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Yale Tag

Last fall at Yale University, an administrator and professor named Nicholas Christakis, Master of Silliman College at Yale was confronted by a mob of angry students over a nontroversy regarding Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation. Christakis and his wife, who also worked at the school, ultimately resigned over this. We covered the story, see here and here. New videos of the confrontation have been posted online by Tablet Magazine which shed new light on the situation. It was much worse than anyone knew.

Who knew attending an Ivy League school could pose such a threat to one's personal safety? Yale University's newest report on campus sexual misconduct suggests life at Yale is almost as dangerous as the city of Detroit. The College Fix reports:
Yale’s latest sexual-assault report suggests school is more dangerous than Detroit Yale University continues to impose sanctions on students and faculty even when they are not found responsible for sexual misconduct, according to its latest half-year report on sexual misconduct.

A cafeteria worker at Yale's Calhoun College named Corey Menafee "resigned" from his job last month after using a broom handle to smash a window. The stained glass image in the window depicted slaves working in a cotton field. Menafee, who is black said the image angered him and that "we shouldn't have to see that." The New Haven Independent reported:
An African-American dishwasher lost his job after losing his cool and breaking a stained-glass panel in Yale’s Calhoun residential college dining hall that depicted slaves carrying bales of cotton. The dishwasher, Corey Menafee, said he used a broomstick to knock the panel to the floor. He said he was tired of looking at the “racist, very degrading” image. Yale University Police arrested Menafee, who now faces a felony charge. The university, meanwhile, has cut ties with him....

Social justice warriors at Yale are angry that the study of English involves reading the work of old white men. In a move that defies history and logic, they have launched a petition which makes specific demands on Yale's English Department to put an end to this travesty. Robby Soave writes at Reason:
Yale Students Tell English Profs to Stop Teaching English: Too Many White Male Poets Some Yale University students are demanding changes to the English Department curriculum: specifically, they don't think it should feature so many English poets who were straight, white, wealthy, and male.

Last fall, Yale sent out an email which encouraged students to show sensitivity in their choice of Halloween costumes. Erika Christakis, Associate Master of Silliman College responded to the email by reminding students of the importance of free expression. Her husband Nicholas Christakis, Master of Silliman College, defended his wife's email. My colleague Fuzzy Slippers covered the story at the time. Angry Yale students confronted Nicholas Christakis on campus and screamed at him, demanding that Yale must make them feel comfortable and safe on campus.

We have carried many stories over the years about anti-Israel activists in Europe and the U.S. using the heckler's veto to shut down speeches and events. A recent example was at the University of Texas at Austin, when members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee disrupted an Israel Studies event, then claimed their own speech was suppressed because their protest was not allowed to continue. The UT-Austin students disrupting the event were campus leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Now another example from the University of Haifa, Israel, in which radical Arab students disrupted a speech by a visiting Egyptian scholar who is affiliated with Yale University.

William F. Buckley Jr. had a great disdain for entrenched, self-perpetuating elites epitomized by thefaculty of Harvard:
I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
In light of our prior reporting on the "Demands" and protests at Yale, and considering this new video, I'd like to expand on Buckley's theme:

It's sobering to see such staggering ignorance about free speech and freedom in general on display on American campuses this week. The special snowflakes of the Snowflake Protests (Yale, Mizzou, etc.) are providing a window into the results of the progressive takeover of our education system -- from pre-school all the way on up to college and beyond. (Common Core will just streamline the process a little more.) Alarming, but in keeping with findings about Americans' demand for freedom, or lack thereof, detailed in The Frontier Lab's recent study, "Freedom Buzz." Ask Americans about freedom, as we did in this study, and you get what seem like familiar responses: freedom is the American Dream, the ability to worship and speak freely, or to choose your own path in life. Pretty standard. Nearly 100 hours of research interviews, and a national survey to test the findings, revealed two trends in how many Americans perceive the value of freedom.

Just when you thought the "safe spaces" PC-plagued college campuses couldn't get more ridiculous, Yale students step up to prove you wrong. Yale's Intercultural Affairs Council (yes, they have such a thing) sent out an email prior to Halloween asking that students be thoughtful in their costume selection so as not to offend others.  They listed specific examples of costumes deemed offensive,  "such as feathered headdresses, turbans, 'war paint,' and blackface as examples of inappropriate 'cultural appropriation and/or misrepresentation'.”

Erika Christakis, Associate Master of Silliman College, responded to the email and defended students' right to wear Halloween costumes of their choosing, even if said costumes might be considered outrageous, inappropriate, provocative, or even offensive.

Christakis further urged students "not to take offense at insensitive Halloween costumes," and she told students, "'If you don't like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended.  'Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society'."

You've seen the maps delineating the largely regional usage of words like "y'all" versus "you guys." But what about the more subtle differences in English usage? Yale's Grammatical Diversity Project produced some rather fascinated results. The study "examines syntactic differences among local varieties spoken by considerably smaller numbers of people." Digging far deeper into the grammar usage among regions within the same state, the study documents, "minimal differences among varieties of English spoken in North America." According to one of the researchers, the goal was not to look for grammatical inaccuracies or judge language usage, but to catalogue regional variations. For example, in many parts of New England, people will say "so don't I" to mean "so do I," he explained. The study also explores generational differences in the usage of words like, "so." Among younger people, and particularly in New York and California, "so" is used to convey drama. For example, "I was so tired last night, I couldn't keep my eyes open."

We welcome John Rosenberg of the great Discriminations blog (which just celebrated its 10th Blogiversary) as a new contributor at College Insurrection. His first post is Diversity, “Real Diversity,” And Double (Quadruple?) Counting At Yale....

That's the Good News. The Bad News - It's a list of The 12 Worst Colleges For Free Speech In 2012 from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Widener joins such elite institutions of higher learning as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Brandeis and Tufts. Here's the FIRE write-up of why Widener is...

(by Matthew Knee)Yale recently announced the closing of the The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), America's first academic institute to study anti-Semitism, citing a lack of scholarly output and student interest. The overall Jewish community, and some newspaper columnists, ...