Keeping an Eye on Iran

A New Haven non-profit documents violations abroad.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified one of the founders of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. The New Journal appreciates this correction to our online records. – Julia Calagiovanni and Eric Boodman, Editors-in-Chief, March 2015   Just over six thousand miles separate New Haven from Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Late last year, a new organization—the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)—was founded with the intention of bridging that gap. The Center may seem like just another entrant into New Haven’s. . . Read more
Paige Austin
Harmony Displaced

What happens when the shelter gets evicted.

Gabor Kovacs left Hungary in 1976. “Draft dodging,” he explains with a faint smile. “In Hungary, everybody had to serve. You didn’t have a choice.” It is a quiet Tuesday evening at the Trinity Lutheran Church on Wall Street. Gabor sits at a table in a room at the back of the chapel. He occasionally looks over at the window as the daylight fades. It is almost six o’clock. Harmony Place, a community center for the homeless run by Yale student volunteers, meets here every. . . Read more
Nick Handler
A Few Good Men

Whatever happened to ROTC?

In 1950, over half of Yale’s undergraduate population participated in the military’s Reserve Office Training Corp (ROTC)— the college student’s alternative to taking his chances with the draft. In addition to their normal coursework, they performed drills, took Military Science courses, and, perhaps most dauntingly, signed away the four years following graduation to become officers in the military. In exchange, they received Yale credit for their ROTC coursework, considerable financial aid, and, in an era when military service was almost compulsory, were able to exercise. . . Read more
Helen Eckinger
Bodies of Art

Like the red star on his neck, Steve’s other tattoos—or “tats”—recall details of his life.

I was walking down Chapel Street one day two years ago,” Steve Maler explains to me at The Edge Tattoo Parlor, which borders the New Haven Green. “And I thought, ‘I need to get a red star tattooed on my neck.’ So I walked in here, and this guy Jeffrey gave me the star, and we became good friends.” Steve is 26, white, and remarkably tall and thin. When he walks, he floats, leaning forward a bit and striding slowly. The Adam’s apple on his. . . Read more
Emily Kopley
Labors of Love

Midwives deliver in New Haven’s baby business.

In December 2004, Teri Stone-Godena and three other midwives gathered in a New Haven home to do what they do best: deliver a baby. The set-up was markedly different from the cramped hospital room most people believe to be the most suitable place for a woman to give birth. Instead of disconnected P.A. announcements, the only background noise was the low murmur of the midwives’ voices. Instead of neutral beige walls and tackily upholstered chairs, the mother-to-be, Arianna Stein, was surrounded by the familiar comforts. . . Read more
Helen Eckinger
Virtually Everything

To digitize a library is a monumental task, and we’re just getting started.

A 35mm Kodak slide is a picture of a picture. On the first floor of Street Hall, Yale’s Slide Collection houses 320,000 pictures of other pictures. To hold them necessitates a library like a varnished jungle, a fortress of solid chest-high apothecary cabinets stocking hundreds of sleek beechwood drawers, each the width of a baby’s fist. Scanned from left to right, the labels read like obtuse verse: Abbot-Ayston Bacon-Bacon Bevan-Blake 1 But at 11 am on a rainy weekday, not many people are here to. . . Read more
Adriane Quinlan
A Grave Offense

Dissecting Yale’s history of grave-robbery unearths a shocking story.

Just past midnight over 180 years ago, the grave of 17 year-old Bathsheba Smith, the daughter of a West Haven farmer, was found dug up, the coffin broken into, and the body missing. Horrified, the citizens of West Haven immediately pointed angry fingers at nearby Yale Medical College. The next morning, on January 12, 1824, public outrage forced New Haven’s constable, Erastus Osborn, to lead a surprise search party into the medical school, then located on the corner of Grove and College Street where SSS. . . Read more
Ivy Wang
How we Hate

“Good tees are usually inappropriate or offensive,” Gritz wrote in an email.

With a powdered wig on his noggin and a grimace on his pretty little down-turned mouth, a lad in a blue football jersey glowers beneath a goalpost while, up ahead, a swaggering figure in crimson finery cradles the championship football! (With a Radcliffe girl on his arm, to boot!) The lad huffing helplessly beneath the goalpost, uniform emblazoned with a “Y,” is a Yale Man. This is Harvard’s championship poster for The Game of 1898, and, fifty years down the road, its design seemed stodgy.. . . Read more
Adriane Quinlan
Touch Me, Heal Me

Alternative medicine takes up residency in New Haven.

In the beige glow of an operating room at Yale- New Haven Hospital, doctors lean over the body of Ken Welch, a 61 year-old New Haven resident with colon cancer. Nurses, anesthesiologists, and assistants are present, aides to the invasive procedure. Among them is Claire Bessinger; and although she is not a medical practitioner, like the surgeons she is here to heal. The patient cannot speak for himself now, but before the surgery was scheduled, he asked Claire—his Reiki Master—to be present from pre-op to. . . Read more
Romy Drucker
Yale Wants You

Returning home to recruit new Yalies.

“So, where is Yale, anyways?” I straightened the collar of my blazer — a gesture I’ve always associated with professionalism — and cleared my throat. “Well, Yale’s in Connecticut. Or, New Haven, to clearly put it. Er, put it clearly. Which is about halfway between New York and Boston.” My audience, a group of about forty high-schoolers crammed into a tiny classroom that had been slapped with the label “Career Center,” appeared underwhelmed. I didn’t blame them; after two years away from my alma mater. . . Read more
Mina Kimes