Yale University: Controversial Anti-Harvard T-shirt Quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Yale University

  • Legislators watching for final decision on public law school

    December 26, 2009

    While they have no official say over whether Massachusetts could open the state’s first public law school, legislators on both sides of the issue are threatening to file legislation as pre-emptive strikes before the state Board of Higher Education makes its final decision in February. State Senator Stanley Rosenberg is preparing legislation that would bar the proposed public law school at UMass Dartmouth from using state funds because he is skeptical of Chancellor Jean MacCormack’s promise that no tax dollars would be used in creating or sustaining the law school. Well, an eye for an eye, retorted South Coast members […]

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  • College Students Can’t Say ‘Sissies’ Anymore?

    December 21, 2009

    Yale Goes for Old-Timey Censorship Against F. Scott Fitzgerald Quote by Thomas Mitchell The Huffington Post   The idea of there being an annual “big” Yale versus Harvard football game produces two thoughts in me: first, “Yale and Harvard have football teams?” and, once that is answered in the affirmative, “Right, I think I learned about that on The Simpsons.” But this year the most interesting thing to come out of this age-old, blue-blood anachronism-fest had nothing to do with Mr. Burns. It started before the Harvard and Yale teams flailed against each other on the football field last month; […]

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  • Mohammed Cartoon Controversy Cemented Yale’s Place on Our List of ’12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’

    February 2, 2011

    As we continue to look at how the ”12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” made our list on The Huffington Post, today we come to Yale University. Yale University is no stranger to entanglements with free speech, or to FIRE. Despite its reputation for academic excellence and stellar promises of freedom of expression and academic freedom, Yale has been on the wrong side of a number of free speech issues over the years. So it likely comes as little surprise to FIRE followers to see Yale earn this dubious distinction. Back in the early days of FIRE—in 2001, to be more […]

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  • Harvard-Yale 2010 T-shirt Wars Begin; No Free Speech Casualties … Yet

    November 9, 2010

    The 2010 Harvard-Yale T-shirt wars are officially under way, in anticipation of the schools’ annual football game on November 20. The Yale Daily News reports that Yale College’s Freshman Class Council (FCC) has released its official design for The Game 2010, a riff on the recent movie The Social Network:   The blank space at the end leaves room for Yalies to insert the kindest, most highbrow compliments they can conceive of their intellectual equals at Harvard. (Or, you know, not.) Meanwhile, the Harvard flyby, a blog hosted by The Harvard Crimson, points to this design as the winner of […]

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  • Learning From Flap Over ‘Sissies’ T-shirt a Priority for Yale College Dean

    February 16, 2010

    Today’s Yale Daily News features an article on Yale College Dean Mary Miller, who outlines for the newspaper the goals for her tenure in an interview. Miller, Torch readers will remember, was front-and-center in a controversy sparked last fall when she intervened in the affairs of Yale College’s Freshman Class Council (FCC) by nixing the proposed design of a T-shirt for the annual Yale-Harvard football game. The T-shirt, taking a line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, read “I think of all Harvard men as sissies” on the front, a line which prompted complaints from some in Yale’s […]

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  • NBC on Yale ‘Sissies’ Censorship Controversy

    January 19, 2010

    A Connecticut affiliate of NBC has covered FIRE’s case at Yale University, in which President Richard C. Levin recently expressed “regret” for the role of a dean in the withdrawal of a T-shirt design that quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald in calling Harvard students “sissies.” We explained the case earlier today.The article quotes from FIRE’s letter to President Levin: [I]n December, Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—and a Harvard man—sent University president, Richard Levin, a letter saying Yale College Dean Mary Miller acted inappropriately by ruling the shirt unacceptable. “It is not a happy day when a Yale College dean with degrees […]

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  • ‘Yale Daily News’ Stays on Yale Censorship Case

    January 19, 2010

    Today’s Yale Daily News provides some fresh reporting on last November’s censorship of the Yale University Freshman Class Council’s T-shirt design, which featured an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote calling Harvard students “sissies.” As we noted last week, in response to a letter from FIRE, Yale University President Richard C. Levin investigated what happened, discussed the matter with Dean Mary Miller, and expressed “regret” over Dean Miller’s role in the withdrawal of the T-shirt design. President Levin’s response also reaffirmed Yale’s commitment to the strong protection of free speech in its classic Woodward Report, stating that “it is not the role […]

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  • Yale President Defends Censorship of Mohammed Cartoons, But Acknowledges Free Speech Commitment in T-shirt Controversy

    January 15, 2010

    In a letter to FIRE, Yale University President Richard C. Levin maintained Yale’s position defending the censorship of images of Mohammed in a book about those images, citing a “risk to life and safety.” However, President Levin also reaffirmed Yale’s commitment to the strong protection of free speech in its classic Woodward Report, stating that “it is not the role of the Dean or any other University official to suppress the speech of any student or student organization” and expressing “regret” for Dean Mary Miller’s role in the withdrawal of the Freshman Class Council’s T-shirt design calling Harvard students “sissies.” […]

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  • Letter from Yale University President Richard C. Levin to FIRE, January 14, 2010

    January 14, 2010

    Letter From Yale University President Richard C. Levin to FIRE, January 14, 2010 by FIRE

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  • Letter from Yale University President Richard C. Levin to FIRE, January 14, 2010

    January 14, 2010

    Letter From Yale University President Richard C. Levin to FIRE, January 14, 2010 by FIRE

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  • A Possible Precedent for Yale University in the Case of the Censored ‘Sissies’ T-shirts

    January 13, 2010

    Yale University seems to be facing more than its share of troubles lately. In this context, it is something of a shame that resources need to be spent on dealing with a Yale College dean’s decision to censor the democratically chosen T-shirt design of its Freshman Class Council (FCC). Last November, just before the Harvard-Yale football game, Dean Mary Miller decided to pull the design, which used a quotation from F. Scott Fitzgerald calling Harvard students “sissies.” Apparently, completely unknown to the FCC leadership, the word was considered by some Yalies to be an anti-gay slur. After FIRE called Yale […]

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  • Will Aziz Ansari Be Allowed to Say ‘Sissies’ at Yale?

    January 12, 2010

    Comedian Aziz Ansari (Funny People; Parks and Recreation) has accepted an invitation from Yale University’s Yale College Council to perform at Yale on January 30, 2010. This normally wouldn’t be FIRE news, but now that Yale College Dean Mary Miller has declared editorial control over the student government (the Freshman Class Council in particular), this is a matter of concern. Will Ansari be informed that it is “not acceptable” for him to use the word “sissies” (or, presumably, similar words) in a negative way towards anyone? Dean Miller seems to say so. Perhaps this is why at Yale, even a […]

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  • Yale Dean Defends Censorship of ‘Sissies’ T-Shirt, Claims Control over Freshman Student Government

    January 11, 2010

    Today’s Yale Daily News reports that Yale College Dean Mary Miller has defended her choice to censor a T-shirt design quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald that had been democratically chosen and was going to be printed by Yale’s Freshman Class Council (FCC). According to a statement given by Dean Miller to the Yale Daily News, which reporter Jordi Gassó read to me in full, the FCC reports to Dean Miller’s office and therefore is under her office’s financial and editorial control. Thus, she had no problem censoring the T-shirt, which quoted Fitzgerald’s line, “I think of all Harvard men as sissies,” […]

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  • Rights group criticizes Yale

    January 11, 2010

    This year’s Game may be over, but the controversy over the Freshman Class Council’s proposed T-shirt design continues. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization that focuses on civil liberties in American colleges and universities, sent a letter last month to University President Richard Levin criticizing the administration for asking the FCC to reconsider its decision to sell a T-shirt deemed offensive for its use of the word “sissy” by members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Co-operative. When members of the co-op raised their concerns in the week preceding the game, Yale College Dean Mary Miller […]

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  • Yale Wimps Out Again

    December 29, 2009

    It was the source of an athletic taunt that could only have originated in the Ivy League: “I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.” Monsignor chuckled. “I’m one, you know.” “Oh, you’re different – I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic – you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors – ” “And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor. “That’s […]

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  • ‘Boston Globe’ Covers FIRE’s ‘Sissies’ T-Shirt Case at Yale

    December 28, 2009

    Boston Globe journalist Tracy Jan drew attention yesterday to FIRE’s latest case at Yale University. No, not the one where images of Mohammed were censored from a book about those very images. This time, it’s the one where an administrator declared the word “sissies” unacceptable on an anti-Harvard T-shirt prior to the annual Harvard-Yale football game. Jan quotes Greg’s piece on the case in The Huffington Post: “A couple of Yale administrators decided that the word ‘sissies’ was too offensive because some people interpreted it as a slur against gay men,” Lukianoff wrote. “This was news to the Yale freshmen […]

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  • Greg in Huffington Post on Yale’s Controversial Anti-Harvard T-shirt Quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald

    December 21, 2009

    Today in The Huffington Post, Greg highlights our recent letter to Yale regarding administrators’ readiness to censor a T-shirt that quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald in calling Harvard men “sissies.” FIRE’s letter, written by Adam Kissel and sent on Friday, reminded Yale both of the university’s historical commitments to free speech and its recent missteps. As Greg says in the article: I understand that Yale considering banning a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote for using the word “sissies” is not the most important event in collegiate censorship this year (I think my vote goes to the Southwestern College “Free Speech Patio”). But given Yale’s […]

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  • Beat Harvard – Just Don’t Call Them Sissies

    November 24, 2009

    When I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, our various class councils endlessly outdid themselves in the art of emasculating the Princeton tiger, mascot of our archrival. Our depictions of the tiger, emblazoned on T-shirts, ran the gamut from gentle mockery to representations of acts that would be illegal in most if not all of the fifty states. Of course, Penn students bought them in droves, myself included. For Yale University’s Freshman Class Council (FCC), then, to print a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote—”I think of all Harvard men as sissies”—on T-shirts would not seem to invite controversy. After […]

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