Yale University Dean Apologizes for Demeaning ‘Low Class,’ ‘White Trash’ on Yelp

The view across Hewitt Quadrangle of Commons, Yale University / Facebook


A Yale University dean apologized Saturday after a series of her angry, over-the-top Yelp reviews became public, reviews that critics called elitist and classist.

Pierson College Dean June Chu posted a series of critical reviews of local establishments in New Haven, Conn., from her personal account. Screenshots of the reviews began circulating among students a few months ago, the Yale Daily News reports.

Chu, a social psychologist, evidently did not care for the food at Koto Japanese Restaurant. "To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!" she wrote.

"This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of of the imagination and perfect for low class folks who believe this is a real night out," the one-star review continued. "Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese."

The Mochi Store did not fare much better, with Chu writing that the store would be passable for any "white person who has no clue what mochi is."

A review of a nearby movie theatre likewise denounced the presence of "barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese" and grumbled about having to "remain in line with all the other idiots."

Chu also complained about an argument she had with an employee behind the counter at her gym. "I don't care if you would ‘lose your job' (I am sure McDonald's would hire you)," she said.

When the reviews came to light, Chu apologized in an email to students of her residential college.

"I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another," Chu wrote. "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," she added.

Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said that neither he nor Pierson Head Stephen Davis have asked for Chu's resignation.

"She's terribly sorry, and I think she's doing exactly the right thing by saying, ‘I've learned from this, I want to stand by all of you, and I hope that you'll stand by me as well,'" Holloway told the Yale Daily News.

Still, some students are not satisfied with Chu's apology and think she needs to do more.

"I will never be able to look at her in the same way. She needs to formally apologize in person to the college," one anonymous student in Pierson said. "Dean Chu is trained in human development and psychology, so should clearly understand the gravity of her actions, yet the fact that she would put such things on the Internet shows that she really should not be in a position of advising students."

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at griswold@freebeacon.com

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