 16 percent. Record Editor-in-Chief Zoe Harvan ’17 spoke with Bal and Buckley about their term.
What have you learned from the campaign process that you will take with you into your co-presidency?
Bal: I think people are definitely looking to learn and know more about what CC is doing. I definitely felt like a lot of people in the campaign process weren’t even really sure what the CC presidents did or what CC could do. And I think that’s something all the candidates were talking about, too.
Buckley: A lot of people were saying this was the first time they’d voted, [maybe] because there were actually people all running for the same position, but I think this just goes to prove that students definitely need to get more involved … [I learned] both that we need more student involvement and that it can be done. People found the race interesting, I think, and definitely people were more interested in the election and in finding out what was going on.
Bal: It made me more hopeful for what CC potentially can do. I think people are excited enough that we’ll have good momentum.
Buckley: Yeah, and it was cool seeing people from different parts of campus.
What are some goals for your term, and how do you plan to achieve them?
Buckley: I’ve already mentioned this throughout the debate, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but we talked about reaching out to students more to get their ideas and [having] them be able to submit to CC so that we can speak about things they want us to talk about. So, with the portal, hopefully we can get that up and running. In theory that shouldn’t be too hard. And [we will be] continuing those weekly emails. I’ve heard a lot of great things. People love them, especially since they’re so aesthetically pleasing. [Laughs.]
Bal: I think another thing is just involving everyone in CC in a big, engaging way. Both of us were saying, since we’ve been on CC, we’ve been in positions of not really knowing what to do, too. So, [we want to be] making it really fun for people to get involved and easy to get a lot of things done.
Buckley: We’ve also spoken about how in the past CC has done a lot of small projects, like people break off into smaller groups, so maybe [by] having a bigger group or bigger projects overall, as opposed to eight groups that are focusing [on] three small projects, [we would try] instead to focus on one bigger project for the group.
If you could only accomplish one thing during your presidency, what would it be?
Buckley: I think it would just be reviving student faith in CC, and interest.
Bal: I totally agree. I think the way to do that is more than one thing, but actually getting things done and making sure the student body knows that CC is active and trying to do things for them.
Buckley: And I think it would be a great symbol of that if more people were running [next year]. I think that would show that more students are involved and think that CC is doing more, so we would have more competitive elections and people running for class rep positions and things like that.
What challenges do you anticipate?
Bal: I think a big challenge is just fighting against some of the perceptions about CC that the student body has and some of the apathy towards CC projects. At least in my experience, I think another challenge is just making sure that all the people involved in CC are really engaged in working on the things they want to be working on and staying on top of those things.
Buckley: With that said, I think we have a really great set of vice presidents (VPs). I don’t know all the reps personally but the VPs are all awesome, so I’m really excited to work with them. I’m sure we’ll have a really productive year. If we’re having a lot of fun with the VPs hopefully that’ll spread down to the reps, too, and so everyone will really want to get involved and we’ll have a good year, or semester, I suppose.