Letter: Respond to the real threat

Re: “Still no action on e-mail” and “Masters, deans pan bladderball” (Oct. 14). The contrast between the two front-page articles in today’s News reminded me why I continue to be ashamed of my association with Yale . Less than five days after bladderball, the masters and deans of all 12 residential colleges published a column condemning the game because it “disrupted lives” and “incurred costs to the University that are only now being tallied.” Their charges are true. But six weeks after the revelation of the “Scouting Report,” the News reports that the Yale College Dean’s Office has made little progress toward identifying its author(s) and seems to want to forget the whole issue.

Why has the Yale administration’s response to the hurtful, misogynistic “Scouting Report” been so feeble? Surely the e-mail disrupted the lives of the women who were named, and its cost to Yale’s reputation may never be tallied. But there is no column signed by all 24 masters and deans condemning it. Our masters and deans quote former President Giamatti saying the bladderball ban is our “the safety and well-being.” What of the safety and well-being of the 53 women named in the e-mail? Is their safety and well-being somehow less valuable? Does the threat posed by the pervasive disrespect and mistreatment of women at Yale not require as forceful and as swift a response as the grave threat posed by a beach ball?

Where are my university’s values?

Lee West

Oct. 14

The writer is a senior in Saybrook College.


  • CC2010

    Well said.

  • MC ’10

    Perfectly said.

  • BR2010

    Thank you, Lee.

  • Y ’10

    I couldn’t agree more.


    Maybe because one is an overblown YDN-manufactured controversy and one is putatively a public safety issue that puts the University at risk for lawsuits and injuries to students and bystanders alike?

    Personally, I think the administration should worry about neither, but their choice makes a lot of sense to someone who hasn’t had their mind addled by TASP.

  • Yalestudent

    Finally! Thanks, Lee.

  • ES2010

    excellent letter

  • asale

    A couple of things: first of all, are you honestly going to say that you are ‘ashamed to be associated with Yale’ while, as a Senior you will proudly flaunt your Yale diploma to either pursue Grad School or a job?

    Second, do you honestly think that a questionable email sent out by a couple of idiots who chose not to affiliate themselves with any colleges takes precedence over something that went beyond just Yale and into New Haven involving 1000+ students and the streets of New Haven?

    And why would the Masters and Dean condemn such an email in a public announcement? How is it their place? Bladderball, however, had students rallying behind their college’s banner with which each Dean and Master is associated.

    And please quit assuming. What are these ‘swift and grave responses’ to Bladderball that you talk about so much? A letter from the Masters and Deans? Personally, I have a bigger problem with the Scouting Report email than with Bladderball (I actually don’t have a problem with Bladderball), but you can’t compare the Universities response to an ILLEGAL act of riot and a questionable act of freedom of speech sent out by some anonymous person.

  • mc10

    yayyyyy lee west!

  • bladderball is senseless…

    but it’s hardly an “act of riot.”

  • @#8

    The term “act of freedom of speech” makes no sense. “Freedom” is not a noun that represents an action, as “riot” is.

    Freedom is a state of not being constrained, either literally or figuratively. The underlying philosophy behind freedom of speech is that constraining speech is a way of restricting thought, which by extension is a way of establishing a “right” opinion.

    But the Scouting Report isn’t a matter of opinion. The author(s) publicly targeted specific individuals by virtue of their being members of a vulnerable class of people within our society; that is, the authors felt it was acceptable, because of their status as women, to degrade them, and this had the effect of exacerbating an extant vulnerability. It’s an assertion of social and sexual dominance, our name for which is sexual harassment. While their opinions, reprehensible as they are, may not warrant consequences, their actions certainly do.

    And if we entertain for a moment the idea that intent matters (as our society universally assumes), who is more at fault: those who planned bladderball, whose intentions were for the school to have fun and show spirit, or those who wrote the Scouting Report, whose intentions I have already discussed?

  • ycollege14

    terrible interview. she asked no critical/tough questions at all.