By Larissa Pham, CC '14
Nemo blew in strong not too long ago, bringing with it thirty-six inches of snow, but that didn’t stop Yale’s off-campus students from working, playing, and working and playing in the neighborhoods surrounding campus.
IvyQ was one of many happenings at Yale the weekend of the 9th. Focused on bringing queer issues to the forefront, it carried on through the storm, featuring panels and discussions on topics that fell into six categories: health and sexual assault, identity, internationality and culture, practical applications, queer histories, and sex & body positivity. In one case, these conversations moved from the conference table to the living room: a group of students both Yalies and non-, concerned that the voices of people of color were not being heard, hosted an independent, follow-up discussion off campus.
“We wanted to create a space where people of color could talk freely and feel comfortable sharing their stories,” said Kendra Dawsey (MC ’14), one of the discussion hosts. In true Yale fashion, once the discussion was over, the dance party started.
In other parts of the off-campus world, the storm didn’t stop many in their tracks. In the thick of the blizzard, students cooked meals together, hosted informal, impromptu parties to celebrate our snow days, and—as hot water was lacking in some older houses—generously gave the use of bathrooms and showers. Some students banded together to shovel stoops and driveways, too, although one off-campus Yalie was spotted trying to ski down Edgewood St. (He made it.)
Even though piles of snow still tower high over many of the sidewalks in the wilds of Howe and Dwight Streets, the roads are clear and life has returned to almost normal. Living off campus means that students are far from the residential college home base of sturdy ceilings and plentiful food—sometimes a scary thought when tremendous weather phenomena like Sandy or Nemo strike. But it’s reassuring to know that we’re living in a community just as strong as any residential college bond: off campus Yalies take care of each other, and we can weather any storm.
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