“My name is Shaheer Malik and I am an international student from Pakistan who graduated this spring. After our classes went online due to COVID-19, I decided not to go home like most of my peers and stayed in my off-campus apartment in New Haven. I had wanted to go home to my family, but I stayed because if I had gone home, I would have had to manage online classes with an unreliable internet connection, an electrical grid that ran scheduled blackouts, and a country with no authorized repair shops. I chose to stay to protect the fruits of four years of hard work and in the end, it worked. Yet, I cannot help but wonder what would have happened had I chosen to go home. How it would have ripped apart the facade of equality and forced. As faces vanished from zoom calls and canvas discussion boards, I recognized that some of my friends simply did not have the means or the stability to carry on with education in the same way. One source of stability for me was that I could still work my computer-based student job, which meant that I could keep paying my SIC expenses. It was still insulting that despite a global pandemic, the University expected students like me to continue working for the Student Income Contribution. It took a call to action from SUN for the University to pay students who couldn’t keep working their student jobs. As a newly minted alum, that situation makes me worry for the wellbeing of the friends I leave behind as well as the health of a student body whose mutual care and love for one another is being threatened like never before. Yale must look past its endowment and resolve to prioritize what truly makes it so special: the students, faculty, and staff who made this place my home for four wonderful, unforgettable years. It’s time to eliminate the student income contribution.”

Shaheer Malik, he/him. 2020, SY