A new application was recently created to help Cal Poly students pronounce the names of the residence halls currently under construction in Student Housing South — yakʔitʸutʸu.

Computer engineering senior Chance Daniel took matters into his own hands after noticing students had difficulty pronouncing the new housing names. Daniel designed and produced a new app called Yak Community that allows the user to listen to each residence hall’s name and hear the
correct pronunciation.

“I wanted the new students to learn how to actually say [the new dorm names] and then also be able to copy and paste them into text messages and social media,” Daniel said.

Cal Poly decided to name the new residential facility yakʔitʸutʸu in recognition of the Northern Chumash Tribe. The student housing complex consists of seven residence halls named after Northern Chumash tribal sites throughout the Central Coast.

“A task group comprised of faculty, staff and students has been established to develop a robust campaign to educate the campus, all future incoming freshmen and external partners … to increase understanding and awareness around the naming of the yakʔitʸutʸu community,” Assistant Director of Housing Outreach & Communications Nona Matthews said.

According to Matthews, Cal Poly is aware of the Yak Community application and is considering ideas on how they might collaborate.

According to Daniel, Yak Community has already been downloaded approximately 100 times despite only being released May 29 and only taking a day to create and design.

“Once I had the sound files and generated some artwork for the buttons, I was able to put it together fairly quickly,” Daniel said.
Daniel has not yet reached out to Cal Poly, but is considering transferring Yak Community to them or seeing if they would be interested in pulling the functionality into the current Cal Poly application.

“When I read the new dorm names, I originally thought it was a computer glitch and the page wasn’t loading the names properly. Then I read the article and I realized that was the language of the names,” Daniel said. “I didn’t think it was a good idea at first, but I quickly realized that these names are here to stay and the Cal Poly community needed something to help with the pronunciation.”

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