To the Editor:
As Yale College Council members, we are disappointed by Tuesday’s News’ View, “Spring Fling needs neither queen nor king.” (1/24) We remember the Yale Daily News’ hasty criticisms of the YCC earlier this year, while we planned the Harvard-Yale FUSION event and incorporated student opinion into the dean search. In both cases, its concerns proved unfounded, as demonstrated by overwhelming student participation in both. We had hoped that, in the future, the News’ editors would better inform themselves before publicly disparaging hard-working YCC members.
Here is what you didn’t hear in Tuesday’s commentary. In brainstorming meetings, YSAC had discussed adding Olympics-like events, such as tug-of-war, volleyball and relay races to the Spring Fling activities. We further discussed having students nominated by each college participate in these events. The concept, misrepresented by the News’ View as a serious beauty pageant or cutthroat award competition, was actually coalescing into MTV Spring Break-like silly stunts. In our discussions, YSAC had already acknowledged the heteronormative problem and ridiculousness of calling anyone “King” or “Queen”. Despite our careful contemplation of these ideas, we have not yet decided whether or not to host such a competition at all.
Honestly, we totally agree with the arguments raised by the News’ View. A “King and Queen of Spring Fling” competition, especially the way they describe it, would be both obnoxious and tedious. Thankfully, the News editors, with all their gloomy predictions, are not the ones applying their imagination to the planning of Spring Fling. YSAC is a light-year ahead of the News in thinking about these issues, as the editors could easily have found out by giving any one of us a call.
The News editorial staff is entitled to freedom of speech. But this freedom, in such a public forum, does come with responsibility. On Tuesday, students who read the News’ View were misled by uninformed statements and unfounded concerns. We sincerely wish that the News editorial staff had made the simple effort to fill in their own gaps — chiefly, to discover there is no King and Queen contest — before making the individuals on YSAC look as clueless on the issue as the News’ editors admitted themselves to be.
YSAC will continue its work to plan a spectacular Spring Fling for the student body, and we continue to welcome outside input, the News’ editors included.
Alice Lorch and Elliott Mogul
February 25, 2004
The writers are YSAC Secretary and YCC President.