Yale University Dean Suspended Over Yelp Reviews
The dean of Pierson College at Yale University, June Chu, was placed on leave Thursday, after some racist reviews she had written on Yelp in the past started circulating among students of the Ivy League college.
The reviews in question were directed toward some restaurants located in New Haven, Connecticut, the Daily Meal reported. For instance, here is the review that Chu wrote for Koto Japanese Restaurant:
“To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you! This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of the imagination and perfect for low class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”
In another review on a Mochi restaurant, Chu wrote: “Remember: I am Asian. I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.” Chu even praised a movie theatre in one of her latest reviews for not harboring “sketchy crowds.”
The news of Chu’s questionable reviews was brought to the attention of Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, by Camille Lizarribar, the dean of student affairs.
Chu has since issued a written apology to the student body, on the advise from Holloway and other administrators. In her apology, she spoke about the “power of words” and taking “accountability” for things she said.
“My remarks were wrong. There are no two ways about it. Not only were they insensitive in matters related to class and race; they demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community,” Chu wrote in the apology.
Despite her actions, Chu will not be asked to resign from her post any time soon, Holloway said. An email to the Pierson community obtained by ABC News revealed, however, that Head of College Stephen Davis has informed the members of the residential college that Chu had been placed on leave and would be barred from participating in the commencement ceremony or working with the college students in any capacity.
Explaining his decision, Davis wrote it was based on the “multiple reprehensible posts” by Chu that contained “inappropriate and unacceptable language pertaining to matters of class and race”.
He further added that, “additional posts that surfaced compounded the harm of the initial two, and they also further damaged my trust and confidence in Dean Chu’s accountability to me and ability to lead the students of Pierson College.”
Before she was appointed the dean of Pierson College, Chu served seven years as director of the Pan Asian American Community House at the University of Pennsylvania. She also worked as the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students at Dartmouth College in 2015, according to her extensive biography on the Yale University website. It also says one of Chu’s professional goals was to “help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”
She has also published various articles and academic papers on various topics. Her job profile entailed “advising of first-year college students to family, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the experiences of Asian American and Asian adolescents.”
A number of people took to Twitter to express their outrage at Chu’s actions and to protest against the decision by Yale to not fire her.