Poster Child

One graphic designer in a new generation of feminism.

Yale is covered in text. I don’t always see it and I don’t always read it, but it’s all over buildings, statues, bulletin boards, portraits, and signs. It’s often titular: “John C. Calhoun,” “Nathan Hale,” “James Woolsey,” “Kingman Brewster.” It’s often institutional: “The Yale Political Union,” “Mory’s,” “The Whiffenpoofs.” Recently, it’s often been hateful: “N****r,” “sluts.” For Jessica Svendsen MC ’09, this text is also masculine, connoting a mostly male institutional history and culture. When, this January, she began printing words on sheets of paper and. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
Back to the Streets

Ex-cons fight for the toughest ten percent.

What’s up, fellas?” Miss Shirley asks, sauntering around the classroom in a grey skirt suit, red heels, and red hoops. “Everybody go to school today?” The eight boys and three girls, slouched in their hoodies and windbreakers, look between 14 and 18 years old. They say nothing. Miss Shirley teaches this life skills class four days a week, but she never knows who will show up. Many kids are court-ordered to attend, some are brought in by fed-up parents or grandparents, and still others are. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
Off the ‘MARK

Yale returns to homegrown dining services.

In the decade since Yale hired ARAMARK to run its dining halls, the American love affair with corporate efficiency has turned sour. Enron and Martha Stewart have poisoned our infatuation with Sam’s Club and Big Macs as documentary after documentary has made us squirm in our Gap cotton. But luckily for its executives, corporate America has found the ticket to redemption. Now, for every celebrity “going green,” a massive corporation has announced its own sustainability initiative. In 2005, General Electric launched its “Ecomagination” program promoting. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
Indian Summer

Some facts and figures.

Age at which I read my first novel about India: 10 Subsequent number of novels about India I have read: 22 Number of months spent planning my trip to India: 9 Percentage of parents’ friends claiming to know someone in India who would either employ or shelter me: 32 Pre-departure visits to Yale Travel Clinic: 5 Number of malaria pills purchased: 82 Number of guide books purchased: 3 Number of times the word “microfinance” appeared in my fellowship application essay: 9 Extent of my knowledge. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
Minority Report

Building a better anti-discrimination policy

Despite Arthur Tucker’s 17 years of construction experience, people often assume he’s an unskilled laborer. He rarely gets hired to complete the more lucrative “gravy work,” or finishing touches, on a project. Arthur Tucker is black. He thinks this might be why. Though Tucker didn’t attend City Hall’s public hearing on minority construction hiring in early March, he was represented in absentia by a full house of people with similar complaints. In an impassioned and unexpected twist, these minority construction workers pitted themselves against a. . . Read more
Nicole Allan
The College Dropout

A glitch in the residential system – I switched.

During my Yale admissions tour, forty overeager highschoolers and I were herded through the iron gates of Silliman, arranged in a corner of the Frisbee-dotted courtyard, and regaled with the merits of the residential college system. A couple of months later, in my interview, I cited these merits as one of my primary motives for applying to Yale. I babbled about how I longed for an intimate liberal arts experience in the midst of a research university and described a dream of four-year friendships, fierce. . . Read more
Nicole Allan