Yale dean on leave after ‘white trash’ Yelp reviews

News flash: Things you say online can be used against you.

No, this time we’re not talking about Anthony Wiener, the former New York lawmaker who on Friday pleaded guilty to sexting with a teen and could go to prison.

The latest instance of an official getting in trouble involves a Yale University dean whose boasting about her elite status on Yelp led to the discovery that not only is she a prolific Yelper, she’s also a mean Yelper.

What’s wrong with being mean? Well, when your bio on Yale’s website says you seek “to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities,” it might be a problem.

One of June Chu’s Yelp reviews, of a Japanese restaurant, starts out this way: “To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!” She disparaged the restaurant as inauthentic and “perfect for those low class folks who believe this is a real night out.”

In another review, Chu, who is dean of Pierson College, a residential college at Yale, called movie theater employees “barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese and also try to add $7 plus $7.”

Students captured screenshots of several of Chu’s Yelp reviews, according to the Yale Daily News.

Everyone’s a critic nowadays, but Chu’s outspokenness has cost her. She won’t be participating in graduation studies next week, and has been placed on leave.

Stephen Davis, the head of Pierson, reportedly wrote an email in which he called Chu’s comments “deeply harmful to the community fabric.” He has not said whether Chu will return.

Chu, who has a Ph.D. in social psychology from UC Davis, reportedly wrote an apology to students last week: “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.”

Will she be yapping on Yelp or other social media again soon? Her Yelp account is no more.


Photo: A Yelp logo in neon on a wall at the company’s Manhattan offices in New York in 2011. (Kathy Willens/AP)


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  • ima_uzer2

    I would say “In Vino Veritas”, but I don’t know that drinking had anything to do with this. It’s Yale, for crying out loud. “Elitism” is everywhere there.