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February 11, 2007

Yale, the Hooters of the Ivy League

There's been a good deal of speculation recently about why the applications to Yale have been down this year. Some say it had to do with adverse publicity about the former Taliban spokesman who attended Yale, with almost the entire Yale community joining forces to defend the decision to admit him. I seriously doubt this theory. It's a pretty good guess that the prospective student body for Yale is similar in its outlook to the actual student body, and the lure of the Yale name is still strong.

Fortunately, the New York Times is there to bring us up to date on all the goings on at Yale. In a snotty article, which unfortunately is behind the Times Select wall (here for those who have access), my favorite item is about an email message sent around by the Calhoun College master. Apparently, some couple was engaging in non-shower activities in a shower and flooded out the bathroom. Dan Gelernter, a Yale student, complained at "one conservative Web site" that this incident "reflected 'the moral vacuum that has been created by Yale intellectuals,' where 'students seem to be left without even the most basic guidelines for proper and decent behavior.'"

The Times article presented this response in the usual sneering tone reserved for the unenlightened. But here's the Ivy League pitch of the year:

One poster [in response] said Mr. Gelernter should have known what kind of place Yale was before he went there. "Just kinda seems like a guy going to Hooters and complaining about what the women are wearing," he allowed.
Yale is just like Hooters. And that's what its supporters are saying. How grand! Now I really don't understand why the applications are down.