Junior Lesley Chen-Young was recently named president of Duke University Union, the largest programming and media body on campus. She will succeed senior Christina Oliver. The Chronicle's Claire Ballentine spoke with Chen-Young about her plans for DUU next year.

The Chronicle: What experience do you have with DUU, and why did you decide to run for president?

Lesley Chen-Young: I was DUU's [chief financial officer] last year, and before that, I actually wasn't involved administratively. I enjoyed a lot of the events on campus, but when I decided to get more involved, I instantly realized how amazing this organization was—from the inspiring people I met to learning about the reach that DUU has. During my time as CFO, I completed basic responsibilities which include running our audits, managing our overall budget and managing the budgets of all 13 committees. Beyond basic responsibilities, I instituted the Financial Analyst Program, which created a finance team within DUU to help committees more effectively track their spending. I also became involved in the LDOC committee, and lastly, I worked with DSG and GPSC on organizational relationships and getting more exposure in the student body. This year, I was inspired to contribute even more to DUU by running for president, and it ended up that my vision and DUU’s vision aligned based on the organization's trajectory.

TC: What do you think of the current state of DUU?

LCY: I think DUU is doing a great job. We’ve got amazing events and 13 distinct committees. We’re able to provide consistent programming for people who are looking for things to do on campus, and we’re also able to provide programming and services that create memorable experiences for a lot of students. From larger events with Campus Concerts, Speakers & Stage and special events to newer weekly events through Downtown Duke to media committees like Freewater Productions, we are continually trying to reach many different groups on campus. That being said, I want to see us grow in DUU branding and name recognition, so that students know that Coffeehouse is connected to Small Town Records which is also connected to VisArts, for example. I want to continue to get students involved in DUU because it's an amazing community and involvement is a great professional development opportunity. It’s also an opportunity to help create a positive campus climate, since we are guided by the mission to provide inclusive programming to supplement student life for everyone at Duke.

TC: What are your goals for the next year?

LCY: My main goal is to make DUU a household name on Duke’s campus. That involves developing and telling the DUU story, and being a part of the Duke experience for more students. I think at this point, students that may attend movies with Freewater Presentations might not know that students filming basketball games with Duke Student Broadcasting are included under the same student-run organization. I’m really looking forward to becoming more recognizable and attracting more students to take part in DUU.

TC: How has DUU been involved with reaching out to the Durham community?

LCY: DUU’s mission is to provide all Duke students, including graduates and undergraduates, programming and services that will enhance their experience on campus. As we are guided by our mission statement, DUU is mainly focused on Duke students, but we recognize that we are members of the Duke community. We enjoy bringing in local artists for Jazz@ and being involved in the local music scene through [the radio station]. These are some of the ways that DUU engages outside of Duke.

TC: If you could bring any performer to campus, who would it be and why?

LCY: It would honestly have to be Shaggy, and with that I kind of date myself and show a little bit of my heritage. I’m Jamaican, and I have been waiting for a reggae artist.