I can’t even. I just can’t even. Read this Yale Herald cri de coeur from an undergraduate who is going to pieces because the master and associate master of her college house have failed her. Excerpts:
As a Silimander, I feel that my home is being threatened. Last week, Erika Christakis, the associate master of Silliman College, sent an email to the Silliman community that called an earlier entreaty for Yalies to be more sensitive about culturally appropriating Halloween costumes a threat to free speech. In the aftermath of the email, I saw my community divide. She did not just start a political discourse as she intended. She marginalized many students of color in what is supposed to be their home. But more disappointing than the original email has been the response of Christakis and her husband, Silliman Master Nicholas Christakis. They have failed to acknowledge the hurt and pain that such a large part of our community feel. They have again and again shown that they are committed to an ideal of free speech, not to the Silliman community.
Today, when a group of us, organized originally by the Black Student Alliance at Yale, spoke with Christakis in the Silliman Courtyard, his response once again disappointed many of us. When students tried to tell him about their painful personal experiences as students of color on campus, he responded by making more arguments for free speech. It’s unacceptable when the Master of your college is dismissive of your experiences. The Silliman Master’s role is not only to provide intellectual stimulation, but also to make Silliman a safe space that all students can come home to. His responsibility is to make it a place where your experiences are a valid concern to the administration and where you can feel free to talk with them about your pain without worrying that the conversation will turn into an argument every single time. We are supposed to feel encouraged to go to our Master and Associate Master with our concerns and feel that our opinions will be respected and heard.
But, in his ten weeks as a leader of the college, Master Christakis has not fostered this sense of community. He seems to lack the ability, quite frankly, to put aside his opinions long enough to listen to the very real hurt that the community feels. He doesn’t get it. And I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.
Oh, it gets better. Are you ready for this? Here it comes:
I have had to watch my friends defend their right to this institution. This email and the subsequent reaction to it have interrupted their lives. I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals, and who are having breakdowns. I feel drained. And through it all, Christakis has shown that he does not consider us a priority.
If Yale had any sense of self-respect and intellectual responsibility, it would send all of these pampered crybabies home, and tell them not to come back. Honestly, it is time for this to stop. Think of all the kids in this country who would give anything for a chance to have a Yale education. Kick these mewling neurotics out and give those kids a chance. Come on, Yale, stand by your professors, stand by your staff, and stand by the students who come there to get an actual education, and not be subject to abuse by crazy people who have never been told “no”.
UPDATE: Reader Bobby comments:
Dial the clock forward a couple of decades, and now we have 22-year-olds at Yale on hunger strikes because the school isn’t being paternalistic enough. Something about this whole affair sickens me to the core of my being. I was a gay kid growing up in a conservative Lutheran community in the Midwest. No one sat around worrying about my pain. And I attended plenty of Halloween parties where folks dressed up in costumes that demeaned gay people. Guess what? I’m probably a better person for it.
Matriculation to an elite university used to come with a sense of responsibility. The experience was supposed to toughen you and prepare you to serve in our nation’s elite public and private institutions. Apparently that’s not the case these days. Now, the sense of responsibility has been replaced by a sense of entitlement, and the call to service has been replaced by narcissistic demands to be served.
This whole charade illustrates why Donald Trump is doing so well. Meanwhile, college students in China sit in unheated classrooms in winter coats and gloves, not the least bit concerned that the university isn’t creating a “home” for them. Sometimes, I wonder if we wouldn’t be a better nation if we didn’t just surrender to the Chinese now.
I had time to kill this afternoon and sat for half an hour in a Barnes & Noble reading Houellebecq’s Submission. Got to page 68. It seems that the book is sort of a satire on the French version of SJWs.