If the members of the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega have their way tomorrow, Old Campus will teem with town-gown happiness as New Haven schoolchildren and Yale students gather to celebrate Communiversity Day — the day when, with much fanfare, Yale officially opens its doors to the people of the Elm City.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Yale’s Old Campus, an expected 1,500 to 2,000 New Haveners and Yale students will enjoy musical entertainment, carnival rides, free food and several educational displays on topics ranging from public health to community service.
“We’re celebrating Yale’s relationship with New Haven,” said Andrea Kanner ’04, a member of Alpha Phi Omega and Communiversity Day publicity coordinator.
Organizers said they have publicized the event widely in both New Haven’s elementary schools and within Yale’s residential colleges.
All elementary school students received flyers about the event, residential college bulletin boards have been papered with notices and slips of paper were placed in all Old Campus mailboxes, said Julie Ehrlich ’03, president of Alpha Phi Omega.
The event will feature “all sorts of entertainment for kids,” Kanner said, including a carnival, a fun slide, a giant inflatable castle and a fire truck from the New Haven Fire Department.
For parents, this year’s Communiversity Day boasts a “Spring into Health” fair, which will feature over 20 booths devoted to a plethora of pressing public health issues such as radon detection and smoking.
Does this official celebration mean Yale is not open to New Haveners the other 364 days of the year?
Not at all, said group organizers.
“It’s kind of like Mother’s Day,” said Rebecca Kaplan ’03, a member of Alpha Phi Omega and an event organizer. “You’re supposed to love your mother all the time, but you have one day when you celebrate the relationship.”
Kaplan is a Yale Daily News advertising manager.
Yale is a longtime sponsor of the event.
“Whenever we have the opportunity to open up our campus to our neighbors, it enhances the relationship between the University and our friends who live near us,” Bruce Alexander, Yale’s vice president for New Haven and state affairs, said. “We here at the Office of New Haven and State Affairs are grateful for students who work so hard to make Communiversity Day a success.”
Communiversity Day will also include events inside Dwight Hall. The Education Network will sponsor a series of exhibits and activities to showcase the work of students in New Haven public schools.
Yale Childrens’ Theater will perform excerpts from their spring show and hold workshops; Youth Reading Core will read stories on the hour to visiting children; and Reprezent Radio will record a Communiversity Day edition of their show.