Letter: Not the right e-mail to send

Re: “Dean Miller to secret societies: STOP IT!” (April 19): At first glance, I could not help but agree with the purpose of Monday’s e-mail from Yale College Dean Mary Miller to the student body: Of late, the eruption of unexpected pranks in the midst of large lectures has become far too commonplace. These gags are, after all, swiftly losing their cachet.

And although these “disruptions” (when well-staged) have been a source of welcome comic relief for students and professors alike, I even support Miller’s second paragraph, which reads like a (probably misguided) declaration of total war. Such a threat, if made quasi-credible, will do us all a favor by scaring off the fraternity pledges and society pre-taps, once again leaving this sort of prank to those who know how to pull them off in style. (To the Pundits: Don’t make me eat my words; try harder next year.)

Miller’s closing words, though, go well beyond a re-affirmation — lest we forget — that our beloved University takes itself too seriously. I do not consider myself easily offended; nevertheless I was shocked that she had the temerity to invoke, however indirectly, the memory of Annie Le GRD ’13, Andre Narcisse ’12 and Cameron Dabaghi ’11. Whether the allusion signified an overreach in rhetoric or a more fundamental confusion of values, the e-mail crossed the line. Go to war over the loss of an hour of classroom time if you will, Dean Miller, but do not cheapen the loss of our friends in doing so.

Even a crowd of naked Pundits can muster more dignity than that.

Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent

April 19

The writer is a sophomore in Davenport College.

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