CREDIT/D/FAIL: Week of September 28, 2012

CREDIT: Eating alone in dining halls
More often than not, I eat alone in the dining halls. This phenomenon has prompted friends and enemies alike to label me as “strange,” “creepy,” and (my personal favorite) “misanthropic.” Well, let me let you in on a little secret: eating alone is awesome. Besides affording you time to reflect or meditate or whatever, eating alone provides you with endless opportunities to observe the lives of your peers. Why limit myself to one conversation while eating with one other person when I could listen to five while eating alone? While you’re stuck listening to your companion complain about his mountain of coursework, I’m having the time of my life cruising the conversations of my peers. To my left, a group of freshman girls debates the relative merits of American Apparel and Salvation Army in regard to Safety Dance attire. To my right, a male student informs his fellow diners that he and his TF are totally going to hook up, if not this semester, then, like, definitely next. Behind me, another student agonizes over the choice between a bowl of ice cream and a piece of fruit. My ears are in paradise.

D: The Yale bubble
Last week, I found myself, along with some friends, on one of Connecticut’s beaches on the Long Island Sound for the first time in my Yale career. It was, surprisingly, quite beautiful. We laughed, we sunbathed, we ate burritos. The weather was serene, and as we left the beach around sunset, I began to think about all that New Haven and its surrounding areas have to offer. I cursed the stupid, unnecessary entity that is the Yale bubble. It promotes narrow-mindedness! It traps students within a tiny area! It destroys town-gown relations! As I fell asleep that night, I vowed not to be limited by some irrationally manufactured constraint.
The next morning, I arose feeling determined and refreshed. I opened up my email and was promptly greeted by an email from Chief Ronnell Higgins, informing me of some student who had been punched off a bike or threatened with a knife on the periphery of campus. Suddenly, I am thankful for having my wallet, for having a body without knife wounds, and, begrudgingly, for having the Yale bubble.

FAIL: Student representation in the presidential search
Student representation in the presidential search
Don’t get me wrong—I love Brandon Levin as much as the next guy (a lot), but the overall role of undergraduate students on the Presidential Search Committee is abysmal. The University’s alleged reasoning for the lack of undergraduate students on the committee—“No one or two students can represent the full diversity of the Yale student body”—borders on comedic, until you realize… Wait, this is an extremely important decision-making process that will not only affect Yale’s trajectory as a university but also the lives of countless students. I came to Yale because the University prided itself on the success and well-being of its undergraduates. The University’s decision to devalue our opinions makes me wonder: What is this? Harvard?

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