Levin arrogantly and hastily dismissed student input in endorsing new colleges

To the Editor:

Our voices have been totally disregarded in the planning of the new residential colleges.

The administration doesn’t seem to care that current Yale students understand the Yale experience in a way that alums (whose memories fade) and administrators (who disappear after dark) don’t. So here’s a reason that they should care about: We’re future alums.

Over the past year, we’ve watched an arrogant show of manufactured consent, where our voices have been counted, recorded and hastily dismissed. President Richard Levin’s letter doesn’t even mention the broad student opposition to this plan. The faculty report attempts to mitigate the fact that 70 percent of respondents oppose the proposed site by claiming a lack of respondents; perhaps it was due to the fact that President Levin has always been largely disinterested in student opinion. Of course people were discouraged from responding to the survey; what else would one expect when the administration has repeatedly insisted that they know student opinion in one breath, while dismissing it in the next?

I do support building two new colleges. But Yale should know that when it next asks us for something — the contents of our wallets — we’ll be far more skeptical.

David Kasten

Feb. 18

The writer is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College

Comments

  • John Calhoun

    You really should read the report. It takes very seriously the opposition of current students. That said, it may be asking too much of some students to recognize that their concerns are but one term in a sophisticated equation. Quite frankly, I am glad that the institution is not guided in all matters by the opinions of people whose investment in the place has really only just begun. Four years seems like a long time when you're 21.