Yale University

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Whatever happened to “For God, for Country, and for Yale?”

Waldo Johnston

January 12, 2016

Category: Society > Campus Issues

Whatever happened to “For God, for Country, and for Yale?” Now it’s “For me and my campus affiliation.”

Through the aggressive promotion of diversity and sensitivity training and obsession with “tolerance,” Yale has encouraged the self-segregation of both legitimate and dubious ethnic, social, religious, gender, and cultural enclaves that has had the unintended consequence of dividing the campus into contentious factions with self-serving interests. The demands that Calhoun College be renamed, that the term “Master” be expunged, that Erika and Nicholas Christakis be fired, and that Yale add deans and campus centers at enormous expense to accommodate even more affiliations come to mind. In my day Yale’s goal, and that of these same minorities, was to achieve equality of opportunity and social justice through integration and I don’t believe these can be achieved in the current environment. Why is it thought that the Golden Rule, by which citizens lived for centuries, warrants endless expansion and refinement?

I am also troubled, deeply so, that Yale is setting aside “safe spaces” to which honest conversation and debate without reprisal is confined, and is applying “trigger warnings“ to works including Halloween costumes that might cause hurt. Our nation was conceived on the principle of free speech, and when the PC police among us shout us down, Yale’s days as a viable college will be over and our country, in the footsteps of a Germany that allowed the Nazis to burn books, will risk disaster.

I am also puzzled why Yale is responding in such a tepid fashion to this alteration of mission, and I suggest her administration follow the lead of President Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University who told his “narcissistic and self-absorbed” students that “college is not day care” and that if they were unable to engage in civil discourse anywhere on campus they should go home.

Of course I can’t resist a comment on the 50 or so nitheads who petitioned with an astonishing absence of judgment to revoke the First Amendment. With an applicant pool of more than 30,000 for 1300 places, surely the admissions committee can do better.

On a brighter note, Yale should be relieved that the football team has decided not to orchestrate the ouster of President Salovey. Things could be worse!

As a postscript, I think Jim Rogers’ “Jingle Bells” provides the best answer to all this silliness — our country needs a better sense of humor!