Courtesy of Paul Pineda

Results from the annual Fall Yale College Council survey have revealed a handful of key findings: Fewer students want to transfer residential colleges, most students utilizing the Good Life Center are in Silliman and half of students would be interested in pursuing a
certificate program.

While the YCC does not plan to release the full results of the survey, YCC President Kahlil Greene ’21 and YCC Vice President Grace Kang ’21 shared some of the survey’s main insights into student preferences with the News. This year’s survey asked students questions related to campus mental health resources and the potential expansion of the College’s certificate program. According to Kang, around 2,100 students completed the survey — a similar rate to the previous year’s results. In recent years, survey data has helped the YCC push reforms regarding the Domestic Summer Award, late-night dining at Slifka, gender-neutral housing, dean’s excuses for mental illness and the residential college shuttle line, according to the YCC email announcing the survey’s opening.

“The Fall Survey really bolsters all of the YCC’s advocacy efforts,” Greene told the News. “Our methods of advocacy have evolved throughout the years, and we’ve found that providing concrete data to support our recommendations has led to an increase of successful projects.”

Like it did in years past, Greene said that the results of the survey will continue to assist the YCC in various policy reforms. He added that they plan on spending “hours upon hours looking through the data and digging for insights” that will “refine” how they communicate with the administration.

This year, Yale saw 92 fewer students who want to transfer residential colleges, representing a 16 percent decrease from last year’s figure. The survey also found that over 85 percent of students reported being satisfied with their overall residential college experiences.

The report also found that only slightly more than 15 percent of students reported that they go to the Good Life Center — a student wellness center based in Silliman College — more than once a month. Kang added that 32 percent of respondents said they had been to the center “a few times.”

Kang noted that of the students utilizing the wellness center, most are in Silliman. This result, Kang said, “strongly suggests” that if the center were to be moved to the soon-to-open Schwarzman Center, there would be a larger “demographic of students utilizing the space” — since it would no longer be located at a specific
residential college.

YCC Student Life Director Karen Li ’22 said that questions regarding the GLC “gauge the importance” of the center, especially considering that funding for the center is “renewed on a yearly basis.” Li said that the data is important to evaluate whether the GLC is something Yale “should continue to invest in and/or expand.”

The survey also looked at mental health services more generally.

“About 135 students reported that they use off-campus mental health resources,” Kang said. “Most students go to Yale Mental Health. You also see a handful of students utilizing other services at the Office of LGBTQ [Resources], Walden Peer Counseling and the GLC.”

The survey also asked respondents for their input on certificate programs that recognize additional coursework pursued in certain fields of study without having to fully major in that field. For example, Yale offers certificates in foreign languages and Data Science. Kang noted that 50 percent of students responded to the survey that they would be interested in pursuing a certificate program, with an additional 25 percent of students responding that they would also be interested depending on the department in which the certificate is offered.

Greene told the News that the YCC is also looking forward to their annual Spring survey, which the council will conduct next semester. According to Greene, while the Fall survey helps the YCC “push for change in our administration,” the Spring survey allows the YCC’s future leadership to “set goals and an agenda” for the following summer.

Branford College had the highest survey participation rate among all 14 residential colleges.

Alayna Lee | alayna.lee@yale.edu