Tag Archives: Civil Right

What Yale’s President Should Have Said about the Frat Boys

By Harvey Silverglate and Kyle Smeallie

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The Department of Education is currently investigating Yale University for allegedly maintaining a sexually hostile environment. No one can deny that the New Haven Ivy is in a difficult position. To wit, Yale enacted changes last month to lower the standard of proof in sexual assault cases, and last week, College Dean Mary Miller announced that a fraternity would be banned for five years, a result of an October 2010 incident in which pledges shouted sexually-graphic chants. Yale, by all appearances, is capitulating to federal pressure. It didn’t have to. Here’s how Yale President Richard Levin could have stood tall, on behalf of educators and liberal arts institutions everywhere, in the face of Washington’s unwelcome–and ultimately destructive intrusion.

Dear Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali:

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Richard Levin, President of Yale University. I’ve been at the helm of this great institution since 1993, making me currently the longest-tenured president in the Ivy League. As a long-time observer of higher education, and one who has praised its historical autonomy from the public sector, I feel an obligation to express my concern about recent developments from your office.

I’m writing today in response to a Title IX civil rights complaint for gender discrimination that your office has filed against my university, as well as a “Dear Colleague” letter sent by you last month to nearly every college and university,both of which concern the adjudication of sexual harassment allegations in higher education.

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Why the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative Was Needed

This week Arizonans overwhelmingly enacted the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, which bans state and local discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and sex in contracting, employment, and education – including racial preferences in university admissions. Opponents of such initiatives frequently claim that they are a solution in search of a problem, that the presence of preferential treatment is greatly exaggerated, that quotas are already illegal, and so forth.
Not so.
Admissions data obtained a couple of years ago from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University law schools show that race and ethnicity play a huge role in determining who gets in.
Studies based on that data and released by the Center for Equal Opportunity document evidence of severe discrimination based on race and ethnicity in admissions there. At both schools, African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latinos are admitted with significantly lower undergraduate grade-point averages and LSAT scores than whites and, again to a lesser extent, Asians.

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