Take a walk through Columbia’s campus, and chances are that the latest scandal you’ll hear students groaning/shouting/writing angry op-eds about is this year’s spring concert, Bacchanal. Specifically, how no one is able to go to it. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, Columbia student and concerned citizen Haylin Belay’s got your back with a primer on who, what, why, and how to get angry.
What is Bacchanal?
Ever obsessed with antiquity, Columbia University holds an annual spring concert called Bacchanal. The event, held on Low Steps, the center of campus, is free, unticketed, and open to all students, alumni, and any guests that they wish to bring. Every year, the concert theme consists of a horrible pun involving a reference to the performing artist combined with the word “Bacchanal.” This year, in honor of headliner Big Sean, the theme is “I Don’t Bacch With You.” (I don’t know what this means, either.)
Historically, Bacchanal has been referred to as “the one day that Columbia students get to be happy.” Coming at the tail end of a brutal New York winter, the April concert brings thousands of Columbia students into the main quad, where they drink, dance, and wear crop tops for the first time in six months. Like many outdoor concerts, public intoxication and drug experimentation are key features of the event. This year, Bacchanal will be held on April 4th.
It’s the time of year when you start to see wild creatures escaping from their habitats. Much like llamas on the loose in Arizona, geese on the loose at UPenn can cause quite a stir. A new Tumblr has dedicated itself to capturing images of Canadian Geese on Penn’s campus and surrounding areas. Happily, this nature documentary also doubles as UPenn’s newest fashion blog. See for yourself below, and play spot-the-goose:
Last week, students at Columbia University received an email from the Dean of Columbia College, the Dean of the Engineering School, and the Dean of Undergraduate Student Life announcing a mandatory sexual respect program to be completed by all students over the next several weeks. Immediate criticism of the program has arisen, particularly among activist organizations, who have made accusations that Columbia’s new initiative is “poorly designed and demonstrates a willful neglect of empirical evidence and student feedback [and] will not prevent sexual or dating violence.” Harsh – but not without truth. The details of the program, including what degree of student effort is necessary to complete it, hardly inspire faith in sexual assault education.
Flush after their Superbowl victory last weekend, the New England Patriots chose the unlikeliest of places to celebrate their achievement: a Harvard finals club.
Never one to miss the intersection of professional sports and professional learning, BroBible’s meticulously updated article chronicles every single second of the alleged night, including the potential grievous bodily harm that occurred.
The story goes something like this: after their parade through Boston, a few members of the Pats spent their evening in one of the country’s most hallowed academic grounds, where a lucky finals club member had a sports agent connection via his dad. Thus, Patriots at Harvard. There are multiple photos of a bearded man who, according to our careful Wikipedia-ing, appears to be Julian Edelman, the team’s punt returner; various tips also claim that wide receiver Danny Amendola and cornerback Darrelle Revis were also in attendance. It was only Edelman, however, who graciously lifted his shirt to the tune of several dozen screaming ladies of both Harvard and BU. The photos on BroBible beautifully capture the rapturous joy on his face.
Hard alcohol has been banned from Dartmouth’s campus. Entirely.
President Philip Hanlon, in an speech given to students and faculty yesterday, delivered the ban among a host of other proposed changes to battle against “complaints that have tarnished the school’s reputation.” This prohibition comes just a week after Brown’s announcement that barred unsupervised alcohol service in all dorms, frats, and other residences. According to the language of the announcement, hard alcohol can’t be served in any capacity at a Dartmouth party or event, nor can it be kept in students’ possession. The working definition of hard alcohol in this case is anything with an ABV over 15% – so that includes your liqueurs and various add-ons.
The Wall Street Journal article describing the ban laid a pretty hard burn on President Hanlon, calling his directives “largely absent of detail”; they include big, broad ideas such as a sexual violence prevention program, something called “consent manuals,” and – perhaps most importantly – giving all frats a final ultimatum to either “reform or disband,” although specifics of what those reforms would look like weren’t made clear. To add to the highly generalized language, the plan also calls for bartenders and bouncers to be present at “social events,” which presumably means officially recognized events rather than underground dorm fiestas. Nor was there specific information on how this ban would be enforced: will surprise residence hall checks now search for illicit bottles? Or will a more passive approach allow for a quiet enough bending of the rules? Some Dartmouth students see the new move as a “scare tactic,” and, much like the case of the recent Brown ban, students wonder just how effective it will be at all. To paraphrase the words of one particularly concerned commenter, what are the gluten-free kids going to drink now????
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.
Phi Delta Theta’s unfortunate choice of Christmas card
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.
IvyGate has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Observer, Newsweek, New Yorker, and other publications, as well as NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Drudge Report, Gawker, The Huffington Post, Wonkette, Jezebel, The Awl, and many more. Most are horrified.