Thursday, March 03, 2005

"smoke on your pipe and put that in"

My organizing colleagues at Yale saw some substantial movement on financial aid reform following their sit-in last week.

Starting next year, Yale will eliminate the parental contribution for families making less than 45,000, increase funding for international students, and improve their recruitment effort in low-income areas.

As usual, Yale administrators denied any connection between the last few months of intensive campus pressure and the recent changes. But I'd invite you to compare the announced changes with the platform ratified by the Yale Undergraduate Organizing Committee and backed up by over 1,000 students. You may see some similarities.

Obviously, the pressure created by reforms at Harvard and Princeton also contributed to the move, but no-one should ever dismiss the power of Yale exceptionalism, even within the Ivy League. As in the past, Yale could have made a half-hearted effort at closing the gap so as to not appear completely inactive. But the changes proposed today, though still incomplete, are more comprehensive than any others in recent memory.

We can thank the bravery and disciplined organizing of Yale students for that. As my good friend Abbey would say, those little guys are on fire with passionate love. We'll see more from them on this and other issues, I'm sure.

(by the way, the title of this post is directed at all you West Side Story fans out there -- my feelings on musicals range from vague disgust to outright horror, but WSS is an exception)

1 comment:

zach said...

actually, abbey would say "screw it, it's game time, let's go."