By Staff at TV Newsroom
“I ‘ve great esteem and affection for my pupils, but I stress that the current climate at Yale is not, in my view, conducive to the civil conversation and open inquest required to solve our pressing societal issues”.
Racial tension heightened at Yale during Halloween after the lecturer, Erika Christakis, sent an email criticizing the idea that some costumes might be considered racially or culturally insensitive after another university official requested students not wear blackface or appropriate Native American symbols.
The university said, in a statement, that Erika Christakis, who taught child development and psychology, chose to discontinue teaching at the school in the spring semester.
Two weeks ago, Salovey and Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway affirmed their support for the Christakises’ mastership in a joint email to Silliman students.
Christakis’s e-mail to the student body focused on the appropriateness of Halloween costumes that some people could potentially find offensive Christakis suggested that as young adults an students at one of the country’s most revered educational institutions, residents of the dormitory had the intellectual capacity and wherewithal to decide what costumes to wear during Halloween celebrations. Christakis could not immediately be reached for comment.
Here is the full statement from Yale University on the resignation of Erika Christakis: “Erika Christakis is a well-regarded instructor, and the university’s leadership is disappointed that she has chosen not to continue teaching in the spring semester”.
The school is ultimately responsible for the chill on free speech, according to Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Her teaching is highly valued and she is welcome to resume teaching anytime at Yale, where freedom of expression and academic inquiry are the paramount principle and practice.
‘American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition’. Erika Christakis provoked outrage when she sent an email to Silliman residents questioning the desire to find offense in Halloween costumes.
He husband later apologized for his role in the controversy in a heartfelt mea culpa delivered in his own home. “I have the same beliefs that you do …”
Among the demands made by Next Yale, a fledgling campus activist group that addresses issues of race on campus, was the removal of Nicholas and Erika Christakis from the positions of master and associate master of Silliman College.