Eventful term covers the highs and lows

It’s been a good semester for…

Democrats: The party’s national congressional candidates certainly had a good November, but the elation was also felt a little closer to home. The activism of campus Democrats made a big difference in the Connecticut races — their hard work benefited not only Connecticut’s Rep. Joe Courtney, who won by 91 votes, but the entire country along with him. But the issues they worked so hard to convince the Yale community to care about continue to be just as important, if not more so, even though it’ll be two years until we need another get out the vote effort. Campus groups have been subdued on major issues like the Iraq war. It’s time for activists to pick up the pace again and push for the local representatives they helped elect to effect real change in national policy.

Double standards: Feel like punching out a plate glass window on Broadway? Better bulk up and join the football team. The almost complete lack of administrative response to the fight outside Gourmet Heaven earlier in the semester is still ridiculous — the fact that we won the Ivy title does not excuse the blind eye turned toward the unsportsmanlike behavior of our players. Other universities around the country struggle to reconcile the sometimes-paradox that is the student-athlete, but at Yale that paradox hardly seems to exist. Except sometimes, apparently.

And a bad semester for…

Free-range chickens: We’d shed more tears for all those free-range chickens raised by local producers now being served at sustainable Thursday dinners, but the chickens are just too yummy. The expansion of the Yale Sustainable Food Project to all 12 colleges — now, 40 percent of dining hall food is sustainable — not only improves the food we eat, itself an admirable goal, but shows how much influence Yale wields when it puts its money toward the values it espouses. Yale hasn’t taken the lead on some things — financial aid, anyone? — but here’s credit where credit is due. Sorry, chickens.

Tolerance: From posters mocking the prophet Muhammad to homophobic e-mails intended as a prank but received much like Michael Richards’ stand-up routine, Yale’s reputation as a welcoming environment has been bruised. Nothing here has been as bad as, for example, the recent conflict at Dartmouth over a series of incidents offensive to Native Americans, but certainly some Yale students have questioned the tolerance of our campus. Nevertheless, Yale’s few high-profile incidents have forced attention on what are marginal attitudes. Really — we’re sure that the vast majority of Yale is fine with “one in four,” and it’s frustrating that such ridiculous yet offensive acts have made students feel as if Yale isn’t welcoming.

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