Dear Mr. President-elect Salovey,

I write to you as a concerned citizen and student. I write to you to ask a simple question: how prepared is Yale to defend itself against the very worst? And yes, I am referring to an elaborate monthlong siege of Yale in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Does Yale have a contingency plan? Are there evacuation, defense and sustaining procedures in place for a “zompoc” scenario? If not, I feel it my duty to present to you my expert opinion.

Let us consider, as stated, the necessity of surviving a month on our own. The National Guard will not reach Yale until that time in this scenario. We are alone. What will most likely occur, given Yale’s current levels of preparedness? The most practical method is to assess the likelihood of success for each of Yale’s major housing areas.

Old Campus and off-campus housing

The lowest hanging fruits. Let’s just take that one for granted. Chances of survival: negligible.

Timothy Dwight and Silliman

The isolated colleges. TD’s large front gate will prove difficult to barricade, as will its open courtyard. TD students’ proclivity towards swapping saliva with one another will cause the zombie strain to spread quickly — that’s the price of college-cest, kids. Chances of survival: low.

With four airy gates and, again, a wide-open courtyard, Silliman students will have a difficult time properly defending themselves from assault. While Silliflicks, the Sillibuttery and the Sillikitchen might prove to be valuable Silli-safe houses, the rest of the Silli-college will prove Silli-indefensible. Chances of survival: Silli-low.

Morse and Stiles

You would think the zombies would bypass these two colleges because of their sheer fugliness. Not so. Recently emboldened after taking over Sushi Mizu and Popeye’s, the zombie masses will gain entrance to the courtyard. As the undead cannot feel pain, they will quickly smash through the large glass panes separating the Morse-Stiles dining hall complex from the outside, overrunning the entire complex. Chances of survival: low.

Davenport-Pierson complex

This one is tricky. Davenport students, defending the front gate and the Park Street entrance, can last quite a while. From the Dport dining hall, they can even fire upon zombies assaulting Pierson through whatever people call that alley thing. However, the number of Park and Elm Street entrances to the complex, and the fact that if one college falls, the other falls with it, is a fatal flaw in this scenario. Chances of survival: medium.


In this scenario, the most … okay, let’s all be honest. Given Calhoun’s inability to do anything bordering on positive in intramural sports and the fact that the entire college is just literally a giant square, they’re screwed. Granted, Hounies’ ambivalence for everything might catch the zombies off-guard, so I don’t even know. Chances of survival: medium, but who really cares?


I’m inclined to say that the North-South division will be a handicap for the college’s defenses, as will the easily scaled walls and flimsy gates. If all BK students massed in South Court, but still defended the buttery under North Court for food, they might have a fighting chance. Chances of survival: medium.

Jonathan Edwards

With three small gates, JE students will stand a solid chance of fighting back the hordes. If zombies enter the courtyard, JE students can continue to fight back from the complicated system of libraries that JE is somehow allowed to have. Cornered up there, though, students will eventually run out of lobster dinners. Regardless — chances of survival: high.

Branford and Saybrook

Although the complex has as many as six gates, all are small, giving their student population enough of a presence to properly guard the entrances. However, as with other college pairs, their fates are intertwined. The remainder of the Yale community would lament the fall of Branford. Somehow, though, I think we can all manage without Saybrook. Chances of survival: high.


Yale’s smallest college, and a “granite fortress” according to Master Janet Henrich. On three sides, Trumbull is surrounded by a moat, with the fourth shared with the impregnable cliff face of Sterling Memorial Library. In the unlikely event that the zombies break through one of the two small gates, Trumbull students can mass in one of three compact courtyards, each easily defended via a smattering of small archways. Should Trumbull students require a last resort, they can all regroup in one of the four independent towers of the college. This battle plan could successfully hold for a month. Chances of survival: very high.

So, Mr. President-Elect, this is the scenario Yale faces. We are nowhere near prepared to withstand the full force of an all-out undead assault upon Yale. President Levin has failed to plan for the worst. Will you?


Jake Dawe ’15