Our Vision & Platform
We Will Work To:
Make Yale More Accessible
Push to raise the income threshold for zero parent contribution aid from 75k to 80k & partner with SUN to advocate for the elimination of the SIC.
We ardently support the demands of the BSDY movement. Additionally, we hope to collaborate with BSDY, MSA and Slifka, the LGBTQ+ CO-OP, Yale Votes, EJC, Trans@Yale and WLI, YUPP, DEFY, and MEChA in establishing an annual Know Your Rights campaign to inform students on their basic civil liberties.
Achieve, institutionalize & expand the demands of the Mental Health Justice at Yale coalition, ensuring that the coalition demands become University policy.
Advocate for the establishment of a Persons with Disabilities Cultural Center (PDCC) & a MENA Cultural Center.
Make Yale Healthier
Advocate for a Survivor-centered zero-tolerance policy for r*pe
Support organizing efforts in transitioning the University from an HMO to a PPO model, at parity with peer institutions and seek out areas where health services can be extended to students beyond the Yale-New Haven system.
Expand Community & Consent Educators training to include the LBGTQ+ & disability community, and discussions of trauma, and develop an anonymous call and text line through the Community Health Educators for LGBTQ+ sexual wellness
Offset the carbon footprint of Spring Fling and all YCC events, and implement the new Sustainable Student Organizations Guidelines, while encouraging other student groups to sign on.
Make Student Government Work Better
Be transparent about the scope of student government’s work
Collaborate with activists and organizers across campus and the city, including the EJC, New Haven Rising, Mental Health Justice at Yale, BSDY, SUN, Concerned and Organized Graduate Students, Local 33, and more.
Implement our plan to hold anti-racism and DEI training for all YCC Executive Board members.
Hold bi-semesterly town halls
Make Yale More Accessible
11% of Yalies Openly Identify and/or Register as Having a Disability
Advocate for the establishment of a Persons with Disabilities Cultural Center (PDCC). Pushing for a PDCC has proven very fruitful in the past (see victories including a new peer liaison program and a fully funded and institutionalized peer mentor program). Fighting for a formal community space will always be an effort undertaken by the organized disability community. We will continue to build community wherever possible.
Create a meaningful supplement to the Dean’s Excuse system that allows for students to bypass variable enforcement and application of Dean’s Excuses. Dean’s Excuses are a powerful tool at our disposal, and it is remarkable that they have won the buy-in with faculty that they have. But they are only as good as the Deans who write them. Efforts have been made to standardize Dean’s Excuses, and Deans undergo significant training, but in light of the continued deficiencies for disability, medical emergency, and mental health challenges (acute + chronic), more must be done. We endorse a Medical Excuse supplement approach wherein clinicians can require Deans to issue a Dean’s Excuse per the professional opinion of the medical provider.
Bolster accommodation support for student athletes who are injured. Temporary injury and disability are serious components of accessibility. Ensuring that student athletes have access to the Disability@Yale Survival Guide, and other SAS and DPMP resources, is critical to ensuring their needs are being sufficiently met.
Advocate for the implementation of our YCC Accessibility in a Post-COVID Yale report. This semester, the YCDO tasked the Accessibility Chair with crafting a vision for accessibility in a post-pandemic world. In it, clear steps forward—both in best practice retention and expansions—were articulated. It’s central to campus accessibility that many of these recommendations be adopted and, as partners with the YCDO, we will work tirelessly to ensure that they are.
Continue to empower Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and the Office of Institutional Equity & Access (OIEA). These are offices that serve nearly one thousand students across the university (including six hundred undergraduates), and they are drastically understaffed and under-resourced. In the last year, we have successfully advocated for an addition of one staff person to SAS and three to OIEA. This is a good start, but in the coming year we need to keep pushing to get SAS into a new physical space—one that is accessible—and to continue expanding its personnel so that it can deliver on its service portfolio.
See the new Disability Peer Liaison program through its pilot year and expand the Disability Peer Mentor Program (DPMP). After successfully advocating for the establishment of the new peer liaison (PL) program that will start its pilot year in the Fall, we will work hard to ensure that the program is a success—especially in light of the fact that SAS, understaffed as it is, is co-ordinating the program. Likewise, the newly institutionalized DPMP through Academic Strategies will be supported by YCC and expanded where possible. Additionally, we will seek to have a full-time coordinator to manage the DPMP.
Work with Associate Vice President Elizabeth Conklin to devise & implement the new Accessibility at Yale website which would completely revitalize how accessibility is navigated online. Vice President Conklin’s office has begun work to re-imagine how accessibility is navigated online and on campus. We have been intimately involved in that process. Under our leadership, intensive work will be carried out over the summer to help deliver on what promises to be a huge step in making campus life more accessible and making accessibility itself more accessible.
Work to operationalize a robust ticketing system as a part of the Accessibility at Yale site. A ticketing system—one that centrally deals with relaying physical, digital, dietary, visitor, transportation, and housing accessibility complaints and queries to authorities around campus—has recently come up on the horizon. We have entered early conversations about the details of such a comprehensive system, and we look forward to helping make the ticketing system be the success it so desperately needs to be.
20% of Yalies currently use Yale Mental Health & Counseling Services
Achieve and expand the demands of the MHJ at Yale coalition. We worked on crafting the demands of the MHJ at Yale and intend to advance and advocate for the cause. Their demands are to: 1) improve access and quality of care on campus; 2) guarantee that every Yale student, regardless of enrollment status, maintains access to a year-round subsidized Yale Basic and Hospitalization/Specialty Care plan or equivalent; 3) eliminate the application for reinstatement for medical, financial, and personal withdrawals, including any stipulations on how this time is spent; 4) allow any healthcare professional (including therapists, psychiatrists, and any clinicians) to obtain Dean’s excuses on behalf of students. Deans will be obligated to honor the request of the professional, mirroring Title IX’s current practice; and 5) implement a Preferred Partner Organization (PPO) insurance option, used throughout the UC system, at Stanford, and all other Ivy League institutions, giving students access to a nationwide network of clinicians with a wide range of backgrounds and specialties and alleviating the demand on Yale Mental Health & Counseling.
Advocate for the inclusion of biographies for clinicians so students can elect which therapists they would like to see. Including biographies for therapists is a practice already implemented by the medical standard, and doing so gives students the ability to find a clinician that matches their background, condition, and preferences. During initial intake meetings, students should be given the opportunity to choose who they believe could be their best-fit therapist.
Work to implement a MyChart appointment system for mental health appointments. The current system is set up in a way that asks students to wait for clinicians to reach out to schedule a follow-up appointment. We want to work with Yale Mental Health & Counseling to ensure that students are able to stay updated and have a direct line of communication with their clinician.
Collaborate with the Events Director and Yale Mental Health & Counseling to organize mental health & wellness events. Both of us have been inspired by the incredible work to organize wellness events by the current Events Director Chloe Adda ‘22. We want to build off of her precedent and continue to foster events such as check in days, self-care, and other wellness-oriented events that promote mental health, exercise, nutrition, and socializing.
Build a comprehensive mental health resources guide that includes all offerings for both undergraduate and graduate students. While the current YMH&C system is inadequate, we want to ensure that students are aware of the offerings that are available to them. Upon entering office, we will prioritize the procurement of an accessible resources guide so students can easily and rapidly identify the offerings provided by YMH&C.
Offer mental health first aid training for First Year Counselors, Peer Liaisons, and students who wish to gain a deeper understanding of mental health. Students should not have to rely on one another in the time of a mental health crisis, as the mental health infrastructure should be equipped to support students. Nonetheless, we believe that students should be able to have access to mental health first aid training through a program facilitated through the YCC and YMH&C. We can all benefit from being more aware about mental health.
21% of all Yalies are FGLI
Partner with SUN to advocate for the elimination of the Student Income Contribution (SIC) & push to raise the income threshold for zero parent contribution aid from 75k to 80k. Past YCC administrations have taken concrete steps to help students who fall below an income benchmark afford their time at Yale. It’s time to continue that work and raise it again to 80,000 USD/year. This would allow over 60 percent of households in the U.S. to much more easily afford a Yale education.
Fight to expand Safety Net so that more resources for basic living expenses are made available. First generation low-income (FGLI) students face added stress due to economic and academic pressures. We recommend changing the resource to include requests for the purchase of new technology, which it currently does not consider. In expanding Safety Net, FGLI students especially can more easily invest energy toward mental health, academic interests, and personal passions.
Develop a Financial Aid Literacy Guide for university-wide dissemination and host FGLI workshops at the start of each term. Navigating Yale life as an FGLI student is a challenge, and it is our plan to prepare students as much as possible when entering college. Our Guide would help students to navigate the Office of Financial Aid and enable students to engage in effective self-advocacy, while workshops will center around disseminating information, recommendations, and resources for FGLI students at Yale..
Ensure financial aid distribution for Summer Session (YSS) courses are at parity with the financial aid offers for the regular academic year. The two of us have first-hand experience in dealing with the financial inaccessibility of Summer Session courses, which offer financial aid for up to 50% of tuition, and only if the student is taking two course credits. This forces the student to find a way to pay for $4,500 worth of Summer Session courses even under the most generous financial aid package. A student is also only eligible for mediocre financial aid benefits for one Summer Session term. We will advocate for both the elimination of the $85 technology fee and for a student’s Summer Session financial aid packet to be at parity with the financial aid offered for the regular academic year, and is applicable for all 3 summers.
Support the YCDO in their efforts to create the opportunity for students to, retroactively, apply Credit/D/Fail at the end of their Yale career and explore the possibility of changing major department Credit/D/Fail policies. In the Senate’s annual meeting with Dean Chun, he affirmed his excitement for offering a retroactive Credit/D/Fail option. We hope to allow students flexibility and peace of mind in Credit/D/Fail policies by providing an option to retroactively apply any remaining Credit/D/Fails to any course, including those counting towards the students major.
Work to eliminate or lower printing costs. In our view, charging for such a ubiquitous and quotidian need is both unnecessary and, sometimes, burdensome to students. We want to continue off of our work this year in advocating for printing reform, and provide students with ample resources by either eliminating printing costs or providing stipends to students on financial aid.
Work to eliminate course material fees (including Art & Architecture class fees and STEM homework subscription software fees). We operate under the belief that, beyond tuition and textbooks, a student should not be obligated to pay out of pocket for a course. For many, course materials are a burden and serve as a barrier to entry for courses and/or majors of interest. It should not be more expensive to pursue one academic path over another.
Work to eliminate the $200 facilities fee for undergraduate art majors. Being an art and/or architecture major, or taking studio art classes, should never be a financial burden. The arts are for everyone.
Promote a laundry services stipend, work to make physical access to laundry sites more physically accessible, and fight to ensure sustainable laundry is available in all residential settings. Laundry, like printing, is a quotidian cost that disproportionately impacts FGLI students, and should be covered by the university. In addition to providing a stipend for the cost of washer and dryer cycles, we want to continue the work of the Green Council and ensure that hypoallergenic sustainable laundry pods and reusable dryer sheets/balls are supplied in each college.
Advocate for uniform costs for meal plans over breaks, effective either 2021-22 or the following year. University meal plans should not go up for students who elect to, or have no choice but to, stay on campus over breaks when others return home or go on vacation. It is fundamentally inequitable that students must pay more out of pocket for choosing or needing to remain on campus.
47% of all Yalies are Students of Color
We ardently support the four central demands of the BSDY movement. We will partner with and support BSDY to push Yale to 1) immediately disarm the Yale Police Department; 2) implement a robust Differential Response System; 3) begin defunding the Yale Police Department; and 4) reinvest these funds to support New Haven organizations that protect, serve, and uplift Black and Brown communities. We have proven to be strong supporters of these efforts and will continue to be.
Collaborate with BSDY, MSA and Slifka, the LGBTQ+ CO-OP, Yale Votes, EJC, Trans@Yale and WLI, YUPP, DEFY, and MEChA in establishing an annual Know Your Rights campaign to inform students on their basic civil liberties. Modeled after similar programming designed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we plan to host an inaugural annual campaign at the beginning of the Fall semester (open to the Yale and New Haven community) with workshops on civil rights in the context of police; religious freedom; LGBTQ+ rights; voting rights; protesters’ rights; sex and gender discrimination; incarcerated persons’ rights; disability rights; and immigrant rights.
Fight to center Indigenous visibility, art, culture, heritage, and languages in Yale spaces. The University sits on Indigenous lands yet does very little in the way of acknowledging, dealing with, and repairing this enduring historical harm. For example, the art and cultural pieces currently held at the Yale Peabody Museum ought to be returned to their rightful owners. Indigenous voices and figures need to be celebrated, highlighted, and memorialized. And Indigenous art and culture needs to be featured prominently in University spaces. We look forward to being the first administration to take real action in realizing this vision.
Advocate for the establishment of a Middle Eastern-North African (MENA) Cultural Center and a MENA peer liaison (PL) program. We have proven ourselves capable of affecting structural change for our communities on campus (see our success with winning a Disability PL program, institutionalizing the DPMP, etc.). We will partner with the MENA community and lend all YCC resources available in service to the community in the fight for genuine recognition.
Ensure that MENA is a categorical option in admissions, campus surveys, etc. Under our leadership, the MENA community will always be represented, included, and celebrated. And we fight to have the university recognize MENA in all its activities, too.
Form a Culture & Student Life Committee to liaise with cultural houses and strengthen ties with cultural organizations that YCC has not made strong enough partnerships with to fight to overcome obstacles faced by our diverse student-body. The Cultural & Religious Policy Team began considering the possibility of such a committee this year, but it never materialized. We hope to form a standing committee that is equipped to advise the Student Life Chair(s), and the President and Vice President, on matters of cultural and religious import, as they arise or need to be addressed.
Promote STEM tutoring sessions in the Cultural Houses & Resource Centers, expand Peer Mentorship in STEM, and continue curricular departmental reforms aimed at confronting institutional barriers in STEM for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students, as attrition rates are unacceptably high. Many students arrive at Yale without the necessary resources to excel in Yale’s rigorous STEM environment. We believe that these barriers are intrinsically tied to advising, preparation, and academic culture. It is our mission to continue conversations with STEM academic departments to identify areas of improvement to ensure students of color are equipped to succeed in STEM.
Partner with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) student organizers and organizations to combat monstrous levels of hate levied against AAPI and Asian diaspora communities during, and as a result of, the pandemic. We have all been witness to the scapegoating and maligning of the AAPI community throughout the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, yet no less heartbreakingly, we’ve seen the resulting harm and trauma inflicted upon the community by people who felt empowered by racist rhetoric. We believe in actively standing against hate wherever it rears its head, and we commit the entirety of the YCC to that endeavor.
Partner with Slifka and other Jewish community organizations in standing against the vile antisemitism that this country has seen in recent years. We have seen rates of antisemitic incidents nearly double in the United States over the last five years. We have to take a stand against such a groundswell of hate; such bigotry gone unchecked is of the utmost social injury. We commit the entirety of the YCC to standing with the Yale Jewish community.
We will advocate for the immediate end to the use/purchase of military-grade weaponry and militarization of the YPD (e.g., the use of SWAT teams, etc.). We recognize that BSDY activism may take time and therefore intend to focus our advocacy efforts on this particularly glaring issue. It is unacceptable for a private entity, unaccountable to the public, to wield military-grade weaponry, and impossible for such an entity to be an instrument of justice so long as the agency reveals itself to be bloated, unnecessary, counterproductive and/or harmful to the Yale-New Haven community. Which it has, again and again.
Advocate to remove police officers from student protests and student events and instead replace them with Yale Security should the University deem an event a security threat, or the city requires the presence of law enforcement. As BSDY and AAY efforts are underway, we must fight to demilitarize our gathering and student spaces. This requires that armed officers not be present during political gatherings or even protests.
Institute a University-wide Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Day awareness campaign/event. The Association of Native Americans at Yale (ANAAY) has done an incredible job spreading awareness around MMIW Day. We hope to institutionalize this vital day of remembrance, education, and reflection further by raising awareness of MMIW Day and spreading educational resources to the whole University community.
Partner with the CTL to promote robust bias and equity training for professors so that they may tailor their pedagogy to better empower students. Few things are required of faculty by the administration. However, it is incumbent on us to provide faculty with the necessary resources to better their teaching practices to promote equity and inclusion. As the CTL grows in capacity and authority, we will work with them to ensure that they can deliver on their mission to help faculty and staff serve students.
Lead the way in living out Yale’s mission to have students find belonging. The University will never achieve belonging so long as students of color, and other marginalized communities, are not active participants in the development of Yale culture and life. We are obligated to be active in empowering students of all backgrounds to engage and elevate policy, event planning, discourse, and community building. Student government will lead by example.
100% of Yalies are Students
Fight to relocate the Chaplain’s Office from the Bingham basement to a location conducive to genuine religious community building, connection, and worship. In our view, it is unacceptable to have the Chaplain’s Office and places of worship relegated to the basement of first-year housing, next to the laundry room. The University has indicated an interest in moving Offices around. We commit to ensuring that the Chaplain’s Office and Musalla are among those spaces that find new homes.
Work to preclude student athletes from course, grade, or academic penalty for missing class, exam, or academic commitment due to a previously scheduled and University-required athletic event. Student athletes are seemingly punished for having to be in two places at once. If the University requires that an athlete be present at a sporting event, as a result missing out on an academic engagement, then the student athlete should receive the full benefit of a Dean’s Excuse.
Support ROTC students in advocating for ROTC courses to fulfill graduation requirements. As of now, ROTC courses do not count towards the 36 credit requirements for graduation. ROTC students represent some of the most resilient, hardworking, and disciplined students of Yale College, and it is imperative that the University allow them to fulfill their graduation requirements while completing their ROTC certification.
Build a Degree Finder Program to help undecided students determine what major may best fit their interests. For many students, identifying a major can be the most challenging part of their academic journey. Our plan is to create a system where students can enter the courses they have taken in their first and second years and find which major programs they are on track to complete. Students who are undecided often spend their first two years taking courses that interest them, and for some, this online resource may reveal major programs they never knew would align with their passions.
Eliminate late add/drop course fees. These fees are punitive, unnecessary, and ineffective. No student should suffer financial repercussions for dropping a course.
Expand certificate programs (e.g., ER&M, Philosophy, Music, Design, WGSS, Economics, and Disability Studies Certificates). Conduct exploratory efforts to establish Asian American, Chicano, Native & Indigenous, Pacific Islander, and Disability Studies programs. Recent demand has highlighted the interest in greatly expanding certificate programs—something which our administration would be eager to pursue. We are committed to delving into a novel Certificate program that does not, yet, have an existing major program: a Disability Studies Certificate. As the University has taken concrete steps this last year to support the disability community, it is time for the University to take an additional step toward recognition by inaugurating a disability studies program. Few faculty dedicate any time toward anything even remotely disability studies-adjacent, and it’s our view that it’s unacceptable for one of the world’s premier institutions of higher education to be silent on this area of scholarship.
Expand undergraduate advisors to students pursuing pre-med tracks. There should be more than one pre-health advisor. Advisors need to be diverse, representative, and reflective of the undergraduate student-body.
Fight to increase faculty diversity in the Department of Molecular Biology & Developmental Biology (MCDB). Zero Black faculty (in any department) is unacceptable.
Push for the increase, expansion, and re-prioritization of the ER&M Department (namely through the introduction of a certificate program), and the establishment of both an Asian American and a Pacific Islander major program. The need to continue fighting for Ethnic Studies has not, and will not, go away. It is a necessary area of scholarship for any institution that hopes to be taken seriously. As such, it will be tightly protected and advocated for by us and the student-body. More than this, though, we urge for the expansion of the program, like we’ve seen recently with African American Studies with the introduction of an ER&M certificate program, and advocate for the introduction of both an Asian American Studies and a Pacific Islander Studies major program.
Advocate for greater investment in the Environmental Studies Major. We plan to work with the Yale College Council Academics policy committee to explore an expansion of the Yale College Environmental Studies major, which currently has no core faculty and cannot keep up its mentorship & advising roles as the major expands. It also cannot expand its intersectional course offerings without having its own faculty, as those faculty members must be pulled from other departments or from the Yale School of the Environment.
Collaborate with the Office of Career Strategy to develop more Common Good & Creative Careers oriented events for students who may not have a clear career path. The Common Good & Creative Careers initiative in the Office of Career Strategy was founded with the mission to support students interested in non-profit, education, arts, journalism, and other careers that do not have clear recruitment processes. We hope to collaborate with Robyn Acampora, the Director of CGCC, to highlight the programming in the office and empower students to seek career opportunities.
Work with the Office of Career Strategy to bolster transparency around job opportunities specifically for international students. Navigating the internship and job search is challenging enough, and we want to ensure that international students can easily identify job opportunities that will sponsor their visas.
Advocate to extend dining hours to accommodate student athletes, workers, and performers. Advocate for 24/7 operating hours for Bass library. We will partner with unions to ensure these changes are implemented equitably. Outside of their Residential Colleges, we believe that students would benefit from an around-the-clock study space that is well-resourced and conducive to learning. The natural candidate would be Bass Library, extending its already late operating hours to 24/7 operation.
Write an Undergraduate Housing Guide to help students navigate the confusing housing process. Housing period is confusing and uses an inaccessible and antiquated portal. While we intend to work with Director of Undergraduate Housing Ferentz Lafargue to address these outstanding issues, in the interim we believe in the power of providing navigational resources to students to decrease the burden of finding housing. We also envision this including a section explicitly dedicated to navigating housing off campus, in New Haven, as well.
Make Election Day a university holiday. Admirably, this has been a long-standing issue. This coming November 8th will be yet another opportunity for the University to do the right thing and allow for full access to the electoral process for the community by giving students the day off.
Partner with petition candidate Victor Ashe, if he wins his seat on the BoT, to deliver on his promises of transparency and accountability. Students need to be able to meaningfully interface with the Yale Corporation Board of Trustees, and Ashe is running on a commitment to allow for just that. If he’s elected, we will hold him to that commitment every day.
Begin to reach out and partner with members of the BoT to take action on campus issues of highest concern (i.e., investment portfolio, police, disability, etc.). In the event that Ashe does not win (which is possible if not likely), we commit to taking a proactive approach and reaching out to each member in an effort to work with Yale’s highest governing body—beyond the select meetings the student-body has slated to address them.
Begin a peer institution, inter-university campaign that urges institutional governing bodies to divest from unethical investments. We intend on becoming leaders in the fight to push elite institutions as far away from amoral investments (i.e., fossil fuels, private prisons, immigrant detention centers, nuclear weapons, landmines, etc.) as possible. We are elated by the recent concrete steps toward fossil fuel divestment, a cause we’ve worked on intimately.
Make Yale Healthier
Expanding LGBTQ+ and Sexual Wellness Programming & Resources
Advocate for a Survivor-centered zero-tolerance policy for r*pe. In evaluating the most recent report of complaints of sexual misconduct from the Provost’s office, we were aghast at the reinstatement of r*pists into our University community. After the University-Wide Committee found enough evidence to support the allegations, one respondent faced as little as one semester of suspension before being welcomed back to campus. It is our firm belief that following a UWC investigation, and if the Survivor wishes, confirmed perpetrators of this most serious offense ought to be promptly removed from campus or their position.
Launch infrastructure to connect Survivors on campus for meaningful exchange. The goal of this resource is to allow students who have experienced sexual harassment and/or assault to connect with one another on a peer-to-peer basis—anonymous or otherwise—and builds on efforts undertaken in years past. While the counseling from professional clinicians is imperative, finding community and solidarity in others who have shared your experience is equally valuable.
Expand Community & Consent Educators training to include the LBGTQ+ & disability community, and discussions of trauma. While the CCE program is extensive and crucial to maintaining a healthy sexual climate on campus, conversations surrounding consent in the LGBTQ+ and disability community should be included in these mandatory training sessions. Additionally, we hope to continue our conversations with the CCE’s to expand the curricular focus from preventative education to a more holistic scope that includes the neurobiology of sexual trauma (namely the fight, flight and freeze responses), as well as strategies to mitigate any feelings that may follow an experience of sexual violence. Disseminating knowledge regarding sexual trauma, fear, anxiety, and PTSD is an important part of keeping our community safe.
Advocate for mandatory comprehensive sex education for incoming students in collaboration with Community Health Educators. Community Health Educators (CHE’s) at Yale are an incredible resource for students, and it is our firm belief that comprehensive sex education should be a requirement for first-year students and transfers much like consent training. In collaboration with the CHE’s, we hope to expand training to all incoming students with a particular emphasis on LGBTQ+ and disability sex education.
Develop an anonymous call and text line through the Community Health Educators for LGBTQ+ sexual wellness. Navigating queer sex can be scary! With this service, students will be able to anonymously text or call CHE coordinators and ask the questions we are typically afraid to ask.
Expand availability and reliability of menstrual products and contraceptives. This expansion is specifically targeted for non-residential spaces. Additionally, we strongly believe in, and advocate for, the procurement of sustainable menstrual hygiene products, building off of the work initiated by Nora Massie ‘22 and GREEN.
Initiate a Sexual Assault Awareness Week. We believe that one of the most valuable ways to reduce sexual assault and harassment on campus is by continuing to raise awareness of its prevalence in the Yale Community. We plan on inaugurating an annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week in January aimed at arming students with the tools and resources to combat sexual misconduct. This week will be a time of action and of learning, with workshops hosted by Community and Consent Educators (CCE’s), Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education (SHARE), and other campus stakeholders.
Institutionalize the second annual LGBTQ+ Wellness Week. Community building and solidarity are crucial to uplifting marginalized students, and we hope to continue on with this annual event after having founded it this year. Modeled after the National LGBT Health Awareness Week, this week will be full of fun events, including wellness panels, yoga classes, watch parties, and more!
Hold the second annual Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Vigil. Building off of the work we’ve done this year, we hope to continue our partnership with Yale’s sororities and the Women’s Leadership Initiative to raise awareness about the disproportionate impacts HIV and AIDS has on women and girls across the globe. We plan on holding a vigil to honor those passed and call attention to the work we can all do as a community moving forward.
Collaborate with the Office of LGBTQ+ Resources on the second annual Trans Visibility Series. Following our collaboration on this series with its founder, Ale Campillo ‘21+1, and many on-campus partners, we will continue to hold these events in the coming year during the months of February and March.
Pushing to Broaden & Better Healthcare Services Wherever Possible
Ensure a New Normal is as inclusive and equitable as possible, especially centering communities most affected by the pandemic and communities that will continue to bear the consequences of the last year. While the University's overall COVID response might be viewed favorably, there were serious missteps in preparing for Fall 2020 and around vaccine rollout, and certain communities suffered as a result. As Accessibility Chair, I had to work three to four times as hard making up for deficiencies in the COVID plan, like getting closed captioning, navigating accessible testing and quarantine procedures, and ensuring the medically vulnerable had access to the vaccine at the start of April. We will continue to be effective partners with the relevant Presidential and Provostial committees and administrators to ensure that the good work we fought hard for this year continues.
Support student organizations who have long been advocating for the University to transition from an HMO to a PPO model, at parity with peer institutions (i.e., the entire Ivy League, the University of California system, and Stanford). We recognize, too, that the YCC cannot unilaterally force the administration’s hand in pursuit of this goal. This is an area that must be advocated for in tandem with many student organizations, and we recognize that it will likely continue to require focused advocacy for many years to come. Under our leadership, the YCC will do its part in that advocacy.
Systematically seek out areas where health services can be extended to students beyond the Yale-New Haven system. Executives of the Yale Health system have indicated their amenability to expanding coverage. Unfortunately, though, they do not oversee insurance; conversations surrounding coverage would involve the Provost. Leveraging clinician, student, organizing, and YCC support, we will fight to expand coverage for students wherever possible. We’ve been involved with successes to this effect in the past, including COVID test reimbursement and STI testing.
Find ways to minimize co-pays for medications. Beyond health coverage and care-specific policies, we recognize the hurdle to health care access presented by co-payments. We will advocate, if not for their complete elimination, at least for their elimination for students on full financial aid.
Prioritizing Environmental Wellness and Sustainability
Conduct a comprehensive audit of Yale’s sustainability practices. In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, we will compile a stocktake report for release on Earth Day 2022, which will break down all of Yale’s past, present, and future environmental goals, successes, and failures. We will also focus on the efforts taken by the YCC, other Yale student groups, and the New Haven community to promote sustainability, in addition to auditing Yale’s environmental impacts on New Haven.
Advocate for the implementation of our YCC Sustainable Dining Proposal. After many months of research, discussion, and drafting, the inaugural YCC Sustainability Team completed our YCC Sustainable Dining Proposal. After an initial presentation to the leadership team of Yale Hospitality, our plan was received with high interest. We are ecstatic to follow through on our proposal and implement the many important improvements as we return to campus in the Fall.
Offset the carbon footprint of Spring Fling and all YCC events. Though carbon offsets are imperfect at addressing the environmental footprint of travel and transportation, we believe that they provide an important remedy. Carbon offsets will be factored into all budgeting for YCC events, including Spring Fling, namely the flights of performers to and from New Haven.
Offset the carbon footprint of Spring Fling and all YCC events. Though carbon offsets are imperfect at addressing the environmental footprint of travel and transportation, we believe that they provide an important remedy. Carbon offsets will be factored into all budgeting for YCC events, including Spring Fling, namely the flights of performers to and from New Haven.
Partner with and promote the demands of the EJC. This year alone we lobbied both the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR) and the new Committee on Fossil Fuel Investment Principles (CFFIP), and compiled market-based proposals within the framework of the Ethical Investor (and the moral imperative to divest). And last year, we worked as organizer and press liaison of the Yale-Harvard game protest.
Implement the First Year Sustainability Orientations we designed this year. After a year of developing a curriculum for a First Year Sustainability Orientations, we plan to collaborate with the Yale College Dean’s Office and the FroCo’s to pilot an orientation program in the Fall of 2021 with the incoming Class of 2025.
Implement the new Sustainable Student Organizations Guidelines within the YCC, and encourage other groups to sign on. During the inaugural tenure of the YCC Sustainability Policy Team, we developed guidelines on how student groups could operate sustainability through a variety of areas, including a commitment to source 50% of all food from women-, Black-, and brown-owned businesses. In the Fall, we plan to advocate for other student groups to sign onto our mission and implement the guidelines in their event planning.
Invest in outdoor spaces at Yale and in New Haven. We plan to build bird boxes and butterfly and pollinator gardens across campus, establish a Yale Community Garden, and collaborate with the City of New Haven and the Urban Resources Initiative to plant more trees, flora, and bioswales around campus and in the New Haven area.
Expand recycling of non-traditional waste. We plan to work with the Office of Sustainability to explore how we can increase Yale’s ability to recycle non-traditional waste, such as E-waste, Terracycle, art supplies, and writing utensils, the process of which already exists at Yale in some limited capacities.
Make Student Government Work Better
Getting the Senate Back to Policy Debate and Legislation
Debate and deliberate matters of substance in the Senate. At present, the Senate is an elected body that falls short of exercising its full potential. As elected student leaders, senators have an opportunity to robustly tackle some of the University's most important issues, but we often spend our time over-discussing small matters while neglecting major issues.
Empower senators to produce policy initiatives for the Executive Board. Few senators have offered up new initiatives and/or policies to the whole senate in the past. We will work hard to ensure that the Senate becomes a place where elected leaders have the opportunity to bring up new ideas and challenge orthodoxy.
The Senate will approve all major executive policy changes & initiatives. The line between the Senate and the Executive Board has been blurred this year. In an effort to allow the Senate to legislate and deliberate, and allow the Executive Board to work on delivering policy changes, the EBoard will only refer policies of theirs to the Senate when it is significant. Of course, the Senate will continue passing legislation and referring it to the Eboard—we envision this being the primary workflow this coming year. This will keep senators working on their efforts and keep executives working on theirs.
Bolstering and Democratizing the Executive Board
Hold bi-semesterly town halls. In order to expand our transparency and accountability efforts, the President and Vice President will hold town halls at the beginning and end of each semester for students and community members to ask questions and express concerns directly.
The Executive Board will be redefined, bolstered, and democratized. In our current YCC system, a majority of the legislative work falls on the Executive Board while senators aren’t empowered to write their own policy. To ensure that the Executive Board has adequate support from the Senate, senators will not be allowed to serve on the Executive Board and will be assigned to at least one, but no more than two Policy Committee appointments. Additionally, we aim to redefine the role of the Policy Chair, not as the sole author of policy and the authority on the team’s legislative agenda, but rather as a project manager and a liaison between the policy-writing senators, the rest of the Executive Board, and the Yale administration.
The Executive Board will be reorganized and refitted. Under our leadership we envision not fourteen but seven Policy Chairs to lead the way in working for students on the most pressing issues the Yale community faces. We support the diversification of policy directors. However, we recognize that areas of growth remain—especially around service streamlining and delivery. At present, we propose the following seven Chairs: Academics, Accessibility, Alumni & Career Resources, Health & Sexual Wellness, Mental Health, Student Life, and Sustainability. These Chairs are in addition to the Chief of Staff, City Director, Business Director, Communications Director(s) (which make up “Operations”), and the UOFC Director (which constitutes “Student Services”).
The Executive Board will meet, all together, once weekly. At present, there is little intercommunication and collaboration between policy teams. A special effort will be made to mitigate the feeling that EBoard chairs and members are operating in a vacuum. We commit to holding week-casting meetings and stress the importance of collaboration in serving the needs of students.
Empower community members to work on Policy Teams. All policy teams will be open to any member of the Yale community who wishes to work on initiatives. You will not need to have previously been on the YCC. If a cause is important to you, you will be able to work on it.
Instate an anonymous reporting form. The first step in achieving a transparent and accountable YCC community is to establish an anonymous reporting form. Many times, we are unable to address instances of discrimination and harassment because students are afraid to come forward. The Chief of Staff and President should be monitoring the form and delegating it to the appropriate party. If the person reporting so desires, the YCC President should investigate the claims, unless the President is the person in question, then the Chief of Staff will delegate to the Vice President to conduct the investigation. Additionally, the YCC should release data collected through this survey to the student body on an annual basis.
Hold anti-racism and DEI training for all YCC Executive Board members. A crucial step towards building an inclusive YCC community is ensuring that all members of our leadership receive training to specifically highlight the systemic racism and heteropatriarchy that plague our country and society. These trainings will be conducted the summer before we return to campus.
Interfacing with Student Leaders and Organizations
Collaborate with activists and organizers across campus and the city. We are eternally grateful for the work of the grassroots organizers and activists who have committed their time to supporting those around them. We pledge to work alongside the Endowment Justice Coalition, New Haven Rising, Students Unite Now, Concerned and Organized Graduate Students, and Local 33, among many other organizers, to advocate for the University to increase capital investment in New Haven, pay its fair share, and uplift the citizens of New Haven.
Expand funding opportunities to organizations that volunteer their time with New Haveners. There are a plethora of incredible student organizations that are providing service to the New Haven community, whether through teaching, tutoring, mentorship, or advocacy. However, many of these student groups are unable to increase their scope due to financial constraints. It is our goal to expand funding through the UOFC for student groups that are working directly with the city.
Integrate student leaders into YCC work. Student government works best when everyone is a participant in the change-making process. Having been community organizers and advocates before, we know the power of student movements. We also recognize the institutional voice of the YCC and the connection it has with University policy makers. In integrating student leadership and advocacy work with student government work, we tap into the best of what both have to offer.
Encourage members of the student government to show up at student organizing events as partners and advocates. In addition to populating student government with incredible student leaders, we will encourage YCC members to show up and engage with the ongoing tradition of incredible student activism around campus and in New Haven. In addition to their policy work, it is our expectation that YCCers be movers and organizers in their communities.
Be transparent about the scope of student government’s work. All too often student government over-promises and under-delivers. There are some things that student government is better equipped to do than others, and our platform has tried to highlight priorities of ours that we can institute unilaterally. Historically, there has been a mistrust between student government and student organizers. In being transparent about the role of YCC, we hope to begin mending that relationship.
Encourage all YCC members to get directly involved with the New Haven community & require Executive Board members to engage with New Haven. Just as we work to repair YCC-student organization relationships, we will take concrete steps to connect to the New Haven community—a community to which we all belong. We will direct all YCC members to go out beyond campus and partner with New Haveners, engage in city issues, and proactively work to benefit the city in every way possible.
Collaborate with Yale sororities to host more collaborative philanthropic efforts. Sororities represent a hub of philanthropy on campus. It is our belief that a collaboration between the Yale College Council and the Panhellenic Council will bring about inspiring events that can raise awareness about the many issues that sorority members are taking on.