After helping shape Yale College Council programs including trash to treasure and summer storage, Cristo Liautaud ’14 hopes to spearhead “bold but realistic” initiatives on the council next year.
Liautaud, who is running for YCC president, said his experience on the YCC’s 10K committee — which funds one student-submitted project with $10,000 — in addition to his history of working with the administration would enable him to implement policies that benefit Yale students. His platform, he said, focuses on increasing the role of student opinion in the YCC’s decision making, making “high impact” changes in student life and better equipping the council to deliver tangible results.
“I know what it will take to get things done, I have the tenacity to see things through and the momentum and vision to forge a YCC next year that truly matters to students,” Liautaud said.
As president, Liautaud said he would focus on making the YCC more representative of student voice by implementing the “YalePulse App,” which he created this year as part of the YCC app challenge. The application enables students to register their opinions on student life issues through their mobile device and view polling data from across campus. Liautaud added that the application will have a trial run in the next few weeks.
Liautaud said the greater accessibility of student opinion through the application would increase the YCC’s mandate with the administration, adding that administrators have historically been more responsive to initiatives when presented with evidence of how students feel.
“This year has seen a host of [administration-led] changes and developments that many would argue should have been more inclusive of student opinion,” Liautaud said. “The YCC needs to take the lead in bringing students into all parts of the conversation.”
Another part of Liautaud’s platform involves starting a fall homecoming event, which he said would be an opportunity for both students and alumni to celebrate Yale. Liautaud said he has met with Marichal Gentry, dean of student affairs and Thomas Beckett, the head of Yale Athletics, to discuss the feasibility of beginning this tradition, adding that Yale is the only Ivy League university without a designated homecoming.
“The Yale athletics director is in full support,” Liautaud said. “It’s a positive way to celebrate diversity of excellence and an opportunity to have lots of fun.”
Liautaud said he would also focus on making the YCC more efficient and better able to respond to students’ needs by increasing its technological capabilities. To accomplish this, he said he is proposing a non-elected technology team to coordinate new initiatives, adding that he has garnered the support of Yale’s Information and Technology Services for this idea.
“Cristo knows how the system works,” said West Cuthbert ’14, who is managing Liautaud’s campaign, “But he’s also far enough removed from the inner workings that he can see what he’s looking at and put it into a broader context.”
Clark Zhang ’13, who has lived with Liautaud for the past two years, said he has personally witnessed his suitemate’s work ethic and time management abilities and thinks Liautaud could succeed at “dynamic” goals. Zhang added that while Liautaud may seem reserved initially, he is “very warm and genuine” and passionately cares about helping people.
Liautaud is also a member of the club tennis team, the Yale-China Association and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.