Rhonda Singer’s Report on the Fall 2020 YAA Assembly
Rhonda Singer (JE) files the following report on this year’s virtual YAA Assembly, Fall 2020:
“. . . The kickoff on September 15 focused on the Arts and Humanities as a way to understand life and its beauty. At the same time, President Salovey recognized the large issues of pandemic, inequality, and racism as defining themes. The Deans spoke, including Tamar Gendler, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Deans of the Schools of Music, Yale College, the Graduate School, the Law School, and the Divinity School, all emphasizing the interconnectedness of the University and the numerous interactions and collaborations. In his October speech, President Salovey expressed his pride and gratitude at the return of students to campus, in an environment featuring numerous Covid tests, as well as innovations in teaching, aiming to fulfill Yale’s mission to create knowledge, and to lead. He emphasized Yale’s focus on five strategic areas of investment: Science & Engineering; Collaboration for Impact in the Social Sciences; the Arts and Humanities; the emphasis on Leadership; and the creation of a Stronger and More Inclusive Yale. He noted that many of the new systems developed during the pandemic, notably online teaching and technology, will continue, to the enhancement of Yale.
“The last session, a Tea with Student Leaders, was held on October 29. The Yale College Council leaders emphasized tangible change to impact the lives of students and the need to facilitate social cohesion through virtual bonding and affinity networks. All speakers emphasized how differently Yale has functioned during the pandemic, with everyone having Covid tests twice a week. They all conveyed, though, that interaction in person was the missing link, while emphasizing the tremendous understanding and cooperation shown by the entire Yale Community.”