Conservative views "unwelcome" at Yale (updated)

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The Yale Daily News reports on a survey of Yale students finding that conservative views are not considered welcome at the university.

Nearly 75 percent of 2,054 respondents who completed the survey—representing views across the political spectrum—said they believe Yale does not provide a welcoming environment for conservative students to share their opinions on political issues. Among the 11.86 percent of respondents who described themselves as either "conservative" or "very conservative," the numbers are even starker: Nearly 95 percent said the Yale community does not welcome their opinions. About two-thirds of respondents who described themselves as "liberal" or "very liberal" said Yale is not welcoming to conservative students. . . .

By contrast, more than 98 percent of respondents said Yale is welcoming to students with liberal beliefs. And among students who described themselves as "liberal" or "very liberal," 85 percent said they are "comfortable" or "very comfortable" sharing their political views in campus discussions.

The YDN asked Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway for comment.

"So much of your generation's world is managed through smart phones. There's no margin anymore for saying something stupid," Holloway said. "People have been saying dumb things forever, but when I was your age word of mouth would take a while. Now it's instantaneous, now context is stripped away."

Whatever his intent, I can't see how equating the expression of conservative views with "saying something stupid" is supposed to be at all reassuring to students with right-of-center views.

Political correctness at Yale is not new. I wrote about it as an undergraduate in 1988. But there are reasons to fear that there is more pervasive intolerance of dissenting views than in the past.

Meanwhile, it seems that the YDN's endorsement of Hillary Clinton has raised eyebrows in tax circles, given the paper's independent 501(c)(3) status.

UPDATE: The YDN has posted the following "clarification":

Describing the statement he initially provided the News as unintentionally unclear, Dean Jonathan Holloway issued the following: "In no way did I intend to imply that the views of any student or faculty were stupid or should be dismissed. I meant to lament the fact that meaningful conversations were too often reduced or misconstrued in the shortened messages of social media, leading to a lack of understanding. I apologize if my words were misconstrued and taken to mean anything otherwise."

SECOND UPDATE: For more on the intellectual climate at Yale, see this op-ed by Erika Christakis, author of the infamous Halloween costume e-mail that provoked protests at Yale.

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