In light of a recent column (FRANK, ELIZONDO & SEN: “Living our values,” Feb. 18, 2018), some alumni and staff of Cultural Connections have taken it upon themselves to refute the misrepresentation of the program. Unlike the authors of the op-ed, everyone who has contributed a remark has participated in or worked for Cultural Connections.

To reiterate the mission of Cultural Connections, the program “is designed to introduce first-year students to Yale’s cultural resources as well as to explore the diversity of student experiences on the Yale campus, with emphasis on the experiences of traditionally underrepresented students. … Activities include discussions with faculty experts in the concepts of ethnicity, nationality, and race; panels on academic expectations by faculty; presentations on campus life by students; and group visits to local points of interest.”

We hope these voices illuminate some of the myriad of experiences that Cultural Connections represents.

“As director of this program, I am proud of the community that is built that helps students to gain consciousness of their agency to navigate an institution like Yale,” said Eileen Galvez, the director of both Cultural Connections and La Casa Cultural.

“As a participant and a counselor of the program, [I know] Cultural Connections is about empowering students to create their own path at Yale, knowing that they have a warm and inclusive community to support them,” said Sonny Stephens ’19.

“Cultural Connections is an opportunity to find a space at Yale where you can embrace your ethnic background and expose yourself to more diversity. It’s a great experience for anyone,” said Chika Ogbejesi ’21.

Select Alumni and Staff of Cultural Connections