Yale Pundits Host Rapey Pre-Tap Party?

Well, “rapey” is a strong word. It was something, though, that’s for sure. For those of you (like myself) uninitiated in the ways of upper-crust Yale douchebaggery, let’s start with some introductions. The Pundits are Yale’s “senior prank society.” Now this might sound sort of stupid and puerile to you. (That was my initial reaction.) But apparently its sort of a big deal. Joe Lieberman was even a member! (So some of them are  probably bastards.)

That, in fact, is a notion this story helps confirm. On February 19, the Pundits held an elaborate fête for potential members. And, if reports are to be any judge, they apparently acted like perfect hosts. (If by “perfect hosts” you mean skeevy, weirdo Chester the Molesters.)

According to the Yale Daily News:

About 50 people attended the party, which was by invitation only and hosted by the Pundits, multiple attendees said. They added that students were told to arrive at the party in costume, but midway through the night were told to disrobe.

From the get-go, this sounds pretty bad. The Pundits apparently played off the natural power dynamic — the guests were, after all, trying to get in to the club  – and pressured them to chug down large quantities of alcohol, then get naked. It’s like an Eyes Wide Shut parody from college hell. Several attendees even ended up at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, presumably for alcohol-related badness. But what’s worse even than the alcohol and nakedness is the alleged sexual misconduct.

After the jump, the most damning portion of the YDN’s article on the event:

[One hospitalized] student recalled for the investigator witnessing a member of the Pundits forcing attendees to kiss each other and that a Pundit forced a male friend’s face onto another’s penis.”

This is, I think you’ll agree, pretty fucked up, if true. We’re not sure if anyone else has corroborated the account of forced oral sex. Others did, however, claim they saw forced kissing.

Now, at this point it behooves us to take a step back. We held off on publishing this story yesterday to see if we could independently verify (or debunk) some of the information in the YDN’s account of the incident. We did, in fact, hear murmurs from Yalies expressing suspicion that the News is drumming up and sensationalizing what was not in actuality that egregious a series of events; that, yes, some were sent to the hospital, but the stuff about sexual misdeeds was overstated by the paper. In particular, we heard that the party was billed as a “naked screw” — an event in which attendees are set up on blind dates by their friends, and that it was mostly common knowledge that stripping down was part of the agenda. And more than one account had it that there wasn’t anything all that lascivious going on.

One such testimony, from the YDN article:

“I was in the main room and the kitchen and hallways, and I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary or anything abusive,” said one junior who attended the party. “Obviously it’s a Pundits party so it’s rowdy by nature, but other than that I didn’t see anything [resembling sexual assault] go down. I was pretty shocked to hear about [those allegations] the next day.”

In my own personal opinion, the excuses put forth by those who would defend the Pundits don’t cut the mustard. At a Pre-Tap event, there are certain expectations, and a significant amount of social pressure is involved. And that’s totally run-of-the-mill, in and of itself. (I was in a social fraternity; I know how it goes.) But you cross a line at a certain point, and what’s being reported, both by the News and by the Yale police, has most certainly passed the threshold, bounding face-first (excuse the pun) into unsavory territory.

As is, the police say they plan to talk with at least 16 students who were at the party. And the YDN — shaking off the James Franco hate — reported that it has spoken with 15 attendees who gave conflicting accounts of the evening.

Whatever the case may be, this is, at the very least, the best excuse I’ve had yet to use the “This is why people hate the Ivy League” tag. We’ll keep reporting on the party as new information comes to light.

  • Kurt

    “This is why people hate the Ivy League”????? Even if the worst stories about the Pundits are true, the same and sometimes worse goes on at Frats all over the country (anti-hazing policies notwithstanding). So such behavior unites rather than divides Yale et al. from the rest of this country’s colleges and universities. The only real difference is that people don’t expect “refined” Ivy League students behave like drunken jocks.

    • your mother is beautiful

      Two words: butt chug

  • anon

    the pundits are not jocks at all. as a matter of fact they tend to shun athletes and are instead a collection of hispters, etc. many of them are also involved in organizations that were outspoken critics of DKE’s relatively (compared to this!) benign actions in the fall. they are quite obviously all massive hypocrites, as is the rest of yale’s liberal community.

    • Kurt

      They are ACTING like stereotypical jock frat boys, but they aren’t–that’s why people are surprised. And obviously, if any of the individuals involved criticized DKE, they are total hypocrites. But you can’t assume that they all agree with everything that organizations are “involved in” have done.

  • Y11

    The naked aspect of this is nowhere near as surprising as this article makes it sound. The pundits basically exist to host naked parties. I think the participants might be more surprised if they WEREN’T asked to strip.

  • stickstr8up

    Just think: In a few years, the students who participated in the Pundits’ debauchery will be our doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, business executives, government officials, and all-around leaders of our country. God bless America…

  • Stating the obvious

    Because one of the Pundits who threw the party was in the Womens’ Center, the usual group hasn’t created and outcry and this has kind of fallen under the radar on campus until the YDN article.

    However, taking advantage of juniors who want to enter your society and forcing them to drink grain alcohol (lying and saying it’s vodka), then forcing them to kiss each other or pundits, and then forcing them into sexual debauchery to prove themselves is inexcusable. I hope the people who threw the party get in deep shit.