If I had 500 fewer hours in the school year, the first things to go would be taking care of myself and a lot of unpaid extracurriculars. For example, I am one of the student coordinators of FOOT, which is an unpaid job. I put in a lot of time throughout the school year and throughout the summer to do that job. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how the vast majority of the board members are people who come from really comfortable financial backgrounds, and because of that, we have the time to dedicate to this unpaid work. It’s absolutely not fair that people who have to work on-campus jobs don’t have the opportunity to join programs like this, simply because there is not enough time in the week to work 20 hours, be a full-time student, and do unpaid extracurriculars on top of that. I think that it’s really unfair that students who have to pay the SIC don’t have access to the same opportunities as students who don’t have to pay it do, which in my opinion, is the definition of inequity. If I had to balance working 20 hours a week plus doing class plus extracurriculars and social life, the things that I would definitely cut out are sleep, exercising, spending time with friends on a regular basis, and eating proper meals.
I had an intake appointment junior fall during Camp Yale, and it took about a month for me to be paired with a therapist. During that time, I was dealing with a lot of transitions in my life. I had just come back from study abroad, there was a death in my family, and it was just a really tough time. During the time that I had to wait to get paired with someone, my mental health deteriorated a lot. It also takes time to start reaping the benefits of therapy. It’s not fair to students to make them wait so long for something that they really need.
Representation is about a diversity of experiences, and being able to understand experiences that are different than your own. I don’t believe that a therapist needs to have had every experience someone else has had in order to help them, but I do think that there needs to be a serious investment in recruiting therapists with different backgrounds and therapists who are actively trained in dealing with certain situations to make sure that Yale students have access to the best care they can possibly get.
Aditi Shetty, she/her. 2021, JE