NEWS’ VIEW: Brian Lei ’16 for UOC chair

Out of the four candidates for the position of Undergraduate Organizations Committee chair, three were unable to demonstrate the kind of familiarity that would enable them to lead the UOC on day one.

Brian LeiFor that reason, the News endorses Brian Lei ’16.

Unlike the other candidates, who lack any firsthand UOC experience, Lei’s familiarity with the committee is extensive. As UOC chair, Lei will be able to build upon the relationships with administrators he developed as a member of the committee, as well as capital equipment director for the first semester. A candidate without formal UOC experience will be unable to learn the nuances of the committee in time to effect real change; forcing the UOC to begin anew each year would be a disservice to campus organizations. We doubt the Yale College Council would be well-served by a candidate with no experience on the council; the same should stand for the UOC.

We appreciate Lei’s practical approach. Lei best understands that the UOC must work within the confines of its mandate and its budget. His firm understanding of the committee’s discretionary role will enable him to make smart and consistent decisions in order to fairly fund student organizations. The biggest roadblock to a successful UOC is a failure to coordinate budget matters with University administration; we trust this will not be an issue with Lei.

We look forward to Lei’s work to bring transparency and feedback to the funding process — something he is uniquely qualified to do from his detailed knowledge of UOC policy. His idea to restructure the UOC bank account will enable student groups to access their funding more easily. And we hope to see Lei combat the committee’s flaky reputation and repair shoddy equipment through his plan to establish paid positions for UOC members to help with undergraduate events.

Grant Fergusson ’16 is charismatic, Ben Ackerman ’16 energetic, Zenas Han ’15 innovative — but none seem to have done the necessary research. We hope they will remain involved with the YCC next year, so that they can translate their passion to the council’s numerous other projects. Lei will need to incorporate their engaging styles into his own leadership next year.

We look forward to seeing Lei lead the UOC into its second year with capability, confidence and experience.

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