IvyGate’s Year in Review: Obama, Emma, and Meghan McCain’s Twitter

0101cf983dbe4d42e3d07590133e19413c709822Boldly we Ivy Leaguers stride forth into the 2010s, leaving in our dust the dregs of this lame, lame year. Pause, though, to recall all those things that befell the Ivy League that we’re hopefully leaving in 2009 — and some good things, too! But when the fact that Amy Gutmann hasn’t found any time for impromptu photoshoots for the third year running is a good thing, we know we’re in trouble.

Yalies were told to repent for their (sexual, mainly!) sins, but it was the staffers of the Crimson who seemed naughtier to us. Cornell’s fiendish ticklers were the naughtiest of all! Hopefully they learn what “off-the-record GChat” means in 2k10. The raunchy Princetonians—now, you know, having nightly orgies in their dirty mixed-gender rooms—are the Cornelians’ spiritual heirs. Worst of all, their coed rooms are unaffiliated with eating clubs.

After the jump, big celebrity scoops of 2009, whose very “bigness” depends on how much you love Harry Potter films or voting Democratic.

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Ivy Sports Roundup: Cornell Triumphs, Penn Wrestlers Ready to Rumble Again

020SavageEven over holiday break, sport marches on in the Ivy League — and not just for those of us skiing at Aspen (we lost our invitation this year, otherwise we’d be there with you all!).

The Pennsylvanian reports that three seniors have been reinstated to the wrestling team after an arrest subsequent to an “October 3 incident” that the Pennsylvanian is too genteel to disclose. We’re not! Nor was the Hartford Examiner, which reported that the three wrestlers had been arrested for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and that they might well be “among Penn’s best matmen.” Their suspension had been for “violation of departmental policy,” an issue settled just in time for the Southern Scuffle tourney.

How lucky that, as the Pennsylvanian implies, the wrestlers’ most recent court appearance was moved up so that their case could be dismissed in time for the tournament. So many things we’ll never understand about wrestling! And we saw the Mickey Rourke movie, even.

After the jump, deep analysis and a video of Mickey Rourke shopping for lesbians.

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Yale Censors ‘Sissy’ T-Shirts, Flouts Own Free Speech Code, and Pisses Everyone Off

sissiesrockwellThe buzz-killing master puppeteers behind political correctness are at it again in the Ivy League. But this time, bullshit has been decidedly called. Sparks are flying, and IvyGate is here to settle the Great Yale T-Shirt Saga once and for all. Investigation ho!

Turns out, the tale is as tangled as it is lame. In the days preceding the Harvard/Yale Game, Eli frosh cobbled together a mildly amusing anti-Cantab t-shirt, emblazoned with the seemingly innocuous quote

I think of all Harvard men as sissies.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton-dropout and required 10th-grade reading.

The little Elis subsequently patted themselves on the back for their cutting wit, and happily prepared themselves for yet another gridiron drubbing at the hands of not-quite-as-athletically-feeble-but-still-very-much-so Harvard.

But not so fast witty frosh! Like the charge of the light brigade, the Yale LGBT Cooperative descended upon the baby politicos of the Freshman Class Council. Apparently, Yale—normally the most homophilic of the Ivies—had committed a major gay-bashing no-no. In the words of LGBT Coordinator Julio-Perez Torres (whose Facebook lists “Freedom Fighter” as his Political Views.) Irony forthcoming:

The term ‘sissies’ is considered offensive and demeaning, and a “thinly-veiled gay slur.”

The Co-op cried foul to Yale administrators, and the hypersensitive head honchos put their foot down. The folks at the Huffington Post and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are also mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore. Read on after the jump.

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Harvard Quidditch Team Members Love Riding Broomsticks

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We wrote off this video of the Harvard Quidditch Team running around clutching wood between their legs as a (kind of sad) joke, at first. Then we did some research. THIS SHIT IS REAL!!!

By the looks of both national and local news coverage of Ivy League quidditch, the sport is spreading faster than chlamydia amongst teenagers in the plot of a LifeTime movie. According to NECN, over 200 colleges are riding shafts and juggling balls in the Harry Potter tradition. Even Alana Biden, team co-founder and niece of Vice President Joe Biden, is straddling for the new Cantab club sport.

According to the Crimson:

Rush and team co-founder Alana J. Biden ’11 received a $600 club sports grant to fund their equipment, which, according to Rush, is the typical sum allotted to a club team. The team used the money to purchase two Quaffles (volleyballs in Muggle parlance), two Bludgers (kickballs), three hoops for use as goals, and 14 broomsticks.

These brooms, which were the priciest item on the team’s shopping list, were purchased to comply with Intercollegiate Quidditch Association (IQA) regulations. The team bought 14 Scarlet Hawk brooms—for a total of $583.10—from Alivan’s, a Florida-based company that markets Harry Potter-themed products.

Are you kids out of your minds?! That’s nearly $42 per broom!!! For a sport made up by a foxy blonde who smiled when her publicist cupped her Bludgers at the British Book Awards, couldn’t you make this game a little bit more interesting? Count the innuendos in this post and get back to us.

After the jump, videos from On Harvard Time, our favorite quotes about quidditch, and the picture of Rowling getting groped.

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Trojan: Ivy League Sexual Health, Flaccid and Unsatisfying (mostly)

Trojan Pleasure Pack - hires

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most sexually healthy of all? Well, according to Trojan, which just released its annual Sexual Health Report Card, it’s not any of us debauched Ivy Leaguers. Its 2009 report, which ranks 141 colleges nationwide on such scintillating criteria as “the availability of sexual health resources and information,” yielded a few unpleasant surprises.

After surveys, polling, and health-center analysis, the (wait for it) South Carolina Gamecocks emerged victorious (Go Cocks!). The venerable Ivies—perhaps reaching ED age—did not fare as well in the sensuality department.

Sex-starved Columbia, who last year claimed the Ivy copulation-crown with a silver medal second place finish, fell to fourth, and orgy-planning Cornell, from third to eighth. Prostitutin’-Penn took a nosedive from 21st to 45th, condom-condemning Princeton dropped from 29th to 61st, and Lena-Chening Harvard (sexually healthy to say the least), from 25th to 62nd. Ouch…

This is pretty troubling, especially as Yale administrators publicly attempt to “strengthen the resolve of those who are dedicated to finding just the right words that would lead to glorious and consensual sex”(true story); glorious and consensual maybe, but unhealthy? We in the Ivy League have more sex than just about anybody outside California’s 27th District. Maybe those loser abstinence-only nerds were right… We’re headed for disaster! Time to jump the sex-ship Ivy Leaguers; save your junk while you still can!

But wait!: good news, and the full Trojan Sexual Health list–with criteria and 2008/2009 comparisons–after the jump.

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Oops! Wesleyan Accidentally Frames Cornell Prof for Murder

Face_off_moviePop quiz! Stephen P. Morgan and Stephen L. Morgan: Can you spot the difference?

The former is a 29-year-old, anti-semitic, wig-wearing, gun-toting, “okay to kill Jews and go on a killing spree”-journaling skeez, charged with the recent murder of former classmate Johanna Justin-Jinich. The latter is a 38-year-old sociology professor, Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar, who heads up Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality. Stumped? Here’s a hint: they look about as similar as Penn and Teller.

If you’re still confused, don’t worry; Wesleyan administrators were also left head-scratching. They circulated the Cornell professor’s photo—rather than the student’s—to police officers, employees, undergraduates and, oh, the global newsmedia, in connection with the murder. Doh!

Here’s the amiable academic formerly known as madman murder-suspect:

I said to my wife when it happened, “We have the same name, but thank God I don’t look like him.” I knew the whole thing was going on because it was such a big story, but to see myself inserted directly into it was very shocking.

All jokes aside, this unequivocally sucks. Remember Yale’s similar snafu in the aftermath of the still unsolved Susanne Jovin murder? The Bulldogs leaked the name of her obviously-innocent thesis advisor to the media, and started rumors that the pair were having an affair; it ruined his career. So much for learning from your mistakes, higher education. Well, at least Wesleyan has the dignity to apologize—to state publicly that they made a mistake, and confirm that Prof. Morgan is not, in fact, a homicidal maniac. Right…?

All they’ve said is they regret this happened to me, which sounded to me like something written by a lawyer.

Good lord. Pic comparisons, textbook academic arrogance, litigation and Roger Rabbit after the jump.

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I Saw the Best Minds of My Generation Destroyed By… What, Exactly?

6a00d83451fc5a69e200e55070c0758833-800wiA tipster points us to Keep Building Brown, a mysterious/compelling site put together in darkness by a team of (we guess) Brunonians. The site is vaguely Marxist, but at a kind of ninth-grader-reading-The Communist Manifesto-in-Starbucks level; it says that students in Ivy League schools are all alienated from their labor as simultaneous “producers,” “consumers,” and “products.” Well, hm! Citing finals period as a time when students’ deference to the machine-like nature of university labor is especially cast into relief, the Brown Builders write:

Sure, some of us are more productive than others – and that’s what college is about: finding your place in the division of labor, picking your path, and gathering skills to make you a more effective cog in the machine.

It’s too bad that all the people behind Keep Building Brown get nothing more out of their travails than the sense that they are, personally, victims of some Matrix-like enterprise meant to keep them crushed under the boot. While finals are, yes, regimented, these people will have had four years of pursuing whatever it is that they enjoy, likely on someone else’s dime, responsible only for passing. Brown is many things, but an “assembly line of knowledge” only rings true for a reader who has never thought about the lives of people who work on assembly lines.

Along similar lines, Bwog reports that a very … poetic … poem recited by a “Students for a Radical Democracy” course forced a Public Safety intervention. An excerpt:

Columbia, Columbia!  I’m forever shouting your name but you’re hard of hearing.  In fact, I’m howling your name into the darkness at night as I collapse over my books, strung out, frantic even.

Tom Wolfe couldn’t write it better. But what change do these students want? The Brown kids link to The Coming Insurrection, which portends spookiness until you realize that the Keep Building Brown method of affecting change is a website with language so convoluted that for 10 minutes, I thought they were praising Brown. And the Columbians — who were, ironically, removed from the Low Library steps by the very security workers with whose plight they identify — will live to recite poetry another day. We’ve known many kids who lived in a state of nebulous protest, many of whom have graduated. Half of them live with their parents; the other half are in consulting.

Outbreak of Quadrophenia Strikes Yale Admissions Office

carlesquads251206_650x353Per the New York Times, the Crouch quadruplets of Danbury, Conn., not pictured at right, have a lot to celebrate this Christmas. All four have been admitted to Yale early, an unprecedented feat:

The Crouches’ perfect batting average represents a first for Yale — the first time in anyone’s memory that it has offered admission to quadruplets. It is also, of course, no small milestone for the siblings, who were born more than two months premature.

Obviously, a burning case of schadenfreude overtakes you as you read about the Crouches learning, one by one, that they’re in. The last sibling to receive an email was the least brainy, Martina:

“I was thinking, it’s going to be really awkward when I don’t get in,” Martina recalled Friday.

Come on, thin e-envelope! Alas, she is accepted. But the awkward conversations could ensue around the Crouch dinner table anyway, perhaps! After the jump, what will the foursome do?! With PHOTOS!!!

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Harvard’s Republic of Suffering May Force a Faustian Bargain

piggyFor those of you who love gory details, Bloomberg has a long-ass article about the imperiled state of Harvard’s finances, and it doesn’t look good for the school so recently reduced to peddling its prestige on polos. After pouring millions into the rat-plagued land deal known as Allston, Harvard made bets (under Lawrence Summers’s leadership) that national interest rates would go up. But, per Bloomberg, Harvard was instead stuck with a nearly $1 billion dollar bill, as well as an unfinished construction site across the Charles that seems more and more like a white elephant. Beyond the swaps debacle, the school’s endowment took a 30 percent hit — from $36.9 billion to $26 billion — and its cash account lost nearly $2 billion, Bloomberg reports. We all knew that Harvard’s finances were effed, but it still stings to see the raw numbers.

So how’d all this happen? One possible reason: the Harvard atmosphere of clubbiness and yes-man-ism. Bloomberg notes that other Ivy League schools, which tend to manage their funds through “corporations” that take major risks, have had similar crises recently:

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, posted $38 million of collateral on $1.5 billion of swaps, according to a Moody’s report on the Ivy League School. Hanover, New Hampshire-based Dartmouth College, also in the Ivy League, didn’t post collateral on their swaps because their investment banks agreed to waive the requirement to win the business, according to a person familiar with the contracts.

That’s just great leadership and decision-making all around! Hilariously, the article sneaks in a description of current Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust as a “Civil War historian,” seeming to imply that without an economics background she’s in over her head. Given that the worst of this dates to the reign of Summers — former Treasury Secretary, current Obama economic butt-boy – that seems rather rich.

Peanut Gallery Weighs In On Yale Penis Disparity

The following screen grab arrived in the IvyGate tips box recently, with this commentary: “Yalies discuss the participants of the Naked Run that occurs at the end of Reading Week in Bass Library.  All men.  On Facebook.  Publicly.”

Naked Run

Neato discussion, guys. Our turn!

I’m of two minds here. On the one hand, the application of multivariate statistics to observed penis sizes at the Ivy League schools seems a worthy scholarly endeavor, and would probably break all IvyGate comment records. (Laura likes this!) On the other hand, while I can’t be certain, this Facebook thread reads like a peanut gallery commenting on the action, as opposed to chatter by people who had actually participated in the naked run themselves. And that is something I cannot condone.

Either you’re in or you’re out, guys! Either strip down and join in the craziness — the cathartic release at finals time, the thrill that comes from wondering if the goofy kid jiggling next to you will be a goddamn United States senator some day — or stay out of it! Consider yourselves on notice. I blurred out your names (don’t dime these guys out in the comments, please, readers) but Yale probably knows who you are. And next run, we’ll be watching.