Yale dean placed on leave over "white trash" Yelp reviews

June Chu, Dean of Pierson College, wrote controversial remarks on Yelp reviews of local businesses.

At Yale University, a dean has been placed on leave after writing controversial remarks on her Yelp reviews of local businesses, including calling people who dined at one restaurant "white trash."

Yale dean placed on leave after calling people 'white trash' on Yelp

June Chu, Dean of Pierson College, has been reportedly restricted from her duties at the residential college after several of her past Yelp postings came to light. In one review for a Japanese restaurant, written seven months ago, Chu wrote that going to the restaurant is the "perfect night out for you" if you are "white trash."

"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," she wrote.

In another review posted three months ago for a New Haven mochi eatery, Chu wrote, "Remember: I am Asian. I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you."

In a 2015 review for a burrito restaurant, Chu noted that she had complained to the staff that her rice was undercooked, proclaiming "I am Asian, I know rice."

(For the record, I don't see anything wrong with proclaiming "I am Asian, I know rice.")

The most recent review, written earlier this month, praised a local movie theater for not having "sketchy crowds" despite it being located in the city of New Haven, where the university is located.

Chu has apologized for her Yelp remarks in an email to the residential college community.

"I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another," Chu wrote. "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."

According to Stephen Davis, Head of Pierson College, Chu has been placed on leave and will not be participating in commencement activities or working with students through the end of the academic year.

"Let me clear," Davis wrote. "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."

I'm not going to lie and pretend I don't understand some of the sentiment behind Chu's reviews. But there had to be infinite number of better ways to phrase those sentiments -- especially from someone in a position of moderate influence at an institution like Yale. I mean really, you're gonna let some shit you wrote on Yelp take you down? That's embarrassing as hell. Oof.

But ultimately, this incident serves as a reminder of how irritating Yelp reviews can be.

More here: Screenshots surface of insensitive Yelp reviews by Pierson College dean

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