The Department of Education civil right's office is investigating Yale University after a student from another school filed a Title IX complaint, alleging the Ivy League institution discriminates against men.
Several Yale programs that provide educational assistance, scholarships, and networking opportunities for women are part of the investigation, which was started on April 26, the Yale Daily News reported.
The Title IX complaint was filed by Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, who has no affiliation with Yale and has filed similar complaints against other schools. According to Pekgoz, women are now outpacing men when it comes to attending and graduating from college, therefore there is no longer a need for programs designed specifically for their advancement.
In an interview with Refinery29 Tuesday, Pekgoz said he filed the complaint for "no particular reason," adding, "I thought about going after Harvard, but then I felt that Yale has larger affirmative action programs for women." He cites the fact that Yale's class of 2021 is 52% women as a reason to gradually phase out the programs or open them to men, too.
"I oppose feminism in colleges because women often have special privileges in academia that men do not have. That's probably why male enrollment is so low," he said.
In regards to the complaint, Yale spokesman said to Refinery29 in a statement, "Yale is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in all university programs." The spokesman added that an open investigation "in no way implies that OCR has made a determination with regard to a complaint’s merits. Yale will be responding to OCR."
When asked if he believes initiatives like affirmative action are discriminatory in practice, Pekgoz said he is neither "supportive nor critical," adding that Black and Latinx students are often underrepresented at colleges, so affirmative action makes sense to achieve "balanced representation." But to him, women don't need the help because they are the majority. "Put in other words, it would make much more sense to implement affirmative action for men than for women," he told Refinery29.
Pekgoz's logic, however, doesn't account for students who happen to be women and minorities.
The school was the subject of another OCR investigation last year, after a Yale graduate claimed he was discriminated against because he was a man. The man who filed the complaint wrote an essay that "included a discussion of what might drive someone to commit rape," the Yale Daily News reported. He was also accused of sexual assault by two female students, and eventually put on probation for the remainder of his time at Yale. The paper reports that a total of four men have filed Title IX gender discrimination complaints against the school.
Refinery29 has reached out to the Yale women's groups named in the complaint and will update this story when we hear back.
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