i. A COVID Year

Which of the following statements best describes your experience adjusting your living situation to accommodate the demands of virtual learning?

16% I did not find the process to be challenging.
49% I found the process to be somewhat challenging.
35% I found the process to be very challenging.

New Haven

35% I found the process to be very challenging.

Abroad*

43% I found the process to be very challenging.

New Haven

35% I found the process to be very challenging.

Abroad

43% I found the process to be very challenging.

White

31% I found the process to be very challenging.

BIPOC

37% I found the process to be very challenging.

New Haven

“Although the year was challenging, I learned a lot from my remote learning experience and do not think that my intellectual experience suffered much. The biggest loss was definitely the daily interaction with peers and the social life at the school and beyond. I appreciated the continued access to the school facilities that we did have and which most other schools did not. In retrospect, I experienced the year as socially and economically challenging, personally enlightening, and intellectually stimulating.”
—International White Male

“For me, the essential issue was not about the amount of in-person education I received at the end, as I understand that everyone was struggling to cope, but the fact that the lack of earnest communication from the school really challenged some of my decision-making. The uncertainty of decisions and the latency in answers actually impacted how the school year would look like for some people.”
—International Asian Female

“It became painfully clear how overwhelming a pandemic-affected year was for instructors who struggled to simultaneously balance the demands of their YSoA job, child care, and private practice all from home. Beyond students’ frustrations over not receiving enough face time or feedback on their work due to this limited bandwidth, what was more alarming was how these instructors seemed to have no choice but to overextend themselves to such an exhausting degree. It made me wonder how much (or how little) architectural academia as a profession pays and the precarity of these positions at even wealthy institutions like Yale. Institutions where discourse important to the advancement of our field is supposed to be initiated, but where it seems we are first taught how little to value our labor.”
—US Asian Female

“[Adjusting for remote learning] was expensive and exhausting. Converting a tiny three-bedroom apartment to accommodate WFH for three students was an exercise in absurdity.”
—US Asian Male

Abroad

“Liminal. Far from school, yet close to home. A happy compromise.”
—International Asian Male

“Not so fun fact: I was remote for the first half of the academic year, and my Core I instructor just simply forgot the existence of remote students on one studio day. I had to text other students in the studio to set up a Zoom link so that I could hear and vaguely see what was going on in the pit...”
—International Asian Female

“Being remotely located since March of 2020 made virtual learning feel quite ‘normal’ for me. However, due to a 12-hour time difference, it forced me to find a compromise between late sleeping hours and opportunities at school. Because my health was getting worse due to poor sleeping hours, in the end I had to prioritize my health and let go of most school opportunities that were happening past 3pm EST. However, being remote did allow me to be closer to my family and friends in Hong Kong, which was great.”
—International Asian Male

Which of the following best describes your experience of mental health resources at YSoA?

11% I found YSoA mental health resources to be helpful.
17% I found YSoA mental health resources to be somewhat helpful.
10% I had my own mental health counseling outside of YSoA.
13% I found YSoA mental health resources to be unhelpful.
49% I did not make use of mental health resources.
Which of the following best describes your experience of mental health resources at YSoA? (if you made use of them)

White

50% I found YSoA mental health resources to be somewhat helpful or helpful.

bipoc

80% I found YSoA mental health resources to be somewhat helpful or helpful.

Which of the following best describes your experience of mental health resources at YSoA?

New Haven

46% I found YSoA mental health resources to be somewhat helpful or helpful.

Abroad

13% I found YSoA mental health resources to be somewhat helpful or helpful.

White

“The complete collapse of any distance between my academic and personal life was ultimately pretty unhealthy. I felt like I could never turn 'off' because my computer was 5 feet away from my bed, and vice versa.”
—US Male

“The year was psychologically and emotionally exhausting, such that academic ambitions and expectations—from both students and faculty—felt dulled. Nevertheless, I completed work and checked off course requirements, much to my own surprise...
The typical Zoom classroom invariably contained awkward silences and audio mishaps, but also genuine care between students and faculty as demonstrated through the Zoom chat and ‘reactions.’ These moments of connection lifted the general feeling of alienation that the Zoom classroom, by necessity, imposed.”
—US Female

“I found the experience to be mentally draining. The message to the students was always 'prioritize your health'. This did not align with the work that was assigned or expected of us.”
—US Female

BIPOC

“Spending my days in solitary isolation was challenging. However, I came to deeply appreciate the sense of slowness instilled during this time. Rudolph Hall, with all its buzz of creative energy, can also become an environment of toxic hyper-productivity. As we ease back into in-person learning, I hope all of us (students & faculty alike) hold onto the lessons of slowing down, opting out, self-preservation, mutual care, and adaptability gleaned from the pandemic.”
—US Asian Female

“It was very difficult, sometimes suffering. Most of the time, I worked late at night due to the time zone difference.”
—International Asian Male

“Sad at the opportunities, connections, and socializing that were lost but happy with the newfound free time spent with family and friends. I felt okay working outside of studio though. I’m not convinced more studio time means better projects for everyone, and I think remote options should remain.”
—US Biracial Male

Which of the following best describes your engagement with students that you could not meet in person?

16% I was able to engage with them in meaningful discussion.
37% I was somewhat able to engage with them in meaningful discussion.
41% I was rarely able to engage with them in meaningful discussion.
6% I was unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

white

58% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

bipoc

42% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

white

58% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

bipoc

42% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

us

52% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

international Intl

35% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

white

58% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

bipoc

42% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

female

67% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

female

36% I was rarely or unable to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

English as primary Language

44% I was able or somewhat able to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

English as secondary language

69% I was able or somewhat able to engage with them in meaningful discussion.

White

“During COVID, [the remote experience] was certainly one of isolation. There was difficulty speaking up for fear of speaking over another or due to the uncertainty of how you might be perceived when the [...] presentation of one’s self was confined to a two dimensional medium.”
—US Male

“Only now do I find myself having candid conversations about the mental and emotional impact of the past year. Several of my classmates and I feel depleted, nihilistic, and disconnected. We are still hoping and reaching for connection I think though. At the end of the day, that’s a big part of why we’re here– community and understanding.”
—US Female

“The insular actions of others and the inability to connect socially made conversations agitating and argumentative instead of moving towards inclusion and positivity.”
—International Female

“The isolation really got to me. In such a turbulent year, I couldn’t believe the Core I and II studios were as volatile and destabilizing as they were. As a non-background student, I fear the isolated learning environment didn’t allow for the intended cross-pollination between backgrounds, leaving the disparity of technical abilities wider than a standard in-person year.”
—US Male

bipoc

“I had trouble feeling like I was welcome to contribute to in-class conversations because of the Zoom platform. I don’t know what it’s like in previous years, but often professors would comment that the class seemed quiet. I think I didn’t like to speak up in class often because I knew the Zoom magnifying glass would be on my head and that any unintelligent comment or slip-up would be immortalized on the class recording.”
—US Black Female

“I have to speak a little louder and maybe clearer, but eventually, with the type of student body at YSoA, I am able to be heard.”
—US Latinx Female

“The moments when I was able to be in Rudolph Hall with my classmates were what kept me from completely spiraling into a chasm of self-doubt, negative thoughts, and creative ruts. It was easy to chastise myself during that time with thoughts like, "You’re a Yale student now. You should be able to handle this and excel in spite of the situation". It made me feel like I was failing to meet my full potential. Being around my classmates and hearing that they were struggling in the same mental jungle-gym was encouraging. We were all there, working through it together.”
—US Black Female

Which of the following statements best describes how your input is received when you engage in group projects or discussions?

45% I feel heard by my peers.
49% I feel somewhat heard by my peers.
4% I rarely feel heard by my peers.
2% I do not feel heard by my peers.

white

50% I feel heard by my peers.

bipoc

42% I feel heard by my peers.

white

50% I feel heard by my peers.

bipoc

42% I feel heard by my peers.

male

64% I feel heard by my peers.

female

42% I feel heard by my peers.

us

53% I feel heard by my peers.

international Intl

36% I feel heard by my peers.

White

“I am a white woman who often noticed the immense space I was comfortable taking up, and I was often unsure of how to give space to my peers who deserved more room for input. Faculty would perpetuate this by recognizing my comfort in speaking for the group and putting me on the spot for synthesis when others should have been given recognition and/or the opportunity.”
—US Female

“There was a lack of diversity of thought amongst students. Zoom really only allowed for the loudest students to voice opinions on subjects in group settings.”
—US Male

“I tend to naturally fall into leadership positions, though I have a fear of becoming overburdening or too loud of a voice. I found myself often grappling with how much to lead discussions vs to allow space for others to voice opinions. The feedback was generally positive, though not a clear indicator of how others felt.”
—US Male

BIPOC

“I feel that I often overextend myself in group project settings. When people don’t want to step up into a leadership role, I often do, whether or not I feel prepared or properly equipped to do so.”
—US Black Female

“Some [groups] have been awesome, and sometimes I am quiet when we meet with our professors and that’s partially on me. But[...]then I won’t be seen as a contributing member worth engaging. My teammates know that is not the case, and sometimes they will call on me to try to support me <3 bless those ones.”
—US Asian Female

“I think in Western culture, when one individual is outspoken, speaks up in class, and talks on behalf of others, it is generally assumed by faculty that that individual did the most work and came up with most of the ideas. In fact, that is actively encouraged and requested by the teaching team. They would rather hear from the same person each week, have a single person summarize the thoughts of the collective, and have the same people talk for the entire duration of class....The faculty could encourage dialogue and make students feel more comfortable by knowing us by name and taking time to get to know students through smaller groups or 1-1 conversations.”
—International Asian Male

“When it comes to group projects [...] not only do the critics and [native] English-speaking classmates assume that it is their role to [present and answer critics’ questions], but even we [English as secondary language speakers] would think that because our presentation might not be as good– and because our ability to immediately understand and react to certain criticisms or questions is slower– that we better not pick up the job of presenting. Yet we certainly have thoughts that we wish to convey. The setting of Zoom and the immediate response of the ’representatives’ made it very difficult to interrupt conversations. There were numerous times when I thought what was presented was not the consensus of the group nor conveyed my thoughts clearly. But time would pass, and I could only give up. Because I am always on the passive side, people assume I only listen.”
—International Asian Female

*Note: NEW HAVEN includes respondents who spent both semesters in the city. ABROAD includes those who spent at least one or more semesters outside the US.