My name is Sidney Carlson White, and I am a rising senior in Jonathan Edwards College. While I have been lucky enough to have a stable internet connection at home during the period of online classes, the transition to remote learning was never particularly easy for me, and I cannot even begin to imagine what it could have been like for others that were in less stable situations than myself. Bouncing between my parents’ separate places of residence created logistical challenges, especially with regards to quarantining, and sometimes a great deal of stress.
When it came to my classes, I found that it was occasionally impossible to focus on a lot of the work I needed to do. I found myself unable to focus, and many of my routines for doing problem sets and short assignments were irreparably broken. I came to my seminars with half-finished readings and half-formed thoughts. I can’t imagine what other students in my seminars were experiencing, especially if they had to do more childcare than I did, or actually work a job to supplement their families.
As such, Yale needs to consider the impacts of its financial aid policy on working-class students, such as myself, and understand that its billions need to be mobilized to make sure that the people that the university must serve (its students, workers, and community) have the support they need during this time. To suggest that we continue to pay the Student Income Contribution on top of these struggles is unjust. Because students like myself have had entire classes cancelled, and others are effectively frozen out on account of their access to internet services, it is clear that a reprieve, and eventual abolition, will be necessary going forward.