This year, the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions accepted a larger crop of students than ever before. Regrettably, I see only one possible explanation for this trend, and it should trouble each and every member of our company of scholars: Yale’s admissions officers have begun to favor students who are tall, husky, and generally built better than I am.
Come next fall, our campus will be overrun with new students, many, I presume, measuring at least seven feet tall and boasting wingspans to rival that of the adult albatross. They will have robust facial features and heads of superior girth. Walking among such gargantuan pre-frosh will make the average undergraduate miserably insecure about his or her physical frame. This could have devastating effects on campus morale and social dynamics—not to mention my own personal confidence. I am a respectably-sized adult male, somewhere between five and six feet tall. But compared to the Class of 2021, I might as well be a puny katydid, quivering on the ground, just waiting to be squashed under the foot of an apathetic yet burly underclassman.
This concerns me.
Furthermore, our administration must consider the severe infrastructural overhaul necessary to accommodate these colossal newbies. In the coming years, a significant portion of Yale’s endowment must be devoted to purchasing larger furniture to support their hefty haunches, sturdier and longer beds amenable to their elephantine limbs, and more basketball hoops. Even if Yale chooses to open its doors to these teenage behemoths, many of them simply will not fit through.
Most worrisome of all are the ethical implications of this prevailing admissions criterion. Do certain high schoolers deserve the chance to attend a prestigious university just because they were fortunate enough to be born into the bodies of demigods? It depends who you ask. If you ask a demigod, they will probably say yes. If you ask me, however, the answer is absolutely not. While an imposing physique can be a powerful asset in the fields of politics and lumberjacking, assigning merit to an applicant’s bulk constitutes an inexcusable departure from the moral framework upon which Yale’s admissions philosophy rests. It is the mission of a college to train our generation’s brightest students, not its biggest—to cultivate knowledge, not mass.
I can only hope that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions realizes its grave mistake before it is too late. Yale must strive to maintain a holistic admissions philosophy that favors students of outstanding character, intellect, and spirit, not just students of outstanding physical magnitude.
Let’s be honest: size matters, but it isn’t everything.