Yale Athletics

The fall sports season may be coming to a close, but Yale Athletics, students and athletes have not stopped their involvement in sports at the University.

The fall season was one of Yale’s most successful periods in recent memory. The men’s soccer team won the Ivy League Championship and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament. Women’s volleyball won its third straight Ancient Eight title in a comeback fashion. Team 147 crowned itself champions of the Ivy League football division in a thrilling double-overtime game against Harvard. And of all of this has been paired with YCC, Yale Athletics and student efforts that have shown a commitment to creating a sports culture that was seemingly absent in recent years.

“Throughout this semester, we’ve been hosting and participating in several events to show our support for Yale Athletics and our fellow student-athletes,” YCC Events Director Steven Orientale ’21 said. “For example, this is the first year that the YCC was included in the annual YaleUp! event held at the end of Camp Yale for the first-year class.”

These are not the only directives headed by the YCC to get students involved in athletics at Yale.

The organization has been working to publicize different athletic events via the weekly YCCatch-All events newsletters and social media posts to let students know about different sporting events.

In an email to the News, YCC Vice President Grace Kang ’21 also stressed the importance of new policies aimed at supporting student-athletes on campus. After holding focus groups with athletes last year, the Student Life policy team is currently working to implement an improved first-year advisor program for student-athletes adjusting to college life with a focus on time management. There are also ongoing talks with Yale Athletics and the Yale Student Athletic Advisory Committee, SAAC, about starting mental health campaigns specifically for athletes.

“We’ve joked that Yale’s SAAC is back,” SAAC president and varsity golfer Gabrielle DeSombre ’21 said. “Our mission is to promote communication between athletes, administration and athletics, improve the student-athlete experience through greater resources and events and generate a close-knit student-athlete community at Yale. Previously, there wasn’t an easy way for student-athletes to voice their opinions and concerns. With the revival of SAAC, student-athletes now have the opportunity to share their thoughts while also working on projects and initiatives that hold meaning to them.”

Other initiatives that DeSombre highlighted include increasing accessibility of academic resources for student-athletes, a point system to increase attendance at athletic games and a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion within the student-athlete body. There are also ongoing talks about a people of color athlete affinity group in the works.

These improvements have also come directly from Yale Athletics. This semester alone, under the guidance of Athletics Director Vicky Chun, fans saw the launch of a new online gear store, increased social media presence, an upgraded ticket website, more events with local youth groups and a new athletics website. A Yale Athletics sports podcast is also in the works and will be coming in the near future.

44,989 people attended the Yale-Harvard game.

Eugenio Garza Garcia | eugenio.garzagarcia@yale.edu