Yale freshman apologizes for comments

By on October 30, 2003

I would like to start out by apologizing. I never meant to hurt anyone, and the article was not intended as a sweeping, conclusive opinion on Quinnipiac. It was proposed, written, and published as something that was amusing and hopefully a little thought provoking.

Assumptions about Quinnipiac students, however off-base (as I know for a fact that they are), do exist.

I completely understand the shuttle is meant to save lives. My main regret in the article is not emphasizing how truly important having an institution like the shuttle is for preventing the tragedy of accidents resulting from drunk driving.

I know, too, that the kids who come on the shuttles only want to have fun.

My other regret is the abandonment of my original title, “You Down With The QP, Yeah You Know Me” in favor of the obviously moreoffensive one that replaced it. All I can say on that point is that it was changed without my knowledge, and I hope you believe me.

The article was just a narrative, exploring the seemingly strange institution of the shuttle from a Yalies point of view. That’s all. I know that the whole idea seems elitist. Perhaps I wasn’t direct enough about it, but I thought that the fact that I called my whole excursion as “self-important elitism” would show that I recognized the silliness of what I was doing and what Yalies preconceived notions were.

I honestly thought that the shuttle ride would be fun, funny andmemorable.

Taking the shuttle is something that Yalies often laugh about doing, so I figured a lot of kids would find it interesting to read an article about someone actually doing it. My final opinion about Quinnipiac is not confused. I know, and I learned, that preconceived opinions about the school are ridiculous. While I know the first part of the article doesn’t glow with praise for the school, it is not my opinion of the school. I was outlining, in admittedly exaggerated terms, what the common opinions are (again, however ludicrous). I didn’t mean for the first part of the article to be taken seriously and I think that the language reflects that.

I am really sorry if people were offended. It really was not my intention. I think, however, that it is also important to be able to take a step back and laugh at our own lives. There was no bitterness, no cynicism. I’m I don’t dislike anyone, especially Quinnipiac students. I wrote this article for a Yale audience about an experience that I had. I wrote what I saw, and I hopefully didn’t try to represent it as anything more than that. I didn’t make anything up. What message there was in the article, I think, clearly point in the direction of showing the ridiculousness of preconceived notions, towards Quinnipiac students, Yale students, or anybody. The reaction that I was going for was certainly not one of defensiveness and anger.

Though I can see how the article can be viewed as shortsighted, I don’t think that, as a whole, it is. I am not trying to perpetuate stereotypes, but the opposite.

After reader Tyler Tessier’s editorial and speaking with him on the phone, I realized that what I wanted to say wasn’t received as I had intended it to be. He said that he thought most people had never finished the article because of their anger. That was not my intention either. In order to express how I felt, I had to take the reader through my night. I had to explain why I was there and what was going on. That is really all I was trying to do.

I have received some very interesting emails from concerned students, and I think sharing some of what they had to say will help dispel at least some of the negative reaction towards my article.

After raising serious concerns,Erin Gallagher said she had reevaluated her position after reading my response to her email (which looks very similar to this response). She said, “I am actually really appreciative that you clarified things with me. I responded because of the outburst of anger I have been hearing about this article. I, myself, was actually amused with this article.”

Another student, who said that he plans to write a companion piece, “The Road to Somewhere (a.k.a. Yale),” said, “Seriously though I am glad you took the time out to write this piece. Hopefully it will begin to change the perception of Quinnipiac Students at Yale. I will do what I can in the coming weeks to do the same here.”

I don’t mean by including these statements to say in any way that the concerns of the editorial and the school at large are not valid. They are. I recognize that I may have irresponsibly used language that was too strong.

However, I think these statements do show that my article, when read the way I hoped it would be read, is not mean-spirited or bigoted, but exactly the opposite.

My hope is that this response has helped show that I regard the editorial as entirely understandable and that I took your concerns very much to heart. I do, however, think that it is a bit unfair to me. I also hope that many of you will take the time to re-read my article, and hopefully come to a different conclusion about my intentions, my wording, and my presentation. I truly enjoyed being on your campus.

I hope you trust my sincerity when I say that I meant no harm and that I am not here to judge. If you feel that my explanation is not adequate, then I hope that you can forgive my error while recognizing that my irresponsibility was not intended.

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