Yale Dean Resigns After Hateful Yelp Reviews Go Public

The former dean called people “white trash,” “low class folks” and “barely educated morons.”

YOUTUBE / YALE DAILY NEWS SCREENSHOT

A Yale University dean has resigned after disparaging remarks she made on the review site Yelp, including calling people “white trash,” “low class folks” and “barely educated morons,” were uncovered.

June Chu served as dean of Pierson College, one of Yale’s residential colleges, from May 2016 until this month. She was initially placed on leave but then chose to leave the position voluntarily.

Chu’s Yelp account has since been deleted, but Yale Daily News posted screenshots of some of the reviews in May.

“To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!” Chu wrote in a review of a Japanese restaurant. She called it ideal “for those low class folks who believe this is a real night out.”

In what was meant to be a positive review of a movie theater Chu describes her shock that seats are not filled with “sketchy crowds.”

“I loved the small theater feel without sketchy crowds (despite it being in new haven) and the seats were roomy and comfortable,” the review reads, in part.

The theater in question is located in New Haven, Conn., as is Yale University. Residents of New Haven are 35.4 percent Black, 31.8 percent white, 27.4 percent Hispanic, 4.6 percent Asian, 3.9 percent two races and less than 1 percent American Indian as well as Native Hawaiian. Chu does not elaborate on what people constitute “sketchy crowds.”

Yale’s undergraduate student body, which consists of about 5,400 students, is 47 percent white, 17 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic, 10 percent non-resident alien, 7 percent Black, 6 percent two or more races, 2 percent unknown and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, according to the school’s College Scorecard.

According to Yale Daily News, the university was initially only aware of the two aforementioned inappropriate reviews, which Chu referred to in an apology email she sent to the residential college community.

The university did not ask her to step down, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway told Yale Daily News: “She’s terribly sorry, and I think she’s doing exactly the right thing by saying ‘I’ve learned from this, I want to stand by all of you and I hope that you’ll stand by me as well.’”

“But other reviews obtained by the News featured provocative comments that were not referenced in Saturday’s email,” the publication reported. “Most of the posts were published after June 2016, after Chu had been appointed dean.”

“I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you,” she said in a review of a mochi store.

In a review of a second movie theater Chu slams the staff as being “barely educated morons”:

“Good lord talk about idiocy and incompetence! Why the hell in this day and age would there be no separate line just for tickets? So what they have is barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese and also try to add $7 plus $7.”

Entertainment Cinemas is located in Seymour, Conn., which has a population that is 87.8 percent white, 6.4 percent Hispanic, 2.6 percent Black, 2.2 percent Asian, 1.4 percent two races and less than one percent American Indian.

Chu indicates in other posts that she has no regard even for her own race. The former dean identifies herself as Chinese or Chinese American in several of her reviews and suggests that this gives her the authority to make some of the remarks that she does.

“Please note: I am Chinese American and typically HATE having Chinese when I’m out,” she said in a review of a Chinese restaurant, which she called “not your typical greasy trashy Chinese joint.”

When reviewing a burrito restaurant she described a conversation she had with an employee, at which time she complained her rice was undercooked. “I am Asian, I know rice,” she reportedly told the worker.

Several days after the Yale Daily News made these reviews public, the school put Chu on leave.

In her initial apology email Chu said the remarks she made “demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community.”

But for some students, the damage was already done.

“These reviews make it clear how Dean Chu thinks about people who are different from her, and how she feels about New Haven, the city all of us call home for a few years,” one student, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Yale Daily News when the screenshots first went public.

Another unidentified student at the time suggested that the then-dean formally apologize to the university.

“Dean Chu is trained in human development and psychology so should clearly understand the gravity of her actions, yet the fact that she would put such things on the Internet shows that she really should not be in a position of advising students,” the student told the publication.

Chu earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology, according to a press release announcing her hiring last year.

Yale made headlines in February when it announced it would rename its Calhoun College due to its namesake having ties to slave ownership and white supremacy. The decision came following student activism, including a widely circulated petition. The petition referenced events on campus they believe demonstrated racial insensitivity, including when members of a fraternity were said to have turned women of color away from a Halloween party.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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15 comments


  • Phillip Seeberg

    This is a learning opportunity for all people who express their opinions on social media. Your thoughts can come back to bite you if you post them online.
    An old expression that I like is that “smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from other peoples’ mistakes”

  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Class prejudice against working-class whites (as well as Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and others) is rampant in academia. It’s the ugly twin of pride in one’s educational achievements; but sometimes it’s just plain snobbery. And if you are white, god forbid you should have the accent of your background, whether Bronx or DownEast or French-Canadian or Italian or Yooper or [horrors!] Southern!

  • Barbara Greaves

    My thoughts on the professors comments are that she should resign. My thoughts on the commentary from Bill Maher using the N word in his comments are that he was not calling anyone by that term, but he was referencing the types of slaves during slavery. Those who experienced physical hard work in the fields as apposed to those who experienced emotional hard work in the homes out of the sun but hearing insults and recriminations from the woman of the house and her children whom these same Black people had to care for. I think Bill Maher is a physically unattractive white man but his humor is appealing and those who scream for his removal should take the context of what he said in its proper place and accept his apology and move on. The protestors should be vocal instead about the many reported and unreported Black people who are being killed for the most senseless reasons. NOTHING is being done to stop this and more’s the pity.

    .

    • Protestors frequently take on multiple causes — one can protest Bill Maher, while continuing to protest the senseless murders of innocents.

  • Another misguided snob believing she is better than others, in other words, she’s an empty shell full of twisted ideologies. She would fit in well with this current administration! Hope she doesn’t end up in any educational system in a leadership position.

  • Chu is a typical racist like most Asians who are just as racist as the white trash she denigrates. As an African American, I’ve experienced just as much racism from hateful, arrogant Asians as I have from their racist white clones.

    In skinning and grinning to earn their “honorary white status” she was mimicking racist white attitudes.

    • Goodness. The prejudice displayed on this message board makes me feel like I’m dining with an Ivy League Dean!

  • I don’t understand why this is news. I mean, none of the UNC faculty or staff has been fired for creating sham classes for athletes. No one has issued an apology to the Duke Lacrosse team. I don’t think the late President of UVA will be working in academia anytime soon. And I’m positive I would have heard something on the news if Janet Napolitano had been criticized for saying that the phrase “I think the most qualified candidate should get the job” hate speech.

    Right now there are 10000 University Admins breathing a collective sigh of relief and hoping that they didn’t “say that out loud now that the untouchables are….yuck…people.”

    My guess is they fired her because shes female and Asian. Elitism at it’s worst!

  • The worst of this is the fact that she had a position of power at an academic institution and she did not have enough common sense to keep insults and personal prejudices out of her online reviews of businesses.

    Reviews should stick to the facts – quality of customer service, food and ambiance, not personal attacks on entire races of people.

    I would not want her responsible for advising students.

  • I found the reviews funny. (Sorry, I did.) When you’re very intelligent, its frustrating going through the world and watching people do dumb things. That’s where she was coming from. Its dumb for a waiter at a burrito joint to argue with her about the rice being undercooked. It is.
    As for her being elitist – well, she IS the dean of an ivy league school. Elitism is the school’s raison d’etat. It exists to educate and gate-keep THE ELITE. If she dedicated her life to egalitarian social betterment, would she be at an Ivy League school? Probably not. Snobbery is pretending to be a social class that you are not, but, perhaps, as a college professor at an ivy league school, she ACTUALLY BELONGS TO a higher social class? And she expects a high level of customer service commensurate with her social class that she is not finding in the working-class New Haven and she is frustrated with that. People here at USC (which is in a working poor section of Los Angeles), express the same frustrations.
    Those of you who are offended, nay, outraged by the US class system are taking it out on someone who just had the temerity to be honest about her feelings. Your outrage is not changing the class system, rather, it is just stifling dialogue and demanding hypocrisy. The hostility that the rich feel towards the rest of us exists, people. This lady was just honest about it. She is being punished for her honesty. We have become a society that punishes people for honestly expressing their opinions.

    • You found them funny? In some circles, I’m sure you’re not alone.

      I’m also sure it’s safe to assume you’re not taking time away from your Ivy League Dean job to make unwelcome comments on a website.

  • Always watching

    Shouldn’t call anyone white trash she said if you’re white trash you might find this place enjoyable excetera excetera. Clearly people making accusations against her are in fact Not educated

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