At Yale, Sharper Look at Treatment of Women

Posted Sat, 04/09/2011 - 15:47 by Fishville

Hannah Zeavin, a Yale junior from Brooklyn, said, “If you’re not expelling people who are committing rape, as was the case with my friends’ assailants, that means those men are still around.” 

Fishville's Notes: Yale has been recently in a media storm on complaints from Yale students and alumni accusing university's loose standard in regulating some of its male students's behaviors. Department of Education and Vice President Biden (whose son graduated from Yale ironically) announced new administration action to combat the campus sexual violence. Traditionally, Yale has a quite tolerant policy toward student party and alcohol consumption, it is their intention to create a tight knit campus for students to have a closed college social life, this is also one of the compensatory efforts from the administration for a campus inside the Ghetto-like New Haven city. Now it seems obviously that Yale has overdone it based on the formal complaints from its own students, Yale will face a possible consequence for withdrawing some of its $500 millions research funds by federal government if some of the title IX charges are valid.


At Yale, Sharper Look at Treatment of Women


New York Times, April 7, 2011

NEW HAVEN — It has taken on the predictability of an annual ritual, like parents’ weekend or commencement: the outburst of raunchy male behavior that has shaken the Yale University campus in each of the last few school years.

In 2008, fraternity members photographed themselves in front of the Yale Women’s Center with a poster reading, “We Love Yale Sluts.” In 2009, a widely e-mailed “preseason scouting report” rated the desirability of about 50 newly arrived freshman women by the number of drinks a man would need in order to have sex with them. And in October, fraternity pledges paraded through a residential quadrangle chanting: “No means yes!”


Catherine Sheard, a junior from Canton, N.Y., heard the chants while studying, and reacted the way many students have. “I thought it was really obnoxious and closed the window,” she said.

Suddenly, however, these episodes have the campus in a state of high alert. Yale acknowledged last week that the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was investigating a complaint filed by 16 students and recent graduates, accusing the university of violating Title IX, the federal gender-equality law, by failing to eliminate a hostile sexual environment on campus. The complaint alleges a range of acts against women, from taunts to assaults, over seven years.

The Yale administration has responded swiftly, saying it had zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and announcing the creation of a university-wide committee to streamline a disciplinary process that is now handled differently at each of its schools. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. even weighed in this week; though not mentioning Yale, he urged colleges to do more to prevent sexual violence, emphasizing that “no means no.”

In Yale dormitories and online forums, the federal investigation has been a prime topic, with many students echoing the frustrations voiced in the complaint.

In interviews, some undergraduates said the administration had become bogged down in confidentiality rules and its own tortuous procedures, missing a bigger truth about the treatment of women, who make up slightly more than half of the student body.

“I don’t think that the sexual culture is worse here than it is at other places,” said Caroline Tracey, a sophomore from Denver. “But the fact that we seem to have one incendiary, misogynistic act a year seems to say that the university isn’t being punitive enough against these large-scale activities.”

Conor Crawford, a junior from Des Moines, said he had detected a tolerance on campus for crude comments about women that contrasted with a greater deference shown to gay and minority students. “There are a lot of close female friends I have here who have felt threatened,” he said. “You can hear the same language in some all-male suites, with the word ‘bitch’ used a lot and just general objectification.”

Still, some students dismissed episodes like the fraternity chants as stupid pranks; the chanting, some said, was an act of hazing and humiliation for the pledges, calculated for maximum shock value on a campus known for its liberal leanings.

“It was very inappropriate, but I genuinely believe that that’s not something they are preaching,” said Natalie Romine, a senior who has friends in the fraternity.

The 26-page complaint, filed on March 15, has not been made public. But a news release by some who signed it detailed what they called the university’s “inadequate response to a long trend of public sexual harassment,” including the chanting last fall by pledges of Delta Kappa Epsilon. The complaint also cites “Yale’s failure to appropriately address” several instances of “private sexual harassment and assault,” the release said.

A 2010 graduate who signed the complaint — Presca Ahn, a Fulbright scholar in London — said in a phone interview that one of those cases involved an undergraduate who had been sexually assaulted. Ms. Ahn said that in the complaint, the student describes reporting her case to the university’s Sexual Harassment Grievance Board, which, according to Yale, offers “a range of formal and informal resolution procedures”; the student writes that the board discouraged her from going to the police or to Yale’s more punitive disciplinary board, the Executive Committee.

“It’s so weird that something that is actually a crime should be lost in the quote, ‘confidential private family court of Yale,’ ” Ms. Ahn said.

Yale officials said they had not seen the complaint, and were trying to obtain it through a Freedom of Information Act request. In a letter to students, Mary Miller, dean of Yale College, urged students to report all sexual crimes to the Yale police, and said the university welcomed the investigation as an “opportunity to learn more and do better.”

“To all of you, I can say that I am saddened and troubled by the allegations of the complaint,” Dr. Miller wrote. “I can also say without equivocation that Yale does not tolerate sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind.”

Administrators said they sympathized with those who were unhappy with the disciplinary process. Punishing students in public episodes like the chanting is complicated by a hallowed tradition of free speech on campus, as well as by fraternities’ independence from the university and by confidentiality requirements that prevent Yale from naming students it disciplines.

The private cases are even more problematic, officials said, with victims often not wanting to go to the police or even a disciplinary board. Some victims prefer to deal with sexual harassment informally — having a male student moved to another dorm, for example. Most do not go to the administration at all: Studies show that nationwide, more than 90 percent of college students who are sexually assaulted do not tell anyone in authority.

Dr. Miller said that efforts to discipline students for the chants last fall were continuing; a faculty fact-finder has filed a report, she said, and the case will be resolved by the end of the semester. As for the “scouting report” that circulated two years ago, The Yale Daily News reported that a senior who forwarded the e-mail was reprimanded.

While some students saw the chanting of “No means yes” as mere provocation, Hannah Zeavin, a junior from Brooklyn who signed the complaint, said she found the question of sexual consent no joking matter. She said that a Yale friend was raped during her first month on campus in 2008, and that she knew of others who had been sexually assaulted.

“If you’re not expelling people who are committing rape, as was the case with my friends’ assailants, that means those men are still around,” she said. “That means that I’ve been in class with them, and I’ve been in parties where there’s more than one of them.”


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Posted Sat, 04/09/2011 - 12:30 by Fishville

Fishville's Notes: With total of 58 undergraduates at Yale currently, China represented the second "largest" international student body at Yale campus, only behind Canada's 72. Canada is so close to the United States that in many social events or sports associations like baseball major league, Canada functions as part of the larger America's union. Yale is also one of the very few universities in the United States that grants need-based for financial aids for all of the international students. In other words, Yale will cover all of the demonstrated needs if you were fortunately accepted through need-blind process. Even Stanford is not a need-based university with regards to their international applicants. This is the time for us to correct a perception in Chinese media covering Chinese student being accepted by Harvard and Yale, they always would like to say that the student has awarded a scholarship worth over $50K per year from Yale, this is indeed a misled statement if they did some of the research on the nature of financial aid within some of the most generous Ivy members. Our suggestion to the Chinese newspapers is that you are free to report the great achievements of the students who have been accepted by Harvard or Yale, but for scholarship money the only thing you have to do is to show our gratitudes to the generosity of America's elite universities.



By Emily Wanger

Staff Reporter, Yale Daily News

Friday, April 8, 2011

International students considering Yale face a unique range obstacles in applying, but University admissions representatives said they are having increasing success in portraying it as a tangible option.

Admissions officer said they travel to every corner of the globe to encourage top students to think of Yale as a possibility, and to tell them about the social, intellectual and creative opportunities available. Though American universities cost much more than those in many other countries — not including financial aid — and the liberal arts model is unfamiliar to international students who have grown up in professionally-oriented systems, admissions officers said their efforts are beginning to pay off.




“Even countries that used to have the reputation for not being interested in studying abroad have really opened up recently,” said Jean Lee, co-director of international admissions. “It shifts and changes. Culturally the idea of staying home is stronger in some countries than others.”

Rebekah Westphal, co-director of international admissions, said international students get excited about applying to Yale when admissions officers spread the message that Yale is about much more than an education in the classroom.

“Yale can offer so much beyond just your academic education,” she said. “The kind of community that exists here doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world.”

Lee said international students often do not want to apply to Yale, or any college in the United States, because in their home countries, students have to begin career training at the undergraduate level in order to become a professional. Because the idea of a liberal arts education is unfamiliar, diverging from traditional paths can seem daunting to these students, she added.

Indeed, six international students interviewed said the idea of a liberal arts education seemed strange to them when they first encountered the concept.

But three did say that once they learned more about the liberal arts model, it became an attractive feature of education in the United States.

“I decided to come mostly because I didn’t know what I wanted to study,” said Carolina Cooper ’11, who attended an American high school in Brazil. She added that she did not feel ready to choose a specific professional degree to pursue during her first year of college, which she would have been expected to do if she had stayed in Brazil.

International applicants can also be deterred from choosing to apply to college in America because universities in their home countries are highly subsidized or free, admissions officers and international students said. Westphal said she and other admissions officers try to counter these concerns by emphasizing that Yale is an investment that frequently pays off in career opportunities down the road. They also spread the word of the University’s financial aid offerings — Yale is “one of only a small handful of U.S. institutions” with need-blind financial aid for international students, Westphal said in an email.

Sunnie Tölle ’12, who attended a public high school in Switzerland, said there is little incentive for Swiss students to study abroad, because Switzerland offers free upper-level education.

“People see the $200,000 for four years of schooling, and there’s no way they’re going to choose that,” she said.

But Eva Guadamillas ’14, who is from Spain, said that after she researched Yale’s financial aid policy she realized that it could be an option for her after all. Cooper added that the University’s need-blind approach for international students gives it a particular edge over some of its peer institutions, which do not share that policy.

When choosing students from its international pool, Yale also does its best to bear in mind the circumstances those applicants grew up in, Lee and Westphal said. For example, they said, international students simply may not have the time to participate in extracurricular activities the way domestic applicants do.

“If students are required to be in school ten hours a day, there just isn’t time to be debating or playing on a sports team,” Westphal said. Lee added that admissions officers travel not only to share information with prospective applicants, but also to learn about the worlds in which those applicants live.

Still, some barriers cannot be overcome. Lee and Westphal said they conduct their information sessions in English because students who plan to apply and come to Yale must speak it fluently.

Senem Cilingiroglu ’13, who went to an international school in Turkey, said that in her experience, students who attended private, international schools are far more likely to meet the necessary standard than those who went to domestic schools.

Last year, 17 percent of 25,869 applicants to Yale College were international students.


nformation provided by:

HYP Pathway (雅美途 )

An Expert on College Admission in the United States.

E-mail: hypathway@hotmail.com; Website: 雅美