The dean of Pierson College at Yale University has been placed on leave after calling people “white trash” and “low class” in a series of insensitive Yelp reviews.
June Chu has also been barred from participating in commencement activities this semester over what Head of College Stephen Davis described as “reprehensible” comments, Yale Daily News reported.
“Let me be clear,” Mr. Davis wrote in a statement Thursday. “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.”
The Daily News published screenshots of 10 Yelp reviews Ms. Chu left dating back to July 2015.
“To put it quite simply: If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!” she wrote in a review of a Japanese restaurant. “This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of any imagination and perfect for those low class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”
“Remember: I am Asian,” she wrote in a review of a mochi restaurant. “I know mochi. These are not good and overpriced. They are ice cream mochi which are small in size and easily become freezer burned if not stored well … I guess if you were a white person who has clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.”
Ms. Chu, who since deleted her Yelp account, apologized in an email to students Saturday.
“I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” she wrote, the Daily News reported. “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.”
Mr. Davis initially defended Ms. Chu, saying she had only acknowledged two “troubling” reviews, the Daily News reported. The decision to place her on leave came after administrators found “multiple reprehensible” posts, Mr. Davis said Thursday.
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