Zenas Han ’15 hopes to apply the skills he learned through a semester away from Yale as chair of the Undergraduate Organizing Committee.
Han, one of four candidates for UOC chair, said he has no experience on any of Yale’s student councils but aims to bring clarity and accessibility to the UOC’s funding and equipment-rental processes. After spending last fall at a tech incubator in Philadelphia working to launch Altair Prep, an online tutoring startup, Han said he plans to build on his experience trying to obtain funding by heading the campus organization that grants it to others.
“I know exactly how difficult it is,” Han said of the application process, adding that he plans to give organizations clear criteria they must meet in order to receive funding. He said he also plans to give feedback to groups whose requests for funding are denied or not fully met about why they did not receive their requested funding.
Additionally, Han intends to expand the UOC’s Capital Equipment Rental Program “both in scope and accessibility.” He hopes to offer a greater variety of equipment and hold UOC liaisons accountable for making sure items are properly set up and in good working condition.
“There’s no inspection [and] there’s no quality control as of right now,” Han said. “And if there is, then they’re not doing a very good job.”
Han said he is confident in his abilities, adding that he is not running for any “superficial” reasons — only because he truly feels he is the best person for the job. He said he will approach the UOC in the same way he approached his startup — by finding small steps to take in the direction of a larger vision.
“It’s not a matter of saying this should be done,” Han said. “It’s a matter of finding actionable things that could be accomplished.”
Joseph Murdy ’15, one of Han’s suitemates and a fellow brother in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, noted Han’s competency, pointing to how Han and his partners developed a company that has been valued at three-million dollars from scratch.
“He’s a pretty driven kid. He’s on top of his stuff,” said SAE President Michael Wolner ’14, who also serves as Financial Coordinator for Dwight Hall.
Han is currently a member of the club rugby team, eminent recorder for SAE and on the business team for the Yale Economic Review.