01 Apr 2011

Yale Under Federal Investigation

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Captain Algernon: “The Royal Ministry of Culture will need to investigate the atmosphere of this opera house to make certain that ladies may equally enjoy the performances.

The Oldest College Daily reports that Yale is under investigation by the feds:

[Yale] University is under investigation by the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights stemming from an alleged mishandling of several instances of sexual misconduct in recent years.

The Office for Civil Rights will open an investigation into the University “for its failure to eliminate a hostile sexual environment on campus, in violation of Title IX” — which prohibits discrimination or exclusion from education programs — according to a press release by the complainants sent to the News Thursday afternoon. Yale administrators said they have not yet received a copy of the complaint and cannot comment.

The measure comes after 16 Yale students and alumni filed a formal complaint March 15 informing the Office for Civil Rights about Yale’s breach of Title IX by citing a slew of “inadequate response[s]” to public episodes of sexual misconduct on campus, such as the controversial Delta Kappa Epsilon chanting incident on Old Campus last fall.

“We have tried so many avenues,” complainant Hannah Zeavin ’12 told the News Thursday. “We exhausted every internal process [available at Yale].”

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Alumna Presca Ahn (Branford ’10) details the unspeakable outrages that drove sixteen of Yale’s daughters to turn Mother Yale in.

On March 15, 16 students and recent alumnae of Yale filed a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights; I was one of them. The signatories were a diverse group, representing men and women, current students and recent graduates, those who have been involved in campus feminism and those who have not. The complaint itself was a detailed and heavily sourced 26-page document that outlined incidents of sex-based harassment and intimidation that have occurred at Yale every year for the past seven years, and argued that these incidents — and the University’s inadequate response to them — have resulted in a hostile educational environment for women at Yale. …

For the past seven years, Yale has demonstrated… tolerance towards harassment of women: in 2004, when fraternity members stole (and photographed themselves wearing) four t-shirts from the annual Take Back the Night Clothesline Project, in which past victims of rape record their testimonies on t-shirts and display them; in 2005, when a new class of fraternity pledges stole 20 more of the t-shirts; in 2006, when yet another class of pledges gathered by the Yale Women’s Center and chanted, “No means yes! Yes means anal!”; in 2007, when over 150 Medical School students wrote a letter of protest about the conditions of sexual harassment on campus in which eight specific instances of sexual assault were cited; in 2008, when Zeta Psi pledges posed in front of the Yale Women’s Center with a poster reading, “We Love Yale Sluts,” photographed themselves in the pose, and disseminated the photo on Facebook; in 2009, when anonymous male students at Yale authored and circulated a “Preseason Scouting Report” e-mail that rated incoming freshman women according to how many beers it would take to have sex with them, and listing their names, hometowns and residential colleges; and this past October, when DKE pledges congregated on Old Campus chanting, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” and “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I f— dead women and fill them with my semen.”

So what do we mean when we say that Yale is a hostile environment for women? What we don’t mean is that every female student at Yale has experienced sexual harassment or assault. What we mean is that the University has consistently demonstrated an attitude of tolerance for highly public acts of misogyny and sexual aggression. Female undergraduates see their peers call them “Yale sluts” and hear still other peers chant that “no means yes.” They live with the knowledge that the University has failed to punish those peers for sexual harassment. It takes little imagination to understand the effect of this kind of atmosphere on female students’ ability to engage in campus life on a basis of safety and equality.

Oh me! oh my! Stolen t-shirts! Frat members displaying “Yale Sluts” posters… and on Facebook, too! DKE pledge chanting slogans which were crude!

And no one was expelled or conspicuously punished and ostracized for politically incorrect expressions in mocking and parodistic contexts. It is easy to understand how the failure of President Levin personally to horsewhip those rowdy and insensitive fraternity men inevitably drove Yale’s womynist leaders to drop a dime on their alma mater.

After all, as a lot of Old Blues warned back when Kingman Brewster started talking about coeducating the place in the 1960s, many womyn are just to emotionally frail, too politically refined and sensitive, to bear uncouth, oppositional speech or mocking expressions of political incorrectness.

Such females may suffer untoward intellectual confusion, ideological indignation, and hyper-emotional distress. They may suffer from feelings of persecution and harassment. Thus, a real sector of the female community cannot possible function at an equal level in a university environment which naturally and inevitably features high-spirited young men, and in which ideas and perspectives are intended to be challenged, ridiculed, and vigorously contested. Some of these poor lambs are simply too delicate, too frail, too easily upset for all that.

Females of this kind need protection. As we see, some 16 unhappy Yale womynists felt vulnerable and persecuted, simply because their preferred ideological positions had been mocked or derided on several occasions in the course of a period of years, and no masculine protector had come forward to avenge them. In the end, they had to turn to the ultimate alternative masculine surrogate, Big Brother himself.

I was talking about all this with one of my pre-coeducation friends from Bones and DKE, just this afternoon.

“I warned you that this kind of thing was bound to happen.” Tripp observed, taking another sip of his gin-and-tonic. “Political ideas and higher education just mess up some female heads. They become fanatical and they egg one another on. Sexual frustration, of course, is endemic among politicized females. And the combination of sexual frustration and their hormonal cycle leads directly to delusions of victimization, paranoia, and vicious and destructive behavior. Imagine complaining about Yale to the Federal Government! It’s the behavior of a cad and a bounder, but for a politicized feminist it’s par for the course. That radical Brewster sowed the seeds, and Levin is reaping the harvest.”

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