Greenbelt Interfaith News
    U.S. Brief

    September 25, 1997

    Jewish Students Protest Yale's Housing Policy
    Greenbelt Interfaith News

    Five Orthodox Jewish students are protesting Yale University's requirement that freshmen and sophomores live on campus, reports New York Newsday. Sophomore Jeremy Hershman refused to live in the university dormitories last year, saying that he found dormitory life immoral. Among other problems, he says, he discovered that men and women mingled in the building at all hours, even in the bathrooms. Last year, he paid the university's mandatory $6,850 residency fee; this year, he and the other students have refused to do so. Their families have hired an attorney to press their case.

    Yale spokeswoman Marcia Ryan mentioned several instances where the university has gone out of its way to accommodate the religious beliefs of Jewish students. She said that the university will not allow the Orthodox students live off campus because "we think it's a precious part of the Yale undergraduate education to be exposed" to students of different backgrounds. "Diversity at Yale is definitely one of the big pluses," responded Mr. Hershman. "There's plenty of room for it in classrooms, group projects. I just don't get why we have to bump into diverse women in the bathroom."

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson