SCHWARTZ: When heroes fall

October 23, 2012
When the International Cycling Union decided to uphold the sanctions against Lance Armstrong yesterday, it did not simply revoke his seven Tour de France titles. The Cycling Union brought down an American icon of durability and strength. In the process, I fear we have all become just a bit more cynical and apathetic. Americans often »

SCHWARTZ: Acting affirmatively

October 16, 2012
Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, the latest major legal challenge to race-based affirmative action programs. A few days earlier, the deans of the Harvard and Yale law schools published a joint opinion piece in the Washington Post (based on their joint amicus brief) calling on »

SCHWARTZ: Rebels without a cause

October 4, 2012
“It’s the principle of the thing!” This is the last defense of the person who insists on feeling aggrieved even though he knows no one has done him any harm. It is the cry of the petulant child who has been given the bigger portion of the candy bar but resents that he was not »

SCHWARTZ: Promises not to make

September 20, 2012
Promises are dangerous things. Ill-conceived promises may bind our hands before unforeseen events. This past year, many of us watched horrified as the United States nearly defaulted on its debt because members of Congress refused to back down from pledges they had signed opposing all new taxes. Even worse, when broken, promises can rile up »

SCHWARTZ: Politicizing Yale’s next president

September 6, 2012
In the last few days, students’ Facebook threads have been littered with links to a website, progresslab.org, run by a group of students and alumni concerned about the Yale presidential search process. This group claims to be concerned by the overly corporate makeup of the Yale presidential search committee and has endorsed specific candidates for »

SCHWARTZ: In Hartford, incoherence on the death penalty

April 17, 2012
The Connecticut House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to repeal the state’s death penalty. Governor Dannel Malloy, who pledged to support the repeal, is expected to sign the bill soon. Opposition to the death penalty is certainly a legitimate — perhaps even laudable — political position, but this repeal bill represents political incoherence at its »

SCHWARTZ: Take responsibility

April 10, 2012
Some of my most vivid memories from my time as a small child are from my family’s Passover Seders. I remember falling asleep to the sounds of my relatives debating the meaning of a biblical verse. I remember the first time I stayed awake for the entire procedure, triumphantly singing the strange children’s song that »

SCHWARTZ: Admissions and empty pride

April 3, 2012
The front page of last Friday’s News trumpeted “Admit rate hits all-time low.” A year ago, the News’ front-page headline blared “Class of 2015 admit rate lowest ever.” For most Yalies, these are not mere statements of fact; these are badges of pride. And therein lies the problem. Yale, like its peer institutions, has seen »

SCHWARTZ: More than a wrinkle in time

March 27, 2012
Last Saturday night, Ezra and Maayan announced their engagement. They’re close friends of mine, completing their second and third years of college. On the first Sunday of break, I spent hours dancing at the wedding of another good friend, a young professor in the Computer Science Department. The room was filled with the energy of »

SCHWARTZ: In Iran, prepare for the worst

March 20, 2012
We return from break at a dangerous time for the United States and for the world. Iran’s internal politics are murky and unstable, and our intelligence services are reduced to guesswork as the Iranian nuclear program rolls forward. Candidates in election mode bluster and beat war drums, tripping over themselves to establish their national security »

SCHWARTZ: Enough with leadership

February 28, 2012
American society, and Yale in particular, has a leadership fetish. Republican candidates regularly bash the president for his failure to show leadership (whatever that means), fellowship and internship applications regularly instruct applicants to describe their leadership experiences and Yale University’s three-sentence mission statement asserts unequivocally that our purpose is to “educate [students] for leadership in »

SCHWARTZ: Writers need shame

February 21, 2012
On Friday, Mostafa al-Alusi and Faisal Hamid (“Fighting Islamophobia at Yale,” Feb. 17) argued that criticism and suspicion by security officials and politicians has been overly broad, targeting all Muslims rather than specific, clearly defined sub-groups. Similarly, the writers described on-campus parties where drunken slurs were directed at Muslim students. They said the very safety »