Yale has been in the news a lot lately, beginning with an awful fraternity party that advertised their party as a "white girls only party." Now, it seem that Yale students are pretty angry at one of their staff members.
It began with an email: Intercultural Affairs Council sent an email to all students requesting they be thoughtful on the cultural implications of their choice of costume.
Simple. Not Harmful.
Then another email: Erika Christakis (who is an associate master at the university’s Silliman College) wrote...
Nicholas Christakis (her husband and master at the college) added his thoughts: “if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended.”
"Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?”
This caused a lot of harm.
A lot of backlash, essentially sending the same message. "That is not conducive to a safe educational environment."
Then, when the master refused to apologize, students demanded one thing - an apology.
Watch a student confront the processor in a serious of video below...
(2nd video does contain offensive language)
"As your position as master it is your job to create a place of comfort and home. You have not done that."
Another student just wanted to hear from the master, "I hear you, I hear that you are hurting. And I'm sorry I caused you to have a pain."
In response, the students wrote an open letter to the showing their thoughts:
In your email, you ask students to “look away” if costumes are offensive, as if the degradation of our cultures and people, and the violence that grows out of it is something that we can ignore. We were told to meet the offensive parties head on, without suggesting any modes or means to facilitate these discussions to promote understanding. Giving “room” for students to be “obnoxious” or “offensive”, as you suggest, is only inviting ridicule and violence onto ourselves and our communities, and ultimately comes at the expense of room in which marginalized students can feel safe.
Over 1,000 people have signed this open letter. This includes parents, family, alumni, etc.
And finally, the master apologized...
“I mean it just broke my heart,” Christakis said. “I thought that I had some credibility with you, you know? I care so much about the same issues you care about. I’ve spent my life taking care of these issues of injustice, of poverty, of racism. I have the same beliefs that you do … I’m genuinely sorry, and to have disappointed you. I’ve disappointed myself.”