News’ View: Michael Chao ’11 for YCC events director

Without a Yale Student Activities Committee, the Yale College Council focused heavily on events this year, putting much of its power behind activities for students including the inaugural Harvard-Yale Pep Rally. Next year, it will be important to build on the excitement generated around these events. In addition, given that there will no longer be events representatives on the council, whoever fills the events director position must be able to bring people into the work the committee is doing. More importantly, since all of the candidates for president and vice president have emphasized the need to make next year’s council more focused on policy, it is imperative that the director of events is able to coordinate such activities independently.

Both candidates for director of events impressed us with their energy and vision. But we believe the experience of Michael Chao ’11 will make him more effective.

Taylor Lasley ’12 brings with her an enthusiasm that gets people excited about her ideas and makes them want to get involved. And we have no doubt that she has the ability to ensure that events are well-publicized and the zeal to get members of the Yale community to go to events — a problem with some of the smaller ones this year.

But as even she acknowledges, while she has many connections and many more good ideas, Lasley does not have experience working within the YCC. This is where Chao really stands out. As a two-year member of YSAC and three-year member of the Spring Fling Committee, Chao understands the intricacies the position from figuring out what events students will actually attend to the feasibility of getting sponsors. In addition, he has been a part of Spring Fling hiring both with and without an agent and, as this year’s director of production, has learned how to cut costs outside of securing talent. After a year that saw events get delayed and information leaked, we appreciate Chao’s desire to focus on the details of event planning. In addition, though we do not want him to get bogged down in rigorous analysis, we do think it is important for the YCC to evaluate events after they happen and make its expenses transparent.

Ultimately, this position is one that requires the know-how that comes from planning many events. Although Lasley, who we hope runs for Spring Fling Chair, is passionate and brings many good ideas (not to mention the ability to work hard and play hard), Chao’s experience makes him the right person for this position.

Correction: April 12, 2010

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the Yale Student Activities Committee and, in one instance, the class year of candidate Michael Chao ’11. In addition, the article omitted the first name of Chao’s opponent, Taylor Lasley ’12.

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