Brian Lei ’16 hopes that, as the only candidate with experience serving on the Undergraduate Organizations Committee, Yale students will elect him the group’s chair.
This year, Lei was a member of the UOC executive board and held the position of capital equipment director last semester. Emphasizing the organization’s diverse responsibilities, he said he is the only candidate who truly knows how the UOC works — unlike other candidates, who Lei says are making unsubstantiated claims about transparency, efficiency and increased funding without understanding the organization’s structure.
“Money doesn’t grown on trees,” Lei said. “You can’t just promise more funding if you have a set budget.”
Lei added that electing a chair from outside the UOC’s current executive board will lead to a loss of momentum. Lei said he already knows about current developments in the pipline, as well as how to prioritize certain events over others. He explained that he thinks events featuring community service or famous speakers should be given priority over those whose main priority is giving free food to undergraduates.
“[Other candidates] would start from square one and by the time they figure it out, the school year will be gone already,” he said. “We can’t go back to square one every school year.”
The reforms Lei envisages include designing a new and less cumbersome banking system — an umbrella UOC account that would replace the current practice of reimbursing individual student organizations for their expenditures.
He added that the UOC has no room for error: The organization faciliates student groups in all ways possible, both financially and by providing resources for publicity and room reservation. The importance of these functions prompted him to begin redesigning the capital equipment website. He said he has also started working with Bass Media Technology to ensure that its machines are reliable and do not malfunction.
Lei added that he has worked closely with John Meeske, associate dean for student organizations and physical resources, and administrative offices.
Aly Moore ’14, current chair of the UOC, said in an email that Lei is “detail oriented and organized”, adding that she would call him first “if an emergency came up that needed to be handled with both haste and care.”
A freshman in Calhoun, Lei is from Poughkeepsie, N.Y and plans to major in both Economics and Mathematics. He is also involved in the Yale Student Investment Group and plays for both the Saybrook college orchestra and the Yale Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches for Yale Splash, a community service initiative where Yale students teach classes to middle and high school students for a day.