To the Editor:

A recent editorial (“Lee’s bid for Corporation seat flawed,” 10/10) states that there are “deep-rooted problems” with the Reverend W. David Lee’s candidacy for a seat on the Yale Corporation due to his youth, lack of professional distinction and experience, and pro-union sentiments. There is a deep-rooted problem, but not in the qualifications of Lee or his ability to guard Yale’s best interests.

The problem lies in the hypocrisy of applying double standards to Yale’s internal governing. Yale extolls the virtue of diversity, the betterment of society through personal involvement and commitment, and its cultivation of citizens with an “awareness of our human heritage to lead and serve in every sphere of human activity.”

Yet these commendable qualities, applied beyond the rhetoric of Yale’s mission statement to Lee’s candidacy, are suddenly a handicap and detriment to Yale’s academic excellence and financial stability. In its own backyard, the vigor of youth and the ability to empathize with the average worker is not seen as adding diversity to a group consisting mostly of elder, rich, corporate leaders. Commitment to community and dedication to its issues and citizenry are not seen as signs of accomplishment and renown.

Further, this commitment to local community does not forsake the ability to envision the primary interest of the “whole of Yale.” Yale has selective vision, seeing the local only as part of the whole when it suits their image. Is Yale intimidated by an alumnus who will remind the University to consider its policies’ impact at a local level, as well as the national, international and corporate levels, the “special interests” presently represented. It’s time to see if Yale’s philosophy is just fancy words, or an honest vision and core belief.

Alieta-Marie Levesque

October 15, 2001

The writer is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the Yale Law School.