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March 7 2018

Want to Go to Yale? Skip Out of High School to Protest for Approved Causes

by Charlotte Hays

Want to get into Yale?

Maybe cutting classes to protest the NRA is a good idea then.

Or better, move to San Francisco and participate in "social justice" issues.

Forget belonging to the Latin Club or the History Club.

Yale's senior assistant director of admissions Hannah Mendlowitz makes it clear in a blog that Yale encourages future Yale students to be high school protestors:

“For those students who come to Yale, we expect them to be versed in issues of social justice,” Ms. Mendlowitz writes. “I have the pleasure of reading applications from San Francisco, where activism is very much a part of the culture. Essays ring of social justice issues.” Even if applicants from less-fortunate areas of the country cannot be expected to meet the Bay Area standard, the message is clear. The post is titled “In Support of Student Protests.”

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the CATO Institute, Yale alumnus, and one of our favorite legal writers, raises an interesting question in today's Wall Street Journal:

This endorsement of activism raises a few questions. Would Yale really turn away a brilliant young flutist, chemist or poet who, while solidly educated in history, religion and government, is not specifically “versed in issues of social justice”? What about students who have pursued courses based on great works of the past? Must they be versed in contemporary views of social justice too? Besides, which causes constitute social justice?

Yale’s admissions blog is eagerly read by high-school students who have not yet applied. What should one advise aspiring Yalies who are not versed in—or worse, not zealous for—the Bay Area ideologies that so please the admissions office?

It might be best not to feign progressive political views in hopes of snagging a coveted Yale slot. That would be insincere, after all. But maybe it would be prudent to conceal any contrasting views.

Suppose a student had been deeply influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s “The Mirage of Social Justice.” After reading it, she had concluded social justice does not offer a particularly useful “take” on the moral problems of society, and that other standards—justice toward individuals, protection of personal rights, peace and nonaggression, neutral and impartial application of law—are better.

Now suppose she put that in her Yale application, knowing that screeners would be looking for some indication she was “versed in social justice.” Would it affect her chances of making the cut?

I wonder if Ms. Mendlowitz would support that kind of diversiy.

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IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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