Light & Verity

Campus Clips

Two alumni have announced plans to seek a place on the ballot in next year’s election for a new trustee on Yale’s board. Victor Ashe ’67, a former US ambassador to Poland, wants to reform the process of electing trustees. Maggie Thomas ’15MEM, a political strategist focused on climate policy, advocates Yale’s divestment from fossil-fuel investments.
Each year, Yale alumni elect one new trustee to a six-year term. A university committee will choose candidates (usually two) to place on the ballot. But candidates can also be added to the ballot by petition. To appear on the 2021 ballot, Ashe and Thomas must each collect 4,394 alumni signatures by October 1.

Yale has joined 14 other universities in an amicus brief supporting the right of Harvard and other schools to consider race in the admissions process. Harvard is defending itself against a lawsuit brought by an advocacy group claiming the school discriminates against Asian Americans. A US district court judge ruled in Harvard’s favor last October; the plaintiffs have appealed. “The appellant here contends that a holistic review should be conducted without regard to race,” the brief states, “but it is artificial to consider an applicant’s experiences and perspectives while turning a blind eye to race.” It also argues that decades of Supreme Court precedent support the practice. Yale is currently responding to a federal compliance review prompted by a 2016 complaint of bias against Asian Americans.

The Yale Day of Service couldn’t go forward as planned for May 9 because of the pandemic. But organizers from the Yale Alumni Association have reframed 2020 as a Yale “Year of Service”—with volunteer efforts happening online now, and some in-person events postponed until a time when they are safe. The online projects include get-out-the-vote efforts, mask-making, and transcribing oral histories. Find out more at

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