The following was an article written by Shayna Elliot for the Yale Daily News about the experience of being an LDS Student at Yale University. To read the full article, click here.
Rather than feeling confined and self-conscious about an identity that could prove out-of-sync with their peers and roommates, many Mormons at Yale feel excited about sharing this little-known distinctiveness.
“You get lots of interesting questions when you come from a unique background,” Claire Thomas ’19 said. They are presented with the opportunity to dispel stereotypes and reestablish people’s understandings of their religion. Sam South ’18 echoes Thomas’ feelings: “Yale cultivates the sharing of differing opinions.”
Even adults who are members of the LDS Church resonate with these messages about the University’s accepting culture: Yale is “not a hypercompetitive or confrontational environment” according to Stuart Campbell, an associate professor for biomedical engineering and cellular and molecular physiology.
“I have always felt that people are deferential about beliefs at Yale. Academically and philosophically, it’s a really safe place,” he added.
The small size of the Mormon community here has allowed it to turn into a family. Like each student who belongs to a specific community within Yale’s large institution, these members of the Latter-day Saints Students Association spend time together — in class, at church, at dinner — feeling comfortable and reassured among familiar faces. “It’s really nice to have multiple communities all at once,” Hunter Craft ’20 said, verbalizing a sentiment that many Yale students share.
Beyond the intimacy and community that the LDSSA provides for these students, additional things delineate a Mormon’s Yale experience. In a place where drinking and hookup cultures are pervasive, Mormons’ inability to join their peers could be ostracizing. But, this has not proved to be the case with these students.
To read the full post on the Yale Daily News, click here.