To the Editor:

Elaine Lewinnek’s complaint about the skin color of her fellow graduate students (“Yale needs more minority graduate students,” 3/19) is truly absurd, disguised as a plea for “diversity.” It would take an extraordinarily narrow-minded person to remain blind to the tremendous amount of diversity at Yale’s Graduate School.

My young undergraduate experience has already taught me that graduate student teaching assistants at Yale represent a wonderfully rich diversity of interests, talents and viewpoints. I am shocked Lewinnek has not observed these fine qualities in her classmates, and it is disturbing she is more concerned with having classmates of the “right” skin color.

Ultimately, Yale relies upon its students and faculty to bring together meaningful diversity. No university administrator or statistical analysis can accomplish such an important feat.

We ought to value our fellow students not for their skin color but for their willingness to share different ideas and their ability to contribute to discussion and learning. Such attributes are far more important than any desired racial composition of students.

Jowei Chen ’04

March 19, 2001