Name: Chetan Tadvalkar
Residential College: Timothy Dwight
Class Year: 2008
Hometown: Silver Spring, Md.
Major: Economics and International Studies
Vice presidential candidate Chetan Tadvalkar ’08 may not have a long track record on the YCC — or any record at all, for that matter — but not only does he have a good read on the campus pulse, he says, but he also has the drive to make things happen.
In putting together his platform, Tadvalkar said, he talked to friends and acquaintances about what they thought could be improved at Yale in order to bring fresh ideas to the YCC.
“I don’t think learning the ropes is an obstacle here,” he said, his hands resting on his knees as he leaned forward slightly in a booth in the Berkeley College common room. “I don’t think there’s a complex political process within the YCC that I’ll need to learn … I think platform and motivation are the important things here.”
One of the first items on Tadvalkar’s agenda will be working with Undergraduate Career Services to reform their career counseling services, he said. While UCS offers solid support for Yalies interested in finance or consulting careers, he said, students with other interests often do not get equally helpful advice.
“Students planning on going into government or the media, for example, are not getting the support they want from UCS,” Tadvalkar said. “It just isn’t in touch with the student body.”
Tadvalkar said he believes UCS does not intentionally neglect these students, but that the staff there simply might not realize the demand for counseling in other areas.
In order to remedy this, Tadvalkar said, he plans to survey students about their career interests, present the findings to UCS and work with the organization to expand its services in response to the student feedback.
Tadvalkar said he also wants to improve wireless Internet access on campus by eliminating the dead spots in some lecture halls and college libraries.
“They have wireless across the entire campus at Harvard and Brown,” he said. “Why not get it here?”
Another way to improve student life would be to address what he sees as a need for extracurricular advising for underclassmen, Tadvalkar said. He suggested that panels of juniors and seniors could discuss their extracurricular experiences with freshmen and sophomores to help them sort through the often bewildering array of choices on campus.
Dave DeAngelis ’08, Tadvalkar’s roommate of three years, said he was impressed by Tadvalkar’s willingness to solicit opinions from others.
“He used what students want to see changed as a way of dividing his platform, and not just what he personally wants to see changed,” DeAngelis said.
Tadvalkar said his genuine desire to effect change would serve him well on the YCC.
“I want to leave Yale better than I found it,” he said. “That’s one of those ambitious, stupid things that people say, but I really mean it.”
Tadvalkar, who is also involved with Model Congress and the Community Health Educators at Yale, has served on the Timothy Dwight Special Activities Committee for three years.