Yale Dean Placed on Leave for Calling Folks ‘White Trash’ on Yelp

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A dean from Yale University has been placed on leave and will not participate in commencement activities for what the school terms “reprehensible” comments in several Yelp reviews.


June Chu, dean of Pierson College, was officially reprimanded by Pierson Head Stephen Davis this week, according to the Yale Daily News.

Last Saturday, Chu wrote to the Pierson community apologizing for using insensitive language in Yelp reviews of local businesses—referring to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” in one, and talking crap about New Haven’s “lack of a view” in another.

“Let me be clear,” Davis wrote in an email to students. “No one, especially those in trusted positions of educating young people, should denigrate or stereotype others, and that extends to any form of discrimination based on class, race, religion, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”


He added that her “reprehensible posts” are “deeply harmful to the community fabric.”

Davis initially defended Davis but reversed course in light of new evidence. The Yale Daily News published nearly a dozen screenshots of additional derogatory reviews from Chu’s account after the initial posts came to light.


QZ reports that Chu holds a counseling role with the hundreds of students in Pierson, the school’s most populous residential college, and her biography says that she seeks “to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”


Chu is a career academic with a Ph.D. in social psychology. Maybe she should stick with the day job and fall back on the restaurant reviews.

Read more at the Yale Daily News and QZ.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.