Editors’ Note: The Argus editorial staff would like to apologize for the publication of the opinion piece titled “Wesleyan v. Wellesley: ‘Rather Dead than Coed?’” on Tuesday, Oct. 11. We failed to uphold our duty to ensure that articles, op-eds or otherwise, do not unfairly target individuals or groups. Many of the author’s assertions in this piece were unfounded, and we apologize to those who were hurt or offended by them.

The article has been taken down from the Argus website and replaced by a statement from the author.


Author response posted 10/19 2:05 p.m.

Dear Readers,

I would first like to say that, like any opinion piece published in The Argus, “Wesleyan v. Wellesley: ‘Rather Dead than Coed?’” does not reflect the views of the general student body at Wesleyan or the newspaper’s staff. I apologize to the University for causing unnecessary animosity between liberal arts institutions.

I sincerely regret the generalizations I made in this piece and apologize to students and alumni of women’s colleges who do not share these experiences. My intention for the article was to showcase some of the stereotypes I encountered as a student during my first two years at Bryn Mawr and to explain why a women’s college was not right for me.

Additionally, Wellesley is mentioned in the title of the article because the two schools are often confused with each other due to their similarity in nomenclature. However, I did not intend to extend this comparison to the broader experiences of attending a single-sex and co-ed education.  I did not aim to incite a debate over which school is “better,” nor did I intend to attack any specific institution.

While I should not have generalized beyond my own experiences, these assertions were based on incidents that I witnessed during my time at Bryn Mawr.

The bigger issue for me was how men viewed Bryn Mawr women as a result of our single-sex experience. What initially appeared to be quirks that were not necessarily representative of the majority of Bryn Mawr students nevertheless become a starting point for Haverford and Swarthmore students to ridicule us.  We were looked down upon for our lower liberal arts college ranking and mocked for wanting to study at their institutions.  At Bryn Mawr, my fellow hallmates were harangued by a female Swarthmore student at a party (“You don’t go here, do you? Oh, let me guess—Bryn Mawr!”).  I was told by another male student that he intended to take a class at Bryn Mawr “because it was an easy A.”  It was through degrading experiences like these that were imposed on Bryn Mawr as a result of reinforced stereotypes that I came to believe the self-segregation of women’s colleges had backfired.

The majority of commenters on this article are alumni and students and women’s colleges who adamantly assert that no such incidents occur at their institutions. Perhaps I was one of an unfortunate few at Bryn Mawr to witness events like this on a regular basis. However, many of my classmates at the time told me they also felt marginalized by the experience of attending an all-girls school, and I know many who transferred as well.

I do not dispute anyone’s satisfaction or happiness with her single-sex college experience. If my description contradicts your women’s college experience, I can only say I am envious.  I intended to highlight a side of the women’s college experience that is less often portrayed. These negative stereotypes do exist and continue to be perpetuated and  I condemn them as much as any commenter.

I came to Wesleyan because it was a good fit for me.  I remain confident that I would have received a similarly exceptional education had I graduated from Bryn Mawr; the only change is that I am finally satisfied with my college experience.

I am glad this issue has brought about a public discussion, and have learned a lot from this experience as well. Again, I apologize for the generalizations made in my original piece, but I continue to stand by my opinion about same-sex education and invite readers to critique my arguments, not my personal character.

  • Gmailkj wefj

    i’m sorry we didn’t like your bloody tampons here.

  • Wellesley 1990

    The plural form of “alum” for a group of women is “alumnae.”

    I am sorry stray remarks from naive college kids caused you so much distress during your stay at Bryn Mawr. Somehow I would not think to solve that problem by transferring schools – pick your poison, right? I hope you are able to become more secure and self assured before you enter the world; for surely much harsher epithets will be slung (as they are toward us all) when you hit the pavement. You will need far more than a Wesleyan diploma to protect you from the vagaries of Real Life. The shield I recommend is: a thicker skin.

  • is that all you got?

    I cannot believe this is your apology…all I can say is that you should know better. “It’s like, the rules of feminism!” Good luck with the rest of your life!

    XOXO
    bmc girl

    P.S. I know you love this, so I’ll shout it just for you Vicky Chu- Death to the Patriarchy!!! ;)

  • WC ’11

    As a proud Wellesley grad, I can truly say that I am offended by this article. No where else will you find such an engaging community outside of Wellesley. The women here are encouraged every day to follow their dreams, whether to become a nurse, or schoolteacher or even stay at home parent. You should consider yourself lucky that no Wellesley grads hold administrative positions, or else you’d find yourself in trouble!

  • you can go shave your back now

    A lot of my friends among the 7 sisters community did not appreciate this article, and what stereotypes/judgements it placed on our institutions. To continue with the Mean Girls trend, do you Ms. Chu, remember the part where Cady tries to blink and make the fighting girls disappear? Sorry, but just like in that instance, you cannot blink and make this go away. This apology may suffice for you, but it appears to be superficial and shallow like the article itself. Unfortunately this will follow you around for the rest of your life, and all I ask is that you learn from this experience. Actually, could I request an apology for the apology letter you already gave?

    Thanks, and also, you forgot that some girls use pads instead of tampons. Oops!

  • BMC ’12

    Dear Vicky,

    I have an anecdote for you that seems pertinent to your “article”… if we can even call it that.

    One night during my sophomore year my friends and I exited my dorm room to find a rolled up panty liner on the floor perfectly equidistant between my door and my friend’s door. Perfectly equidistant. You can imagine, our confusion, horror and then… hysteria. Instead of recoiling in disgust (because let’s face it, who does this on purpose?) my friend and I proceeded to collapse on the floor crying in laughter. How absurd! Our plan of action was to take two rain boots (my friend and I with one each) and wedged it between the toes and booked it down the hallway to throw it away. (The adhesive side of the liner stuck to one of the boots, so we just threw it away temporarily). The whole thing was so ridiculous the only thing to do was to laugh.

    This was an isolated incident and most certainly a bizarre mistake and no, I didn’t let it faze me enough to plague my experience at Bryn Mawr.

    I tell you this story to show a difference between you and I, Vicky.
    Shit gets weird sometimes. You have to laugh.

    Choosing a women’s college is the difficult, unpopular decision. We defend it every day. We are confronted with constant ignorance and judgment and frankly, the best thing to do is keep your head up and be confident in your decision.

    I’m sorry that such shallow and ridiculous incidents had such an impact on you. I’m sorry that you felt it necessary to bash an entire institution, community and ideology. Your arguments are empty and only prove you to be insecure.

    I also see that you wrote a letter for the Bi-Co News about your decision to transfer a few years ago and now again last week. It appears that you have been haunted by this decision for quite some time. I hope you find peace with all of the sad insecurities that are at the bottom of your ignorance and lack of eloquence.

    But for now though, learn to laugh. It will make it easier.

  • BMC

    “If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way for false statements by intention. And a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime…” –D.L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

  • Ohhhboyy

    So, when you transferred to Wesleyan, “Did you have an awesome time? Did you drink awesome shooters, listen to awesome music, and then just sit around and soak up each others awesomeness?”

    Also, these one liners would have been perfect for an apology if you had just left it at that. Here’s some advice… “I didn’t mean for this to happen!” “And I’m sorry for telling everyone about it.” “And I’m sorry for repeating it now.” “I couldn’t help myself!”
    “Hey, how was school?”
    “Fine.”
    “Were people nice?”
    “No.”
    “Did you make any friends?”
    “Yes.”

    INSTEAD you chose this route:
    “To find out that everyone hates me? I don’t care!” “I didn’t say anything.”

    (source cited- Mean Girls the best movie ever)

  • Anonymous

    For the record, every bathroom at my women’s college was immaculate. Even in the dorms, the worst we ever dealt with was hair left in the showers or blobs of toothpaste in the sink. Which I assume are pretty normal for any bathroom shared by 20+ women. The bathrooms in our classroom buildings were even nicer–possibly the cleanest I’ve ever seen outside of Sweden.

    And yet, if I want to see and smell used feminine products that haven’t made it into the trash can, I can point you to a women’s bathroom at my co-ed graduate institution that always stinks of menses, where I saw a rolled-up pad lying behind a toilet seat just last week.

    So much for stereotypes…

  • Anonymous

    “The bigger issue for me was how men viewed Bryn Mawr women as a result of our single-sex experience.”

    Yup. Sounds like a women’s college is not for you.

    But I disagree with the decision to take your article down.

  • LZ

    To the Argus:
    You are making a mistake by retracting Vicky Chu’s column. You now have 400 comments referring to an article that the public can no longer view. Ms. Chu’s piece, a column clearly designated as an “opinion” piece, served its function perfectly: it stimulated discussion. Some of it has been snarky and unworthy of the school affiliations of the commenters, but much of it has improved understanding across the coed/all-women’s divide. Furthermore, Ms. Chu’s experiences are her own. It is completely valid for her to cite these experiences and anecdotes in defense of her larger point — that she finds the coeducational experience at Wesleyan superior to her experience a all-woman’s Bryn Mawr. These are not improper generalizations — her observations are evidence in support of her views. People are free to disagree with her and offer alternative views of life at women’s schools — and they have. Others have affirmed her views. But, the Argus does a disservice to itself and the community it serves by retracting Ms. Chu’s column. Like a letter to the editor or opinion editorial, it purports only to represent the views of one person based on that person’s experience. Let it stand for itself in the public arena.

    • Wellesley 1990

      Perhaps they fear for Ms. Chu’s safety. Or maybe they’re just worried busloads of ladies from Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, Smith and Mt. H will come throw their bloody tampons all over campus.

  • The Juggernaut

    Lesson: Never capitulate to feminists. You can see from the comments posted since you published the retraction that the rate and viciousness of the posts has not abated. Capitulating to feminists is like negotiating with Hitler — you can’t win. That is why Rush Limbaugh calls them “femi-nazis”. They smell blood in the water now and each new posts proves Vicky Chu’s point. Who would want to go to school with these people?

    • HC

      Bravo Vicky! Shame on the Argus.

      • Ron Medley

        I have to agree, somewhat reluctantly. My sister went to a Seven Sister and I usually stick up for them as a group. But, is it my imagination, or does it seem incredibly easy to become a social washout at Bryn Mawr?

    • JP Reilly

      Let’s see, Hillary Clinton is the US Secretary of State and Rush Limbaugh is some fat drug addict who spouts hate on the radio. H.m.m.m.

      I know who I want in my corner in a crisis.

    • BMC ’12

      Dude, don’t compare anyone to a Nazi. It is not an argument and in doing so, you stomp on the deaths of millions. Not acceptable.

  • JPReilly

    From your explanation here, it would seem that you were unhappy with the way people outside of Bryn Mawr treated you. Now more than a year later, you still seem to need to revisit the issue and attack not the perpetrators but Bryn Mawr.

    Has Wesleyan given you nothing deeper to think about? I find that hard to believe.

    You turned a page in your life but it appears you need to return and reconfirm, “yes, I did the right thing and for all of these reasons.”

    Something is haunting you, Miss Chu, and it sound an awful lot like “buyers remorse.”

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