May 27, 2016

"Are we all O.K. with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people’s capacity — in your capacity — to exercise self-censure, through social norming..."

"... and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you?... Is there really no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious?”

Wrote Erika Christakis last fall, reacting to a Yale Intercultural Affairs Committee memo warning students about potentially offensive Halloween costumes. Christakis was an Associate Master of Silliman College— the word "master" has been changed since then — but her comments outraged some students. Protests ensued. And now the news comes that Christakis and her husband, Professor Nicholas Christakis, who'd been the master head of Silliman College, are stepping down from their position.

The NYT reports the news with the headline: "Yale Professor and Wife, Targets of Protests, Resign as College Heads." I'd like to protest the headline. It seems to me that it was the wife's trenchant speech that stirred up this controversy in the first place. The husband became involved in the controversy, and, it's true, the husband is the one whose tweet announcing the resignation appears in the NYT, but I think Ms. Christakis deserves better position than "professor's wife." She is the director of the  Human Nature Lab at Yale, and her statement was premised on her expertise in the psychological development of the young. The husband is a sociologist and physician. I admire them as a couple and would like to see them talked about as equals.

When I blogged about this controversy last fall, I noted the video of Yale students yelling at Mr. Christakis and saying:
“As your position as master, it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students that live in Silliman... You have not done that. By sending out that email, that goes against your position as master. Do you understand that?... Who the fuck hired you?”
This student told Mr. Christakis he should resign because his role as master is “not about creating an intellectual space” but about “creating a home.” At the time, I said:
To be fair, I'd like to know more about what representations Yale made to the students it lured into matriculating. Was a "safe space" promised?... A vibrant "intellectual space" sounds exciting to me, but is that what they were told they'd get if they came to Yale? Maybe some other schools offered a challenging intellectual environment and they passed on it, preferring a caring, nurturing setting. Were they deceived?
Yesterday on this blog, we were talking about Nathan Heller's excellent New Yorker article "Letter from Oberlin/The Big Uneasy/What’s roiling the liberal-arts campus?" The Yale disturbance appeared first on a list of incidences from the past year that showed liberal arts campuses were "roiling with activism that has seemed to shift the meaning of contemporary liberalism without changing its ideals." Heller writes:
Such reports flummoxed many people who had always thought of themselves as devout liberals. Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism? Wasn’t liberal academe a way for ideas, good and bad, to be subjected to enlightened reason? Generations of professors and students imagined the university to be a temple for productive challenge and perpetually questioned certainties. Now, some feared, schools were being reimagined as safe spaces for coddled youths and the self-defined, untested truths that they held dear. Disorientingly, too, none of the disputes followed normal ideological divides: both the activists and their opponents were multicultural, educated, and true of heart. At some point, it seemed, the American left on campus stopped being able to hear itself think.
I read that "true of heart" as sarcasm. Is "true of heart" an expression? I associate it with David Eggers, "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius," which begins:
First of all:
I am tired.
I am true of heart!

And also:
You are tired.
You are true of heart!

132 comments:

Hagar said...

Didn't you mean "unable to hear itself talk"?

Jupiter said...

"both the activists and their opponents were multicultural, educated, and true of heart. At some point, it seemed, the American left on campus stopped being able to hear itself think."

No matter how carefully you listen, you can't hear what is not taking place.

Mike Sylwester said...

This student told Mr. Christakis he should should resign because his role as master is “not about creating an intellectual space” but about “creating a home.”

The student who tried to remove Mr. Christakis from his employment is named Jerelyn Luther.

Unknown said...

I've never understood why liberals are so surprised by the totalitarian destruction of rights that emerges all the time from their ranks, simply because leftism has always led to the destruction of rights. Robespierre and the Terror. Lenin and Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot, the Kims, Castro and Che.... and that's not even including good ol' Adolf, who after all called himself a socialist.

Today's left is all about suppressing the speech and rights of their opponents, across a wide range of ideas. Don't like gay marriage? Althouse, et. al tell you to shut up and like it, because you lost and now have to do whatever the gays want, and should never, ever disagree with leftist sexual morality anymore; no matter how many women are hurt by the new "predators rape free because they claim tranny!" rhetoric.

Climate change is now apparently a place where if you disagree, you are in danger of being thrown in jail. Black Lives Matter--disagree and risk being assaulted and killed. And "Universities" aside from a few stalwarts like BYU, rigidly enforce a Stalinist police state, or at least are trying. Plus the concurrent loss of practically all the bill of rights if you are a white male student.

Bob Boyd said...

"Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism?"

No.
The whole point of social progressivism is having the power to tell people what their self-expression will and will not be. And this service will not be provided for free.

rhhardin said...

I admire them as a couple and would like to see them talked about as equals.

They're not equals. They're husband and wife.

The Althouse idea of equals is male.

Ann Althouse said...

In Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," Viola (in the guise of a man) says: "Too well what love women to men may owe/In faith, they are as true of heart as we."

damikesc said...

It seems to me that it was the wife's trenchant speech that stirred up this controversy in the first place

Sorry, I cannot agree. Attempting to argue that saying that a college shouldn't be involved in HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, and the students were asking for the college to be involved, might be TRIGGERING is just idiotic. You cannot possibly make less controversial comments.

To be fair, I'd like to know more about what representations Yale made to the students it lured into matriculating. Was a "safe space" promised?...

Let's say they offered one to all students. Why should THIS special snowflake impact other peoples' "safe spaces"?

The Yale disturbance appeared first on a list of incidences from the past year that showed liberal arts campuses were "roiling with activism that has seemed to shift the meaning of contemporary liberalism without changing its ideals."
Such reports flummoxed many people who had always thought of themselves as devout liberals. Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism? Wasn’t liberal academe a way for ideas, good and bad, to be subjected to enlightened reason? Generations of professors and students imagined the university to be a temple for productive challenge and perpetually questioned certainties.


They "believed" that because the mob didn't attack THEM. Conservatives have noted that colleges ceased being places of open inquiry decades ago. At least in the 1980's. But OUR experiences do not matter.

A question that needs to be asked, eventually is: What, precisely, is the BENEFIT of college now? Students are not there to learn nor do they learn.

rehajm said...

And thus the whirligig of time brings in his
revenges.

Chris N said...

Some fine data points returned for the ol' human nature lab.

amielalune said...


Bottom line, all that is happening is that the university cabals of leftists have put themselves into the position of being forced to cater to the mentally disturbed. I don't think it will end well for either party. I hope it happens quickly so that college education becomes completely online sooner rather than later.

Laslo Spatula said...

Alize Wallace-Hadeeb, Safe Space Inspector:

"We at the University have done everything to make this Safe place the safest of safe Places on any American campus."

"You have done everything?"

"Uh: everything we could think of."

"Were those doing the thinking white? Because this looks like a white person's idea of a Safe Place."

"Well, some of them on the committee were white..."

"Some of them?"

"Okay, most of them. But we had a lesbian in the group; I think she's Mexican, too."

"I'll make sure to include that in my report. So: you think that couch is appropriately safe?"

"It has big deep cushions, and a soft, welcoming upholstery."

"So you don't see it?"

"Don't see what?"

"Of course you don't see it, because it's not there. Pillows: there are no comforting pillows on the couch."

"Oh goodness, you're right. We'll get on that immediately: pillows."

"And I can't help but notice the lack of a blanket. Blankets provide a sense of security in a tumultuous environment."

"Blankets: I can see that now."

"As for the couch: don't you see the most obvious concern?"

"It needs pillows and a blanket, obviously."

"Yes. But it is one color. Students of color expect a couch that speaks of their diversity."

"I'm sure we can get a wonderful multi-colored slip-cover."

"I notice there is only one couch. Do you expect different groups to have to share the same couch?"

"That would be terrible: I see that now. Another couch: got it."

"And what color should this couch be?"

"Multi-colored, of course."

"Brown. The second couch should be one color: brown. That will be welcoming solidarity showing that the University understands that Black Comfort Matters."

"This is all making sense to me now..."

"Now: the table."

"The coffee table?"

"You don't see it? Is there a black person I can talk to?"

"Oh -- wait! The table has corners!"

"Very good! There should be no sharp edges in a Safe Place."

"I'll get Maintenance to sand those down right away..."

"Also: you refer to it as a 'coffee table'. That is an affront to those who haven chosen to forgo caffeine, not to mention the impoverished lives of the indigent coffee growers."

"I am learning so much!"

"Wait until we get to the bookshelf..."


I am Laslo.

Big Mike said...

"roiling with activism that has seemed to shift the meaning of contemporary liberalism without changing its ideals."

No! Hell. NO! The "ideals" of contemporary liberalism are nothing like the ideals of liberalism forty or fifty years ago. 21st century liberalism is totalitarianism writ large.

Jim Sweeney said...

From the vantage point of time, it is inescapable to think what asses today's student "radicals" really are. They have no gratitude, no understanding of life and little concern for others in any capacity. They need to be slapped down, literally and figuratively, something their parents failed to do to these juveniles. As for their early educators, moral and intellectual, shame on you and your lack of principles.

virgil xenophon said...

With each passing minute/hour/day/week/month/year as I view the actions of these coddled morons and imbeciles on campus I begin to think that my combat tour in the USAF in Vietnam was totally wasted as I spent it in dropping my bombs on the wrong people. Had I only known..

ngtrains said...

next week two grandsons graduate from high school. Both going to college to study engineering. I graduated from a small liberal arts college. Seems they will be better off in a 'vocational' curriculum. it will be interesting to watch how they are changed by the enviornment. One will attend UW Plattville; the other at CWRU in Cleveland.

Ann Althouse said...

"Didn't you mean "unable to hear itself talk"?"

I trust people understand that a blocked and indented paragraph is a quotation from the preceding link.

Ann Althouse said...

I added a "Heller writes" to help people see I didn't write that paragraph.

DKWalser said...

Janice Fiamengo from the University of Ottawa has an excellent series of YouTube videos in which she addresses feminism's corrosive affects on universities. While her focus is on feminism, I think her analysis extends to other forms of leftism. The first of her videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD65wnDGuTg

damikesc said...

From the vantage point of time, it is inescapable to think what asses today's student "radicals" really are. They have no gratitude, no understanding of life and little concern for others in any capacity. They need to be slapped down, literally and figuratively, something their parents failed to do to these juveniles. As for their early educators, moral and intellectual, shame on you and your lack of principles.

The activists are simply nihilists.

They are the people Alfred warned of in The Dark Knight: "Some people just want to watch the world burn"

Chuck said...

How is it that people who are smart enough to be admitted to Ivies are also stupid enough to not realize how bad all of this looks. I know, I know; Elizabeth Warren, Emma Sulkowicz, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson are the living rebuttals to my premise.

Wilbur said...

"Too well what love women to men may owe/In faith, they are as true of heart as we."

Can you explain what that means to this dumb rube? To what is "too well" referring? The love? The owing? The women? The men?

mccullough said...

Ivy League schools are too small for the normal students to avoid this stuff. Better to go to a Big Ten school

Static Ping said...

I suppose if the students were indeed explicitly promised a "safe space" or a "home" then they may have a reasonable complaint of deception, especially considering how expensive Yale is. Of course, a "home" is definitely not synonymous with "safe space" as pretty much any family will attest, so these students really do not grasp what they wants or have simply redefined words into whatever they want them to be. Or they are dumb.

The larger problem is if Yale's main goal is to provide a "safe space" then the university has become a day care center for young adults. Its degrees should be discounted accordingly both by employers and prospective students.

virgil xenophon said...

Well, lets see, as I was typing furiously away Lazlo hits it out of the park as usual, Big Mike once again re-afirms what can never be done enough, to wit: Inside every modern "liberal" is a Robespierre waiting to emerge, and Jim Sweeney, tho more diplomatic than I, nicely reflects my views--that is the views I used to hold until I lost all patience and decided the "nuke 'em from orbit" route was the quicker and more efficient way to go..

John Tuffnell said...

The wife got slighted.

Lovey Howell feels the pain every time someone sings the Gilligan's Island theme song.

cubanbob said...

There is no shortage of qualified and full freight paying applicants for the Ivies so why do they kowtow to these nuts? Expel them and advise them to join the Army to man up and to re-apply when they grow up.

Ann Althouse said...

"Let's say they offered one to all students. Why should THIS special snowflake impact other peoples' "safe spaces"?"

I can't understand your question. Students were offered admission to Yale and placed in housing. Something was said to them that made them accept this offer and not some other offer they could easily have had. I am virtually certain that there is active recruitment of minority students that included very strong assurances that they will feel very comfortable and welcomed at Yale and that this recruitment is motivated by what the administration at Yale's perceives as a strong self-interest in having a good proportion of minority students. That is, the offer is deceptive in many ways, and the question of who's getting what is very complicated. The administration is a repeat player and very sophisticated. The incoming students are young and trying to figure the world out. What job did the Christakises have as understood by Yale and as understood by the students? I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ann Althouse said...

I added a "Heller writes" to help people see I didn't write that paragraph.

You need to add trigger warnings for all quotes. I have a right to know who I am reading before I put it into my brain.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Note: The above demand is non-negotiable.

MadisonMan said...

The first thing to do when a student complains is to ask them why they expect a safe space in a place where they are supposed to learn. I'm mystified that Administrators don't do this, but they've been cowed somehow by GroupThink.

Learning isn't a safe activity by definition. You are challenged to expand what you know.

Ann Althouse said...

Let's say I book 2 weeks in a resort hotel that has advertisements about how relaxing and quiet it is. When I get there I find there's dance music playing continually and late into the night and people laughing and yelling when I want peace. If management tried to tell me that exciting music and physical gyration is really much better than lying around passively and criticized me for not understanding the proper meaning of vacationing, I would be very pissed off!

khesanh0802 said...

I agree with static ping. The ivies seem to have lost track of their mission of educating young people. (Of course we are only seeing the extreme cases. The "normal" students are busy getting on with their lives.) There is certainly no such thing as tough love in any of these places. Seems to me that the only way to rectify this is for the schools to require a gap year during which at least a few of the prospective students will learn something about life. Maybe the Marine Corps could run a special "life orientation" program at Parris Island for these people. Great way to enhance the Marine Corps budget.

Bob Boyd said...

"I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations."

Because of a difference of opinion regarding Halloween costumes?

traditionalguy said...

Chairman Mao ordered a Cultural Revolution and one happened. Who ordered this one, Chairman Obama?

Hagar said...

It is not so new. Aldous Huxley (born 1894) and George Orwell (Eric Blair, born 1903) spent their entire writing careers warning against these tendencies in the "progressive" movement.

Ann Althouse said...

"How is it that people who are smart enough to be admitted to Ivies are also stupid enough to not realize how bad all of this looks. I know, I know; Elizabeth Warren, Emma Sulkowicz, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson are the living rebuttals to my premise."

Only one person on your list is a student.

My question is: What did the school make her think about what she was signing on for? Was she deceived?

I would look first to the school and see its responsibility. The students are very young and trying to get their bearings in a strange new environment. People are always trying to con the young. They may get very angry when they notice, but I would not focus on their overreaction. Teenagers will get emotional. Anyone who works with young people has to be ready to handle that. If you're offering a massive 4-year experience in this crucial transition in their lives, you'd better put their interests at the center of what you do.

Even if it's true that rigor and challenge is better than coddling and appeasing, you have to say that up front. You can't trick people into thinking they are getting one thing and giving them something else. It's unethical.

Mike Sylwester said...

A half century ago, colleges had a position called Dean of Students, and that official disciplined students.

For example, right after student Jerelyn Luther screamed publicly at Professor Nicholas Christakis, she would have been summoned to the Dean of Students, who would have questioned, reprimanded and even punished her.

Do colleges still have an official who performs this function?

Is anything at all done to deal with bratty students?

John Tuffnell said...

"I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations."

Is it reasonable for the snowflakes to rely on promises by Yale admissions that that they would never melt? Assuming such promises were made.

That's quite a standard for the Christakeses of the world to meet. I wonder what promises UW Law makes. Wouldn't want to push too hard in challenging the assumptions of law students who don't know anything. Better to pretend every view is a worthy view. After all, that's the way judges and clients see it.

Amadeus 48 said...

Hmmm...

"I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations."
Maybe so.
But isn't the Yale credential really what the typical young careerist is chasing? It sure is in my neighborhood.
What we are talking about here is an email about Halloween costumes. Students who become outraged by such things (as opposed to rolling their eyes as we did in my day) have got some deeper problems about their sense of belonging. Is this a mismatch problem? I suspect so. I doubt whether the Christakises could have done enough to make the young ranter feel comfortable, welcome, and at home.

Michael K said...

"What, precisely, is the BENEFIT of college now? Students are not there to learn nor do they learn."

I would like to know how many of these students are enrolled in math, engineering or molecular biology courses.

My guess is zero.

As for "safe spaces," my guess is that these students "of color" were promised there would be no math, no consequences for failure and no expectation of real achievement. They are there as a form of virtue signaling by the administration and governing body of these institutions that are part of the elites of the eastern US.

One serious problem is that the proportion of black and Hispanic potential students with IQs above 120 is limited and thus, the demands of affirmative action are exhausting the supply of those who might profit by an Icy League education.

John Derbyshire got fired by National Review for pointing this out.

There is a magnifying effect here, too, caused by affirmative action. In a pure meritocracy there would be very low proportions of blacks in cognitively demanding jobs. Because of affirmative action, the proportions are higher. In government work, they are very high. Thus, in those encounters with strangers that involve cognitive engagement, ceteris paribus the black stranger will be less intelligent than the white. In such encounters, therefore—for example, at a government office—you will, on average, be dealt with more competently by a white than by a black. If that hostility-based magnifying effect (paragraph 8) is also in play, you will be dealt with more politely, too. “The DMV lady“ is a statistical truth, not a myth.

This cannot be explained in polite company, especially at Yale.

Original Mike said...

"Is there really no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious?”

I think they have obnoxious down cold.

Texas Annie said...

I'm sorry, no they are not young. At the same age, my son was fighting in Afghanistan. They are not young, they are immature.

buwaya puti said...

The truth is nearly all university students are there for the diplomas, and they have only a slight interest at best in the subjects taught unless they have a completely practical value with respect to their job prospects. And even then it's surprising how unwilling so many are to take an interest.
Argument about and engagement with controversial topics, the hashing things out, is a minority sport, a very small minority indeed. Even on the internet it's extremely difficult to find a truly open venue for proper dialectic argument.
Way too many people say they hold that as an ideal, but don't know what it is, or hate it when they see it.
I suppose that a college could set itself up, sell itself, as intellectual Thunderdome, and if it works it would be the most exciting place anywhere (well, to me it would). But as for attracting students it would be a very small niche.
Student activism isn't, and has never been, about ideas or argument, but about fashion, crowd psychology, and power.

Bob Boyd said...

Let's say I book 2 weeks in a resort hotel that has advertisements about how relaxing and quiet it is. When I get there I find there's there's a dance with loud music playing for 2 hours on one night of the 2 week stay. I complain and the resort manager tells me that Dance Night is very popular with the other guests.
My response is to let this ruin my entire vacation and to do whatever it takes to get the resort manager fired from her job. I eventually succeed.

Henry said...

The problem with the resort analogy is that the students were not unanimous in their expectations.

Let's say you're at your peaceful resort and someone in management sends an email to all the guests warning against "exciting music". Some guests ask the concierge what is covered by "exciting music". The concierge sends out an email saying "use your best judgement about exciting music." Other guests are astonished and insulted that the concierge allow such madness.

It is intriguing that the students concerned about the meaning of the original University-wide email blast about Halloween costumes have vanished from the story. The original email blast treated students as passive recipients of instruction. The follow-up email treated the students as engaged equals. Yet it is the follow-up that caused the offense.

So far as I know, no one on Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee has been asked to apologize or resign for troubling students with vague commandments. The offended students love being herded. Four legs good.

buwaya puti said...

Michael, yes you are correct about Derbyshire.
The problem is the same, nearly, down the line through K-12
I would not put all the blame there though.
The dislike for a proper, interesting fight, the desire for comfortable careers with no challenges, isn't the fault of the poor kids sucked into a place where they can't succeed.

The sciences and engineering aren't so much affected, but the idiotic practice of core curricula and required classes infects everything.

Ann Althouse said...

"Because of a difference of opinion regarding Halloween costumes?"

Read the original email here.

I recommend reading it from the point of view of a student who wondered whether it was a good idea to enter an intimidating, elitist institution, far from home, far out of her comfort zone, where she is a minority and where most of the others feel much more comfortable. Picture someone who made the leap and decided to go because she was actively recruited by very sincere-sounding people who said over and over that the atmosphere would be welcoming and very racially sensitive.

damikesc said...

I can't understand your question. Students were offered admission to Yale and placed in housing. Something was said to them that made them accept this offer and not some other offer they could easily have had.

Let's say Harvard offered EVERY student a "safe space".

Thousands of safe spaces are there. Not all students want the same "safe space" and some desire "safe spaces" that'd make other students feel "unsafe". So, if we assume they offered them all "safe spaces", why should the screaming girl's "safe space" trump somebody else's who has a "safe space" that requires Halloween costumes?

Let's remember that the whole uproar was over costumes.

I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations.

But the student in questions had absurd expectations. She actually expected a university to decide what Halloween costumes (as if the university cared one way or the other) were OK. These are adults. They're not 6 year olds. And all she said was "Do you really want US to make this decision for you?" This is an answer one gives an adult.

Let's say I book 2 weeks in a resort hotel that has advertisements about how relaxing and quiet it is. When I get there I find there's dance music playing continually and late into the night and people laughing and yelling when I want peace. If management tried to tell me that exciting music and physical gyration is really much better than lying around passively and criticized me for not understanding the proper meaning of vacationing, I would be very pissed off!

But that isn't really a comparable thing here. For me it'd be: a travel group offers you a nice and peaceful relaxing vacation. You see somebody wearing blue and you REALLY hate blue. So, your trip is "ruined" because somebody wore a color you hate. You were "triggered" in a way that nobody could seriously fathom somebody could be "triggered" by.

Saying "Do you really want us to decide what you can or cannot wear" is the ONLY appropriate response to a situation that is, honestly, psychotic.

I would look first to the school and see its responsibility. The students are very young and trying to get their bearings in a strange new environment. People are always trying to con the young. They may get very angry when they notice, but I would not focus on their overreaction. Teenagers will get emotional. Anyone who works with young people has to be ready to handle that. If you're offering a massive 4-year experience in this crucial transition in their lives, you'd better put their interests at the center of what you do.

Even if it's true that rigor and challenge is better than coddling and appeasing, you have to say that up front. You can't trick people into thinking they are getting one thing and giving them something else. It's unethical.


She was livid that they didn't have a policy on Halloween costumes. THAT was her beef. It wasn't anything serious. If one is unable to handle a Halloween costume, they should not be humored and the Dean should've expelled her for her abhorrent behavior. She was FAR more "triggering" of the Master than they were of her.

If you promise that if somebody takes your class, they will get a great education --- but then they don't attend your classes, ignores your assignments, and refuses to take any tests --- is it YOUR fault that you "mislead" them because they didn't get a great education? You offered it and you provided it but their expectations were so out of whack that nobody could seriously expect anybody to abide by it.

damikesc said...

I recommend reading it from the point of view of a student who wondered whether it was a good idea to enter an intimidating, elitist institution, far from home, far out of her comfort zone, where she is a minority and where most of the others feel much more comfortable.

Who says they're more comfortable? They just watched a classmate basically drive a professor and his wife out of their jobs over nothing and they know that she can now make things happen. Many of her classmates are likely terrified of doing ANYTHING that might upset her.

What about THOSE students?

Freeman Hunt said...

"Ivy League schools are too small for the normal students to avoid this stuff. Better to go to a Big Ten school."

I am beginning to wonder. (And that would be wonderful for the budget, so I hope I'm not unduly inclined to believe it.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Ironically, the Big Ten school is likely to offer far greater diversity of thought, perspective, and life experience too.

buwaya puti said...

Expectations and implied promises are indeed important.

The problem is that what is promised is unworthy of the institution. A 4-year vacation from life is not what any teenager should be after. Even a monastery will deliver an enormous, harsh personal challenge.

A university, a respectable one, should be, intellectualy, equal parts gladiator school and colisseum. The students problems, his inability to succeed or his incorrect emotional reactions aren't properly the business of the school.

I don't expect to see that ideal, because people are weak.

Amadeus 48 said...

Althouse--The young ranter, Jerelyn Luther, was a senior at the time of this incident, thus 21 or 22 years old and three and a half years into the Yale experience. She just didn't like being crossed by Prof. Christakis.
I appreciate your attempt to put this in an empathetic context, but Luther was on her way to a degree and out the door.
I am with Texas Annie on this one. I just got back from my 50th high school reunion, where we remembered our classmate who was a medical corpsman killed at age 20 while rescuing another soldier in Vietnam in 1968. Jerelyn Luther has a long way to go before she measures up to that standard.

Bob Boyd said...

"If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation." - Epictetus

Original Mike said...

"I would like to know how many of these students are enrolled in math, engineering or molecular biology courses.

My guess is zero"


Mine too. I saw none of this kind of nonsense perched in my position in a graduate science/engineering department.

If I had a child going to college nowadays, I think I'd refuse to pay for a liberal arts education.

Big Mike said...

Just to echo Texas Annie, someone from my old high school, at the time not much older than Ms. Luther is today, was earning a Medal of Honor in Vietnam. Back in the day I made it my personal policy not to hire Ivy grads; I appear to have been right.

Big Mike said...

I hadn't read what Amadeus wrote when I wrote my comment. Make that younger than Ms. Luther is today.

@Freeman, I'm starting to lose faith in the Big Ten myself. Today I would not send either of my sons to a Big Ten school, not even the one who majored in math.

Hagar said...

There ain't no such thing as a "free" lunch.
and
There ain't no such thing as a "safe" space.

Even all of planet Earth isn't. I believe it is still true that most "near miss" asteroids detected by our astronomers is are first seen going away.

Mike Sylwester said...

Ann Althouse at 10:19 AM

Picture someone who made the leap and decided to go because she was actively recruited by very sincere-sounding people who said over and over that the atmosphere would be welcoming and very racially sensitive.

The issue of Halloween costumes was raised, and Associate Master Erika Christakis responded with a thoughtful and civil statement about the issue.

Her statement did not violate any plausible promise that the atmosphere would be welcoming and racially sensitive.

Some students who have been admitted to Yale do not have the intelligence, education and culture to study at such an institution. That's the problem.

dreams said...

"This cannot be explained in polite company, especially at Yale."

Because reality is not politically correct.

Gusty Winds said...

That is, the offer is deceptive in many ways, and the question of who's getting what is very complicated.

I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden...

Roughcoat said...


Virgil Xenophon:

Your combat tour in Vietnam was not wasted. It didn't accomplish what the official line would say it was supposed to have accomplished, but that is really irrelevant. Just know it was not wasted.

Ridley Scott, for all his faults as a director, showed that he understood what military endeavor is really all about--and how it should be judged--when he chose to have "The Minstrel Boy" play over the end credits of "Blackhawk Down." That song says it all.

Not wasted. Never.

Gusty Winds said...

Hmmm....

We've seen video's of SJWs screaming in the faces of studying students in the library. And nothing is done by the University.

The complaining students are full of shit, and the University Administrators are full of shit.

Doctoral Thesis:

Leftists on University Campuses are Full of Shit: An In Depth Study Exploring the Brain Numbing Damage Cause by Righteous Indignation and Placating the Offended.

Bill Peschel said...

From the email: "Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society."

I can see why Jerelyn Luther would be traumatized by this. Yale is a hotbed of racism masquerading as a desire for free speech and a calm, rational discussion of the issues.

What's ironic is that Yale was one of the universities who sent my son a letter encouraging him to apply (which, stupid dad, didn't realize he was that smart). We even had Yale on the list of schools to consider.

I'm personally glad that this incident arose, because Yale has nothing to offer my son.

Amadeus 48 said...

Bill Peschel--Send him to the University of Chicago.

mikee said...

In my very first paid job, as a high-schooler teaching kids aged 6 to 9 years old to swim, I once got mad at a student who gave me some lip. I splashed some water at the kid, and told him to get back to practicing his arm stroke.

When the kid started crying, my manager pulled me aside and gave me some advice I've remembered ever since. She said, "You aren't in elementary school any more, and these kids aren't your 3rd grade classmates. Stop acting like they are, and don't play stupid kid games with them during work. Be an adult, don't get mad at their stupidity, and do your job."

Oddly enough, that very speech would work at any US university experiencing current PC issues and upset students.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If Mrs. Christakis' post is "trenchant" how would you describe the shouting, cursing, and general temper tantrum the students engaged in on the videos associated with this incident, Professor?

Ann Althouse said...Even if it's true that rigor and challenge is better than coddling and appeasing, you have to say that up front. You can't trick people into thinking they are getting one thing and giving them something else. It's unethical.

I get that you're still "just asking questions" here, Professor, but have you seen any evidence that the school promised coddling? Officially? Anything? I understand your point but I haven't seen anyone demonstrate that the school promised students that they would always be coddled, never challenged, never expected to think deeply or confront difficult ideas or opinions, etc.

Also I'm going to assume/hope that your "even if" was just for the sake of rhetoric.

Anglelyne said...

Amadeus 48: Althouse--The young ranter, Jerelyn Luther, was a senior at the time of this incident, thus 21 or 22 years old and three and a half years into the Yale experience. She just didn't like being crossed by Prof. Christakis.

I believe this behavior is called "testing their limits" when observed in toddlers and slightly older pre-school children. Toddler-hood apparently lasts 'til at least 25 in contemporary society. If no adult ever puts the hammer down, we all know what we get - an ever brattier, ever more destructive, ever more unhappy child.

We seem to have an accelerating descent into Cultural Revolution-grade insanity and stupidity, while fevered fantasies of satanic racists (sexists, bigots, discriminators and 'phobes of all sorts) continue to be drip-fed to the students by the very people who are now bewildered by the brats' subsequent behavior.

Looks to me like a bunch of really confused young people begging for an adult to show up, end the con, and lay down the law.

damikesc said...

Doctoral Thesis:

Leftists on University Campuses are Full of Shit: An In Depth Study Exploring the Brain Numbing Damage Cause by Righteous Indignation and Placating the Offended.


It'd be easier to just say Fen's Law: A Historical Retrospective

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Note, as well, that even in the context of "the school promised a safe environment free from having to deal with opinions we dislike" the student's demands and complaint are ridiculous. The student is angry that the prof. dared to have and express an opinion contrary to the student's! Has any organization (university, business, etc) ever promised "you will never have to be confronted with the fact that other people you will live or work with hold opinions and beliefs contrary to yours and may from time to time express those opinions?"

That's what the student is demanding--that if the prof. doesn't 100% agree with the student's worldview the prof. shouldn't have that job (as "master"). She's demanding complete conformity of everyone around her! She's OFFENDED by the IDEA that someone disagrees with her worldview.

Do you honestly think Yale told prospective students "Yale is an environment where you'll never encounter anyone who disagrees in any way from your standard Leftist (or radical Marxist, or whatever) POV?" Doesn't that run counter to the very idea of "diversity?" I'm certain Yale tells students to expect a diverse environment!

Gusty Winds said...

When the UW faculty around the state of Wisconsin passes their BS "no confidence" votes because of the change in tenure rules, they just whining about the removal of their life-long, job protected safe space.

They're screaming Walkers face just like the girl from Yale.

You would have to be so removed from the real world an live inside a campus bubble to be surprised that any of this has happened.

The children on campus learned by example.

Roughcoat said...

I'm sorry, no they are not young. At the same age, my son was fighting in Afghanistan. They are not young, they are immature.

Well said, Texas Annie. This is a point I often try to make when I have the energy to engage in discussions like these. Teenagers and young men in their early twenties are serving in the military and engaged in combat. They are performing in leadership roles in the most dire circumstances. This has always been the case with young men in the military in all the wars the United States has fought. I am the author of a book about the Marine Corps in World War II. In the course of researching and writing that book I spoke with men who were fighting and/or leading troops in combat against the Japanese when they were in their teens. Some enlisted when they were 16 or 15 years old, lying about their age to do so. Teenage boys were flying high-performance fighter aircraft in combat before they could even grow their beards. Much the same can be said for the young men who fought in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, etc. The character deficiencies of young men and women in college are not attributable to their age but rather to their wilful, aggressive immaturity.

mikeski said...

Mike Sylwester said...

A half century ago, colleges had a position called Dean of Students, and that official disciplined students.

Do colleges still have an official who performs this function?


Yes, but there is currently a small list of offenses to trigger such discipline; yelling at a professor is not on the list.

Based on the news over the past year or two, "being white/male/Christian/conservative when someone else creates a hate-crime hoax" and "being falsely accused of rape" are the only two things I know that are still on the list.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"It's about creating a home" apparently means "people who don't think exactly like I do about this issue shouldn't be tolerated and shouldn't be welcome. Maaaybe I'll allow them to keep living/existing, but I will not allow them to be a part of my community."

Again, we're not talking about a situation where someone was repeatedly harassing or threatening students, or doing dangerous things, or even being all that disruptive. Mrs. Christakis sent an email to some students, for God's sake! Her husband defended her for expressing her opinion. That, to these students, is enough of a crime to warrant his removal from his job (and their community).

Mike Sylwester said...

Ann Althouse at 10:19 AM

Picture someone who made the leap and decided to go because she was actively recruited by very sincere-sounding people who said over and over that the atmosphere would be welcoming and very racially sensitive.

Instead of obsessing about how it failed to provide a welcoming atmosphere, Yale's administration should review how it made the mistaken decision to enroll Jerelyn Luther over many other applicants.

Now Yale has a senior who throws tantrums and demands faculty resignations because of Halloween costumes. How was this mistake made? What lessons should the admissions department learn?

Luther's application file should be examined critically -- her high-school transcript, her application essay, her recommendations, her SAT scores. What special points did she receive for being more "diverse" than other applicants who did have the necessary intelligence, education and culture?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'm legitimately trying to come up with a "politics reversed" scenario on this.
Like...what if the students were conservatives and the staff said or did something offensive based on the staff's liberal beliefs.

I'm really having a tough time! Most of the Profs. and staff of most universities are already super-liberal, and many of them don't mind expressing their disdain for non-liberal beliefs. Conservative students might protest particularly offensive or egregious statements, maybe, but if a conservative student said "this staff member expressed their liberal beliefs and that made me feel unwelcome, therefore the staff member should be removed" would you give that argument any weight, Professor? You'd dismiss it as "whining," wouldn't you? Like you do when we bring up Media bias over and over again--as tiresome whining?


Ooh, here's one! A private Catholic university like DePaul, right? A conservative student might reasonably expect to have his or her views respected just a little, right? DePaul's in the news! Protestors Storm Stage, Threaten Milo Y at DePaul. The school-mandated security did NOTHING and the school's administrators put the blame on the speaker (and excuse the "protestor"). If you're a conservative on that campus, do you feel like it's a safe space for your and your ideas?

Do you think a DePaul conservative student has more of a complaint than your hypothetical ("tricked") Yale students do, Professor?

Michael said...

Althouse has it partly right, the part about the poor student being disappointed that the school to which she was recruited was not quite as "safe" as she had been led to believe. Misled. But she had been misled every step on her way to Yale, misled that she was exceptional, even that she could compete. We have done so much harm to these young people to make ourselves feel good.

Luther no more belonged at Yale than any other student recruited because of their skin color. It is a vile and evil thing we have done.

Michael K said...

"they have only a slight interest at best in the subjects taught unless they have a completely practical value with respect to their job prospects"

A young man I know pretty well is presently studying petroleum engineering at U of Arizona. He is a big handsome guy who plays excellent classical piano. His father is a retired marine fighter pilot who is now an American Airlines captain.

My daughter was presented with false history in her general ed courses at the same U but she was not an engineering major (worse luck).

I think the colleges are a waste of time except in certain departments. My two oldest kids went to USC where I graduated in 1960. They graduated in 1985. Both are lawyers., I would not send them there today in anything but science majors. Another daughter graduated from UCLA ten years later and got kind of indoctrinated, I would not send a kid to any of those schools now.

My grandson is 10. I don't envy his parents but his best bet might be the military for four years, then college with a STEM major.

We'll see. I have four granddaughters but am less worried about them.

Static Ping said...

I agree with Ann that if Yale promised these students X and they didn't get X, then the students have every reason to complain. If, for instance, this was an explicitly Catholic university and the school showed porn movies in the theater and required everyone to attend daily Islamic prayers and declared that any student who opposed abortion was a monster, I think the students who expected a Catholic experience would be appropriately upset. Or if the school promised a four year vacation and the students got extremely difficult grading complete with high drop-out rates and segregated male and female facilities enforced by ornery nuns, that would be false advertising. So, fine, if the Eli were sold a bill of goods, they have a point.

There are two real, bigger problems here. First, Yale is, supposedly, an elite educational school. Its primary purpose is to produce well-educated students that will become future leaders of society. Students that wilt like this under minimal pressure are simply not appropriate for this kind of school. They shouldn't be at Yale, and if they insist on acting like this once they arrive the proper answer to their demands is to suggest that they should find some other institution that better fits their needs. Yale has apparently forgotten this and has placed many other priorities in front of its core mission. They can certainly do that, but then Yale should no longer be considered an elite educational school. It can be an elite school for the best and brightest, or it can be a SJW playground. It cannot be both. Trying to do both will produce classes of half-educated bigots.

Second, if you are going to promise a "safe space" then you have to detail thoroughly what that means. "Safe space" is both ambiguous and subjective. Furthermore, it is often contradictory as one student's "safe space" is another student's "trigger." It appears that Yale promised some vague concept of "home" which means basically nothing and then makes up what that means as they go along, often responding to whomever is screaming the loudest at the time. That's, frankly, stupid. Make up your rules, make sure everyone knows what they are, and go from there. It's Rule of Law. Oh, that's right, Yale does not believe in that anymore. They are finding out the hard way the joys of that. Can't say they don't deserve it either.

dreams said...

There will be consequences and a lot of the innocent will suffer too.

And here is who I blame.

"So who were we if not the boomers? How would you name us? You could call us the Generation of 1968, because that was when we made our most enduring mark, when the “whole world was watching” as the chant went from the Chicago Democratic National Convention of that year. It seemingly never stopped. But a better title for us would be the Least Great Generation, because that’s what we were. Maybe the Ungrateful Generation."

Or as I've said before and I'll say it again, the children of the greatest generation turned out to be the sorriest generation.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/moral-narcissism-least-great-generation/

n.n said...

stopped being able to hear itself think

The cognitive dissonance is deafening.

Roughcoat said...

Or as I've said before and I'll say it again, the children of the greatest generation turned out to be the sorriest generation.

Blaming an entire generation for anything is stupid. The notion that a generation can and does act in a unified, monolithic fashion is stupid, not least because it is fundamentally Marxian in its [sloppy] intellectual underpinnings.

dreams said...

"Blaming an entire generation for anything is stupid. The notion that a generation can and does act in a unified, monolithic fashion is stupid, not least because it is fundamentally Marxian in its [sloppy] intellectual underpinnings."

And yet, we know that is exactly what has happened.

Virgil Hilts said...

Ann, I think a much better discussion of this was in an article linked to by Professor Reynolds a few weeks back. http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/05/12/the-amazing-1969-prophecy/

Is it a coincidence that SJW fanaticism has appeared with such strong force at the same colleges that have been the most embracing of affirmative action. This article suggests cause and effect and interesting arguments. The irony is that Yale and places like it think the solution is to pour gasoline on the fire rather than to stop admitting the under-qualified. Kind of suggests the downward spiral at places like Yale will continue while it may be possible to interrupt it at other places.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Static Ping said...I agree with Ann that if Yale promised these students X and they didn't get X, then the students have every reason to complain.

If! If Yale did that, then it's a kind of fraud. What evidence is there that Yale did that? Isn't that sort of important if we're going to continue talking about this possibility---shouldn't someone point to something that suggests Yale did mislead?

CWJ said...

Static Ping wrote -

"First, Yale is, supposedly, an elite educational school. Its primary purpose is to produce well-educated students that will become future leaders of society."

And there's the Ivy Brand (and con) right there. The logic goes something like this. Our Ivy degrees indicate that we deserve to be the leaders of society because we have been rigorously selected from thousands to receive such a superior education as only people as smart as us can appreciate. That the little people have seen through the con after decades of Ivy educated practical stupidity and misgovernance is irrelevant. They're not Ivy educated after all. Believing the "well-educated" part of the con is necessary only for those who need to justify their mandarin status. There's always been a transactional element to the Ivy league as reliable entrees to elite social status, but as Chuck above suggested, the dissociation between actual intellectual rigor and such access is on display for all to see. These antics harm the brand regardless of whether there was that much truth behind the brand in the first place.

I'd rephrase it, "[Yale's] primary purpose is to produce ... future leaders of society." The rest of it has been reduced to internally justifying the selection process.

Static Ping said...

CWJ, true dat.

ALP said...

Am I the only one who thinks maybe some of these delicate students would be better served by working an average, unskilled retail/factory job for a couple of years before going to college?

Two years at a thankless shit job might create an individual ready to knuckle down academically. They might realize they have been handed an incredible opportunity to gain the kind of prestige and power they whine about not having, and are constantly asking others to concede.

iqvoice said...

Ignorance is Bliss said..
You need to add trigger warnings for all quotes. I have a right to know who I am reading before I put it into my brain.

Haha! Someone who read the New Yorker article in full, I see. Unlike Althouse, I don't find the "true of heart" comment to be sarcastic. No one on the right is true of heart? No one on the right is educated? That comment is bigotry and hate speech.

CWJ said...

Static Ping,

Thanks. I'm glad you realized that I mentioned you for attribution reasons. Others may have taken my revision personally.

Ann Althouse said...

"The issue of Halloween costumes was raised, and Associate Master Erika Christakis responded with a thoughtful and civil statement about the issue. Her statement did not violate any plausible promise that the atmosphere would be welcoming and racially sensitive. Some students who have been admitted to Yale do not have the intelligence, education and culture to study at such an institution. That's the problem."

As I said, I admire the Christakises. I think her email was intelligent and not offensive and made great points.

If you are going to insult students' intelligence, you yourself should demonstrate intelligence, but you have, in fact, missed MY point, which is about the representations and the deceit involved in luring the students to the school. To the extent that the students are saying they were deceived and they want what they were told they would get, they have a great point, and the school should not be able to hide behind the Christakises, who of course inspire our empathy.

Ann Althouse said...

And it's not just admissions. It's also what students are taught in some of their classes. Having been lured to the school by recruiters who want racial diversity, they are used by the school for the school's purposes and pushed to think about themselves in terms of their racial identity. It's way too easy to dump on these students. The school needs to step up and do a much better job.

Ann Althouse said...

When older people find themselves instinctively, reflexively blaming, insulting, and mocking the young, they ought to have the self-awareness to step back and ask what they are doing and what they have done.

The Christakises seem to have tried to do a better job with young people, but they are part of a larger institution and what they were doing was out of whack with the rest of what's been going on. They had the unpleasantness of being the point of interface with the students, and they chose to withdraw. So that's where things are at Yale at this point. Pretty pathetic.

Unknown said...

1) A big college cannot be a safe nurturing environment any more than a town can be. It makes no sense. When I was in college I don't think I ever met a member of the administration and clearly understood that I was in an adversarial relationship with all profs. I neither expected nor observed anyone at any time getting "nurtured".
2) "true of heart" assumes that progressives are the ones possessing pure motivation and ideological purity. wow. No one who disagrees with progressive ideology can be "pure of heart"?

Michael K said...

"you yourself should demonstrate intelligence, but you have, in fact, missed MY point, "

Most of your point was bullshit.

However, I do agree with this.

"Having been lured to the school by recruiters who want racial diversity, they are used by the school for the school's purposes and pushed to think about themselves in terms of their racial identity"

However, this point is also bullshit.

"It's way too easy to dump on these students. The school needs to step up and do a much better job."

They are not attending a $50,000 a year kindergarten. I think you may be implying that they are not smart enough to understand their own interests. If so, that is "The soft bigotry of low expectations" except that should not apply to Yale students where people of good intelligence but white skin or people of Asian descent and high intelligence are excluded.

You really should know better.

buwaya said...

"And it's not just admissions. It's also what students are taught in some of their classes. Having been lured to the school by recruiters who want racial diversity, they are used by the school for the school's purposes and pushed to think about themselves in terms of their racial identity. It's way too easy to dump on these students. The school needs to step up and do a much better job."

I agree completely. The real problem isn't the poor black (and whatever else) kids, but the white leadership that has been using them for their purposes. This is a typical point made by the anti-affirmative action side for the last few decades. The Christakises were hung out to dry by their own leaders. The fault here is in the dreadful quality of leadership. They are a corrupt, decadent crew, a mutually supporting mafia of mediocrity. Good lord, Janet Napolitano runs the University of California system. What can anyone expect from that?

buwaya said...

Milo Yiannopoulos wins -
http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/27/depaul-professor-offended-by-milo-resigns-calls-free-speech-delusional/

It is a hypocrisy to believe that one can promote diversity without tackling the racism that underlines all educational institutions,” Cheng continued.

Holtschneider has been criticized by conservatives over his handling of an event featuring Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos after the university allowed protesters to hijack the event and threaten those in attendance.

Cheng also criticized the university’s handling of the event–but for the opposite reason.

Cheng blasted Rev. Holtschneider for allowing the event to happen at all. She called his handling of the case “embarrassing” and “a lack of moral courage in the disguise of intellectual objectivity and positional neutrality.”

Yiannopoulos responded to news of Cheng’s resignation by declaring victory. “Splendid. I told you I was winning,” he said. “One down, the rest of the American educational establishment to go.”

Alex said...

Ann bloviated...

I can believe that the students believed the Christakises would create a feeling of comfort, welcoming, and home and felt outraged that they'd been tricked into making a major life choice by false representations.

Why am I not shocked that the professor is siding with the most odious elements of our society in a shameless TROLL of everyone here?

Alex said...

But the student in questions had absurd expectations. She actually expected a university to decide what Halloween costumes (as if the university cared one way or the other) were OK. These are adults. They're not 6 year olds. And all she said was "Do you really want US to make this decision for you?" This is an answer one gives an adult.

What made you think these are adults? Just children in adult bodies. I would sue their parents for gross negligence in PARENTING.

Alex said...

Bunch of spoiled brats.

MayBee said...

If you are going to insult students' intelligence, you yourself should demonstrate intelligence, but you have, in fact, missed MY point, which is about the representations and the deceit involved in luring the students to the school. To the extent that the students are saying they were deceived and they want what they were told they would get, they have a great point,

But you don't know what representations were made. You don't know that there was deceit.
Do you? Do you have some specific knowledge?


Do you think someone who yells at someone because she suggested people could choose their own Hallowe'en costumes, might be the kind of person who misunderstands what representations were made?

Balfegor said...

Re: Althouse:

To the extent that the students are saying they were deceived and they want what they were told they would get, they have a great point, and the school should not be able to hide behind the Christakises, who of course inspire our empathy.

I have my doubts about what the students were told they would get. Frankly, even if they were promised an environment like a home, "home" for an adolescent is not and should not be an endless soothing shower of positive reinforcement. It's a loving and "safe" space, sure, but one dominated by parents who, having been dumb adolescents themselves once, are often going to be unsympathetic to adolescent BS. Lots of these hate-filled students probably go home to parents who would not hesitate to scold them for making a scene of themselves in public, or engaging in such a nasty, hateful display. I think what they are seeking is a child's idea of home -- the mother who is always supportive, who, even when you're 30 and unemployed and living in the basement, reassures you that you're special and it's the world's loss that they don't appreciate your rare genius. Participation prizes for everyone.

CWJ said...

Althouse wrote -

"If you are going to insult students' intelligence, you yourself should demonstrate intelligence, but you have, in fact, missed MY point, which is about the representations and the deceit involved in luring the students to the school."

No one that I have read has missed or misconstrued your [hypothetical] point. Indeed, several have discussed it, presumably not to your satisfaction. Do you have any evidence that this person was actually promised what you suppose? Absence evidence, what do you suppose your commenters are supposed to discuss beyond what they already have?

As for student intelligence, I've seen some good comments above as well as the knee-jerk ones. I did my share of "foot-stomping" in college, but all in all the institution made it clear that these were learning moments for me, not the other way around.

MayBee said...

Here is the Yale College Mission Statement:
" The mission of Yale College is to seek exceptionally promising students of all backgrounds from across the nation and around the world and to educate them, through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities to the fullest. The aim of this education is the cultivation of citizens with a rich awareness of our heritage to lead and serve in every sphere of human activity."

buwaya said...

Althouses point is its not just whatever is on the brochure but the content of the classes, and I will add the speeches made, the statements and policies of the student affairs personnel, and for that matter the climate of opinion in the faculty and the student body.
The message is in the implications of all the previous indoctrination in which the university leadership is complicit. It takes a village to form character.
Its not just the luring thats the problem, its what happens when they get there. Promises are constantly made - you can expect this, and this, and this, and they get used to it.

MayBee said...

Yes, that is ALthouse's point. But
a)she is not producing evidence that is how things actually are
b)We don't have to agree with her

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...If you are going to insult students' intelligence, you yourself should demonstrate intelligence, but you have, in fact, missed MY point, which is about the representations and the deceit involved in luring the students to the school. To the extent that the students are saying they were deceived and they want what they were told they would get, they have a great point, and the school should not be able to hide behind the Christakises, who of course inspire our empathy

(my bolds)

I'll ask again: what evidence do we have for the assertion that the school fooled these young people? What specifically are you talking about? Just the general "Leftist cocoon" expectation? Or are you referring to something specific that we can evaluate?

All of this seems speculative and much to credulous--not in keeping with the "cruel neutrality" POV, really. IF the school tricked the students, then we should partially blame the school (I won't let the students entirely off the hook--their ridiculous expectations are still laughable and they should be expected to understand reality a little better--at the very least they should be expected to confront hardship or disappointment with more maturity, etc). But that's an IF that I have not seen you try to justify!

What, specifically, were "they told" to expect? Secondarily, if they were told ridiculous things why should that absolve them of all blame for believing ridiculous things? Puffery isn't fraud, right? The specific student was a senior at the time of her shouting incident, too, right? Had she not wised up by then, or are you assuming that she felt cheated and betrayed/conned for more than 3 years and her over the top reaction to the email is evidence of that?

The students say they were misled. It's in their interest to portray themselves that way. What evidence do we have that their perception (of being misled) is reasonable or accurate?

damikesc said...

And it's not just admissions. It's also what students are taught in some of their classes. Having been lured to the school by recruiters who want racial diversity, they are used by the school for the school's purposes and pushed to think about themselves in terms of their racial identity. It's way too easy to dump on these students. The school needs to step up and do a much better job.

Is there a point to college any longer?

Students aren't expected to learn. Only SOME are expected to have their beliefs challenged (namely conservative students). Men gave virtually no rights. Whites are taught that they are the problem at all times. Students attending seem incapable of handling the smallest possible problems.

At what point do we say "You know, universities are just not worth the money" and cut all funding?

They seem to expect college to be MORE comforting than home, which has people who legitimately do care for them. I truly, deeply, and profoundly pity any children borne of these kids.

I wish Peter Thiel would help financially support white males' lawsuits against college for the rampant sexism and racism they face.

dreams said...

Our Armed Forces have routinely misled new recruits and it was the recruits who adjusted to the reality.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Luring students to the school" seems, what's that the kids say? Problematic.

Yale's highly competitive. They have many applicants for every available seat. I guess you're specifically referring to students who identify as ethnic or racial minorities...but even then I'd think Yale would have its pick of well-qualified applicants.

Unless...unless you're presuming that there aren't enough well-qualified applicants of that type (those who identify as ethnic or racial minorities) to go around? Implying that as a percentage/on a representational basis those types of students are underrepresented at the high end of the distribution for the traits for which a school like Yale selects?? Troubling.

[just kidding, but that's how I imagine it'd go down if you were right-of-center!]

dreams said...

The liberals have done a great disservice to a lot of minority students who could have gotten a good education at a less elite school.

buwaya said...

" Secondarily, if they were told ridiculous things why should that absolve them of all blame for believing ridiculous things?"

You credit people with too much independence and strength of character. They are being indoctrinated by very intelligent people in positions of immense (perceived) authority in an environment where few if any have a contrary opinion, certainly no-one with any status; this is a powerful thing. There are any number of examples of, for instance, North Koreans abroad behaving absurdly, even when under no compulsion, but according to their indoctrination.

"Unless...unless you're presuming that there aren't enough well-qualified applicants of that type (those who identify as ethnic or racial minorities) to go around?"

No there aren't, not even for the Ivy League, not even for Yale. They have to dive very low to fill their quotas. They don't have to recruit idiots, but on average they aren't competitive with their peers. I have a 2004 study analyzing Princeton admissions (Epenshade, Chung & Walling) that documents @ 150 point difference on the SAT Math+English (1600pts max) between White/Asian vs Black/Hispanic. I.e., White/Asians kids averaging 680/680 vs Black/Hispanic 600/600. The difference in class performance will be very noticeable, and there will be many in the lowest tier that will be completely unable to keep up.

As I understand it, the average discrepancies have been increasing, to well over 200pts.

Birkel said...

Althouse's head feint toward fraud is bull shit. If anything, the sort of salesmanship she alleges might have happened is puffery. Yale can use normal language to sell its product and normal adults should see past the salesmanship. There can be no reasonable reliance on normal sales language.

Anybody who cannot reasonably rely cannot then reasonably pretend they did so and have a legitimate complaint.

Bull. Shit.

buwaya said...

"Althouse's head feint toward fraud is bull shit. If anything, the sort of salesmanship she alleges might have happened is puffery. Yale can use normal language to sell its product and normal adults should see past the salesmanship. There can be no reasonable reliance on normal sales language."

Its not normal sales language, and it isn't about puffery of a particular college. ALL of them are saying the same things more or less, as well as their K-12 teachers. Its closer to cultist indoctrination, the Jim Jones system.

Birkel said...

buwaya:

Althouse is arguing that the colleges may have misled the prospective students.

The indoctrination is a separate matter entirely.

buwaya said...

"Althouse is arguing that the colleges may have misled the prospective students.
The indoctrination is a separate matter entirely."

These things aren't independent. Its not Yale, the specific institution, that alone misled them, though of course Yale did. Every such institution that contacted these kids, or that they contacted, were saying the same or very similar things, and even these would have had little purchase if the system of indoctrination was not in place.

CWJ said...

If she really cared about the issue of what was promised to Yale AA students, she had six months to investigate it since her original post. I'm not saying she should have done, but saying her commenters aren't taking the possibility as seriously as she would have liked is more than a bit much.

MayBee said...

byway- what, specifically, is Yale saying to make students think Hallowe'en costumes would be restricted to make them feel safe?

buwaya said...

They are being told in their classes - and it seems to carry over to everything offered in the liberal arts and social sciences - that they are justified in taking offense at anything that can be perceived as a slight, because they are oppressed by a cruel hegemony.

Fred Drinkwater said...

All the argument about what Yale might or might not have promised the offended students are missing the gorilla in the room.
What was Yale's promise as understood by the majority of students, the ones we don't hear from because they are often busy studying? Have THEY been deceived and cheated by the school's output to the heckler, and the firing of the Christakis'?

Night Owl said...

Buyawa is right; these kids are the product of a lifetime's worth of the liberal "victimhood culture". The left loves victims (except, of course, conservative ones), and excels at nurturing a sense of victimhood in the minds of the young.

Affirmative action makes liberals feel good about themselves, even if it screws up some young people's heads when they are set up for failure. This result ends up being a boon to liberals, since it creates more victims for their hearts to bleed for. Affirmative action is a gift that keeps giving for victim-loving liberals.

The "rape-culture" and BLM rhetoric have caused rifts among young men and women, and among whites and minorities the likes of which I've never seen in my 53 years. The activist left has brought back the racism and divisiveness of the '50s but flipped it on it's head. I wonder if they view that as progress?

Big Mike said...

When older people find themselves instinctively, reflexively blaming, insulting, and mocking the young, they ought to have the self-awareness to step back and ask what they are doing and what they have done.

I think I really am very self-aware, madam, but I distinctly recall that my generation -- our generation, Professor Althouse!!! -- were more open to contrary thoughts. Granted that the contrary thoughts came from the left, but at least there was dialog. With a real shooting war going on, and people of our generation dying in rice paddies, with civil rights leaders being gunned down, with cities burning (not to mention Lake Erie), the notion of "safety" for our generation was quite a bit different from being safe from Halloween costumes.

By contrast Jeralyn Luther is a snot-nosed brat who richly deserves public humiliation. She should be forced to spend all of her waking hours for the next dozen years wearing a sign everywhere she goes that reads

My name is Jeralyn Luther
Thanks to me two people who are better
than I will ever be were forced to resign
BECAUSE I AM AFRAID OF HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!

I have no respect for Jeralyn Luther.

I have no respect for Yale faculty and administrators who failed to support Prof. Christakis, and I have positive contempt for an administration who did not bring Ms. Luther into the office and explain to her that she should either grow up or sign a pre-typed letter of resignation.

I also have contempt for people who seek to rationalize the situation by raising a silly straw man about what Yale may or may not have promised Ms. Luther to get her to come to New Haven, CT. Take your straw man and go smoke it.

Somewhere in Appalachia there is a poor white boy who cannot even dream of going to an Ivy League college despite great SATs and high grades because he's white and male and "not our kind, don't you know." So he was headed for the coal mines except that the Democrats have closed the mines down and he doesn't even have that. If he gets himself through Radford or West Virginia or (dream of dreams) Virginia Tech, he'll have my respect (he has my respect just for trying). Jeralyn Luther? What a waste of O2 molecules.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Not "output", rather "kutou" (sometimes writ "cowtow")
Autocorrect, of course. Oddly, "Autocorrect" is not an autocomplete suggestion on my Kindle. Who's in denial now, eh?

MayBee said...

Big Mike- Thank you. I had not seen that video of the confrontation.

"you should not sleep at night. You are disgusting" Ms Luther says to Prof Cristakis.

I can't imagine why Althouse thinks she was somehow promised it was ok to behave like this.

MayBee said...

I recommend reading it from the point of view of a student who wondered whether it was a good idea to enter an intimidating, elitist institution, far from home, far out of her comfort zone, where she is a minority and where most of the others feel much more comfortable.

I think you are indulging in a little racist stereotyping here.

The student in question is wealthy, a global traveler, and has worked at her mother's PR agency. Why do you assume she wouldn't feel comfortable at Yale, or is out of her comfort zone? Why do you assume she doesn't understand elitism? Because she is black?

MayBee said...

It's funny that she comes from a privileged background, and the hunger strike guy from Mizzou came from a privileged background.

Maybe we need to look at the guild the black lives matter types are reigning down on successful black families.
Maybe they are just like the white guilt limousine liberals after all. Like Bill Ayers.

MayBee said...

*guilt

Hyphenated American said...

"Picture someone who made the leap and decided to go because she was actively recruited by very sincere-sounding people who said over and over that the atmosphere would be welcoming and very racially sensitive."

What does "racially sensitive" mean? And what does "welcoming" mean? Keep in mind that I white Jewish right-winger. Any criticism of whites, Israel, conservatism, republicans, Reagan, Thatcher, Churchill makes me feel so neater and uncomfortable.

Hyphenated American said...

Correction: What does "racially sensitive" mean? And what does "welcoming" mean? Keep in mind that I am a white Jewish right-wing male. Any criticism of whites, Israel, conservatism, republicans, Reagan, Thatcher, Churchill makes me feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Moreover, such criticism is racially insensitive.

P.s. White Jewish right-wing males are a tiny minority in USA. I demand minority rights,

damikesc said...

I think I really am very self-aware, madam, but I distinctly recall that my generation -- our generation, Professor Althouse!!! -- were more open to contrary thoughts. Granted that the contrary thoughts came from the left, but at least there was dialog. With a real shooting war going on, and people of our generation dying in rice paddies, with civil rights leaders being gunned down, with cities burning (not to mention Lake Erie), the notion of "safety" for our generation was quite a bit different from being safe from Halloween costumes.

More precisely, the generation of college educators that the Boomers hated and thought were oppressive were far more open to opposing thoughts than the super-tolerant cabal that replaced them.

MayBee said...

The only reason I would consider voting for Trump is to stop the social justice train. A Hillary win will tell the left they are headed in the right direction.