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Yale University Dean Apologizes for Controversial Yelp Reviews

The reviews were circulating around the Yale community for months until it was brought to the school’s attention

Shutterstock / aradaphotography

A college-wide email was released on January 30 announcing Chu’s “Yelp Elite” status.

June Chu, dean of Pierson College at Yale University, was recently under fire from the student body after screenshots of controversial Yelp reviews of restaurants in the New Haven, Connecticut, area surfaced.

Screenshots of reviews were obtained by Yale Daily News, since Chu’s account has since been deleted.

In one review of Koto Japanese Restaurant, Chu wrote, “To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you! This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of the imagination and perfect for low class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”

Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, told Yale Daily News that the reviews were brought to his attention by the dean of student affairs, Camille Lizarribar. After advisement from Holloway and other administrators, Chu sent an email apologizing to the student body.

“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.”

Despite the incident, Holloway said he hasn’t asked Chu to resign from her position.

“She’s terribly sorry, and I think she’s doing exactly the right thing by saying ‘I’ve learned from this, I want to stand by all of you and I hope that you’ll stand by me as well,’” he said.


To read about the worst Yelp reviews of the best restaurants in America, click here.