There’s more to a Yale education than teatime

To the Editor:

Re: Helen Vera’s “No time for tea, or manners either” (9/16):

On the top of Harkness Tower, there are four statues depicting what it means to be a true “Yale Man.” They include a diligent student, a pen-wielding author, a tea-drinking socialite and a proficient athlete. While Vera satisfied the tea-drinking socialite aspect last Wednesday, and honorably completed her duty as a pen-wielding author last Friday in the News, and without question is a diligent student, the “dudes” she encountered at the library that night can say they have achieved all four aspects of the quintessential Yale Man. It is probably pointless to explain the honor that the men’s swim team brings to this university. Last year, we were recognized as having the highest swim team GPA in the country — a 3.48. (Only one other Ivy League School has above a 2.80.) The Yale swim team embodies everything this school stands for: academics, athletics, service, tradition, integrity and excellence.

Admittedly, there were few men swimmers studying on the Wednesday night Vera described, but the bonds we shared are something we will never forget. We honestly apologize if we ruined Vera’s tea or anyone’s study time. This was never our intention. We wanted to quickly show our freshman teammates the stone spiral staircase and the mystical “hidden” library that gives this university its architectural charm. We were gone within five minutes.

It is easy to say that shirtless swimmers are harmful to this university and it is easy to voice a direct complaint in a forum where no immediate response is possible. I was surprised when I read the News Friday, not that Vera wrote an editorial about our encounter, but that the News found it worthy for its pages. I appreciate that Vera depicted the events accurately, but I find it disgraceful that she chose to write about this.

We are always willing to talk about this or any other issue with Vera (or anyone else). You can find us on Old Campus sans shirts on weekend afternoons and studying in the JE library on weekday nights.

For God, For Country, and For Yale.

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