Just 5 percent of first years plan to move off campus

Just 5 percent of first years plan to move off campus

Published on September 6, 2018

Last year, 26.2 percent of juniors and 39.8 percent of seniors opted to live in non-University housing. But only 6 percent of members of the Class of 2022 who responded to the News’ first-year survey intend to move off campus at some point during their college career.

And whereas 40 percent of the Class of 2021 survey respondents that they were not interested in joining Greek organizations on campus, that figure spiked to 67 percent among this year’s survey participants. Still, the fraction of students who reported having interest in Greek Life held constant at around 20 percent, while the number of students on the fence declined.

First-year respondents said they view fraternities more negatively than sororities. Roughly one-fifth of respondents said they had cheated in an academic context. And a little over three-fourths of respondents are concerned about the issue of sexual misconduct on campus.

Even before stepping onto campus for the first time, Yale’s newest students had detailed expectations about campus culture — from social life to the residential college system, and more. Late in the summer, the News sent out a survey to incoming first years to learn more about Yale’s class of 2022. Of the 1,578 first years, 864 responded to the survey — a 54.75 percent response rate. Survey results were not adjusted for selection bias.

Off-campus housing

The Class of 2022 will be the second group of students admitted to Yale since the opening of Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges last August. The new colleges will increase the size of Yale College by roughly 800 students once the class of 2024 is admitted two years from now.

Just under 60 percent of respondents said they would prefer to live on Old Campus, as opposed to their residential college. Six percent of survey respondents plan to move off campus, while 57 percent said they would not leave Yale housing and 37 percent said they were unsure.

According to University data, for the 2017–18 school year, about 26 percent of juniors and 40 percent of seniors lived in non-Yale housing. In a News survey distributed to off-campus students in March, students provided a variety of reasons for why they opted out of living in their residential colleges — including to save money, get off the Yale meal plan and have more independence. A total of 1,299 undergraduates responded to that survey — roughly 24 percent of the University’s undergraduate population — and the results were not adjusted for bias.

“I visited a friend at Yale, and he lives in a house off campus, and I just really enjoyed the vibe in that house,” said Hamzah Jhaveri ’22, one of the few respondents who plans to live off campus. “Obviously I am looking forward to living in a residential college, but you’re afforded a new level of freedom that I’ve always wanted to try off campus.”

Greek Life

A little over two-thirds of survey respondents said they were uninterested in joining one of Yale’s eleven fraternities or four sororities. Only 19 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “somewhat” interested in joining Greek life.

Many responded that they were unsure of how they view fraternities and sororities at Yale. While slightly over 10 percent of respondents said they view fraternities “positively” or “very positively,” roughly 32 percent said they view fraternities as “negatively” or “very negatively.” Only 17 percent of respondents said they view sororities “very negatively” or “negatively.”

Kyle Mazer ’22 said that while he is still not sure he will rush a fraternity, he is drawn to its aspects of the culture.

“You hear about the brotherhood and everyone being a good group of guys, being in a fraternity you get the concept of a brotherhood instilled in you,” Mazer said. “And then you also usually have stuff in common with the guys where you get along together — it has really traditional American roots.”

Just over one-fourth of respondents said that they were “concerned” or “very concerned” about sexual misconduct at Yale, while roughly half of respondents said they were “a little concerned.” Twenty-three percent of respondents said they were not at all concerned about sexual misconduct.

Margaux Diebold ’22 said that she was not concerned about sexual misconduct at Yale because New Haven and Yale both feel very safe to her by comparison to other colleges she considered. After Yale, she added, her next-choice school was Tulane, which felt more dangerous to her because of its location in New Orleans.

“Maybe if I was considering a more sheltered school next to Yale, I’d be more concerned,” Diebold explained. “But I feel comfortable with how Yale confronts sexual misconduct through training sessions and other orientation programs to try and balance out the threat.”

Students interviewed also highlighted concerns about sexual misconduct within Yale’s Greek Life community.

“I think that the problem I have is not with all fraternities, but definitely fraternities that have had their names in the news recently with members of their leadership dealing with sexual misconduct,” Mia Coates ’22 said. “And I have some problems with members of those specific fraternities that have not left yet.”

Sex and drugs

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had never had sexual intercourse. Of those who said they had had intercourse, 52 percent reported having had one sexual partner and 18 percent reported having had two. Thirty-one respondents said they had had five or more sexual partners. These statistics were not adjusted for Camp Yale.

Most respondents indicated that they had not tried drugs, other than alcohol. More than 97 percent of respondents had not used LSD, cocaine, ecstasy or study drugs, such as Adderall. Slightly over 70 and 90 percent of respondents had never used tobacco or vape products, respectively.

Alcohol was the most commonly used substance among Yale’s class of 2022. The majority of respondents — 63 percent — said they had previously used the substance. Just over 10 percent reported drinking alcohol once a week or more.

Outside the Classroom

Respondents said they were interested in a variety of extracurricular activities offered at Yale, including theatre, politics, debate, publications and undergraduate research.

Roughly 8 percent of respondents said they were recruited athletes, and just over 5 percent of the remaining students said they plan to walk on to a varsity sports team.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 82 percent, said that they expect academics to be their top priority at Yale — ahead of social life, on-campus employment, extracurriculars and varsity sports.

Survey respondents reported interest in a range of careers after graduation. Forty percent of respondents plan to go to professional school, 2 to 7 percent of first years hope to pursue consulting, nonprofit or public service, health, entrepreneurship, finance, politics, engineering, arts or sports, business, publishing or technology each and less than 2 percent of respondents plan to pursue careers in education.

Clarification, Sep. 6, 2018: A previous version of this article stated that 40 percent of the Class of 2021 reported that they were not interested in joining Greek organizations on campus, while 67 percent of the Class of 2022 said so this year. In fact, the article was referring to those in the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022 who responded to the first-year survey. 

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