To the Editor:
I write to address some confusion that may have been created by yesterday’s article (“Tensions between Lee, Yale increase,” 2/27) about the Association of Yale Alumni and the petition campaign being conducted by the Rev. David Lee DIV ’93 for a place on the Yale Corporation.
As the article correctly stated, the AYA circulated a clarifying message about the Rev. Lee’s campaign to Yale alumni serving in volunteer leadership positions. This message, however, was not an act of Yale’s administration, as inferred by both the reporter and the Rev. Lee, but rather was authorized by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the AYA’s Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is a body made up entirely of alumni and is elected by alumni representatives of Yale College classes, Yale clubs and graduate and professional alumni.
With respect to confusion among alumni about the campaign, the AYA was responding to questions and complaints raised by campaign mailings, e-mail, and telephone calls. In particular, large numbers of alumni have been subscribed to an e-mail list without their permission. According to the Internet service provider involved, this list has been created and is being managed by Antony Dugdale and Rose Murphy, two individuals employed by union organizations supporting the Rev. Lee’s candidacy.
Multiple e-mails to the list have been sent by Lee Strieb ’86, a Yale alumnus who is also a vice-president of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and is located in the union’s San Francisco office. Upon complaining to the Internet service provider, some alumni found they could not unsubscribe from the list and they continued to receive multiple copies of the e-mail messages directing them to the yaleinsider.org and yalealum.org Web sites. Further, Mr. Strieb did not identify himself as a union official in these e-mails, but simply called the list “Fellow Yalies,” which further confused alumni as to the source of the message.
In the AYA’s January message to alumni volunteers, I included brief factual information on the alumni election, clarified the AYA’s relationship to the Rev. Lee’s campaign, and then provided Internet links to every news story and opinion piece –Êboth pro and con — that had appeared up to that time in the Yale Daily News. Anyone wishing to view the entire message that was sent to Yale’s alumni leaders about the campaign may visit the AYA’s home page at www.aya.yale.edu.
Jeff Brenzel ’75
February 27, 2002
The writer is the executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni.