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Yale dean defends student use of a term some found racist, citing free speech

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The dean of the Yale Law School said administrators made mistakes in how they handled a controversial email invitation to a campus party.

In September, two student groups used the term “trap house” to describe a party they were hosting. The term originates in drug culture, and it’s part of the name of a popular political podcast.

Some students complained to the college administration about what they saw as a racist term. An associate dean originally condemned the e-mail as “containing pejorative and racist language.” They drafted an apology letter and urged the student who sent the email to sign it, according to the Yale Daily News.

After an administrative review, Dean Heather Gerken said students need to make their own decisions, and that free speech is the cornerstone of every academic community.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.