Although he has been a number of at least six student organizations and worked at three on-campus jobs in the past, Zachary Yip says his time on Student Senate has been the most fulfilling experience for him at the University of Rhode Island.
Yip is the Senate’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), which means he is in charge of digitally archiving all of the organization’s files. As a history major with plans to work as a professional archivist in the future, the role is perfect for Yip. “The position was made for me,” he said. “The position’s pretty much an archivist so I’m in charge of institutional memory of Student Senate and that is what I want to do when I graduate.”
Prior to joining Senate, Yip took part in numerous student organizations at URI, including Humans versus Zombies, the Asian Students Association, the Student Coffeehouse and the Quidditch team where he was vice president and captain. He first became interested in Senate during the debate over arming campus police. “A lot of my friends were talking about it,” Yip said. “I decided I would step up and try to see if I could do something about it.” Now in his third semester working for Student Senate, Yip strives to go above and beyond his job description as CIO.
“When [Senate President Joseph Maynard] needs someone to do a job and it doesn’t fit into anyone’s position, I’ll take it,” Yip said. “I legitimately will volunteer for anything because I just want to get out there and make Senate look good.”
After graduation in the spring, Yip plans on attending graduate school for a degree in library science. Though he has applied to other colleges, he would prefer returning to URI for his studies. “I would love to do it here because I love the atmosphere and I love the community at URI,” he said. In the future, Yip would like to work as an archivist in the Rhode Island State House and he dreams of one day working in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He also wants to return to URI someday and digitally record the oldest books kept in the university library.
Yip’s interest in history and archiving stems from his father, who works as a high school history teacher in Lincoln, Rhode Island. “I’ve always enjoyed history and talking history with my father,” Yip said. He also enjoys the great amount of knowledge he gains through his work. “Archivists know everything,” he said. “They can find anything. My dream is to digitize everything.”
For now, Yip does web design work at University Computing Systems. Though he has little free time between his job and his work with Senate, Yip spends the time he has teaching himself new programming languages and just enjoying the atmosphere and community at URI. “I didn’t really have this in high school or middle school or back in my neighborhood,” he said. “I like being able to walk out the door and just meet people and have a conversation with someone. Everyone here seems super friendly to me.”
Yip is also excited to spend his final undergraduate year making a difference as a member of Student Senate. “I’m really glad I found Senate,” he said. “I jumped around between many organizations and jobs not knowing what I was really looking for and then I found Senate and it actually legitimately feels like I’m giving back to URI.”
“It’s not always the easiest work, but I’m happy with the accomplishments that have been made in Senate and that I’ve been a part of.”