Institutional Health

ACADEMIC REFORM

+ EXPAND SELECTION OF CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS 

According to the 2020 Fall Survey, Yale students are highly interested in the creation of certificates such as Ethnicity, Race, + Migration; Women’s, Gender, + Sexuality Studies; Music Performance; Economics, + more.

We will increase engagement with both students + faculty. First, we must foster faculty interest in the creation of interdisciplinary certificates through frequent meetings with the DUS + professors of relevant departments. Second, we will expand student outreach by inviting any interested students to join working groups with faculty to construct the certificates. These working groups will aim to meet every two weeks.

+ BRING BACK SOPHOMORE SEMINARS FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR

Sophomore seminars are not offered for the 2021-2022 school year. The class of 2024 already missed the opportunity of engaging with students and faculty in small group settings due to the pandemic. We will work with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Yale College Dean’s Office to ensure that sophomores have the opportunity to enroll in sophomore seminars. We will also advocate for variety in sophomore seminars.

+ SUPPORT ETHNICITY, RACE, AND MIGRATION PROGRAM

We will support student + faculty activists who are fighting for greater funding + other forms of support towards the Ethnicity, Race, & Migration program. Yale College Council members will listen + support their needs by utilizing YCC’s outreach to the student body + connections with administration.

+ ALLOW ROTC CLASSES TO BE COUNTED TOWARDS 36 CREDIT REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION 

Students who are a part of the ROTC programs take several additional courses in tandem with major requirements. For instance, many aerospace studies courses, which is a key component of “the Yale Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 009… do not count toward the thirty-six course credits required for the Yale bachelor's degree.”

We will advocate for ROTC students to include courses like Aerospace Studies toward the 36 course credits required for graduation. 

 

+ CREATE A “NO QUESTIONS ASKED” DEAN’S EXCUSE AVAILABLE TO EVERY STUDENT, EVERY SEMESTER.

Currently, there is widespread variation in how Deans of residential colleges choose to allocate Dean’s Excuses. As such, we would like to take two main steps towards remedying this. First, establish a “no questions asked” Dean’s Excuse available to every student, every semester. Second, compile a report on the status of Dean’s Excuses in every residential college + work to better standardize the process to ensure that all students have the same access to Dean’s Excuses.

+ CREATE A RETROACTIVE CREDIT/D/FAIL SYSTEM.

For many students, some of their Credit/D/Fail options go unused, as the current Credit/D/Fail system does not provide students ample room to assess possible performance in a course. Therefore, we hope to propose + implement a retroactive Credit/D/Fail system that allows students to apply one of their four Credit/D/Fails after the completion of a course, with no limit on the duration of time that has passed since completion of the course.

 

+ ALLOW STUDENTS TO USE CREDIT/D/FAIL TOWARDS ONE MAJOR REQUIREMENT 

The current Credit/D/Fail system is restrictive in that it does not allow students to Credit/D/Fail classes that count towards major requirements. We believe that students should be allowed to use at least one Credit/D/Fail course towards the major requirement. We will work with the Office of Academic Affairs + the Yale College Dean’s Office to advocate for this change.

 

+ CONTINUE ACADEMIC POLICIES FROM COVID-19 THAT ASSISTED STUDENT LEARNING, SUCH AS CONTINUING RECORDINGS OF LECTURES AND ALL VIRTUAL SUBMISSIONS.

We plan to assess + advocate for the continuation of academic policies from COVID-19 that assisted student learning. First, this would entail working with the Poorvu Center to create a system that allows for continued recording of lecture courses, even when classes resume in person. Second, we plan to advocate for all classes to have continued virtual submission of all homework assignments, problem sets, papers, etc.

 

+ ETHNIC STUDIES TEACH INS

The current funding of + support for the ER&M department is grossly inadequate, especially when considering the importance of having students take courses related to ethnic studies. As we continue long term advocacy for the expansion of the ERM department, we also plan to hold monthly ethnic studies teach ins that provide opportunities for students to constantly improve their knowledge.

+ ASSESS PLACEMENT EXAM POLICIES + REFORM TO HAVE ALL DEPARTMENTS DELIVER PLACEMENT EXAMS BOTH IN THE FALL + SPRING SEMESTER

The current placement exam process varies greatly depending on the department. Although some departments provide opportunities to take the placement exam at the start of both semesters, many only offer the placement exam in the fall semester, thus restricting students who would have hoped to later make the decision to take a certain course. We plan to work with all departments to assess current placement exam policies + reform the model such that across the board, all departments deliver a placement exam both in the fall + spring semesters.

 

+ ACCESS TO GRADUATE SCHOOL EXAM PREPARATION BOOKS

According to the Office of Career Strategy’s Yale College Class of 2020 First Destination Report, “91.7% of the Class was employed or in graduate school six months after graduation.” In order to be admitted to graduate schools, students must take a wide variety of entrance exams, including the MCAT, LSAT, + GRE. We will work with Yale Library to offer free test preparation books + materials for students looking to pursue higher education. After securing free test preparation materials at the Yale library, we will aim to supply free exam preparation materials to every residential college library.

+ ENSURE THAT ALL ONLINE READING MATERIALS COURSES BE ACCESSIBLE

Course material is posted online for many different classes and it can often be inaccessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies. The Poorvu Center already offers workshops for faculty on making documents accessible; it’s time we worked with faculty to make it possible. It’s a simple process and already mandated as part of University Policy, yet this is still a real and present issue.

+INCREASE SUPPORT TO THE STUDENT ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES (SAS) OFFICE

SAS works diligently to support students on campus and make Yale a more accessible place and community. They support Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and all of the Professional Schools with a staff of just 4 people. They deserve to be better supported, in terms of increased staff and funding. We will work with SAS to address their needs and see how we can buttress the already-strong work that they do.

+ ADVOCATE FOR ALLOCATION OF SPACES IN THE SCHWARZMAN CENTER FOR STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES

The Schwarzman Center should be tailored to the needs of the students. We will advocate for designated spaces in the center to be reserved for student organizations + communities to use upon request.

 

COLLABORATE WITH YALEWOMEN ORGANIZATION TO FACILITATE MORE CAMPUS-WIDE MENTORSHIP AND CAREER INITIATIVES

YaleWomen consists of women alums that are “committed to advancing women's voices + perspectives + to enriching + inspiring one another, Yale, + the world.” We believe connecting more Yale female, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students with YaleWomen, such as the creation of career networking events or mentorship programs, will greatly benefit our Yale students. For instance, we hope to host more wage negotiation workshops in tandem with OCS + YaleWomen.

+ ESTABLISH A STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE ON THE YALE CORPORATION.

Yale Corporation as it stands is far from representative of student interests and advocacy efforts. We plan to work with Yale Corporation to establish a student representative on Yale Corporation. We hope that this will be one step towards representing students’ voices at the highest level of Yale’s leadership and decision-making.

 

STEM REFORM

+ SUPPORT EXPANSION OF STARS PROGRAMS

The amount of support for STEM students at Yale is large, but it needs to continue to expand to assist more underrepresented students in STEM. The STARS Program, for instance, provides underrepresented students access to STEM resources, financial support, + mentorships, but is limited to a small cohort of students. The STARS I Academic Program, although expanded, could only accommodate approximately 100 students. The current STARS I Summer Research Program only accepts 30 people, so students, especially first-years, often have to resort to applying for the First-Year Summer Research Fellowship in the Sciences & Engineering.

We will work with Dean Chang + other STARS program faculty to expand all existing STARS programs to accommodate more underrepresented students in STEM. Additionally, given that most STARS program students are pre-med students, we will also work to encourage more students from other STEM backgrounds (i.e. math, physics, computer science) to utilize STARS resources + advocate for the hiring of more diverse STARS mentors.

 

+ PEER MENTORING FOR EVERY STEM DEPARTMENT

The Yale Advising Resources website currently provides peer mentoring for several departments, ranging from Art to Ecology + Evolutionary Biology. However, many departments, like Computer Science + Physics, lack peer mentors. We will work with Dean Sodi + each department’s DUS to hire student peer mentors for general advice.

+ ADVOCATE FOR STEM GRANTS/FELLOWSHIP WRITING TUTORS

The Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching + Learning offers a robust writing tutoring program that includes Residential College Writing Tutors + Drop-In Writing Partners. While such resources are beneficial for students, most tutors are not equipped to edit scientific papers, such as scientific research proposals for grants + fellowships. STEM students who are looking to work in a lab often have to rely on the Principal Investigator for feedback on their proposals.

We will work with the Poorvu Center for Teaching + Learning as well as Academic Strategies to hire STEM writing tutors.

 

+ ADVOCATE FOR STUDENT INPUT IN HIRING PROCESS OF LECTURERS

In the fall 2013 YCC Undergraduate STEM Experience Report, students noted many concerns regarding the poor quality of lectures, problem sets, + exams. Despite the option to submit evaluations, students felt as if their comments were not heard.

We believe that students should be involved in the hiring process of lecturers. Recently, the Computer Science department allowed students to submit feedback regarding lecture candidates. We believe that every STEM department should follow suit. 

 

+ ADVOCATE WITH STUDENT STEM ORGANIZATIONS FOR DIVERSITY IN STEM DEPARTMENTS

We will support STEM organizations, such as Women Gender Minorities in Computer Science, Women in Physics, + Women in Science at Yale, that uplift women, non-binary, + gender non-conforming individuals by leveraging YCC outreach to the student body. For instance, we can promote the creation of mentorship programs + assist in the development + maintenance of such programs if asked. We will also aim to create a collective handbook in collaboration with these organizations. We will also reach out to female and/or non-binary faculty to facilitate mentorships.

 

YALE COLLEGE COUNCIL REFORM

 

+ TRANSPARENCY BETWEEN YCC REPRESENTATIVES + CONSTITUENTS + STUDENT OUTREACH

We believe that YCC has the responsibility to take initiative in informing the student body about ongoing projects. Rather than hosting office hours + asking students to come, we will task Senators to reach out directly to constituents weekly + provide free food + beverages, such as reimbursement for coffee with a Senator or E-Board member.

We will make the YCC budget transparent to students. Any student who requests information about the YCC budget + its uses will receive information as soon as possible.

We will make sure to continuously update the website with new information. We will also ask all YCC representatives to share YCC social media posts on personal social media accounts.


We will live-stream + record all Senate meetings.

We will task Affinity Network leaders to reach out to more underrepresented students at Yale to cultivate a community of support.

 

As President + Vice President, we will make ourselves available to you. Students will be able to set up meetings with the President, Vice President, + Events Director through Calendly.

+ SENATOR ROLES
We will require Senators to attend their Residential College Council meetings to provide updates as well as maintain a document, website, or social media platform to update constituents about projects they are working on. Students will also have the option to meet with a Senator for reimbursement of $5 for coffee or other snacks + beverages. We will also establish a Senate where senators can bring their priorities and policy ideas to the table. Our platform is not a strict plan.

+ EXECUTIVE BOARD ROLES

We will continue to have an expanded executive board that addresses each of the issues in our platform. To increase transparency between the executive board + the student body, we will ask all executive board members to make themselves available through Calendly. Students will also have the option to meet with an E-Board member for reimbursement of $5 for coffee or other snacks + beverages.

+ CREATE AN INTER-IVY NETWORK OF STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENTS

Currently, presidents of each Ivy League undergraduate student council do not meet frequently. We believe that collaboration + transparency between universities will be fruitful for sharing ideas that could benefit the Yale community as well as supporting local, state, + national social justice movements (i.e. mass fundraisers). Right after Bayan + Zoe are elected, we will connect with each Ivy League institution’s student body president to create the committee + aim to meet at least once a month.

+ CREATE FGLI COMMITTEE

Currently, there is a lack of communication between fellow executive board members, making it difficult to know what events, projects, and policies other executive board members are working on. We plan to create an internal YCC newsletter that makes it clear what projects fellow executive board members and senators are working on. We also plan to couple this with weekly executive board meetings.