Mao Ye grad was elected Cornell’s newest student trustee, the Office of Assemblies announced yesterday.
“I see it as a success not just for myself, but of Cornell’s multicultural policy,” he said. “Not only can a person find instruction in any study here, but they can reach their potential.”
Ye, who is studying for a doctorate in economics, is a native of Yangzhou, China. His two-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees will begin in June and he will serve his first year alongside Doug Mitarotonda grad, meaning no undergraduates will serve on the Board for at least a year.
Two of the four trustee candidates, Joe Rudnick ’08 and Rayon Taylor ’07, were disqualified. They both expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Trustee Nominating Committee handled the election process.
“I’m extremely happy for Mao, I think he deserved it,” Rudnick said. But Rudnick also said that he felt the committee and its rules against running on student tickets were discriminatory against undergraduates. For the first time this year, trustee candidates were not allowed to run with Student Assembly candidates. Both Rudnick and Taylor were disqualified for being too closely associated with S.A. tickets.
“We were guinea pigs this year,” Rudnick said. “One of the challenges had to do with an e-mail sent by Tory Lauterbach [’06] over the SAGE listserv, without my knowledge or consent, asking for people to vote for me.”
“I was disqualified for something I had no control over,” he said. “That’s why I’m really upset.”
Taylor also had high praise for Ye, but deep concerns over the process that elected him.
“I don’t want to detract from Mao, but I think overall the process could have been handled much better,” he said. “To this day, I still haven’t sat down with the committee and explained my side of the story.”
Taylor said that the day he received the challenges, he had only 90 minutes to write up a written response to them.
“I’m not going to cry out conspiracy, but something doesn’t feel right,” he said. He also said that it was odd that the TNC has not yet released election numbers, while last year they released the numbers just days after the election.
Dave Kurczewski ’08 said that he was sure Ye would do a great job.
Amid the controversy, Ye has already expressed a heady agenda for his term.
He said he would work closely with the S.A. to keep in touch with the desires of undergraduate students.
He also said that the school should investigate multiple insurance options for students, especially in allowing students with families to seek cheaper insurance for their spouses.
He said he would seek to coordinate an anti-waste campaign, pointing to poorly placed televisions in Appel as an example of valuable resources being misused. He said that money should instead be focused on getting more students “free rides,” saying that money spent now is an investment in future support from alumni.
He said he learned a lot from the other candidates in the election and especially thanked Kurczewski for his support. He also thanked his campaign advisors and his wife for her support throughout the campaign.
Archived article by Michael Morisy
Sun Managing Editor