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November 27, 2012
A recurring theme at YLS is community. Coming from a large state school, I was excited to become part of a more close-knit student body. But there was one aspect of the YLS community that I did not see coming: the Wall.
The Wall is an actual wall in the main hallway of the Sterling Law Building that used to be the hub of student interaction. Today, the Wall has been digitized into a school-wide mailing list that is used for every purpose imaginable. Event notices are sent out to the Wall. Students ask for recommendations on classes and dry cleaners, sell textbooks or appliances they no longer need, and coordinate rides to MPRE testing centers or to airports during breaks. Students write on behalf of friends in need, asking if anyone knows of a lawyer in California specializing in protest arrests or is aware of a sublet in East Rock.
The Wall can feed you, too. Students send out one-liners to the Wall indicating where there is leftover food from various events. When I’m studying at the library and start to get hungry, I can usually depend upon the Wall to come through with dinner plans for me.
The Wall has a history of facilitating debates. Alumni remember the debates that took place on the physical Wall, students thumb tacking pages in response to others. There have recently been email discussions regarding affirmative action, police brutality, and cultural sensitivity when it comes to Halloween attire. When YLS students write commentary on current events for CNN or the New York Times, proud friends let the entire community know.
Above all, the Wall cares. Forgot your ticket to the Harvard-Yale game in your drawer? An email to the Wall and a classmate who hasn’t left for Boston yet can pick up the tickets from your roommate and bring them to you. After Hurricane Sandy hit, a 2L coordinated a group of students to help victims in Coney Island. Students use the Wall to coordinate a birthday card for the shuttle driver and to remind everyone to thank the security guard for his service on Veteran’s Day.
The Wall is a digital reflection of the sense of community that you get here at YLS. It may at times overwhelm your inbox. You might even shake your head when you see what looks like the most random request possible. But you can’t help but smile when, a few hours later, you see that follow up email saying, “The Wall comes through again! Thanks YLS.”