Category Archive 'Yale'
02 Feb 2018

Whiffenpoofs (and the Senior Girls Imitation Group) Go Totally PC

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Not a satire. This is from today’s Yale Daily News:

Breaking with more than a century of tradition, the Whiffenpoofs and Whim ’n Rhythm, Yale’s all-male and all-female senior a capella groups, announced on Thursday that this year both groups will consider accepting singers of all genders.

According to a joint announcement posted on Facebook, Whim ’n Rhythm will from this point on describe itself as, “SSAA,” — or Soprano I and II and Alto I and II — rather than all-female, while the Whiffenpoofs will use the label “TTBB,” or Tenor I and II, Baritone and Bass. The statement called these terms “more informative of the art [they] create” and “more inclusive” to members past, present and future, especially those who identify as transgender, gender nonbinary and gender nonconforming.

“Instead of talking about the membership of the group, [we want to] talk about the people who make that type of music,” said Kenyon Duncan ’19, the music director of the Whiffenpoofs. “We’re trying to make this as much about the music and ease gender boundaries.”

The statement also announced a series of changes designed to close the “gap in opportunity” between the two organizations. The Whiffenpoofs, well-established in the world of a cappella, take a year off from school to tour the world, while the much newer Whim ’n Rhythm tours internationally only during the summer and performs locally throughout the year. Whim ’n Rhythm also brings in significantly less revenue than do the Whiffenpoofs — during fiscal year 2013, for example, Whim ’n Rhythm’s earnings amounted to less than a quarter of the Whiffenpoofs’.

With these changes, the announcement said, the two groups hope to “more explicitly link” together as two performing bodies representing the same Yale senior class.

Next year, both the Whiffenpoofs and Whim ’n Rhythm classes of 2019 will have the option to take a leave of absence or remain enrolled at Yale, with rehearsal, performance and tour schedules defined by each future class of singers. And the groups’ operations will become more cohesive in the future, through a joint website with shared booking information and closer integration of the two groups’ business teams. The statement also expressed a commitment to expanding the SATB — of Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass — repertoire so that Whim and the Whiffs can more often perform together on campus and for clients.

The joint decision to go all-gender as well as to implement the set of changes announced resulted from a prolonged conversation among all 28 members of the Whiffenpoofs and Whim ’n Rhythm classes of 2018 over the past six months about how to make senior a cappella at Yale more equitable.

RTWT

27 Jan 2018

From Yale, the Painfully Embarrassing and Appalling News Keeps on a-Coming

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laurie-santos
Current Head of Silliman College: Laurie Santos, Harvard ’97 A.B psychology & biology, ’03 Ph.D. psychology.

The new all-time record enrollment Yale course is a 1200-student T-group taught by Yale’s own equivalent of Oprah, the new “Head” of Silliman College, appointed right after all the Snowflakes-of-Color chased Nicholas Christakis and his wife Erika off-campus and right out of town for the hideous thought-crime of defending free Halloween costume expression (!).

NYT:

On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, “Psychology and the Good Life,” roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled.

The course, taught by Prof. Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and the head of one of Yale’s residential colleges, tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures.

“Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos said in an interview.

“With one in four students at Yale taking it, if we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.”

Dr. Santos speculated that Yale students are interested in the class because, in high school, they had to deprioritize their happiness to gain admission to the school, adopting harmful life habits that have led to what she called “the mental health crises we’re seeing at places like Yale.” A 2013 report by the Yale College Council found that more than half of undergraduates sought mental health care from the university during their time at the school. …

Students have long requested that Yale offer a course on positive psychology, according to Prof. Woo-Kyoung Ahn, director of undergraduate studies in psychology, who said she was “blown away” by Dr. Santos’s proposal for the class.

Administrators like Dr. Ahn expected significant enrollment for the class, but none anticipated it to be quite so large. “Psychology and the Good Life,” with 1,182 undergraduates currently enrolled, stands as the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year history. The previous record-holder — “Psychology and the Law”— was offered in 1992 and had about 1,050 students, according to Prof. Marvin Chun, the Yale College dean. Most large lectures at Yale don’t exceed 600.

Offering such a large class has come with challenges, from assembling lecture halls to hiring the 24 teaching fellows required. Because the psychology department lacked the resources to staff it fully, the fellows had to be drawn from places like Yale’s School of Public Health and law school. And with so many undergraduates enrolled in a single lecture, Yale’s hundreds of other classes — particularly those that conflict with Dr. Santos’s — may have seen decreased enrollment.

At the start of the semester the class was divided between a live lecture in 844-seat Battell Chapel, a historic place of worship on campus, converted to a lecture hall, and one or two smaller auditoriums where several hundred more students watched a live stream of Dr. Santos. After several weeks, the decision was made to move the lectures to Woolsey Hall, usually the site of events like symphony performances, which can accommodate the entire class.

RTWT and weep.

In the old days, the huge draw classes were things like Vince Scully’s History of Architecture and the draw factor was simply the sheer brilliance and encyclopedic knowledge of the lecturer. Rather than lining up in droves for tea and sympathy and advice on finding happiness, the Yalies of my day would have laughed Laurie Santos right off the stage.

24 Jan 2018

Yale Let Accusers Text Each Other to Coordinate Testimony Against Male During Title IX Hearing

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When, back in 2011, Obama Justice Department Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali sent her infamous “Dear Colleagues” letter to essentially every college and university in the land advising them of her department’s intent to expand Title IX to require what amounts to permanent sexual harassment witch-hunting in order to protect women from any potential “hostile environment,” and requiring them to apply the preponderance of the evidence standard to adjudicating complaints instead of the beyond a reasonable doubt standard normally used in criminal cases.

Yale’s leftist Salovey regime eagerly embraced Russlynn Ali’s radical agenda and the chickens are now inevitably coming home to roost, as one lawsuit after another from male students victimized by the new kangaroo court processes start piling up.

The College Fix posted some gory details from one current suit that Yale obviously deserves to lose.

The suit describes how Doe learned that Jane and Sally (the “complainants”) appeared to have coordinated their testimony:

    As the hearing progressed, John Doe’s advisor heard one of the complainants make a statement identical to the complainant who had just been before the panel, even referencing what her friend had just said. John Doe’s advisor sent a text to the UWC Coordinator to ask if the two complainants had been allowed to listen to each other’s testimony throughout the hearing.

The secretary of the UWC later confirmed that both Sally and Jane could hear the entire proceeding live, and the UWC’s counsel said the committee didn’t have to follow “proper protocol with regard to sequestering witnesses” because Doe asked for a single hearing panel to hear both complaints, according to the suit:

    Allowing the complainants to reference each other’s statements to the hearing panel to influence and further support her own individual complaint was prejudicial, denying the panel and later the decision maker the opportunity to adjudicate the charges against John Doe in a fair and impartial manner.

When Doe asked the hearing panel to query Sally about whether she had “exchanged any text messages” with Jane during the hearing, after a “long hesitation” she admitted to it. The suit claims that Sally’s texts revealed that her statements to the panel were “untrue” about the nature of their texts.

Yet the texts that the hearing panel asked Sally and Jane to turn over might not have been their full conversation, because those texts also alluded to Snapchat messages that morning “that could not be retrieved.”

Yale refused to declare a “mistrial” based on this coordination between Sally and Jane, requiring Doe to give the panel “evidence from the text messages to support his assertion of collusion by the complainants,” the suit says.

RTWT

06 Jan 2018

Yale Obviously Blew It

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John Caldwell Calhoun, Y’ 1804, 1782-1850.

When the Salovey Administration cravenly surrendered to the snowflakes and renamed Calhoun College. After all, as (Dartmouth man) John Hinderaker notes, even hyper-progressive California is these days drawing upon John C. Calhoun’s theories of Concurrent Majorities and States’ Rights.

Who ever thought that John C. Calhoun would emerge as a key political thinker of the 21st Century? I certainly didn’t, but that is exactly what has happened.

RTWT

13 Dec 2017

Peter Salovey’s Christmas Card

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If you were a member of the Yale community, you received this Christmas card (carefully designed to avoid so much as mentioning Christmas) from Yale President Peter Salovey.

11 Dec 2017

“That’s Why I Toured Yale”

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Alumni cringed back in 2010 when the Admissions Office released its execrable “That’s Why I Chose Yale” recruiting video. (Reviled here and here)

Well, Time replaces the jejune just as it does the superb, and the Yale Admissions Office (seven years later) has issued a brand new video with only a slightly modified title.

The guides are computer major Simone (who needs to wash her hair) and double major Classics and Political Science Sam (who seems a little gay). From the very start, biases toward the demotic and the “diverse” are pronounced. As the tour begins moving away from Phelps Gate on the Old Campus, guide Sam calls for musical accompaniment and a string quarter batting out “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” appears out of nowhere, only to be rejected in favor of “something with a beat.”

We had already previously been promised that, at Yale, one could study with “a renowned Shakespeare scholar” and “perform slam poetry at a cultural center.” When we get to the libraries, we are informed that Beinecke contains “one of the world’s largest collections of rare books and manuscripts, including ancient Egyptian papyrus, one of Beethoven’s original scores, and (inadvertent crashing anticlimax) manuscripts written by Langston Hughes.” (!)

Clearly, we are being given to understand that Yale is a fashionista establishment institution, only too eager to reject standards and judgment, trivialize the canon, and concede equality of cultural prestige to tokens. “We don’t want Mozart, we want something with a beat.” “Shakespeare wouldn’t do without some slam poetry on the side.” “Langston Hughes is purportedly somehow on a par with Beethoven.”

At Yale, the sciences we learn are “hands on,” and you won’t just sit through lectures, struggle through your labs, and get hammered with quizes and exams, no, no no. Why Yale science students “innovate solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.” Back in my day, all we did was try to pass the exams. We did, however, avoid the joke explosion ending the laboratory portion of the tour.

It gets painful to watch when they start touting the Yale residential college system. Today, college assignment, we are assured, is totally random. But residential colleges all have individual distinctive identities and traditions. (Presumably random ones.)

The college we get to see is Silliman, infamous site of the Christakis lynching and the shrieking student. There is no Master of Silliman now. The title of Master was deemed offensive and changed to “Head.” In the old days, college masters were male, aged, and distinguished scholars. Silliman’s “Head” these days is Laurie R. Santos, obviously a two-fer token (female and Hispanic), barely 40, and a canine cognitive studies specialist from the Psych Department. The video assures us that she ensures that each student feels welcome and gets to know every single one of them personally. She even apparently beats them at chess. In my day, most of us were on nodding-and-saying-hello terms with our College Master. He never specifically made any of us “feel welcome” nor did he tuck us in at night.

The residential colleges seem even more loaded with amenities today. They still have pool tables and ping pong, but there was no mention of squash courts. Colleges seem to have in-house non-dining hall after hours food facilities, which they call butteries. In the old days, there was one Buttery, on the ground floor of Durfee, which sold candy and such like during very limited evening hours. The colleges now all have their own work-out rooms, the Yale Gym clearly being too far to walk.

And so on.

This video is not as actively embarrassing, I suppose, as its predecessor, but it still leaves the alumni viewer slightly nauseated.

It is so offensively self-congratulatory, politically correct, and millennial-ish. One sort of feels like alien beings from the Planet of PC Tools have taken over Yale. They smile all the time. They think all the right thoughts. They worship materialism and success, but they are strangely empty. They have no dignity, no gravity. Ideas, Art, Culture are all just names and baubles to these people, ornamental trinkets lying around a grand nest of human magpies.

There is all this goody-goody-ness, but there is no sense whatsoever of Tradition, History, Duty, Honor, or Respect for the Past.

If I’d seen this video in high school, I would not have wanted to go to Yale.

05 Dec 2017

Native Americans Back on the Warpath at Yale

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The Oldest College Daily reports that hula dancing by unauthorized persons is a problem.

The Association of Native Americans at Yale this weekend condemned Shaka, an all-female Polynesian dance group, for appropriating Hawaiian and Tahitian culture and demanded that the group disband.

In a letter posted to its Facebook page Saturday afternoon, ANAAY condemned Shaka for “sexualizing and homogenizing Native [American] peoples, misrepresenting and erasing histories and political realities, and attempting to depoliticize inherently political culture and communities under colonial subjugation.”

RTWT

If shimmying in a grass skirt is “cultural appropriation,” how come spouting Marxist BS isn’t?

02 Dec 2017

The End of Yale Commons

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Yale Commons Dining Hall closed forever.

The Yale Alumni Magazine forwarded on Facebook the above image.

Commons, a nearly block-long dining hall in which Yale Freshman Classes dined together for generations was built 1901-02 in the Beaux-Art style as an architectural gesture celebrating the University’s Bicentennial.

It was originally the whole University’s dining hall, but after the construction of the residential colleges early in the 1930s (each of which had its own dining hall), Commons was used by the Freshman Class, which resided not in the colleges, but rather in the dormitory halls of the Old Campus. The Yale freshman was allowed so many meals monthly in his future residential college’s dining hall, but was expected to take most meals in Commons.

The Salovey regime has been reducing meal service in Commons for some years seeking to economize on service costs. Finally, a donation of $150 million from Steven A. Schwarzman ’69, the Blackstone Group private equity magnate, was arranged to fund the conversion of the grand dining hall into some sort of a cultural center.

I was a scholarship student and my first Bursary job consisted of making toast and busing tables at Breakfast in Freshman Commons. I was proud to be working for a bit of my tuition, and I made a point of appropriating a rose or carnation from one of the table vases for a boutonnière and displaying a foulard silk handkerchief in the breast pocket of my white serving jacket.

I entered Yale in the old 1960s days of male-only classes when coats-and-ties were required in dining halls.

After we returned from the holidays, months could go by before roads were passable and mixers started up again. A Yale freshman, by late February, might not have so much as caught sight of a young woman for six weeks or more.

I remember one particularly wintry Wednesday in that cheerless month. New Haven streets and Yale paths were icy. It was cold and sleeting outside. The sun had set long before dinner time. We were making the best of mid-week dinner in Commons, happy enough to be inside under a roof and out of New Haven’s weather.

Suddenly, the door swung open, and in walked a tall, blond classmate, wearing black tie (!) to dinner in Commons, and accompanied by an absolutely beautiful young lady in an evening gown. The Class of 1970’s collective jaw dropped. As one man, we stood up in admiration and applauded.

They may have “cultural events,” but they will never have anything in the renovated and remodeled Schwarzman Center as insouciant and superb as that glorious couple.


A few years ago.

27 Nov 2017

Yale Psych Prof Finds Cause (Fear, Of Course) of Conservatism and Discovers Cure

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Professor Bargh tells all in the Washington Post:

Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life: In one University of California study, the more fear a 4-year-old showed in a laboratory situation, the more conservative his or her political attitudes were found to be 20 years later. Brain imaging studies have even shown that the fear center of the brain, the amygdala, is actually larger in conservatives than in liberals. And many other laboratory studies have found that when adult liberals experienced physical threat, their political and social attitudes became more conservative (temporarily, of course). But no one had ever turned conservatives into liberals.

Until we did.


John Bargh, the (God help us!) James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale.

—————–

Personally, I’d bet if I could get my hands on Professor Bargh for experimental purposes, I could prove empirically that the liberal Professor would react a lot more strongly to the physical threat of getting punched in the nose than I (the extreme conservative) would. We could play Mexican Standoff, and I’d even let the good professor have the first punch.

I had thought that the supposed ability of savants to associate physical features with psychological dispositions or states (Phrenology) was long discredited, but obviously in today’s academic culture ancient heresies and crackpot notions do keep coming back.

When I read this kind of thing, I blush for Yale and I wish once again that Peter Salovey could be immediately replaced by someone genuinely educated and serious: the kind of old-fashioned scholar who would take one look at this Washington Post article and send the onomatopoeic Professor Bargh and his entire preposterous department of “social psychology” packing.

21 Nov 2017

“Look What Yale Made Me Do”

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Harvard-made video insulting Yale which was released just before last Saturday’s The Game. Poor Harvard, for the record, got slaughtered 24-3.

I was surprised by all the inaccurate boasting about Harvard’s alleged academic & test-score superiority. I fear these young people are deluded and misinformed. I’m not up on current stats, but I know my own Yale Class beat the same entering Harvard Class’s SAT scores.

The bit at the end, mocking all the other Ivy League schools, was amusing.

09 Nov 2017

Portraits Going Back Up in Pierson College

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Pierson College Entrance

What do you know? Apparently there may actually be some limit to the politically correct insanity at Yale.

The Oldest College Daily reports that the Dean of Yale College put the kibosh on Pierson Head Stephen Davis’s latest grand gesture of inclusion.

Yale College Dean Marvin Chun said that while he is very excited by the conversations about how public art around campus can reflect Yale’s mission, he is also committed to historical preservation.

“In the case of portraits on display in the residential colleges, I think it’s important to keep them hanging, both for preserving the colleges’ histories and for honoring the intentions of alumni, fellows and friends who generously commissioned these portraits,” Chun said. “The two goals of reflecting Yale’s community today and honoring its past are not mutually exclusive.”

One kind of suspects that some prominent alumni donor from Pierson College put in an angry phone call to Woodbridge Hall.

RTWT

07 Nov 2017

Yale Alumni Throwing Up in the Street Again This Morning

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Pierson College Dining Hall

The same bed-wetting, hyper-politically-correct, victim-identity-group-ass-kissing imbecile who, two years ago, took exception to the title of College Master and took the lead in changing it to “Head” is back in action this fall, removing all the portraits of his (white, male) predecessors in office from his residential college dining hall so that contemporary snowflakes-of-color, admitted on the basis of compensatory group favoritism, need not be reminded that they are part of that unfortunate majority of Humanity, along with the Jews, the Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Poles, Finns, Slovaks, Tibetans, Eskimos, Dutchmen, and Australian Aborigines who neglected to found Yale or serve as Masters of Pierson College during the final two-thirds of the last century.

We cannot all be Abraham Pierson or John Hersey, and the knowledge of that gaping, yawning personal void is obviously today too painful to be borne by many people currently attending Yale.

The paintings removed from the walls of Pierson College dining hall in preparation for the annual Pierson… Halloween party — which include the images of former heads of college — will not be remounted, Pierson Head of College Stephen Davis announced in an email to students last Wednesday. Davis wrote that the decision was designed to “prompt conversation on what it means to create common spaces where everyone has a sense of belonging and ownership.”

The initiative comes amid wider conversations about how the abundance of images of white men around campus affect Yale’s inclusivity. During a “Popeyes and Public Art Study Break” on Monday night, Pierson students will gather with Sam Messer ART ’82, associate dean at the Yale School of Art and chair of the Committee on Art in Public Spaces, to discuss what kinds of values, identities and accomplishments are important to honor in public art. During the event, students will also paint portraits of each other that will temporarily hang in the dining hall. For the time being, Davis said, the portraits of former heads of college will be mounted in the Pierson Fellows’ Lounge, and the college will soon create plaques describing the historical context of each portrait.

“There is a long sustained, ongoing, open constructive discussion going on about the role of public art and the kind of art that we want displayed around campus, and with respect to portraiture there have been long-standing concerns among students that the portraits are not diverse enough,” Yale College Dean Marvin Chun told the News. “It is a completely legitimate discussion of what can we do to diversify our portraiture and public art in general, who the artists are and what they’re representing, and so on.”

Chun emphasized that the initial removal of the paintings was prompted by Pierson Inferno and not the ongoing discussions surrounding diversity on campus. Still, he said, Davis has had many conversations with students and administrators regarding paintings in Pierson before the Wednesday announcement.

“That distinction is important, because there is concern about removal of public art,” Chun explained. “[Head Davis] is using this opportunity to continue the discussions he’s already having.”

According to Davis’ email, the Pierson College Council, Pierson Student Activity Committee and the Pierson fellows were consulted before the decision.

Usha Rungoo GRD ’18, a resident Pierson fellow, said that she, as a woman of color, has “long been uncomfortable” entering common spaces at Yale filled mostly with the portraits of white men and is glad that Davis has begun a conversation about diversifying public art. She added that she appreciates that the college community has opened a dialogue about the significance of traditionally underrepresented Pierson affiliates.

RTWT

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