Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Yale dean placed on leave for derogatory restaurant reviews

Yale dean placed on leave for derogatory restaurant reviews

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.

Chu did not immediately return phone and email messages Thursday seeking comment. Chu has since deleted her Yelp account, but the Daily News published screenshots of several reviews she wrote.

Chu was appointed Pierson's dean in May 2016 after serving as an assistant dean of undergraduate students at Dartmouth College and before that as director of the Pan Asian American Community House at the University of Pennsylvania.

In one restaurant review Chu remarked, "I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi (a Japanese rice cake) is, this would be fine for you".

On Saturday, she wrote to students that she was wrong to make the remarks.

"There are no two ways about it", she wrote.

Chu will not participate in commencement activities or work with students through the end of the academic year, according to an email Pierson Head of College Stephen Davis sent to students Thursday morning.

In 2015, she complained about "barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese" at a nearby movie theater where she hated waiting "in line with all the other idiots".

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While it's unclear whether Chu will ultimately lose her job, the incident will "make it hard for her to keep working here in the same capacity", student Darby Mowell told the paper, adding that Chu has always had a strong personality and opinions.

'To put it quite simply: If you are white trash, this is the ideal night out for you!' Chu wrote in a review of a Japanese restaurant. Side note: "employees are Chinese, not Japanese".

Chu wrote to her students on Saturday admitting she made poor choices.

Davis said that he originally thought Chu had only written two Yelp reviews that contained "inappropriate and unacceptable language pertaining to matters of class and race" and had asked the community to envision "a way forward". "I know Mochi. These are not good and overpriced..."

Davis wrote that he found "multiple reprehensible" posts authored by Chu, leading to his decision, noted the Daily News.

Many Pierson students, however, were far less impressed than Holloway with Chu's mea culpa, saying they've lost respect for her not only because of the offensive nature of her comments, but also because she demonstrated such poor judgment in making them.

Chu holds a counseling role to the hundreds of students in her residential college, and her biography says she seeks "to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities".

A number of people took to Twitter to express their outrage at Chu's actions and to protest against the decision by Yale to not fire her.

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