Category Archive 'Yale'
13 Mar 2019

Unethical Certainly, but a Federal Crime?

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The Hartford Courant pays special attention to the Yale angle.

The former women’s soccer coach at Yale University and a Greenwich lawyer are among 50 people who have been indicted in a vast college admissions scam the government says was carried out by unscrupulous college officials, a crooked admissions consultant and wealthy parents willing to pay bribes to get their children into some of the nation’s top universities.

In a conspiracy engineered by California businessman William “Rick” Singer that extends from elite schools to celebrities and wealthy executives, parents spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million to guarantee their children’s admissions to elite schools, said Andrew E. Lelling, the U.S. Attorney in Boston.

The college admissions system was rigged against students who worked hard, got good grades and engaged in community service who sought admission to elite colleges and universities, Lelling said Tuesday in announcing the indictments. The FBI called the investigation “Operation Varsity Blues” and said about 300 FBI and IRS agents arrested 46 people on Tuesday.

In addition to Yale soccer coach Rudy Meredith, 33 parents were indicted for their role in the scheme, Lelling said. They include the actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, CEOs, and others, such as Gordon R. Caplan of Greenwich, co-chairman of the global law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. Caplan has not responded to a request for comment.

“All of them knowingly conspired with Singer and others to help their children either cheat on the ACT or Sat and or buy their children’s admission to elite schools through fraud,” Lelling said.

“There will not be a separate admissions system for the wealthy,” Lelling said. “And there will not be a separate criminal justice system either…“

Bribes were paid and frauds committed to gain admission for students to colleges such as Boston University, Yale University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, the University of California San Diego, the University of California Los Angeles, Wake Forest University, Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Lelling said it would be up to the colleges and universities who were the victims of the alleged frauds to determine what, if anything, to do with the students admitted under what the government says were fraudulent circumstances.

The government called Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., the mastermind of the scheme. He ran a college counseling and preparation business called The Edge College and Career Network LLC, which was known as The Key, and the nonprofit Key Worldwide Foundation, which the government says was nothing more than a sham organization that laundered the millions Singer’s company took in. Singer, who cooperated with federal agents during the investigation, was expected to plead guilty Tuesday to racketeering conspiracy, money laundering and other crimes.

In once instance, according to the court documents, Singer accepted a $1.2 million payment from a parent to secure a students’ admission to Yale.

More parents could be indicted as the investigation continues. …

“As the indictment makes clear, the Department of Justice believes that Yale has been the victim of a crime perpetrated by its former women’s soccer coach,” Yale spokesman Thomas Conroy said Tuesday. “The university has cooperated fully in the investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case moves forward.”

The government said it was tipped to the scheme while in the midst of an unrelated investigation.

There were three elements to the scheme: bribing SAT or ACT exam administrators to allow a person to secretly take the test in the place of a student, or to correct the student’s answers; pay bribes to university athletic coaches and administrators to have students admitted under the guise of being recruited as athletes, and using the facade of Singer’s charitable foundation to launder money and pay bribes. Some would then deduct on their taxes payments made to the phony foundation.

Longtime Yale coach Rudy Meredith, who resigned in November, is accused of accepting a $400,000 check from the family of a Yale applicant he ensured would be admitted to the university as part of the women’s soccer team, according to court documents. Meredith, who is accused of working in concert with Singer, has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, and conspiracy and has been cooperating with the government’s investigation since April 2018 with the hope of receiving leniency when he is sentenced, according to the government.

“Beginning in or about 2015, Meredith agreed with Singer and others known and unknown to the United States Attorney to accept bribes in exchange for designating applicants to Yale as recruits for the Yale women’s soccer team, and thereby facilitating their admission to the university, in violation of the duty of honest services he owed to Yale as his employer,” according to court documents.

The applicant’s family paid Singer and his associated businesses about $1.2 million as part of the scheme, according to court documents.

That applicant did not play competitive soccer and Singer is accused of preparing a phony athletic profile to be used during the admissions process that made the student appear to be a co-captain of a prominent club soccer team in southern California.

Meredith agreed to secure a spot at Yale for another applicant in exchange for $450,000 from the applicant’s father, according to court documents.

The two men are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.

“The corrupt behavior alleged by the Department of Justice is an affront to our university’s deeply held values of inclusion and fairness,” Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in a letter to the university community Tuesday. “I am committed to making certain the integrity of the admissions and athletic recruitment processes is not undermined again.”

“As the investigation unfolds, the university may take further actions. I will work closely with our athletics director and dean of undergraduate admissions to make any necessary changes to protect the university from the kind of criminal behavior the Department of Justice described today,” Salovey said.

Meredith, who lived in Madison, resigned from Yale in November and said he was leaving to after 24 years “to explore new possibilities and begin a different chapter in my life.”

Caplan, the Greenwich resident and lawyer in New York, is accused of paying Singer to help his daughter achieve a top score on the ACT, a college entrance exam, by having her purport to have a learning disability.

Caplan paid $75,000 last December to ensure that his daughter would get the desired score on the ACT, according to the indictment.

RTWT

$1.2 million to get into Yale? All I can say is: Wow!

Apparently, earlier this morning, in one of those disgraceful and utterly unnecessary dawn raids, Felicity Huffman was arrested by FBI agents with drawn guns!

Donald Trump really ought to put a stop to unnecessary dawn arrests and unnecessary displays of federal force. This kind of thing is patently an abuse of authority.

Reading about this scandal for the first time yesterday afternoon, I was, like most of America, I expect, basically amused. Parental desperation and excessive ambition is really a theme for comedy. Everybody knows perfectly well, after all, that representatives of the Kennedy and other dynasties, however lacking in intellectual orientation and however delinquent, get automatic entrée into Harvard.

Everybody knows that standards for representatives of minority victim groups are dramatically lowered, while standards for model minority Asians are dramatically raised. Everybody knows that there will be a large thumb on the scale in favor of the scion of plutocrat alumnus that paid for the University’s new science laboratory.

Life is not entirely fair.

Of course, bribing soccer coaches and cheating on tests is obviously wrong, and a number of schools and national testing services ought to be embarrassed, but I have trouble myself seeing just where the FBI and the IRS come into this.

Have we really reached the state of affairs in which every piece of chicanery, every payoff, every case of cheating is a FEDERAL CRIME?

Felicity Huffman was arrested for “conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.” Singer and Meredith are accused of “wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, and conspiracy.” Are wire fraud and mail fraud different or exactly the same thing? Who knows? Where did the mail or the telephone or telegraph come into any of this anyway?

Are we supposed to assume that because Felicity Huffman’s daughter’s college application was mailed, or emailed, in, and Felicity paid for some cheating on her daughter’s tests, that made it mail or wire fraud and brought the whole affair under federal jurisdiction?

This sounds to me exactly like the cases of federal authority brought under the principle of federal jurisdiction over Navigable Waterways and applied to some guy’s backyard that has seasonal rain puddles.

06 Mar 2019

Is Peter Salovey’s Era of Misrule at Yale Coming to an End?

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Peter Salovey

Michael Rubin (DP ’94) provides a nearly complete list of Peter Salovey’s atrocities as President of Yale and reports that the chickens are finally coming home to roost: big donors are declining to support the Salovey regime.

He threw respect for free speech and decorum under the bus when he compelled the resignation of Silliman College master Nicholas Christakis in the face of the “shrieking girl” controversy. He legitimized violence when he rehired a dishwasher who smashed a historic stained glass window. In general, he catered to the loudest on campus, always willing to grease the squeaky wheel regardless of the consequence.

When students complained that the term “freshmen” disrespected women and “master” made African-Americans uncomfortable, he simply ordered their change, never mind that it was he who was racializing a term that had ancient collegiate roots. That Yale continues to issue master’s degrees only highlights the lack of intellectual consistency.

Then, when decades-long student protests persisted with regard to a residential college named after 19th century statesmen and Vice President John Calhoun due to the support Calhoun professed during his lifetime for slavery, Salovey first said he would keep the name out of respect for history but, when criticized by student activists, convened a handpicked and Orwellian “ Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming” which recommended changing the name of the college. The problem with such a move was not simply the willingness to erase history at one of the nation’s most elite universities, but also intellectual inconsistency: Calhoun may have provided intellectual sustenance to the pro-slavery south, a not uncommon position at the time, but Elihu Yale, after whom the entire university is named, actually traded slaves during his lifetime.

Salovey’s hostility toward history has extended further to university tradition. Yale long prided itself on being centered on its undergraduates. Admissions officers sang the merits of residential colleges, each a unique community within the broader university. But, Salovey, who did not attend Yale as an undergraduate, homogenized the colleges in order to eliminate any differences between them. While the freshmen class dined together in “University Commons” since 1901, he closed the iconic dining hall in order to build a student center whose need (or need in that location) most students (let alone alumni) continue to question. Most recently, Salovey has put the open stacks of Yale’s underground library on the chopping block.

Now, it seems that the university is paying the price for Salovey’s general gutlessness. Yale has, for years, been seeking to undertake a major capital campaign. Often, universities announce their campaigns after a silent stage in which they get high-profile donors to commit to the effort. According to staffers within Yale’s fundraising arm, the university was forced to delay its campaign for several years because big donors are rightly worried about Yale’s direction and its tendency to prioritize politics above academics.

Yale’s embrace of identity politics reinvigorates self-segregation and pits groups against each other. An ever-expanding array of ethnic deans spoon feeds ideology to students rather than make them organize for themselves. Yale administrators, largely for political reasons, increasingly seek to weigh in on the private lives of students off campus. Donations are declining as faculty and student antics increasingly hit national headlines or the courts. Giving in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, for example, is lower than in the period for the four previous years.

Yale is also falling behind in fundraising among its peer group of universities as alumni decide not to give. Older alum largely disagree with the direction of the university as it subordinates academe to social action, while the younger alumni whom Salovey sought to appease do not understand why they should donate to a university with a nearly $30 billion endowment. Rather than question fundamentally why the money is no longer rolling in, the university’s response is simply to cease reporting donation statistics.

While Yale cultivates a reputation as an educational and intellectual center, its emphasis under Salovey has been more about politics and social justice. The university trumpets ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation diversity, but shuns intellectual diversity which arguably should trump every other kind.

Perhaps the decline in donations is a sign that Yale’s, and, by extension, other elite universities’, ability to coast on reputation while treating its core education mission with disdain has come to an end. Perhaps it is time for Salovey to resign.

RTWT

Michael Rubin was himself too-PC to include in Salovey’s list of crimes the naming of one of the two new residential colleges for a black lesbian communist whom nobody outside the Radical Left had ever heard of.

Salovey’s concession to Charles Johnson ’54 of Franklin Resources, who ponied up the $250 million to build two new residential colleges in naming one of the new colleges after Benjamin Frankin, a particular hero of Johnson’s unfortunately lacking any meaningful connection to Yale, was regrettable, but comprehensible. He who pays the piper calls the tune and all that. But a lot of us would rather have seen New Residential College 2 named for “Benjamin Franklin’s Dog” instead of for an obscure agitator with only the tenuous connection of a post-Law doctoral degree acquired at Yale Law at the age of 55. Only Peter Salovey would overlook the opportunity to name one of two new colleges located at the foot of Science Hill for Josiah Willard Gibbs.

14 Feb 2019

Millennial Snowflakes at Yale Apparently Need a Professional “Cool Aunt/Uncle” Whom They Can Run to Whenever They Feel “Unsafe” or “Uncomfortable” on Campus

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Snowflakes at Wellesley reacting to 2016 Election returns.

My blood boiled this morning when I read this reply to a question on Quora:

TheFire.Org asked, rhetorically:

Is the reaction of Yale University students against professor Erika Christakis email the signal of the start of the steep and rapid decline of Yale and its motto of truth?

——————————————————-

Cathy Xue, Silliman ’19 replied:

During the 2015–2016 school year, I was a freshman in Silliman College, where Erika Christakis was Associate Master (the position of “Master” has since been re-titled as “Head of College” or “HoC”). *Mrs. Christakis’ decision to express her opinions on free speech and Halloween costumes in an email the students of Silliman College, **/where she occupied a position of authority/**, was inappropriate. *I do not doubt that if she instead published her statement in a more general forum, for example as an op-ed in the /Yale Daily News/, that the reaction would not be as intense.

Basically, *Erika Christakis failed her duty as Associate Master by sending that email*, and this upset a number of students in Silliman College and in the broader Yale community. At Yale, the role of (Associate) Master/HoC is one of social and community leadership and support — kind of like the cool aunt/uncle for the 400 or so students under their watch. Erika Christakis was supposed to be someone that Silliman students could feel comfortable approaching if they felt unsafe or uncomfortable on campus. Instead, she indicated to her charges that she valued the principle of free speech and intellectual discussion over the very real personal hurt that insensitive language or other expression (like Halloween costumes, for example) might cause.

Also, the negative reaction didn’t occur in a vacuum — other events had already fueled discussion and unrest about racism on campus.

And unconditional emotional support is more important to them than Free Speech.

I’d say: Yale made a huge mistake whenever it started admitting these kinds of spoiled, entitled, sensitive blooming plants.

The Master (Bugger that “Head of College” nonsense!) of a Yale Residential College, I have news for you, Snowflakes, was never intended to be the “Cool Aunt/Uncle” meant to be used as a crying towel at all.

College Masters, in my day, were older male faculty members of distinction whose role was approximately that of the British Viceroy of some minor Imperial Colony. He received a suitably impressive residence and an expense budget. His role was to preside as Master of Ceremonies over regular significant events, to represent the college officially, and to exist remotely, floating above the daily life of the college, as a benign tutelary deity, capable of dipping into that special budget under his control to bestow special favors, a celebratory dining-hall feast, a high-end table soccer game for the Common Room, special funding for the print shop or the wood shop.

The actual administrative work of the college, the disciplinary role, the shit work generally was all handled by the Dean, an humble graduate student type, only a bit older than the undergraduates, who was burnishing up his resume with an eye to future university administrative grandeur at some rinky dink institution far away from Yale.

The College Master could be relied upon to smile benevolently in your direction and to acknowledge you with a “Hullo!” or “Good Morning!” when passing by, but no one, in the pre-millennial Yale, would have dreamt of running crying to the College Master that his feelings had been hurt, Boo hoo!

Nobody, in the old days, old enough and smart enough to get into Yale could possibly have been imagined to consider himself “unsafe” or “uncomfortable” as the result of some other student or students wearing Halloween costumes.

In the old Yale, the natural response to some inadvertent insult, would have been to shrug it off. The natural response to a deliberate insult would have been to retort with a wittier and more devastating response.

12 Feb 2019

Yale Tuition Next Year: $72,100

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Oldest College Daily:

The Yale College term bill will increase by 3.8 percent, from $69,430 to $72,100, for the 2019–20 academic year, the University announced last Monday.

Tuition will rise from $53,430 to $55,500, and the cost of on-campus room and board will jump from $16,000 to $16,600. Over the past two decades, the term bill has increased at a rate similar to this year’s. According to the press release announcing the change, the level of the student effort — the amount of money students on financial aid are expected to contribute to their education — will remain constant for the fourth straight year.

“Although the cost of a Yale education changes each year, students receiving financial aid can rest assured that their Yale financial aid award will continue to meet their full demonstrated financial need,” said Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid Scott Wallace-Juedes.

For the 2000–01 academic year, at $32,880, Yale’s term bill was 55 percent lower in absolute terms than that of the coming school year, though inflation has accounted for the bulk of the difference. Tuition as well as room and board have been consistently increasing by roughly 4 percent annually since then, even through the 2008 financial crisis, which slashed the University’s endowment by 25 percent. Yale has said that it increases tuition and room and board to keep pace with inflation and University expenses.

Obscene, outrageous, absolutely appalling. But the top elite schools have a natural monopoly as gatekeepers to the International Ruling Class and every year more people are lining up trying to get in.

Yale cost $3000 a year when I was a freshman back in 1966.

10 Feb 2019

Yale Daily News Editorialist Urges Students to Spy on Schoolmates in Order to Ruin Careers in Later Years

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Isis Davis-Marks

Yalies, if you see this Jonathan Edwards senior looking at you and fingering her smart phone, be careful what you do or say. She’s making a list, and checking it twice, and if you are ever nominated for an important political job requiring Senate confirmation, decades down the road, she may be gunning for you.

Yale Daily News:

Everyone knows a white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions. He could be in Grand Strategy or the Yale Political Union. Maybe he’s the editor-in-chief of the News. He takes his classes. He networks. And, when it comes time for graduation, he wins all the awards.

One day, I’ll turn on the television — or, who knows, maybe televisions will be obsolete by this point — and I’ll see him sitting down for his Senate confirmation hearing. Yes, he’ll be a bit older, with tiny wrinkles sprouting at the corners of his eyes and a couple of gray hairs jutting out of the top of his widow’s peak. But that smile, that characteristic saccharine smile, will remain the same.

When I’m watching the white boy — who is now a white man by this point — on CNN, I’ll remember a racist remark that he said, an unintentional utterance that he made when he had one drink too many at a frat party during sophomore year. I’ll recall a message that he accidentally left open on a computer when he forgot to log out of iMessage, where he likened a woman’s body to a particularly large animal. I’ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.

And, when I’m watching him smile that smile, I’ll think that I could have stopped it. …

This problem begins far before our classmates graduate, and we need to call them out on their transgressions — boldly and publicly. … We should make instances of sexual assault and harassment public knowledge. Whisper networks, which are known as private chains of information which pass along knowledge of sexual assault, are useful, but insufficient in spreading information about indiscretions.

I think that we need to continue to call our classmates out, but it’s still not enough. After all, it wasn’t enough to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the solution is. This expands beyond vocalizing problems about sexual assault: The core of this problem has to do with our values. The problem isn’t just the Yale administration; it’s Yale students. We allow things to skate by. We forget. We say, “No, he couldn’t have done that,” or, “But he’s so nice.” No questions are asked when our friends accept job offers from companies that manufacture weapons or contribute to gentrification in cities. We merely smile at them and wave as we walk across our residential college courtyards and do nothing. Thirty years later, we kick ourselves when it’s too late.

But I can’t do that anymore — I can’t let things slip by. I’m watching you, white boy. And this time, I’m taking the screenshot.

RTWT

21 Jan 2019

Five Rectors and, At Least, Eleven Presidents of Yale Are Spinning in Their Graves

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The Oldest College Daily reported last week on Yale’s latest accommodation to the Zeitgeist.

Students can now change their registered gender in the University Student Information System, University Registrar Emily Shandley announced in an email to the Yale community Wednesday.

The policy change arrived two months after the Trans Rights Coalition at Yale — a newly formed group of Yale-affiliated organizations — launched a petition calling on University President Peter Salovey to uphold, protect and reinforce trans rights at Yale. According to the email, students may change their gender online at any time, and it may differ from their legal sex. If students wish to update their personal data on Yale’s Student Information System, they will have three gender options: M for male, F for female and N for nonbinary. Students have the option to fill in any additional information regarding their gender in a text box.

This change in the university system comes just months after The New York Times reported a leaked memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that defined gender as an immutable biological trait under Title IX law.

“Recognizing the importance for students to be able to identify their gender beyond the standard binary options for legal sex in University records, the Office of the University Secretary, the Office of Provost, Information Technology Services, and the University Registrar’s Office, worked together to draft a policy for gender identity at Yale and to build the technology infrastructure to support a self-service option for student to change their gender, on their own, at any time,” Shandler wrote in an email to the News.

Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun said that this addition helps University technology “catch up with current understanding and practice of gender.”

RTWT

If there were a current constituency of madmen thinking they were each Napoleon, and they self-identified as victims, Yale would probably be offering the choice of the title of Mister, Ms., or Your Imperial Highness.

01 Dec 2018

George H. W. Bush, 12 June 1924 — 30 November 2018

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George H. W. Bush, captain of the Yale Baseball team.

As the photo above demonstrates, George Herbert Walker Bush was the living embodiment of the All-American Boy ideal represented in fiction set at Yale by Dink Stover and Frank Merriwell.

He was handsome, athletic, well-born, a good student, and a fine sportsman, captain of the Baseball teams at Andover and Yale, tapped inevitably for Skull and Bones, youngest pilot in the Navy during WWII.

He was a good and decent man, embodying to perfection all the virtues and weaknesses of his culture and his class. Alas! he was too indifferent to theory and ideology to make a good conservative president. He was the sort who behaves with propriety and who governs in accordance with the best opinions, so he broke his word to the voters, raised taxes, and consequently lost in 1992 to a slick con man.

I knew him because he was so dutiful and so loyal to Yale. Back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, whenever a scheduled conservative guest speaker at the Yale Political Union cancelled, we knew that, even at the last minute, we could always get George Bush. We took advantage of him regularly, and –back then– he was only a minor Texas Congressman or defeated GOP candidate for the Senate, no kind of big name.

It fell to me several times to take George Bush to dinner at Mory’s. He just wasn’t famous enough in those days to draw a crowd, so he and I would eat dinner alone, talking typically of the differences between his time at Yale and mine. He wasn’t scintillating like Bill Buckley or dazzling like Ronald Reagan, but he was a classic example of the kind of good man and faithful public servant that the Old Yale specialized in producing. In fact, he was kind of a Rowland Ward record book specimen of that breed. It made me sad to recognize that America, Andover, and Yale had stopped making any more like him. Yale men of my own time, I thought, were cleverer, but men like George Bush were a lot better for the country.

15 Nov 2018

Snowflakes & SJWs Upset: Satirical Flyers Posted on Yale Cross Campus

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According to the Yale Daily News, mocking African-American group poses is “racially provocative.”

The Oldest (and seriously competing for Left-est) College Daily was outraged.

The Yale Police Department is investigating reports from Yale students who witnessed two masked people post racially provocative flyers on bulletin boards around Cross Campus on Tuesday night. …

Yale students took photos of the posters, removed them from the bulletin board, replaced them with messages of support for people of color and reported the incident to Yale student life staff and the YPD on Tuesday night. The flyers depicted the symbol of a “White Students’ Union of Yale” and quoted slavery advocate and class of 1804 graduate John Calhoun — the former namesake of what is now Grace Hopper College. The quote reads, “In looking back, I see nothing to regret, and little to correct.”

YPD officers are currently reviewing camera footage to identify the perpetrators, Goff-Crews told the News. … The department has also stepped up its patrols in “sensitive areas on campus,” including the center of Yale’s campus, where the incident occured [sic].

“I find the sentiments signified by these flyers deeply troubling, and I want to be clear: hate is not welcome on our campus,” Salovey wrote in a campuswide email. “As I have said in the past, the answer to speech one finds repugnant is more speech. [Flyers aren’t speech? Quotations from Calhoun aren’t speech? – JDZ] I have no doubt that the members of the Yale community will respond to expressions of hate, racism, and exclusion on this campus with even stronger affirmations of our values—and a renewed commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive community where all people are welcomed.”

In the email, Salovey confirmed that the perpetrators violated a University policy which only permits registered student organizations to post flyers on campus [Oh, my! that is an expulsion-worthy offense for sure. –JDZ].

Yale has notified the Southern Poverty Law Center — which monitors hate groups in the U.S. — and the Anti-Defamation League — a Jewish group that fights anti-Semitism and bigotry — about the incident, according to Salovey’s email. …

On Tuesday night, a student posted a photograph of the flyer on the popular Facebook group “Overheard at Yale,” prompting heavy backlash against the perpetrators among commenters.

Students and alumni interviewed by the News condemned the flyers. Prior to Salovey’s email, at least two individuals told the News that they contacted Salovey’s office calling for the University to respond to the incident.

On Wednesday morning, Gene Lyman ’92 also emailed Salovey’s office calling on the University to investigate the situation thoroughly, discipline any current students involved and “reassert Yale’s values as an inclusive and intellectually honest community.”

“Even if this should prove a hoax, or someone’s sick idea of a joke, I cannot emphasize enough how unacceptable the sentiment expressed in these flyers is,” Lyman wrote in the email to Salovey.

Lyman said he received a response from Joy McGrath, Salovey’s chief of staff, as well as Salovey’s email to the Yale community.

Sohum Pal ’20 sent an email about the incident to Salovey, Goff-Crews and Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun on Tuesday night. In his email, Pal called for the establishment of a Title VI office, which would enforce the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color and national origin at educational institutions, and for a systematic change in University responses to grievances around racial discrimination. Pal said that the University should create a “mechanism for change” instead of releasing emails to “reaffirm its commitments.”

“Tonight, people put up these fliers around campus,” Pal wrote in his email. “I felt vulnerable — is it any surprise? My time at Yale has been many things — sometimes empowering, but more often I’ve been struck at how expendable students, faculty, and staff of color must be to the university.” Unlike Lyman, Pal said he received no direct response to his email.

Ashtan Towles ’19, a former peer liaison for the Afro-American Cultural Center, told the News that while the perpetrators remain unknown, the act was “done in cowardice,” comparing the masked individuals to Klu Klux Klan members who don masks to protect their identities.

“This incident is merely one of thousands through which white nationalists have attempted to stoke fear in Black communities, but I am always in awe of the resilience and pride that exists in the Black community at Yale,” Towles said in an email to the News.

According to Simon Ghebreyesus ’21, the sentiments of white pride in the flyers are a “sinister presence” for students of color to grapple with at Yale and across the country.

Epongue Ekille ’21 told the News that she had generally viewed Yale as a racially inclusive place but the flyer incident “negates it all.”

“It was both surprising and not at the same time. Although Yale is proud of its diversity, the matter of the fact is that the student population is majority white and wealthy,” Ekille said. “I’m not surprised that people who have these opinions exist at Yale, I’m just surprised that they would publicly advertise it.”

RTWT

Evidently, the answer to speech satirizing the rhetoric and poses of African-American Identity Group activists is not actually “more speech.” The answer is to publish hysterical news stories, to refer to the “repugnant speech” as “discrimination,” and “exclusion,” and “hate,” to suggest that it constitutes a possible violation of federal anti-discrimination law, and to treat it as a proper basis for investigation, notification of national left-wing speech and thought supervisory groups, and disciplinary sanctions.

How terribly cowardly it was of those right-wing students to conceal their identities!

25 Oct 2018

Let’s All Wear Blackface for Halloween

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and piss off the SJWs.

Halloween is getting to be downright dangerous in this country. Back in 2015, the wife of Yale’s Silliman College Master Nicholas Christakis, and Associate Master, Erica Christakis, responded to an admonitory pre-Halloween email from the Intercultural Affairs Council — a group of administrators from the cultural centers, Chaplain’s Office and other campus organizations — sent to the undergraduate student body warning against wearing Halloween costumes which could be interpreted as belittling or offensive: no sombreros, no blackface, no turbans, defending freedom of expression and arguing against hypersensitive prohibition and censorship.

Well, Master Nicholas and a black dean were confronted by angry student mobs demanding his firing or resignation. There was a march on President Salovey’s house and a presentation of outrageous radical demands, most of which President Salovey promptly granted. The Yale Administration assured the Christakises that free speech would be upheld, it was solidly behind them, and then quietly got both of them out of Silliman College and out of town. (Professor Nicholas Christakis was paid off for keeping quiet with the award of a prestigious Sterling Professorship a couple years later.) Mrs. Christakis no longer teaches at Yale, and is giving lectures and doing free-lance writing. Boo!

And the PC Halloween Monster strikes again! This time it is NBC Today Host Megan Kelly riding the tumbril in the direction of the stake for, yes! you guessed it, questioning the blasphemous nature of Halloween blackface. Burn, witch, burn!

Roxanne Jones, “a founding editor of ESPN Magazine and former vice president at ESPN,” lays down the law at CNN:

Sometimes “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it — a hard lesson that NBC Today show host Megyn Kelly now understands. Reportedly, Kelly’s morning show “Megyn Kelly Today” may be cancelled, according to CNN sources and Variety reports.

Kelly, who never really seemed like a good fit for the NBC morning show, overplayed her popularity earlier this week when she passionately defended people who don blackface costumes for Halloween — a thing that most Americans understand is definitely not okay, unless their intention is to offend.

“But what is racist?” Kelly asked on her show. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

The backlash was swift. Kelly was roasted across social media and more importantly her colleagues and bosses were appalled by her comments. NBC executives forced Kelly to apologize first, internally to her colleagues, and then to the viewers.

But Halloween is tricky and the blackface flap didn’t die down.

Ironically, for me, the most revealing part of Kelly’s explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist, in my opinion.

I didn’t buy Kelly’s innocent act of contrition. Maybe I’ve just become desensitized to these knee-jerk, teleprompter apologies for public misdeeds. Maybe we all have. Maybe we should.

But Kelly shouldn’t be surprised that her racist statements met resistance. And she shouldn’t be surprised that NBC, like so many other employers who have taken action against talent for incidents of racism, has apparently decided that her brand of bigotry is simply not worth the risk anymore. Even her NBC colleague Al Roker, who said Wednesday, “The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

————————–

Jenée Desmond Harris, at leftist Vox, explains to you ignorant bigots why defending blackface is a prosecutable thought and speech crime.

Put down the black and brown face paint. Step away from the bronzer 12 shades darker than your skin. That is, if you’re at all interested in not being a walking symbol of racism this Halloween.

Wait, what’s wrong with blackface? A lot of people, thankfully, don’t need this question answered. To many, it’s obvious that it’s a lazy, non-funny costume bad idea with a depressing history that is the opposite of celebratory. Each Halloween serves as a reminder that a giant gulf remains between people who understand that blackface is in bad taste, or are willing to defer to black people who tell them so, and people who are still asking “But why?” (You know, the ones who are thinking as they read this, “You say it’s racist but I can tell you right now I’m not racist, so it’s fine if I wear it! Come on, get over it! Stop with the political correctness! I don’t understand how this is offensive! It’s a joke!”)…

For the “why” crowd (and for anyone who feels moved to have a dialogue with one of its members), here’s an explanation of what, exactly, is wrong with wearing blackface, on Halloween or ever:

Blackface is much more than just dark makeup used to enhance a costume.

Its American origins can be traced to minstrel shows. In the mid to late nineteenth century, white actors would routinely use black grease paint on their faces when depicting plantation slaves and free blacks on stage.

To be clear, these weren’t flattering representations. At all. Taking place against the backdrop of a society that systematically mistreated and dehumanized black people, they were mocking portrayals that reinforced the idea that African-Americans were inferior in every way.

According to you, Jenée, but it’s really a lot more complicated, and far less negative than that.

Minstrel shows and blackface performances, it’s true, did include unflattering stereotypes of African Americans, but white performers were not merely donning blackface to mock and belittle colored people. They were commonly doing it in order to become black. White performers wanted to become black in order to perform music with African-American roots and in order to pay affectionate tribute to old-time Southern African-American humor and culture.

When I was a boy, for several years, I grudgingly sacrificed a hour of extra sleep in order to get up and catch Amos n’ Andy re-runs on early morning television. There were things very much other than mockery and condescension that motivated me. There was a fascination in the flavorful and witty colored dialect. There was enormous charm in the very human foibles of the principal characters. And I distinctly admired the absolute brilliance, the polytropic enterprise, and the thoroughgoing rascallity of the Kingfish. Heck, if I’d been able to find examples at my local haberdasher’s, I’d likely have started wearing string ties and a tail coat in emulation of that great man. I loved the Kingfish, and –just like most American– I respected and admired the straight arrow cab driver Amos Jones.

Pre-Politically-Correct America actually had lots of diversity, and Americans loved and enjoyed that diversity. Popular entertainment reveled in exploiting ethnic stereotypes for humor and as an expression of affection. Jewish Molly Goldberg‘s ethnic characteristics were funny, but they were also heart-warming. Brooklyn Irish Chester A. Riley was crude, vulgar, and unmannerly, but he was also tough, loyal, and a good guy underneath it all.

It was the same with the old minstrel shows and Amos n’ Andy, which was a kind of continuation of the former right into the television era. Americans watched them to laugh at the characters and they also loved those characters.

It’s the Left that hates and wants to harm people.

03 Oct 2018

“We all Live in a Yale Residential College Now”

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My old entryway, left of the Dining Hall, in the South Court of Berkeley College. I lived on the top floor for two years.

Say Rich Lowry. Unfortunately, he does not mean we’re living in linenfold panelled rooms inside granite and sandstone Gothic and Tudor architecture furnished luxuriously in oak and leather, where they cook our meals for us, and wash our dishes, and a janitor arrives every morning at our door to empty our wastebasket.

No, what he means is we’re all living in an environment filled with ideologically-deranged fanatics whose heads are full of irrational grievances and unappeasable ethnic and class-based animosities who are ready to form lynch mobs or create star chamber proceedings to punish the sane and normal for deviation from the religion of Intersectionality at the drop of a hat.

Brett Kavanaugh was a very good boy, with better report card ratings in Deportment than you or me, and that has not saved him. If they can take out Brett, they can get to anybody.

HT: Bird Dog.

21 Sep 2018

Kavanaugh Accused of Connection With 1985 Yale Mock Panty Raid

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Panty Raid at Berkeley, May 18, 1956.

The same establishment elite that views Larry Flint as a free speech hero, that lectured us that we were guilty of censorship if we didn’t want tax money paying for Robert Maplethorpe’s anal horse whip art, that defends flamboyantly obscene gay pride parades down main street, and that wants sex education for third graders is shocked, shocked that members of the same fraternity that Brett Kavanaugh belonged to, back in 1985, took part in pledge hijinks alluding to the 1950s college panty raids.

Diane Herbst, at People magazine, basically quotes a hatchet job from a couple of little left-wing reptiles at the Yale Daily News:

In his first year at Yale, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which had a culture “notorious for disrespecting women,” according to a new report from the Yale Daily News.

Julie Klein, who graduated in 1987 alongside Kavanaugh, described the frat as an “animal house,” while another classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Jennifer Lew, recalled on the YaleWomen Facebook page how frat brothers would “ransack” female students’ rooms while they attended classes and steal “undergarments,” reports the Yale Daily News.

On Thursday, the student newspaper published a January, 1985 photo of Kavanaugh’s DKE frat brothers holding a flag created with women’s underwear and bras as they marched across campus. Kavanaugh, reportedly a sophomore member of the frat at the time, does not appear in the image.

RTWT

Obviously what the DKE pledges were doing in 1985 was some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody of student behavior of the ancient past.

Wikipedia: Panty raid

A panty raid was an American 1950s college prank in which large groups of male students attempted to invade the living quarters of female students and steal their panties (undergarments) as the trophies of a successful raid. The term dates to February 1949.

Panty raids were the first college craze after World War II, following the 1930s crazes of goldfish swallowing or seeing how many students could fit in a phone booth. …

By the 1970s, mixed dorms and less inhibited attitudes to sexual intercourse on campus led to fading of panty raids.

But when lefties find an opportunity to smear an adversary like Judge Kavanaugh with accusations of guilt by association, the libertine left goes all Puritan on us.

15 Sep 2018

Jamie Kirchick : “Reflections on the Revolution at Yale”

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Jamie Kirchick, Pierson 2006, is running as an outsider candidate for a seat on the Yale Corporation. In Quillette, he describes the disgraceful events of 2015.

Three years ago this Fall, Yale University descended into what can only be described as a fit of mass psychosis.

On November 9, 2015, over 1,000 people—about one fifth of the undergraduate student body—walked out of classrooms and into the quad to participate in a ‘March of Resilience.’ An a cappella group led the crowd in a medley of “We Shall Overcome.” Native Indian performers formed a drum circle. “We are not victims,” a student organizer affiliated with the school’s Latino cultural center declared. “Today, we are on our way to being victors.”

Against what sinister forces did Yale’s students feel compelled to summon up their stocks of ‘resilience’ in righteous battle? The first grievance cited by the student protestors was an alleged ‘white girls only’ party thrown by one of the university’s fraternities. Word of this event had gone from a Facebook post to international headlines, tarnishing Yale’s good name in the process. Had such a party actually taken place, it indeed would have been cause for protest. But it’s hard not to be skeptical about this sort of thing, as many of them turn out to be hoaxes, often perpetrated by the very people claiming offense.

Which is exactly what an investigation by the Yale College Dean’s Office determined a month later, finding “no evidence of systematic discrimination against people of color” at said ‘white girls only’ party. The Dean did, however, fault the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for “creat[ing] a chaotic environment,” demonstrating “little regard to crowd control and overcrowding inside the house” and “behavior” that “fell short of the community standards and the kind of civic engagement that I have sought to promote.” He found them guilty, in other words, of being frat brothers.

The second supposed incident of racial injustice involved an email sent by a professor, Erika Christakis, questioning an administrative warning to students regarding Halloween costumes that perpetrate ‘cultural appropriation.’ Because Christakis had suggested that young adults should be able to make their own decisions about masks and capes, a mob of students, faculty, and deans demanded that Yale remove Christakis and her husband, fellow professor Nicholas, from their positions as residential advisors. During a two-hour, outdoor harangue of Nicholas, captured on a video that went viral, students yelled, cursed, and physically intimidated him as four Yale deans and administrators watched impassively.

While the university did not succumb to demands that the couple be sacked, the administration essentially sent the message that sided it with the students. Two weeks after the ‘March of Resilience,’ the administration announced a doubling of budgets for the various (African-American, Latino, Native American etc.) cultural centers, racial sensitivity training for faculty and administrators, and the creation of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (which has since become the institutional home of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text, known primarily for its embarrassing role in the Sokal hoax). This diversity-budget bloat is part of a larger trend. And it has coincided, not coincidentally, with a doubling of tuition since the time I was a Yale freshman 15 years ago. As for the students who mobbed Nicholas Christakis, not only did the University (disregarding its own undergraduate regulations) conclude that their behavior fell short of grounds for disciplinary action, it rewarded two of them with prestigious class prizes upon graduation in 2017. …

It would be nice to have university leaders whose instinct, upon being confronted with baseless accusations that their school is suffused with racism, would be to defend the institution’s good name, not bow and capitulate. There are, no doubt, racist people at Yale, just as there are racist people everywhere. But there is no reason to believe—and, indeed, very much reason to doubt—that Yale is any more racist than the country at large (unless one takes into account its potential discrimination against Asians, which the university has implicitly acknowledged by signing onto an amicus brief defending Harvard’s allegedly anti-Asian undergraduate admissions policy).

That Yale does not, presently, have leaders willing to speak plainly to such attacks is one of the reasons I am now mounting a petition candidacy to join the university’s board of trustees (formally known as The Yale Corporation).

RTWT

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