It’s been all over the news for the past few days that two Brown University fraternities have been sanctioned as a result of instances of sexual assault that took place on their premises. (One, Pi Kappa Psi, is the same frat where a female student tested positive for GHB after being drugged at an unregistered party in October.) The less publicized and more widespread disciplinary action, however, affects all students outside of Greek life: Brown has banned any residential events serving alcohol, whether in frats, special program houses, or regular dorms. Brown’s reply, from anonymous comments to an official editorial board response, has been one of skepticism and dissatisfaction.
Happy 2015, guys. Now that we’re collectively, if slowly, waking up from our post-holiday daze, it’s time to start getting back in touch with the crazy shit your peers got up to while you were sleeping. Ranging from deadly serious crimes to seriously unfunny jokes, here’s a taste of winter in the Ivy League. In order of descending gravity:
- A Princeton graduate has been indicted for his father’s murder. Thomas Gilbert, P’09, allegedly killed his father, who was the founder of a hedge fund, by staging a suicide while his mother was out of the apartment (he got her to leave by asking her to buy him a sandwich). Gothamist claims that Gilbert Jr. – a 30 year old man – was provoked by a cut in his allowance from $600 to $400 a month.
- The complaint filed by 23 Columbia and Barnard students back in April has finally been answered: Columbia University is officially under investigation for violations of Title IX and Title II. The lesser-known federal Title II deals with cases of discrimination based on ability, while 2014′s buzzword Title IX addresses equal treatment in regards to gender. Barnard College is under a separate Title IX investigation.
- If you thought Dartmouth has been suspiciously quiet of embarrassing scandals lately, think again. 64 Dartmouth students have been charged with cheating in – get this – an Ethics class. Most of them will be suspended for a semester. More specifically, the class was a “sports ethics course targeted at student athletes struggling with academics.” We are sunbathing in the irony.
- UPenn frat Phi Delta Theta decided to send out a digital Christmas card to spread holiday cheer this season. They also spread racism, since their card included a couple dozen white men plus a black female blow-up sex doll. The frat publicly apologized for the “act of poor judgement,” and insisted that the blow-up doll was supposed to be Beyonce, which of course no longer makes it the sexual objectification of a black woman anymore, since it’s Beyonce. Meanwhile, BroBible just didn’t get why everyone’s panties were in such a twist over the situation. Phi Delta Theta has since then been suspended.
- To lighten things up, here are some photos from the 2015 “Men of the Vet School” Cornell calendar. “Great-looking men and adorable animals” apparently make for a “unique and special dynamic” in this photo series of shirtless guys parading around with puppies and tractors. Yep. Special.
- And finally, a beleaguered young Princeton freshman is bravely calling out the microaggressions perpetrated against those who pronounce their “wh”s as “hw”s. For those who don’t know what we or he are talking about, think Family Guy’s “cool hwip.” Grassroots activism, y’all. (Sorry, is that a microaggression?)
Yesterday morning, Columbia activists payed back President Bollinger for the $471 fine incurred during October 29th’s National Carry That Weight Day of Action, albeit in less-than-depositable format. Several students, among them members of No Red Tape, carried a giant mattress to the president’s office emblazoned with a “check” for 471 dollars including the memo “Stop punishing survivors and activists. Be the leader on our side!” The mattress-check snarkily alluded to the dozens of mattresses that were placed in front of Bollinger’s house after the October 29th Carry That Weight rally, for which the group was fined for supposed clean-up fees – and, of course, to Columbia’s ur-mattress, Emma Sulkowicz’s senior thesis art-protest project Carry That Weight.
In response to the perceived insult, several students carried the mattress to Bollinger’s office in the campus’ main administrative building (and how they got a mattress into Low, we’ll never know) and read out loud a letter condemning his lack of response to survivor’s protests over the past semester.
Read the full letter below, which narrates the story better than we could. Columbia’s official responses to other blogs’ requests for comment spouted some unremarkable and empty admin speak, which isn’t even worth copying here. (However, they claimed to have waived the $471 fee. That’s nice, we guess.)
One of the pleasures of being a practicing lawyer is the ability to take an informed stand against the daily injustices of life. Imagine the assured self-sufficiency that Ben Edelman, a Harvard Business school professor and licensed J.D., must have felt when he threatened his local Chinese restaurant with legal action himself over the money they overcharged him one December night - which came out to $4.00. Four dollars. Four.
It’s been a rough year for Tiger Inn, a Princeton eating club famous for perpetually contradicting the adage that “any press is good press.” In an article published Monday, The New York Times exposed two email leaks that led the club’s Vice President and Treasurer to be requested to leave the board. Less than an hour later, the Daily Princetonian published its own account of the incidents, both of which feature Tiger Inn board members living up to the club’s sexist reputation.
Both articles pulled no punches in describing the sequence of events that forced Tiger Inn into a change of its leadership. According to the Times article, former Vice President Adam Krop forwarded an image of two people “engaged in a sex act” on the public dance floor of a T.I. party to the Tiger Inn listserv; the email included a crude joke as well as the precise identification of the woman as an “asian chick”. The Daily Princetonian, in an attempt offer a more intimate campus perspective on the matter, further clarified that the photo in question was of “a [female] freshman student performing oral sex on a [male] senior student;” the paper also classified the incident as an act of sexual assault, citing Princeton’s daily crime log.
Have you ever dreamed of writing puns all day long? Or, rather, of using your investigative and reporting skills to dig into the lives and times of the Ivy League? Then your time has come: we want you to join our illustrious ranks of
nosy invasive snarky intellectually curious writers and editors.
We’re looking for smart, engaged new writers to help us bring eternal glory to their classmates, professors, and schools. There’s no need for an extensive journalism background, and please don’t send us any cover letters. (Although we would have fun with them.) We just want a brief explanation of why you’re interested in writing for us, and what types of stories you see yourself contributing to IvyGate. There’s a whole range of possible levels of commitment – from writing the occasional post to joining on as a more involved editor – so don’t hesitate to reach out even if you have a packed schedule this semester. And it’s not necessary to be an Ivy student to write for us, as long as you’re still willing to get down and dirty with these eight schools. We’re a pretty fun group, we promise.
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Happy Thanksgiving, and keep your eyes and ears open. We’ll wait for your call.
Perhaps the highlight of college sporting events, the annual Harvard/Yale football game takes place this Saturday at Harvard Stadium in Boston. As the front pages of both school papers’ opinion columns announce, tensions are already rising in the form of snappy op-eds. (Have you heard, for instance, that Harvard killed the dinosaurs?)
For the past few years, Harvard comedy group “On Harvard Time” has released burn videos mocking the school’s arch-rival and seeding fear into the hearts of Yalies right before the great game. They’re usually pretty funny. This year, though, Yale has decided to retaliate with a viral challenge of its own, in a video that proves that while Yale students may boast the more adorable mascot, they really needs to work on their snark level – not to mention voiceover skills.
In the newly released “Harvard: Put Up or Shut Up,” an independently directed production, the Yale College Council throws down the gauntlet and shames Harvard students once and for all for their inferiorities, including:
College is celebrated as a place where, for the first time in your life, you don’t need your parents in order to survive on a daily basis. Small freedoms such as feeding yourself, doing your own laundry, and generally taking care of the life tasks required in order to be a human being become valuable stepping stones on the long road to quasi-adulthood. But if you’re at Brown University, you can stay on the warm-up bench of life for an extra couple of years, thanks to Campus Goose.
Campus Goose, the “one-of-a-kind concierge service” started last year and targeted towards Brown students, dedicates itself to services ranging from the “practical” – like rides to doctor’s appointments – to the “whimsical,” like delivering morning muffins, offering wake-up calls, or “discreetly checking in” on one’s wayward student who hasn’t Skyped home in the past 48 hours. (We’re imagining a mom in a bush with binoculars, twigs in her hair and peering into the Beta house on mixer night.) Think of it as your own local helicopter mom, only on really aggressive steroids.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced on November 5th that Princeton has been found guilty of a Title IX violation, prompting the university to review all of its sexual assault cases from the past three years. The OCR’s verdict stated that Princeton had not “promptly and equitably responded” to complaints of sexual violence, including harassment and assault. Along with the guilty verdict, the OCR announced a resolution for an agreement with Princeton to ensure further compliance with Title IX. Princeton’s policies and procedures in place to respond to cases of sexual assault at the time of the investigation were also not compliant with Title IX’s requirements. Much like Columbia’s Title IX complaint filed in April, OCR’s investigation was a response to complaints filed on behalf of students.
Since 1799, The Dartmouth has prided itself on a long and illustrious history of professional student journalism and a commitment to ethical, objective reporting. In keeping with these standards, the newspaper published a correction to its October 17th front-page article that called for an end to the Greek system at the college. While it’s reassuring to know that the paper is upfront about its editorial errors, it’s less reassuring to hear that someone mixed up a potassium-rich fruit with a pretty high-tech sex toy:
Our only question: ejaculating dildo?