COMMUNITY health

+ SUPPORT THE MIDDLE EASTERN + NORTH AFRICAN (MENA) COMMUNITY IN ESTABLISHMENT OF A CULTURAL HOUSE + PEER LIAISON PROGRAM 

For years, the Middle Eastern + North African (MENA) community on campus has been fighting for a MENA cultural house. Their fight for a physical space on campus is emblematic of the continuous + larger fight for a place at Yale. With Bayan herself being part of the MENA community + MENA Students Association, Bayan + Zoe plan to support the MENA community on campus + work to remedy the pervasive erasure + lack of space on campus. We will do this by working with MENASA to establish a Peer Liaison (PL) program for MENA students, allowing MENA upperclassmen to be paid PLs for MENA first years. This will be modeled off of the current PL programs that are present in other cultural centers on campus. We will also continue to advocate for the creation of a MENA cultural house through both advocacy + financial support.


+ PARTNER WITH YALE LAW SCHOOL TO ESTABLISH FREE LEGAL ADVICE FOR STUDENT PROTESTERS. 

We plan to create a partnership with Yale Law School in order to set up a legal clinic for Yale students. The goal is twofold: 1) that there exists a well-established location that students can turn to for advice prior to protesting; 2) that they provide legal services to students in the case of arrest at student protests.


+ CONTINUE THE FIGHT TO HAVE YALE PAY ITS FAIR SHARE. 

We will stand firmly beside New Haven activist groups + unions such as New Haven Rising, the Citywide Youth Coalition, + Local 217 in their calls for Yale to respect New Haven. We will not be afraid to challenge the university’s mistreatment of the city, and we will advocate for not only the Yale community + student body, but for the New Haven community as a whole. We stand stronger together, and a YCC administration that cares meaningfully + substantively for New Haven residents is long past due. We are committed to fighting for greater resource allocation to New Haven and for more meaningful engagement between students + the city. We welcome + encourage policy input from New Haven residents, whether or not they are Yale students, throughout this campaign process + after we are elected. We must always reevaluate our university’s relationship to the city and constantly consider the ways in which we could be doing better.

+ FURTHER SUPPORT + UPLIFT THE EFFORTS OF DWIGHT HALL TO INCREASE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT WITH NEW HAVEN

We believe that Yale students have a responsibility to utilize their privileges + resources to support the New Haven community. We will uplift the work of Dwight Hall by better coordinating efforts between the YCC City Director + Dwight Hall.

+ ESTABLISH A NEW HAVEN COLLABORATION FUND THAT IS SIMILAR TO THE CURRENT UOFC INTER-ORGANIZATION COLLABORATION FUND

Currently, YCC has a collaboration fund that provides funds for student organizations that work with other student organizations. In a similar vein, we think it is important that student organizations recognize the value of collaborating with New Haven in long-lasting + meaningful ways. We want student organizations to recognize that many of the causes we work on have New Haven organizations that have been + continue to organize on these issues for longer times. We propose that UOFC establish a similar fund for student organizations that work with New Haven organizations.

+ SUPPORT BLACK STUDENTS FOR DISARMAMENT AT YALE (BSDY) TO DISARM, DEFUND, + ABOLISH THE YALE POLICE DEPARTMENT

This past semester, we have worked to better support the demands of BSDY, and we will stand in support of the Black student activists working towards the demands of disarming, defunding, + abolishing the Yale Police Department. We plan to do this through a variety of ways, in all cases uplifting + emphasizing the voices of Black organizers on campus. We hope to hold monthly teach-ins in collaboration with BSDY to ensure a constant stream of education for students who would like to learn more about the demands + advocacy efforts.

+ ESTABLISH A COALITION BETWEEN NEW HAVEN UNIVERSITIES TO INCREASE CROSS-COLLABORATION + SERVICE INITIATIVES 

Although Yale + YCC often collaborate with the other Ivy League colleges on projects + policies, we often fail to recognize the collective power we have in fellow New Haven universities and have yet to work with them in meaningful ways. We plan to create a coalition of the student government leaders from these universities in order to better organize together. In particular, one output we would hope to see from this coalition is concentrated efforts on better supporting the New Haven community given the space we occupy in their city.


+ COLLABORATE WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS TO SUPPORT SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS 

We will collaborate with the undergraduate student councils of each Ivy League institution + Connecticut universities to support national movements, such as organizing a mass fundraiser across all campuses for local, state, + national organizers, as well as informing the student body about educational resources. We will also commit to using YCC internal budget to donate to grassroots organizations in New Haven, Connecticut, + across the United States.


+ ADVOCATE FOR THE CREATION OF ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES and ETHNICITY, RACE, & MIGRATION CERTIFICATES

Bayan and Zoe believe in racial justice + advocacy, and the first step towards racial justice is education. We believe that Asian American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration should be offered as certificates available to students to pursue, similar to the current language certificates.

In regards to Asian American Studies: MIT, Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, + Cornell are just some of the institutions that already have either major or minors in Asian American Studies.

We will create a faculty-student committee to meet with Dean Yee of the Asian American Cultural Center, Ethnicity, Race, & Migration Department of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Zareena Grewal, Professor Alicia Schmidt Camacho + other American Studies + ER&M professors to discuss this policy initiative. We will also partner with cultural centers to garner student support.


+ WORK WITH EVENTS DIRECTOR TO PRIORITIZE SUPPORT OF BIPOC OWNED NEW HAVEN BUSINESS AT YCC EVENTS. 

The YCC has an expansive budget, and for the portion that goes towards events, this is a very clear opportunity to ensure that we are uplifting + supporting the BIPOC owned businesses in New Haven. We plan to work with the new Events Director + Class Council Officers to ensure a plan that emphasizes purchases from + support of BIPOC owned New Haven businesses as a top priority.


+ WORK WITH EVENTS DIRECTOR AND SOPHOMORE CLASS COUNCIL PRESIDENT TO PRIORITIZE SOPHOMORE EVENTS. 

The pandemic completely changed the first-year experience for the class of 2024. We believe the class of 2024 deserves a memorable sophomore year. We will work zealously with the Events Director, events committee, + Sophomore Class Council to host exclusive mixers, dinners, + other social events for sophomores.


+ INCREASE AND INSTITUTIONALIZE RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS OF ALL RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS. 

Religious observances must be better accommodated on Yale’s campus, and we hope to work towards this in the following ways: 1) Work with Yale Dining to expand the Halal + Kosher food options in the dining halls; 2) Accommodate religious fasts by creating a standardized process for students who are observing religious fasts to obtain meals at non-traditional times; 3) Establish a streamlined process to request changes in exam times for the observance of religious holidays or fasts so that students know they are guaranteed religious accommodation; 4) Meet with student leaders from all religious communities on campus to understand + advocate for the unique needs of each community.


+ CONDUCT A REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF YALE STUDENTS ON NEW HAVEN HOUSING AND PROVIDE SUGGESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS BASED ON IT. 

It is well established that Yale students negatively impact housing availability in New Haven. To understand the scope + gravity of this issue, we plan to work with the YCC City Director to conduct landscape analysis of this issue. From there, we plan to provide a series of suggestions + recommendations to Yale students to lessen the extent of our impact on New Haven housing.

 

+ SUPPORT THE DEMANDS OF DIVESTMENT. 

We will support the work of the Yale Endowment Justice coalition by continuing to put pressure on the administration to divest from Puerto Rican debt + fossil fuels + instead invest in local organizations.

+ WORK WITH DEFY TO MAKE EXTRACURRICULAR GROUPS MORE ACCESSIBLE

Extracurricular life is undeniably a part of the Yale experience, yet too many extracurriculars fall short of being accessible to all students. We want to partner with DEFY to create and offer training to leaders of student organizations on making their clubs and activities more accessible to all students. We recognize that, more often than not, a lack of accessibility stems from ignorance and we want to equip student organizations with the knowledge to make Yale a place for all students, whether that’s ensuring adequate meeting spaces, providing food that meets dietary restrictions, or more.

+ INCREASE SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS ON CAMPUS. 

We plan to support sustainability efforts through:

  • As YCC President and Vice President, attending Yale Student Environmental Coalition (YSEC) Board meetings, where all campus environmental groups are represented

  • Attending meetings with the cultural houses and other cultural groups on campus to learn how sustainability at Yale can better support and collaborate with BIPOC communities

  • Incentivizing students to save paper and print double-sided by working to lower double-sided printing costs

  • Developing recommendation lists for green spaces on campus, sustainable food options, and local trips/outings, to encourage easy yet sustainable behavior. 

  • Developing sustainability standards for UOFC funding that encourages sustainable behavior at all events hosted by campus organizations

+ WORK TO EXPAND THE SUSTAINABLE CLEANING CLOSET PROGRAM

We hope to collaborate with the leaders who have been working towards the sustainable cleaning closet program. This project will provide basic cleaning supplies to all members of Yale College through a “renting” system. Providing these supplies will reduce the number of cleaning supplies (and packaging materials) that are bought and thrown away every year (vacuums, Swiffers, etc.). Importantly, it will also allow (FGLI students to have consistent access to cleaning supplies that they otherwise may not purchase due to financial constraints. We will work with the Office of Sustainability and Head of College office on this project.