Uncategorized | 10:56 am | April 19, 2010 | By Emily Wanger

Dean Miller to secret societies: STOP IT!

No more monkey business! Yale College Dean Mary Miller sent an e-mail to all undergraduates this morning, saying that the University will no longer tolerate the many “staged disruptions” that have been occurring in lecture courses throughout the year. Miller is likely referring, in particular, to the multitude of secret society initiation pranks that have hit campus in the weeks leading up to last Thursday’s Tap Night.

During the past few weeks, Miller said in the e-mail, the frequency and disruptiveness of the interruptions have increased, and have disturbed both Professors trying to teach and students trying to learn. Any future acts of disruption would be treated as a “violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and…subject to disciplinary action,” Miller stated. She then went on to say that she is charging the leaders of extracurricular organizations with not asking their members to perform such acts, calling them “disruptive and disrespectful actions.”

Read the full letter below:

Subject: Concerning recent disruptions of classes

As many of you have read in The Yale Daily News and some of you have experienced directly in your own classes, a number of staged disruptions have taken place in lecture courses this year, increasing in frequency and rudeness in the past weeks. In a university dedicated first and foremost to teaching and learning, such intrusions cannot — and will not — be tolerated. Faculty members have the right to teach in their own classrooms without interference, and students enrolled in these courses have the right to be able to listen to lectures and participate appropriately without disruption. Any infringement of the right of an audience, such as a classroom of students, to listen to a lecture is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Alongside its curriculum, Yale has a long and lively tradition of supporting and encouraging extracurricular activities. But such activities are meant to complement academic work, not to interfere with it. No Yale student should be ever be placed by the leaders of an extracurricular organization in a position that compromises the rights of fellow students to their education. I call upon the leaders of these groups to cease immediately these disruptive and disrespectful actions and on the members of student organizations to refuse to participate in such demeaning activities.

All of us — students, faculty, staff — have come together as one community several times this year in times of crisis. As the year draws to a close, I call upon you to continue to demonstrate that support and mutual respect and to maintain our commitment to the educational mission of Yale College.

Mary Miller

Dean of Yale College

Sterling Professor of History of Art

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