Yale: Too Much Horsing Around

Yaleman.jpg

Mary Miller, an art history professor and the dean of Yale College, is apparently no damn fun. On Monday IvyGate’s Daniel D’Addario reports that Miller sent out an e-mail to campus expressing her annoyance with staged class pranks:

As many of you have read in the Yale Daily News and some of you have experienced directly in your own classes, a number of staged disruptions have taken place in lecture courses this year, increasing in frequency and rudeness in the past weeks. In a university dedicated first and foremost to teaching and learning, such intrusions cannot — and will not — be tolerated. Faculty members have the right to teach in their own classrooms without interference, and students enrolled in these courses have the right to be able to listen to lectures and participate appropriately without disruption. Any infringement of the right of an audience, such as a classroom of students, to listen to a lecture is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Class pranks at Yale are apparently fairly common. The Yale Daily News reports that campus pranks are often occur in large introduction courses as part of initiation rituals for campus social groups. Several professors complained to Miller, prompting her e-mail.

The dean of undergraduate education at Yale said the he wasn’t aware that any class disruptions this semester had actually resulted in disciplinary action. Disciplinary action is sort of difficult to enact, however, if the student can’t be identified because he is, say, wearing a gorilla suit.

The Huffington Post reports that:

Art history professor Alexander Nemerov’s class has been disrupted three times in one semester by jokesters, including a student in a gorilla suit who offered the teacher a banana.

“This is certainly not why I came to Yale,” Nemerov told the Daily News. “I am very serious when I say it mocks the central purpose of the university.”

Whatever, grumpy. No one said you had to take the banana. Maybe there’s an open position you can find at a more serious school (like, say, Liberty University-no pranks tolerated there) if that’s more to your liking.[Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer