Yale President Peter Salovey sent an email to the Yale community on Tuesday that addressed the recent protests on campus and pledged to do better.
“It is clear that we need to make significant changes so that all members of our community truly feel welcome and can participate equally in the activities of the university, and to reaffirm and reinforce our commititment to a campus where hatred and discrimination are never tolerated,” he wrote.
The email discussed the areas Yale will focus attention to build a more inclusive campus, including adding additional teaching staff and courses that address topics of diversity and launching a series of conferences on issues of race.
Yale University has been in upheaval since two racially charged incidents occurred on Halloween weekend, exposing feelings that Yale is an unwelcoming place for students of colour and that pervasive racism exists at Yale.
Students of colour have published a number of op-eds in the YDN and the Yale Herald, voicing disillusionment with the administration and claiming Yale doesn’t welcome minorities.
Some of the anger has been directed at an administrator who set off a racially charged debate with an email to students about Halloween costumes.
Silliman College Associate Master Erika Christakis emailed students in response to an Intercultural Affairs Council email that called on students to be sensitive about the cultural implications of their Halloween costumes, as Inside Higher Ed reported.
Christakis supported students’ right to dress in any costumes they liked, offensive or not.
“Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” she wrote.
Her comments immediately drew the ire of some students in Silliman, and elsewhere on campus, who claimed they invalidated the voices of minority students. Some called for Christakis and her husband, Nicholas Christakis, the master of Silliman College, to step down.
For now, it seems, there will be no punishment doled out by the university to any administrators or students for any actions that took place over the past few weeks. ” No one has been silenced or punished for speaking their minds, nor will they be,” Salovey wrote.
If you are a current Yale student who would like to speak on the record or on background about your experiences on campus, email [email protected]
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.