August 28, 2020

Dear students enrolled in residence,

Now that so many of you are arriving and getting settled in, this is a good time to make sure you understand the current public health expectations and know who is here to help you meet them.

Public Health Coordinators

Start by learning about the Public Health Coordinators, who are graduate and professional school students living in the colleges to help everyone in the community work together to protect the public health.

If you have questions about what’s expected of you, you can get in touch with the PHCs. They may also write to you, if you need some coaching in keeping the commitments you made in the compact. The PHCs will also be on call as liaisons for emergency response within the colleges.

You can read more about the PHC program and learn about your college's PHC here. Feel free to email your college’s PHC with questions or ideas. If you have an urgent concern, you can call 203-737-1414 to reach the PHCs at any time.

A team of undergraduates will soon be joining the PHCs to support the community in making positive choices for the public health. I will be writing to you about them in a future message.

Community Accountability

We are all going to have to hold ourselves and each other accountable this semester in order to protect the public health. Our choices and behavior have consequences that affect the community. If you need guidance, it will be easy to find, and safeguards are in place, too.

If you have concerns about situations or behaviors that may be putting the community at risk, you have options for how to respond. You can of course talk with the people involved; if you do, you will have the most impact if you focus on support, goals, and problem-solving. You can also turn to your PHC or Head of College. If you prefer to share your concerns in writing, you can use this form to communicate with the Office of Student Affairs.

Accountability goes both ways, so you may also get feedback on your own behavior. Any you receive is an opportunity to hear concerns, respond to new information, and learn. In most cases, feedback might come from a simple conversation with your PHC or Head of College. If it looks like your actions are putting the community at risk, you might also hear from the Compact Review Committee, which focuses on education and guidance but, if necessary, can limit access to campus or even revoke it. In rare cases of behaviors that endanger the community Yale College’s formal disciplinary body, the Executive Committee, may need to get involved.

Expectations about travel

You might remember from my July 1 message to you that you are expected to stay within the state. If an emergency or urgent need arises, you will need to ask permission to travel. Next week, an online form will be available; in the meantime, you may write to

These opening weeks are a time to pay special attention to information that will help you meet your public health expectations. You will have a lot of help, so ask for it if you need it. And we will need to help each other, too. This is a semester when we are all going to be working together.

With best wishes,

Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science