Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Housing is okay. I thought it was good at first but after staying the night with a friend at harvard for the Game I have to say I feel kind of let down. Facilities are fine but not as nice as they could be. Dining is excellent, labs are okay.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Yale has an absolutely beautiful campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Campus Quality: The concert halls, libraries, athletic facilities, and outdoor campus are stunningly beautiful and effective. The opportunities in the community to create off-campus events are also very excellent.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Quality: The libraries are fantastic and full of anything you would want to study. The town as a whole is fantastic-though in the central green there is a major homeless problem.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Always something eventful going on

4 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Yale is, first and foremost, a beautiful place, inside and out. The University invests a great deal of money to keep the campus in top condition. This is even more impressive since many of the buildings date back to the 18th century!

The Yale Library System is literally one of the best in world. With approximately 13 million volumes, the system consists of 22 buildings and is especially known for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Sterling Memorial Library (which is built in the style of a cathedral). The classroom buildings are often as picturesque as cathedrals, affording students the opportunity to learn amidst stained glass and gothic stonework. The University also has an extensive network of general and specialty computer labs.

The residential colleges are architectural wonders, and nearly all of them are newly renovated (the last will be done in 2011). Each residential college boasts a common room, a library (or two, in the case of Davenport), dining hall, TV room, computer lab, workout room, buttery, and laundry room. In addition, each college contains its own special facilities, such as movie theaters, caberets, music practice rooms, bookbinding studios, pottery and art studios, dance rooms, dark rooms, kitchens, and woodshops.

Some students (espeically athletes) will brag about Payne Whitney Gym, which is incredible inside and out. It is the second largest gymnasium in the world, and it's fully equipped for nearly any athletic event. In addition, the gym offers dozens of classes every semester including yoga, dance, kickboxing, fencing, and martial arts.

There is no student center at Yale, but students agree that the lack of such a place is rarely, if ever, missed since the residential college system makes a student center unnecessary.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
260 acres
Student Centers
All of the 12 residential colleges act as student centers on campus.
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • 12 residential college libraries
  • Bass Library
  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  • Divinity School Library
  • Law Library
  • Mudd Library
  • Music Library (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library)
  • Numerous special collections (ex: East Asian) and specialty libraries (ex: Classics or Geology)
  • Sterling Memorial Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Cross Campus
  • Old Campus
  • Residential college facilities, like game rooms, butteries, movie theaters, TV rooms, etc.
  • Suite common rooms
Bar on Campus
  • GPSCY (Graduate & Professional Student Center at Yale, pronounced "gypsy") is the grad student bar
  • Hot Tomatoes
  • Keys to the City
  • Mory's, a Yale tradition!
  • Toad's Place
Bowling on Campus
Black Bear
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Bass Library CafĂ©
  • Blue State Coffee
  • Publick Cup
  • Starbucks
  • Willoughby's Coffee and Tea
Movie Theater on Campus
  • Bow-Tie Cinemas
  • Residential college movie theaters, such as Davenport, Saybrook, and Silliman (and they're free!).
"Green" Initiatives
Student Taskforce for Environmental Partnership (STEP). Students in STEP lead the undergraduate campus in green initiatives such as recycling, energy reduction, and sustainable dining.
School Slang
  • Bass: Bass Library. This is the underground home of comfy armchairs and a great cafe (read: coffee). Frequented primarily by undergraduates. Open late into the evenings, and 24/7 during Reading Period!
  • Blue Book: Yale's "Bible" of class listings and descriptions. Your ultimate shopping period guide to academics. Note: Can also be used as a verb (ex: "I'm so tired, I've been bluebooking all night!").
  • D.S.: Directed Studies. Also known as Directed Suicide. This is a freshman program that comprises three of your classes every semester (philosophy, literature, and history/politics). Now when someone mentions Kant, you can say in all honesty, "Critique of Pure Reason? I hated Critique of Pure Reason!"
  • DUH: Acronym still used to refer to the old Department of University Health, even though they changed the name to University Health Services about 20 years ago. Have a stomach ache? According to these professionals, either you're pregnant or you're probably pregnant.
  • Durfee's run: A quick trip to Durfee Sweet Shoppe. This snack shop is located in the basement of Durfee on Old Campus. A great place to score late-night snacks, especially healthy or organic delicacies (as well as less-healthy alternatives).
  • Gut: An easy class that takes the stress out of a busy schedule. Beware, there are very few "gut" classes at Yale!
  • Legacy: A student who got into Yale because his or her parent or relative went here. (Now increasingly rare.)
  • Reading Period: A week with no classes during which students "prepare" for their finals. Usually a frantic combination of partying and paper writing.
  • Science Hill: The location of most science classes. A half-mile from Old Campus, this is God's way of punishing physics and bio-chemistry majors who would otherwise get no exercise.
  • Sexile: There are two people getting it on in your bedroom, and you are not one of them. Hope the couch is comfy.
  • Shopping Period: During the first two weeks of classes, Yale gives you the chance to preview potential classes without any commitment. Why do only four classes of reading when you can do fifteen? Still, it is a good opportunity to make sure your calculus teacher speaks English.
  • Spring Fling: During this campus-wide party the weekend before reading week, students blow off steam by basking in the sun and listening to famous bands like the Decemberists and Girl Talk.
  • The Stacks: Not only is this the dusty tower where you can get lost looking for books, it is also a choice location for romantic rendezvous.
  • Swing Space: Officially Boyd Hall. This relatively new dorm temporarily houses students while their colleges undergo renovations.
  • A Cappella Rush: "Rush" is the term for the whirlwind of events that ultimately leads up to Tap Night. Through concerts at Woolsey and Dwight halls, Yale's a cappella groups advertise themselves to new freshmen (and some upperclassmen). "Rushees" go through a series of auditions, call-backs, "Rush Meals," and "Singing Desserts" before they are tapped by groups that want them as members.
  • A Cappella Tap Night: On an undisclosed evening in October, all the members of Yale's a cappella groups gather at High Street Gate for the annual Tap Night. After performances by Whim 'n Rhythm and the Wiffenpoofs (Yale's senior female and male groups) and the dropping of a broom, groups rush Old Campus to "tap" new members into their group. The chaos and singing (there's a LOT) are exciting and memorable, even if you didn't Rush a cappella.
  • Class Day : During Class Day, the ceremony the day before Commencement, it is tradition for students to smoke a special tobacco out of a clay pipe and to wave good-bye to Yale with a white handkerchief. Today, students do this while wearing the silliest hats imaginable, which is a new tradition building on an old one.
  • Screws: Social occasions/dances organized by colleges in which suitemates set each other up on blind dates. Students often meet their dates through embarrassing situations, such as standing shirtless on Old Campus in the freezing cold holding a sign reading, "screw me, Martha." Most infamous is Freshmen Screw, although most colleges also hold Screws, as well.
  • Spring Fling: A day-long series of concerts on Old Campus by both Yale students and big name artists. Groups in 2009 included the Decemberists, N.E.R.D., and Girl Talk.
  • YSO Halloween concert: A Yalie-made silent film accompanied by music by the Yale Symphony Orchestra. Filmed on campus, the film is approximately an hour in length and features hilarious cameos by YSO musicians and Yale staff and faculty. It's one of the most popular social events of the year. Come to Woolsey in costume!
Urban Legends
  • Many Yalies will quote, "All roads lead to Toad's." This is a reference to the popular concert and dance venue, Toad's Place, and may or may not be true. However, Toad's remains a cornerstone of the Yale party scene.
  • The basic idea for Federal Express was submitted as a term paper at Yale . . . and only got a C.
  • The Skull and Bones secret society boasts many members who later rose to power as part of the United States' political elite. Members have included William Howard Taft, John Kerry, Presidents Bush (father and son), and (fictionally) the Simpson's character Montgomery Burns. The society is reported to have the bones of Martin Van Buren, Geronimo, and Pancho Villa, although this has never been confirmed. The society was also the basis of the popular movies, "The Good Shepherd" and "The Skulls."
Favorite Things To Do
Art shows. If you want to experience a slightly more upscale evening, there are often art show openings where you can rub elbows with Yale's "artsy" crowd while drinking wine and looking at some amazing work. Theater and drama productions. With at least one show every weekend, Yale theater scene is fantastic. You might just see the up-and-coming future stars of theater. Remember, both Meryl Streep and Jodie Foster graduated from Yale.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
Yale Daily News
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
With more than 300 organizations on campus, Yale students are involved. Organizations exist based on academics, music, athletics, communications, culinary, cultural, GLBT, performance, political, dance, religious, service/outreach, and special interests. Most Yalies are involved in one (if not many more!) student groups.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: No
Did You Know?
  • Don't see an organization you're interested in (unlikely as it is)? Register your own organization and apply for funding from Yale.
  • Yale is a leader in university sustainability. Visit to see what new "green" efforts are under way at Yale, including LEED certification, the Yale Sustainabile Food Project, and the Sustainability Leaders Program.
  • The Payne Whitney Gymnasium is the second largest gym in the world.
  • The Medical Historical Library has a collection of brains in jars!

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 47 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 5 responses

  • 27% Spring Fling
  • 18% Screws
  • 9% Safety dance
  • 9% Tang
  • 9% Tour de franzia
  • 9% Class Day
  • 9% A Cappella Tap Night
  • 9% YSO Halloween concert
  • 0% A Cappella Rush

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 5 responses

  • 22% Anything in the library
  • 22% Master's Aide
  • 22% Intramurals Supervisor
  • 22% CLS Language Tutor
  • 11% Teacher's Assistants

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 6 responses

  • 44% Old Campus
  • 33% Suite common rooms
  • 11% My room alone in the dark. mmmmmm
  • 11% Timothy Dwight College
  • 0% Cross Campus

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 6 responses

  • 50% Meet frogs and rocks
  • 17% Hang out in the residential college basements
  • 17% Explore the libraries and tunnels
  • 17% Study

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 6 responses

  • 33% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 50% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 17% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 40 responses

  • 22% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.
  • 52% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 20% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 5% The student center is in need of a major renovation.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 37 responses

  • 57% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 41% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 3% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 40% Geronimo's skull is in Skull and Bones
  • 40% Beineke will suffocate you to save it's books.
  • 20% You can get anywhere by steam tunnel



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