I Say Yale Shouldn't Create Problems
“Self-infantilization.” This was the term my wealthy, white, male friend at Harvard used to describe the eruption of emotion and activism at Yale following the SAE and Halloween email incidents. Many publications I regularly read — the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post— seemed to agree with my friend. Even I began to internalize this a bit — perhaps I would be a baby if I spoke out about bigotry among frat boys or white people who love putting on blackface, especially during Halloween. Perhaps I shouldn’t express my shock at the contrast of Yale’s white professors and its black cooks and janitors. And it would be really childish if I dared to complain about my meager, reasonable, Student Income Contribution. It’s not a big deal: I just have to sacrifice a few hours out of my already hectic week— hours I could spend studying or researching or doing YMUN or building relationships— at some monotonous job. After all, I’m sure the several dozen dollars I rake in each week are what sustains this university, never mind its multi-billion dollar endowment. I’d surely be self-infantilizing if I asked why my classmates born into mega-rich families, some richer than all the families I knew back home combined, don’t have to work for Yale at all. Life isn’t fair, they say. But it should be, I answer. They say Yale shouldn’t have to remedy society’s problems- well I say Yale shouldn’t create them. Though I value hard work and self-sufficiency, I should not have to validate my middle-class presence here with a job.