Fall 2021 Update from ExComm Student Co-Coordinators

A note from the Student Executive Committee Co-Coordinators, Sasha Thomas and Carlos Brown:

Dwight Hall’s Student Executive Committee (ExComm) has worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep responding to the needs of our service member groups as well as students arriving and returning to campus.

ExComm 2021
ExComm gathered in person at the beginning of the fall semester.

One of the primary functions ExComm served was helping students navigate COVID service restrictions from the university and answering their questions to get them back to their important work, anything from tutoring students to volunteering at health centers. We worked closely with student leaders to develop detailed safety plans and supported them with resources and logistics.

We have also begun researching ways to preserve the institutional history of organizations that have not been able to be active for over two years now. We want their work to live on and inform the new leadership who may not have first-hand knowledge of previous leaders’ work. As part of one of the oldest institution on campus, we are also engaging in critical discussions about how we tell Dwight Hall’s own story and share our values through the design of our physical spaces like the Common room and the Library.

ExComm also continues to reach out to other Yale and New Haven groups to respond to the ever-evolving needs of our community. Recently, we collaborated an event lead by the Muslim Students Association that benefited IRIS to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The event brought 90 guests to the hall for the first time in years using ExComm’s Emergency Advocacy Funding.

As we end this semester and go into 2022, ExComm is excited to continue to support the needs of students and community members!

About the Author

Lydia Burleson

Lydia Burleson served as the Communications and Alumni Engagement Associate for Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Social Justice from June 2021-June 2022. A first-generation low-income student from rural Texas, Lydia graduated from Yale cum laude in 2021 with a degree in English and a nonfiction creative writing concentration. During her college years, Lydia increased awareness of marginalized voices with the public writing she did for The Yale Daily News and the Yale Admissions office. Her Dwight Hall experiences included free college advising with student-led member groups REACH and Matriculate. Dwight Hall empowered Lydia to uplift other disadvantaged students and to increase access to education for people who might not have otherwise received these resources. She is currently completing an English PhD at Stanford University with a Knight-Hennessy Fellowship.