Friday, July 29, 2022

Yale Law students to vicious even for Yale...

Yale Law School Axes Student Listserv That Energized Protests and Scandals

Ivy League law school will force students to write physical messages on a bulletin board after the listserv turned toxic

 • July 28, 2022 12:15 pm

After a year of high-profile scandals, Yale Law School is retiring an all-student listserv that became a breeding ground for progressive activism and online pile-ons, citing the value of "face-to-face" interaction.

If students want to "debate important questions," the dean of Yale Law School Heather Gerken announced in an email on Wednesday, they can post on a physical bulletin board in the law school’s hallway.

"Debate and dialogue are the touchstones of an academic institution," Gerken said. The new forum will force students to "take time to reflect before posting, a habit that lawyers and members of a scholarly community must practice."

Gerken’s announcement caps an annus horribilis for the Ivy League law school, which has seen near-nonstop scandals since 2021. The listserv played a role in many of those scandals: It facilitated a week-long pressure campaign against the Yale Law Journal over its alleged racism, as well as a public shaming campaign against Trent Colbert, the second-year law student who used the term "trap house" in an email. It also helped gin up outrage about a bipartisan panel on civil liberties hosted in March, which ended up needing police protection after hundreds of protesters disrupted the event.

"The listserv was a cesspool," said Zach Austin, who served as the president of the Yale Federalist Society this past year. "Dean Gerken’s rhetoric is spot on: I hope students, left and right alike, take it to heart."

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