It’s been quite a month. On September 23, The New Yorker reported that Debbie Ramirez had accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her in a Lawrance dorm during their first year at Yale. Glued to the livestream between classes, Yale students watched the Senate Judiciary Committee interrogate a woman eager to be “helpful” as she shared memories of trauma, and a graduate of our college who responded to allegations of assault with red-faced indignation. Our leaders –– nationally, and here on campus –– were not a source of inspiration or support that week. Yale Law School administrators and faculty teetered back and forth in their positions on Kavanaugh and the College administration declined to take a stance; our mothers called to remind us of Anita Hill’s testimony 27 years ago, and it seemed not much had changed. It was Yale students who rallied around survivors of sexual assault and pledged to build a better culture themselves. For this issue, Mark spoke to the five first-year women who live in the suite where (now-Justice) Kavanaugh allegedly harassed Ramirez. As their story makes clear, Yale’s past is not far removed from its present; as student activists make clear, a better future may be closer than we think.
Our cover story this issue is the product of a four-month investigation by associate editor Laura Glesby into policing on and around Yale’s campus. Her dogged reporting uncovered two new allegations of racially biased policing, and situated an incident at the Hall of Graduate Studies that attracted national attention this May within the Yale Police Department’s 124-year history. It’s well worth a read.
Reporting a story like Laura’s is time-consuming and can be expensive. If you have an idea for a similarly ambitious story, and are seeking financial and editorial support, apply for the Edward B. Bennett III Memorial Award! We’ll give out grants of an average of $300 to cover reporting costs for stories to be published in TNJ this spring. Application materials are available at https://goo.gl/Z1oaMF. If you have any questions, reach out to either of us by email –– we’d love to talk about it. Applications are due by November 1.