Yale Literally Has Its Choice of Any High School Senior in the County. And It Picked These Folks?

Via Reason, but the story is all over

After giving Holloway his comeuppance, they moved on to Nicholas Christakis, master of Silliman College. What was Christakis’s crime? His wife, an early childhood educator, had responded to a campus-wide email about offensive Halloween costumes by opining that it was inappropriate for the college to tell students how to dress. According to The Washington Post:

“Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It’s not mine, I know that,” wrote Erika Christakis, an early childhood educator and the wife of Nicholas Christakis, the Silliman College master. Both later took to social media to defend the e-mail, incensing students by tying it to debates about free speech and trigger warnings. At a Wednesday night forum hosted by the Afro-American Cultural Center, Erika Christakis sought to leave the meeting during a discussion of her e-mail, further provoking student anger. …

Students grew distressed, with one shouting at Nicholas Christakis to be quiet and questioning why he took the position at the university. “You are a poor steward of this community,” the student said. “You should not sleep at night.”

I guess the question is whether colleges like Yale are preferentially choosing students with this authoritarian mindset, or whether they are training them to be authoritarian.  In either case, they seem to be reaping what they sowed.

This story reminds me of two past observations I have made about universities.  The first is that their diversity programs, despite Universities being intellectual institutions, focus on absolutely everything (from skin pigmentation to reproductive plumbing) except diversity of ideas.  Perhaps this is because the only way to achieve "safe space" as defined by these students is either to create an intellectual mono-culture (the opposite of diversity) or to suppress speech and idea sharing so much that no intellectual discourse happens at all.  Definitely your classic "reap what you sow" situation.

The second observation is that I once thought that a key goal of "diversity" was to eliminate the in-group/ out-group dynamic that has been so destructive through all of history.  But I am increasingly convinced that the true objective of diversity programs as practiced on university campuses is to simply shift the "out-group" tag from one set of people to another.  More horrible things are said on campus about whites, males, Asians, wealthy people, straights, frats, etc than I ever heard in my entire lifetime from anyone about, say, African Americans.

Just look at how most Ivy League schools treat Asians.  The discrimination that occurs against Asian students is amazing, with Asians having to produce SAT scores hundreds of points higher than any other group to have an equal chance of admission.  This is why, despite all my support over the years for my alma mater, I quit doing college interviews for Princeton -- I got tired of being a part of hosing all the hard-working Asian kids I was interviewing.


  1. morganovich:

    these students are disgusting

    so, to argue for the right to be
    absurdly fragile in a “safe space” they push the faculty on a campus into an
    unsafe space?

    you are supposed to be our
    advocate? no. I am not supposed to advance your every absurd
    claim. I am your teacher. I am supposed to help you learn and grow,
    not regress to squalling toddlerhood.

    being surrounded by an angry mob
    of students yelling at you and demanding that you leave hardly seems like a
    safe space.

    this is nothing about tolerance
    and everything about privilege.

    these people want THEIR
    privilege but will attack and demand the ouster of those who disagree?

    I mean, can they not see that
    they are exactly what they purport to hate?

    I mean, who the hell are these
    kids that feel so entitled to attack while demanding that no one offend them?

    it’s like watching religious

    they act like the isis morality
    patrols that wander around attacking any unaccompanied woman or man without a

    offending any minority group (and the bar for this keeps getting
    lowered) and then not immediately prostrating oneself and kowtowing has become
    the US collegiate equivalent of drawing a picture of Mohammed.

  2. mogden:

    Anyone who calls for censorship must be immediately noplatformed.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    Did you just call for censoring the censors? No platform for you!

  4. mogden:

    Anyone except me, that is.

  5. bigmaq1980:

    "the only way to achieve "safe space" as defined by these students is either to create an intellectual mono-culture (the opposite of
    diversity) or to suppress speech and idea sharing"

    Hypocrites, Yes!

    These people who think like this also seem to want to eagerly violate others' need for a "safe space"...

    RE: policy that singles out this (transgender) student for mandatory use of the privacy curtains...has been required to change and shower separately...

    How does the high school girls team feel about sharing their showers? Where's their "safe space"?


  6. Baelzar:

    Is this supposed to be poetry?

  7. Curtis:

    So why do we tolerate this bigotry and racism from universities and college admissions? Why do the courts tolerate such overt unapologetic racism and bigotry? Where are the liberals demanding civility on campus? What will it take to actually end this discrimination? I thought we'd have put this behind us by the time I retired but it is now worse than it ever was.

  8. Craig Loehle:

    Schools increasingly select for conformity. Those who think independently do better in life but schools don't like them. High school zero tolerance for pranks and attitude are an example. Then, the essays the colleges like Yale require I would bet have progressive themes like making the world better or something, thus overtly selecting for this type of student.

  9. Ward Chartier:

    Farsighted Yale folk will know that these students represent the future of the Yale endowment. Not a comforting thought.

  10. Ward Chartier:

    Proposal for a safe space: Hello Kitty! decor, Barney the purple dinosaur singing "I Love You", and an endless loop of old Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" videos.

  11. SamWah:

    Blank verse. I take it you haven't run across or been exposed to it.

  12. Baelzar:

    I thought it was a formatting error.

  13. J K Brown:

    Universities are pretty good as also-rans. They do adapt, eventually, but the great advances of mankind did not come from universities. Assuming you don't include Marxism as one of the advances of mankind.

    Here is where the universities were in the invention of the steam engine:

    "Newcomen's religion had consequences greater than absence from a local census. Dissenters, including Baptists, Presbyterians, and others, were as a class, excluded from universities after 1660, and either apprenticed, or learned their science from dissenting academies."

    "At the same time that he chartered the world's first scientific society, Charles II had created an entire generation of dissenting intellectuals uncontrolled by his kingdom's ever more technophobic universities."

    p29, Rosen, Willam, 'The Most Powerful Idea in the World'

    And even later technology:


    John Harrison didn't hail from the university. Neither did Henry Bessemer. In fact, both were cheated of there rewards because they weren't "the right sorts".

  14. DjDiverDan:

    Now it's all about "microaggressions". Welcome to The Whiniest Generation.

  15. Aajaxx:

    Who are these people hollering "nigger" and painting swastikas on campus and how did they get there? That's what I would like to know. And why doesn't someone just beat the shit out of them and leave the school out of it?

  16. ErikEssig:

    I guessing that Warren's kid at Amherst is more aligned with free speech than with the knuckleheads protesting there. If not, we are truly doomed.