Yale’s insistence on maintaining the Student Income Contribution directly harms it’s low-income students of color. Being a Black womxn at Yale already comes with the burdens of existing as a minority at a predominantly white institution. On top of that, I must also grapple with the racial trauma that is constantly being exposed and exacerbated because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have used Yale’s Mental Health & Counseling services before and found them ill-equipped to meet my needs as a student of color. Yale chooses not to prioritize the mental health of students, while also creating an environment that demands the need for mental health treatment. White and straight mental health providers simply cannot meet the needs of students that come from such diverse backgrounds that Yale likes to boast about.
Because the Student Income Contribution exists, students struggle to pay for necessities, such as psychiatric medication or access to non-Yale mental health resources. Low-income students of color are forced to choose between their health and their status as a Yale student which is incredibly unfair.
The reason I chose to attend Yale was because of the promise they made me that Yale would meet my needs and be a home. For me Yale is my home, but it is not doing enough. Students should be able to afford basic necessities as a right, not a luxury. In the time that Yale takes to assign therapists and create structural change, so many students will have been denied the care they need. We don’t have time to wait.
Rahshemah Wise, she/her. 2022, Morse College.