To the Editor:

The rattling off of schools in the order of “The Ivy League plus Stanford and Duke and a few others” is done often and tastelessly in circumstances in which mere decorum demands that schools be addressed by name.

Yet the cavalier elitism of that phrase as trotted out in the recent Yale Daily News article (“Trying to end the suicide cycle” 3/29) is positively lurid. The article presents no data whatsoever to demonstrate that Ivy League schools have significantly higher suicide rates than do other colleges.

Yet an underlying assumption of the article is that Yale’s death rate is indicative of an elite standing, of membership in some undefined suicide “queue”. If we are too weary to expand upon “and others” and too disinterested to seek out actual numbers, we should at least try to curb our interest in this new, apparent token of our “belonging” for long enough to contemplate its price.

Kate Schnare DIV ’04

april 1, 2002