The Great Equalizer

Under Title IX, the Obama administration has mandated ambitious reforms at universities nationwide to combat sexual violence.

Dear Colleague: Education has long been recognized as the great equalizer in America. The U.S. Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights believe that providing all students with an educational environment free from discrimination is extremely important. Thus began the letter sent to colleges around the country on April 4 by the Office for Civil Rights of the federal Department of Education. Nineteen pages long, it expressed concerns about national statistics on sexual violence in institutions of higher education and outlined the responsibilities. . . Read more
Kalli Angel
Title IX: Taking Yale to Court

Perspectives from a plaintiff in the landmark 1977 case Alexander v. Yale.

    Design by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff Editors’ note: Like many others on campus, we have dear friends who, as victims of sexual assault, have been ill-served by their University. We believe that the University’s mechanisms for responding to sexual misconduct can be substantively improved, and we are confident that in responding to the complaint to the Department of Education under Title IX, the University will become a safer, better place for students of both sexes. Ann Olivarius was a plaintiff in the 1977 case. . . Read more
Ann Olivarius
Riot Girl

In 1996 Sara Marcus left Yale, after violent threats to LGBTQ students were shrugged off by the administration. How far has Yale come since?

This fall, Katie Miller ’13 left the United States Military Academy at West Point in protest of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and transferred to Yale. “Even before I was interested in transferring, I knew it was LGBTQ friendly,” she says of the college. After all, in 1986, Yale became one of the nation’s first universities to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination clause. The next year, an article in the Wall Street Journal dubbed the school the “gay Ivy”—an epithet that Miller. . . Read more
Emily Rappaport
Separating the Men from the Boys

A look at a WGSS class on what it means to be a man.

He is outstandingly handsome and robust, very masculine. This is The American Heritage Dictionary’s example sentence for the word “masculine.” It’s the kind of sentence that’s intended to elucidate, to enlighten. It’s the kind your high school English teacher makes you write on tests to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you know the meaning of the word. Masculine equals handsome plus robust. Outstandingly so. The wise men of a new WGSS class. Brianne Bowen Does America really define masculinity this way? Does. . . Read more
Emily Rappaport
Rockin’ and Rollin’

When night falls, these ordinary women can be found duking it out in the dog-eat-dog world of roller derby.

By day, they're normal women. By night... Courtesy By day, they are massage therapists.  Graphic designers.  Teachers.  Mothers. But when night falls, these women can be found rink-side, assuming colorful pseudonyms like Rinko Starr and Anita Chainsaw, lacing up their roller skates, and duking it out in the dog-eat-dog world of women’s roller derby.  They are the CT RollerGirls, self-proclaimed daughters of the American derby revolution, and Connecticut’s first and only female flat-track roller derby league. But this clearly isn’t the roller derby of the 1960s. . . Read more
Jessica Rosenthal
History is Our Present

Coeducation at 40: Reflections from three generations of Yale women.

“I think you have to remember the historical moment when we arrived.” –Julia Preston, YC’73 Julia Preston was one of roughly 500 females accepted into the first co-educational class at Yale. At the time, being a woman at Yale was just one of a handful of things that were seen as politically and experientially important events of the year. As Preston reminded me, “We were in the throes of the Vietnam war. The country was in tumult.” Campuses nationwide were abuzz with dissent and protest.. . . Read more
Hannah Zeavin
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
Bills, Bills, Pills

Birth control prices get knocked up.

On October 18, 2007, the office phones of Senator Christopher Dodd and US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro started ringing off the hook. Yale students, upset at a sudden and dramatic increase in the price of birth control prescribed through Yale University Health Services were calling their Democratic representatives to protest. The 2005 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), a law originally aimed at curbing Medicaid fraud, had simultaneously ended a long-standing tradition whereby pharmaceutical companies sold birth control to university health centers at deeply discounted prices. The arrangement had. . . Read more
Miranda Popkey
Body Politics

Trials of old illuminate Zeta Psi photo.

When members of the Yale Women’s Center Executive Board circulated Zeta Psi’s now notorious “We Love Yale Sluts” photo on January 20, they hoped to cast a critical eye on an emblematic image. Instead, after weeks of public dispute, the gaze has swerved back to the protesters. The Women’s Center has been challenged for its intention to file suit, its critics have been accused of insensitivity, and Yale is struggling to define the boundaries of this sexual dialogue. Such disputes are not new to New Haven.. . . Read more
Pat Hayden