I always imagined that the end of my time at Yale would be marked by graduation. Now I fear that it will be deportation instead.
I came to the School of Management from Shanghai with a lot of dreams and ambition. But the culture shock overwhelmed me, and I got depressed. While I struggled to adjust, my family back home was in crisis. When I told the administration about my struggle, they didn’t offer any help. Eventually my depression became so severe that I was hospitalized for six days. My plans to embrace Yale’s academic challenges were crippled by my unexpected illness.
Last March I got an email saying I was expelled for missing the academic requirement by one-half credit. I wasn’t offered academic support or mental health services; I was simply told that my health insurance was terminated and I had 15 days to leave the country.
I submitted appeals with medical records detailing the way my depression had interfered with my work, but they were denied and ignored.
As a business student, I recognize that bureaucracies can be impersonal, callous and unforgiving. I hoped this might not be the case at Yale, but it has sadly proven true for me.
I feel like I’m fighting for my dignity. International students and students facing mental illness shouldn’t need to fight for Yale to respect us, but I am fighting nonetheless. And I’m grateful that my colleagues have stood with me. We organized a petition with our campus unions, UNITE HERE Local 35, Local 34 and GESO. Over 1,000 students and staff signed, including 250 from China. My story has made national news in China and the United States. But it has been two months since we delivered our petition with no response.
The administration’s lack of compassion has been frustrating, confusing and painful. If Yale continues to ignore me, my visa will not let me stay here. I never imagined pleading with the administration to take my mental illness seriously and keep me from being subject to deportation, but now that is what I’m forced to do.
I am coming forward because I want to stay and finish my education. I want dignity. I do not want this to happen to anyone else.
President Salovey has said that Yale takes mental health and racial equity seriously. I’m asking him to live up to that commitment.
Grant Mao is a former student at the Yale School of Management. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
现在，我觉得我必须争取自己的尊严。耶鲁大学本应该给予有心理疾病的学生和国际学生更多的支持和尊重。让我深感欣慰的是学校里很多的学生和老师一直在鼓励和支持我。我和校园里的公会，包括UNITE HERE Local 35, Local 34，和 GESO，一起集体请愿，要求耶鲁恢复我的学籍。已经有超过一千名的师生与我联名请愿，其中有二百五十位是中国学生。在过去的两个月里，我在耶鲁的遭遇也成了中国和美国媒体的头版新闻。但是，尽管如此，耶鲁大学校方还是保持沉默。