Once again proving there's no tragedy so unthinkable that college administrators can't draw inaccurate conclusions from it, Yale University last week banned the use of realistic weaponry onstage in college-sponsored plays. Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg, who made the move in response to the Virginia Tech killings, said over the weekend that the ban was a way "to think of the people who might be affected by seeing real-life weapons." Trachtenberg also shot herself in the foot, so to speak, by dismissing students who had protested the ban: "I think people should start thinking about other people rather than trying to feel sorry for themselves and thinking that the administration is trying to thwart their creativity."
Now it's true that the Yale Daily News story is full of the type of quotes from outraged undergrads we blush to recognize from our days Fighting the Power in the drama department. "Calling for an end to violence onstage does not solve the world's suffering: It merely sweeps it under the rug," declared Sarah Holdren ('08) in a pre-show speech. (And, oh, that photo of Sarah in full costume! Ten years from now, she'll be as sorry that's on the Internet as we are about the photo of us in women's pants from our college theater's "Gender Blender" party.) But it's also indisputably true that Trachtenberg's policy was totally moronic. Yale rescinded the ban on realistic stage weapons this week.