After an internal review prompted by the murder of Yale graduate student Annie Le and the News’ ensuing coverage, and after extended consultation with Graduate School Dean Jon Butler and School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern, the News is modifying its policy for denoting a graduate student’s school affiliation.
Previously, the News identified students based on the primary affiliation of the department in which a student was studying, which was the only information available via Yale’s public directory. The moniker “GRD” was only applied to students whose departments are in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, for the Graduate School was once composed entirely of Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments.
However, the modern-day Graduate School is composed of departments from a variety of faculties, not just the Faculty of Arts and Sciences — and yet the News’ policy limited the application of “GRD” to doctoral students in Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments, using it as an anachronistic synonym for Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Thus, a doctoral student in the History Department would have been labeled “GRD,” while a doctoral student in the Department of Forestry & Environmental Studies — despite being enrolled at the Graduate School — would have been identified as “FES.” Likewise, Le, who was studying in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, was identified as “MED ’13,” despite the fact that, as a doctoral candidate, she was formally enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
As of Sunday, the University has changed its public directory to also list a student’s school affiliation. As a result, in the interest of clarity, the News will now identify graduate students based on the school in which they are enrolled, rather than the school with which their department is primarily affiliated. Thus, Le will henceforth be identified as “GRD ’13.”