The Need to Meet

The former managing editor of the Yale Daily News navigates the paper’s relationship with the African-American Cultural

The Yale Daily News building and the Afro-American Cultural Center share a walkway. The walk between the two takes fifty-six seconds. At second thirteen, you can no longer hear the grumbles of exhausted reporters, or the sounds of street traffic. At twenty-seven seconds in, asphalt becomes sidewalk beneath your feet. You step underneath a stone archway at second thirty, and a slight pivot to the right must be executed at second thirty-four, the point at which the addresses change from York Street to Park. A. . . Read more
Tyler Foggatt
Of House and Home

A student activist finds her place in the history of Black organizing at Yale.

Micah Jones and I are standing by a foldout table at Afro-American Cultural Center, better known as the House. She is the president of the Black Student Alliance at Yale, and I am her vice president and right-hand woman. We’re selling T-shirts to alumni at the House’s forty-fifth anniversary event. A woman, impeccably dressed, approaches us. She introduces herself as Bisa Williams. In 1975, six years after the House’s founding, Williams became the first Black woman president of BSAY since its founding in 1967. After. . . Read more
Eshe Sherley
When Yale Moves In

Has a university program meant to stabilize the city become a publicity stunt?

A dramatic exposé published in a 1994 issue of GQ magazine lamented that Yale was about to cheer its “Last Boola Boola.” The pre-apocalyptic article described an institution whose sluggish endowment struggled amid a “war zone of poverty, crime, and drugs as frightening as any American city.” New Haven was hauling itself out of a recession, and while the city and Yale were certainly not quite as rotten as the article made it seem, the bad press was an indicator of the University’s declining public. . . Read more
Natalie Yang
The Brightest Among Us

Figuring out the wiring of the tenure track.

Disneyland “is the real country presented as imaginary to make us think other things are real,” says J. D. Connor, an assistant professor in the History of Art Department at the close of a lecture in his course on Disney. “But the real is no longer real.” “Mind blown,” the student next to me whispers. As usual, when J. D. Connor speaks about film, he leaves me feeling that if I listened hard enough, I, too, could use the clues in pop culture to unlock. . . Read more
Ceri Godinez
Manufacturing Cool

The trials of Yale’s fledgling pop minority.

Junior Seungju Hwang pointed to the guitar case on the floor of the recording studio in Timothy Dwight. “Open it up!” he told me. “I’ll lead, and you just jump in,” Kalaeb Tessema instructed from his seat behind the keyboard. The room was reminiscent of the home studios featured on MTV Cribs—quaint enough to suggest amateurism, yet sufficiently equipped to convince otherwise. “Uh, I don’t really know how to do that,” I responded. Hwang was gravely overestimating my guitar skills, which I mostly picked up. . . Read more
Jordan Coley
Listening to Africa

Behind the scenes of Yale’s first Africa Salon

Students at Yale’s Africa Salon Early on a Saturday morning in March, I found myself surrounded by African artists, speakers, and performers in the basement of the Afro-American Cultural Center. We ate Egyptian salad and South African banana bread for breakfast, and we didn’t talk much. I assumed that the others were nervous, like me, and thinking over what they were going to say. We were preparing to participate in the Africa Salon, billed as “Yale’s first-ever contemporary African arts fest.” A month or so. . . Read more
Coryna Ogunseitan
Scarlet Letters

What can a single grade say about a school?

An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that ConnCAN computes “School Performance Index” data for Connecticut schools. The index is generated by the Connecticut Department of Education. The New Journal appreciates this correction in our online records. — Julia Calagiovanni and Eric Boodman, editors-in-chief, January 2015   “I never, in a million years, in my right mind, wanted to set foot in this school. Then I got here,” wrote Kiana M. Hernandez in the Proclamation, Wilbur Cross High School’s student newspaper. Hernandez, who is now a freshman. . . Read more
Olivia Klevorn
Unintelligent Design

Aspiring inventors navigate an industry that makes big profits from their unrealized dreams.

The Wrapper-Compactor. John Stillman. Last year, I embarked on a mission at the behest of the great American inventor Greg Steiner, whose legend preceded him, as legends often do in the era of the World Wide Web. I discovered him while searching for what remained of the workbench tinkerer. Lacking fluency in the arcane languages of the high-tech tools that had come to govern my life, and armed with a degree in history, of all things, I feared being cut off by the 21st century’s. . . Read more
John Stillman
Trying to Transcend

A Yale student attempts commercialized meditation

Illustration by Madeleine Witt. “Aim, aim, aim.” I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor of my dorm room, eyes closed, chanting this word over and over in my head. I’m trying to practice Transcendental Meditation, which, among meditators, is known for being especially simple. But it doesn’t feel simple. Am I breathing correctly? Is my posture right? How will I know if I’m meditating? I worry that worrying about the best way to meditate is getting in the way of meditating, which is exactly the kind. . . Read more
Margaret Shultz
Beyond Fossil Free

How does divestment fit into social justice?

Illustration by Daniel Semenciuc. On a Sunday afternoon last September, the three musicians started to groove. The fiddle wailed, and the bass ba-dummed. “We got this battle,” the melodica-player crooned, “We’re gonna sit in their office, get a fossil free Yale.” It was a real-life protest song, the twenty-first century Pete Seeger. I knew it was corny. But as a folk musician myself, I couldn’t help but feel excited. “Welcome!” said a tall blond woman in a white summer dress. She introduced herself as Diana. . . Read more
Ashley Dalton