Turnout for the Turn Up

by Alejandra Padín-Dujon

Between 3:30 and 5:00 pm at the Calhoun College buttery on Tuesday, April 26th, POC and indigenous students will welcome the admitted Class of 2020 and initiate Yale’s newest cohort into a culture of student activism.

The event, publicized as “POC and Indigenous Turnout for the Turn Up: Building Student Power with the Class of 2020,” comes in the wake of November’s “Next Yale” campus demonstrations and anticipates upcoming verdicts from the Yale Corporation on discontinuing the title of residential college “master,” renaming Calhoun College, and naming the two new residential colleges.

The program will feature music, dancing, postering, chants, ice cream, and a statement from Yuni Chang ’18, a member of the new Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM) Student Advisory Board and Intercultural Outreach Coordinator for the Asian American Studies Task Force (AASTF).

“I hope [admitted POC students] will see that there is a community here for them that will support them and grow right at their side,” said Pierson sophomore Ivetty Estepan ’18, who will be House Staff at La Casa Cultural and a Peer Liaison at the Afro-American Cultural Center this coming year. “Maybe Yale isn’t where they want it to be right now, but they can work to change that.” Estepan is of Dominican descent.

Several students cited increased collaboration between the Native American Cultural Center, La Casa Cultural, the Asian American Cultural Center, and the Afro-American Cultural Center since the events of Next Yale as a source of hope and strength moving forward.

Noted Katie McCleary ’18, president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, “Most of the events [ANAAY] did [this semester] were co-sponsoring or co-hosting events with other groups. We were reaching out to [them], but they were also reaching out to us, continuing the spirit of cooperation from last semester.”

Added McCleary, “It’s just been awesome!”

At the time of publishing, 110 students have committed to attending “Turnout for the Turn-Up” on Facebook. An additional 91 express interest.

photo by Tasnim Elboute