2019 in Review The Year in Yale Daily News Stories

Bass Library undergoes renovation following book reduction controversy

Controversy brewed among students, faculty and staff in February when the University announced plans to reduce the number of books in Bass Library by two-thirds and close the undergraduate study hub for renovations throughout the summer and fall semester. Following the outcry — voiced in columns for the News and magnified by a student-led movement to check out large numbers of books from the library — University Librarian Susan Gibbons announced changes to those plans. Twenty thousand more books remained than originally planned, and the renovation timeline was condensed, allowing the library to re-open at the beginning of the fall term. (Photo: Emily Tian, contributing photographer.)

Medical School professor found responsible for sexual ASSAULT AND harassment

In March, the News reported the story of a Yale student who endured serial sexual harassment perpetrated by Yale School of Medicine Professor Eugene Redmond during a summer internship in 2017. Redmond retired from Yale in July 2018, still pending disciplinary action after the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct found him responsible for sexually harassing the student. Yale launched an independent investigation in January 2019 in response to the new complaint against Redmond and after the News first contacted University officials for comment on Redmond’s UWC case and retirement. A Yale-commissioned independent investigation report released on August 20 revealed that Redmond sexually assaulted five students affiliated with his University research and engaged in sexual misconduct with at least eight other undergraduates, recent college graduates and one high school student over a period of 25 years. (Photo: Marisa Peryer, staff photographer.)

Soccer coach implicated in nationwide college admissions scandal

In early March, federal prosecutors announced the findings of an investigation into what they called the largest admissions scandal ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Over 53 people were implicated in the scandal nationwide, including former women’s soccer head coach Rudy Meredith, who was charged with accepting bribes in exchange for recommending at least one fraudulent women’s soccer recruit to the University. Meredith had worked as a cooperating witness since April 2018 while coaching the soccer team through a recruiting process and soccer season. The coach pled guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court in Boston by the end of the month. On March 24, Yale announced that it rescinded the admission of one undergraduate student connected to the scandal. (Photo: courtesy of Sam Rubin '95.)

Community members fight to increase institutional support for ethnic studies

Citing lack of University support for the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration program, 13 senior faculty members chose to withdraw from their services to the program on March 29, each submitting individual letters of withdrawal from the program to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tamar Gendler. Community members moved to organize, and scholars from around the nation expressed solidarity with the professors. Following the withdrawals and years of student and faculty activism regarding ER&M’s status, the program formally obtained five faculty positions, prompting the return of the professors who withdrew their labor from the program earlier in the term. (Photo: Logan Howard, photography editor.)

Yale announces plans to open Jackson School of Global Affairs

The University announced its decision to open the Yale Jackson School for Global Affairs, marking the first time in history it has named a constituent school after a living donor. Approved by the Yale Corporation in April, the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, which will be developed out of the University's existing institute for global affairs, will be the University’s 13th professional school. President Salovey and Provost Benjamin Polak solicited input from faculty members, administrators and alumni in town halls and meetings regarding the viability of such a school. (Photo: Logan Howard, photography editor.)

protestors demand justice after officer-involved shooting

A Yale Police Department officer and a member of the Hamden Police Department fired numerous rounds at two unarmed people in a car, Stephanie Washington and Paul Witherspoon, in the early morning of April 16. In the days following the incident, community members organized to demand justice for the victims. On April 18, hundreds of Yalies, New Haven residents and activists gathered in downtown New Haven to protest the shooting and the involved institutions' responses, shutting down major thoroughfare streets around the city for several hours as community members chanted and marched until midnight. YPD officer Terrance Pollock was temporarily suspended in December and will return to the YPD in an administrative capacity after his suspension is lifted. (Photo: Robbie Short '19, former senior photographer.)

Salovey's leadership questioned ahead of capital campaign

In April, the News reported that several of Yale’s biggest donors and highest ranking administrators met in New York City in fall 2018 to discuss concerns about University President Peter Salovey’s leadership and his ability to head Yale’s upcoming capital campaign. During the campaign, which is currently in its silent phase and likely to go public in 2021, Salovey plans to pursue his vision for "one Yale" — a University with more collaboration across departments and schools. (Photo: Marisa Peryer, staff photographer.)

Justin Elicker unseats Toni Harp in New Haven mayoral race

Former alder and nonprofit executive Justin Elicker shocked New Haven after he won the Democratic primary race for mayor in a landslide on September 10, defeating three-term incumbent Toni Harp after a contentious campaign. The loss marked Harp’s first defeat during her 32–year stint in electoral politics that culminated in her becoming the Elm City’s first black female mayor. After suspending her campaign, Harp chose to continue her mayoral bid as a candidate for the Working Families Party. In November, however, New Haven residents elected Elicker as their 51st mayor, delivering him the win by a 2-to-1 margin. He assumed office on Jan. 1, 2020. (Photo: Lukas Flippo, staff photographer.)

Women's soccer coach leaves Yale amid allegations of impropriety with UNH players

Women’s soccer coach Brendan Faherty left Yale Athletics on Nov. 20 amid allegations of impropriety with his former players at the University of New Haven between 2003 and 2009: one of sexual misconduct and another of a consensual sexual relationship. The coach came to Yale from Stony Brook University in December to replace Rudy Meredith, who resigned one month prior and later accepted a plea deal for his part in the Varsity Blues admissions scandal. The University of New Haven announced the following day that administrators hired an independent firm to investigate the allegations. (Photo: courtesy of muscosportsphotos.com.)

Divestment protestors storm the field during halftime at The Game

During halftime at the annual Yale-Harvard football game in November, hundreds of students and alumni from both schools stormed the field, demanding that their universities divest from fossil fuels and delaying the start of the second half of the game. The joint action also called for both universities to divest from private prisons and Puerto Rican debt, according to the students’ chants. While the majority of protesters left the field after roughly half an hour — at the urgings of the Yale Police Department, the New Haven Police Department and the game’s announcer — police issued misdemeanor summons to four dozen protestors who refused to give up their ground, at least 18 of which were Yale undergraduates. (Photo: Marisa Peryer, staff photographer.)

Historic gameplay brings Bulldog victory against Harvard

Once the protests had wrapped up at the November gridiron showdown against Harvard and gameplay resumed, Yale managed to come back from a 36–19 deficit late in the fourth quarter and brought the game to a tie. In triple overtime, the Bulldogs completed their comeback, and one of the greatest games in the already storied rivalry between Harvard and Yale came to an epic finish with Yale winning 50–43. Not only did this clash go down in history, but it also gave the Blue and White a piece of the Ivy League title. The Bulldogs finished the season tied with Dartmouth in first place, delivering Yale its second Ivy League championship in three years. (Photo: Daniel Zhao, photography editor.)

Top photo by Surbhi Bharadwaj, senior photographer.