The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated and accentuated the societal inequalities that exist in our communities and Yale is no exception. I’m fortunate enough to not have been greatly affected by the crisis, neither economically nor socially. During my time at Yale, I have not had to worry about sending money home to my family or felt pressured to drop extracurriculars to pick up a job to pay for my SIC. With my free time I’ve been able to pick up memberships in multiple clubs, including Yale Dems, First Years in Service, and Club Running. I can’t say the same for some of my friends who have had to balance the rigor of a Yale course load with the extracurricular and social challenges that come with acclimating to a place with as many opportunities as Yale. My classmates are left to wonder if Yale is truly a place committed to accessibility especially if low-income students are forced to make up for an uneven playing field further exacerbated by the existence of the SIC. Due to this, I strive to make the most of my time to work towards a more fair Yale. I’ve watched people become overwhelmed trying to balance the multiple pressures of life at Yale as I was afforded the privilege to take time for myself during hectic weeks. As I see the contrasts between my experience at Yale and the experiences of others, I can’t help but to feel that we’re not living up to our goal to provide an equal and fulfilling education to all. Yale should be a place in which all students are able to make the most out of their bright college years, as the alma mater describes, without worrying about making ends meet. From my position of privilege at Yale, I have seen the inequalities that leech into our daily lives and affect the mental health of my classmates and friends who are given one more burden by having to keep up with the SIC. If I have learned one thing from reading the works of great thinkers in my classes, it is that I cannot stand idly by while people in our community are faced with obstacles that can be removed if we work to actively make our community a more just place by eliminating the SIC.
Mark Matera, He/Him, 2023, Berkeley College