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Truth is Powerful

Difficult Conversations: Navigating Politics at Yale and Online


Valerie Pavilonis

On March 12, Ryan Schiller ’22 woke up from a nap around 11 p.m. to a random ping on his phone from the app, Clubhouse. The social network, which relies on audio-chatting in themed chatrooms similar to large conference calls, notified him of a conversation with Yale-affiliated moderators entitled “Abolish the Ivy League.”

Schiller joined the chatroom, where he was invited to introduce himself to the crowd of listeners as a Yale student. In his introduction, Schiller says he briefly spoke about his co-created app, Librex — a mobile app created in September 2019 that allows Ivy League students to anonymously discuss campus culture. About five minutes after his introduction, Schiller says a few other current Yale students came to the chatroom to talk about the app’s limitations, in what would develop into a more than 2-hour debate in front of more than 800 listeners. At the helm of this conversation were questions regarding the first amendment, censorship and if college students can establish meaningful relationships with peers across the political spectrum.

All eight students who spoke with the News mentioned discussion as an effective tool for fostering relationships across political lines. But four students were wary about political […]

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