Patterico's Pontifications


Yale Students Throw Tantrum At Suggestion They Monitor Their Own Behavior

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So, the associate master at Yale’s Silliman College, Erika Christakis, who is also the wife of the master at Silliman College, Nicholas Christakis, responded to an email sent by the school’s Intercultural Affairs Council about using sensitivity when wearing Halloween costumes.

Her response was thoughtful, reasonable and instructive. And that was the problem. Instead of kowtowing to the cultural monitors’ demands, Christakis foolishly hoped to stimulate conversation and critical thinking by challenging students to consider what is lost when individual choice is taken away and replaced by institutional decision making:

Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes – I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: 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? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay 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? We tend to view this shift from individual to institutional agency as a tradeoff between libertarian vs. liberal values (“liberal” in the American, not European sense of the word).

Unable to put to good use their privileged Yale educations and parlay this email into a fertile discussion about speech and its intrinsic value, students instead cried foul. As a result of Christakis’s audacious email challenge to students, including her husband’s admonition, ‘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,’ students, simply unable to cope with these mind-blowing concepts, did what toddlers do when they are told no: they threw a two-year old sized temper-tantrum with all the gusto of an outraged little tyke forced to realize the world will not bend to his will. Hence, Master Nicholas Christakis was confronted by students protesting his wife’s email and his statement:

‘Be quiet! In 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?’

When Mr Christakis said he did not agree with her, she replied: ‘Then why the f*** did you accept the position?

‘Who the f*** are you? You should step down. If that is what you think about being a master you should step down. Do you understand? It is about creating a home here. You are not doing that.

‘These freshmen come here and they think this what Yale is? They’re going to leave. They’re going to transfer because you are a poor steward of the community.

‘You should not sleep at night. You are disgusting.’

According to the Yale Daily News, Master Christakis has apologized:

‘I apologize for causing pain, but I am not sorry for the statement.

‘I stand behind free speech. I defend the right for people to speak their minds.’

Of course this is an insufficient response. It is Mr. and Mrs. Christakis’s positions at the college students are after now.

But it is more than a little telling, to learn about the screaming social justice warrior privileged Yale student in the video. According to this report, a concerted effort to erase her online footprint didn’t quite catch everything:

What limited information can be found about Luther, though, indicates a privileged background that makes her tirade against Christakis all the more baffling. Besides the obvious privilege inherent in being able to attend Yale, one of the world’s most elite (and expensive) universities, Luther also hails from the wealthy, low-crime city of Fairfield, Connecticut. Her family home isn’t luxurious but has an appraised value of more than $760,000. Her short profile at The Yale Globalist describes her as an avid traveler who wants to visit at least 3/4 of the world’s countries, a hobby that’s hardly available to the impoverished.

One of the most fascinating revelations regarding Luther’s identity, though, is the fact that she played a role in Christakis becoming master of Silliman College in the first place. In her tirade, Luther screams “Who the fuck hired you?” at Christakis. But further research reveals that Luther actually served on the search committee that chose Christakis as the master of Silliman College. So, when Luther screams “who the fuck hired you,” the answer is, in some part, herself.


23 Responses to “Yale Students Throw Tantrum At Suggestion They Monitor Their Own Behavior”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. as has been said elsewhere… own it, leftwing academia. Deal with the little monsters and the world you’ve created.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. My guess is that this outburst isn’t that student’s first of the sort: profane, entitled, and showing no inkling that there can be consequences for cursing out an authority figure.

    My guess is that she has never been punished meaningfully for such behavior, only rewarded — and that the same will occur at Yale.

    Mitch (bfd5cd)

  4. You really have
    to read this to believe it.

    Students are actually having emotional break downs over an email that says free speech is a good thing.

    I would never hire any of these students. If someone has Yale,
    or Harvard…

    The Doctrine of Academic Freedom
    Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice

    …The words used to articulate a research question can have implications for its outcome. No academic question is ever “free” from political realities. If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

    Instead, I would like to propose a more rigorous standard: one of “academic justice.” When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue…

    …or frankly any other “top tier” degree, I’m not hiring the little fascist.

    Steve57 (ccc381)

  5. So it’s true! Chimpanzees can be taught to speak!

    nk (dbc370)

  6. I am willing to bet that Yale could fill their halls every year even if “walking over hot coals” was an entrance requirement. Probably get more motivated students, too.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  7. Is it “popcorn time” yet? should i feel ashamed for enjoying what is going on at Yale amd UnivMissouri?

    seeRpea (074922)

  8. My guess is that she has never been punished meaningfully for such behavior, only rewarded — and that the same will occur at Yale.

    Yes. The pampered nanny-raised only child of two VERY BUSY professionals. OF course, the turnover in nanny’s was ferocious with all the tantrums and wanton destruction. But Yale wants that extra $100K per year they “donate”, so all’s well.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  9. Where is S I Hayakawa when you need him?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  10. Her short profile at The Yale Globalist describes her as an avid traveler who wants to visit at least 3/4 of the world’s countries, a hobby that’s hardly available to the impoverished.

    Just be a Syrian refugee.

    kishnevi (31ba4e)

  11. SI Hayakawa… may he and his tam rest in peace.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  12. About UMissouri

    Listening to NPR on the way home, the temper tantrums there seem to be more rational than might appear at first sight. The racism seems to have been a handy excuse to stage a coup against Wolfe, who has generated substantial discontent among everyone there with a messed up austerity budget that raised tuition, downgraded student health care, and did away with the university press, but (this is the messed up part) managed to include plans for a substantial ($2 or 3 million) renovation/expansion of the football stadium.

    Or at least, if the football players were throwing a tantrum, that is why everyone ekse there was happy to throw Wolfe to the wolves.

    kishnevi (9cb6b5)

  13. Cancel the rest of the football season and program.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. Listening to NPR on the way home, the temper tantrums there
    “There” being UMo.
    Given the tendency of tantrums to show up on NPR, I should have been more precise in my syntax.

    kishnevi (31ba4e)

  15. what are they 0-9, they have reason not to be on the field, 65,000 per annum, mamma mia, this is the campus that had the Taliban’s spokesman as a student no,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  16. the first reference was to Missou, the seconds were to Old Eli,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  17. It’s really getting to the point where some of these leftist brats should be picked up and dragged off to a part of the Middle East or, yep, a place like the city of Detroit where their nonsense can be truly tested 24/7, 365 days a year. They deserve no less.

    However, they can at least use their age — their college years — as a partial excuse for their stupidity. What excuse do oldsters like the current occupant of the White House have?

    Mark (f713e4)

  18. I tossed up a new Mizzou thread so we can discuss that issue there.

    Here, we can marvel at how one of our nation’s oldest and most prestigious universities has allowed itself to be paralyzed by trendy social justice concerns. The sooner the higher ed bubble pops, the better off we will all be.

    JVW (15cb71)

  19. Is this a real world problem?

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  20. As far as I am concerned burn the university to the ground if your asylum is to be run by 18 year old spoiled drunk punks.

    mg (31009b)

  21. it’s hard to take Jerelyn Luther seriously when she goes out in public without her mattress like this

    get it together, pickle

    happyfeet (831175)

  22. Is this nation becoming a bunch of pansy a$$ed pu$$ies?

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  23. At Yale it gets better – they protested a forum on free speech.

    seeRpea (074922)

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