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My name is Robert Sanchez (SY '08) and I am writing to ask for your help in responding to changes being implemented to Yale College's counseling program. In the upcoming weeks, the Yale administration plans to make changes to its freshman counselor program. As former students who benefited from the EC program, past ECs, and concerned alumni, we feel that the proposed changes would be detrimental to the counselor program and would have a negative impact on future students of color entering Yale. Unless we respond quickly, these new changes will begin to take place in the next week.


The proposed changes are outlined below, as well as a list of some of the problems we feel exist with the new plans. We ask that you please read through these changes, our concerns, and respond by writing an email to Dean Mary Miller, Dean of Yale College ( This email address is hidden from email harvesters via JavaScript ) and Dean Marichal Gentry, Dean of Student Affairs ( This email address is hidden from email harvesters via JavaScript ). Please respond ASAP this week as these changes will begin to be implemented in the upcoming days. The email should only take a few minutes.


In your response, we encourage you to elaborate as much as you would like, sharing your own experiences with the counselor program and why you feel it is important to preserve. It is very important to share our viewpoints as alums to the administration, to demonstrate why they need to change their approach to the counselor program. Also, please pass this along to other alums who would be interested in helping to respond.


Thank you for your help with this issue.




Robert Sanchez

Saybrook '08

Former Latino EC


Proposed Changes:

1. Add an additional counselor to every Froco Team (12 new counselors), the idea
here is to increase diversity on the teams.

2. Blend the EC and RC programs -ECs will not exist.  All counselors will have
the same training and be called Frocos.

3. Add a Links Program. Links will serve as ambassadors to cultural centers, the LGBTQ, and the Chaplains office.  They will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors and will not have counseling training. They'll be paid but their job is simply to connect people to institutions that already exist.


Why we're concerned:

1.      Loss of counseling resources for students of color: The new plan eliminates the EC program without directly creating a counseling/mentoring resource for students of color. One of the key aspects of the EC program is that counselors are matched with incoming students from similar backgrounds before they arrive on campus. This is an invaluable resource. With the two counseling programs combined and the proposed Links Program not intended to mentor students, the new program has little or no mechanism at all to fill this important role. Any changes to the counseling program should ensure that this need is met with sufficient resources, not just adding one extra counselor who may or may not understand the needs of students of color, or simply establishing an ambassador position to direct students to resources that are already consistently under-funded such as the cultural centers.  


2.      No guaranteed input from Cultural Center Deans on counselor selection: The goal of increasing diversity on counselor teams cannot be sufficiently met without input from Cultural Center Deans. These Deans interact and work with student leaders in their respective communities, who might not be as active in their own colleges. Residential colleges would not be required to have input from the cultural center Deans when forming their counselor teams, creating a potential for a significant lack of representation from communities of color.


3.      Lack of input from students: The new plan was formulated and has begun to be implemented without any input from students or current or former Residential or Ethnic Counselors. It disregards many of the concerns presented in proposed plans submitted by previous classes of Ethnic Counselors. Since so many students will be impacted by these changes, it's important that their views and concerns are heard.


These are just some of our primary concerns, though more can be established when taking into account the larger impacts of the new program. We ask that you please put your reactions and responses into your comments to be sent to Dean Miller and Dean Gentry.