Yale’s undergraduate aid budget will not be affected by the economic downturn, President Levin promises. “We will protect our financial aid program,” he said by phone last night, “and families that find themselves in circumstances that change their ability to pay tuition will of course be eligible for financial aid.”

Smoke is becoming a little too common in Welch. On Sunday night, fire trucks raced to Old Campus because of a smoke scare, and early yesterday morning smoke once again filled Welch. Freshmen began to evacuate, but this time the cause was quickly discovered. An unlucky student was trying to un-jam his printer when it burst into flames.

Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 is under consideration for the post of secretary of state in the Obama administration, reports ABC News. The Oval Office may be absent an Eli come January, but Yale may be represented in the State Department, as John Kerry ’66 has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the job.

Sillimanders grumbled over lunch yesterday as a flood of strangers overtook their dining hall after Commons closed for the AYA Assembly. (It will remain closed today.) Even dining hall workers were upset at the inundation of outsiders. “They keep spilling [stuff],” one said.

Thanks to a $3.9 million grant, Yale nursing students will learn better methods of heart monitoring. The grant, the largest in the history of the School of Nursing, is part of a five-year study that will attempt to improve nursing practices related to electrocardiogram monitoring.

To sing for social justice, Yalies gathered for the second Community Sing. It took place last night in Davenport’s common room and featured music from a variety of cultures, as well as warm apple cider. “I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” said Micah Hendler ’11, who led the event. “It was so wonderful to see so many people.”

Christmas came early to Yale. Last night, the Whitney Humanities Center held an advance screening of “Four Christmases,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. The film opens Nov. 26.

This day in Yale history

1977 A group of Yale students distributed a letter encouraging their classmates to withhold tuition payments until the University settled the seven-week strike with Local 35, the union representing service and maintenance employees. The writers of the letter suggested that withholding the calculated value of janitorial services would interfere with cash flow and end the strike. Associate Dean Martin Griffin, however, pointed out a flaw in the students’ plan — they could be dismissed for refusing payment.