The Blog Days of Summer: Introducing your June Guest Editors

Ladies and gents: Mix the mojitos, break out the tanning oil, and commandeer your Daddy’s schooner. IvyGate Summer Session is finally upon us. Even as we flee our beloved campuses for sunnier shores, the news and gossip train chugs on. The days are getting longer and the nights shorter, but equally debauchery-filled. Even while saving whales in Antigua, starving children in Senegal, and derivatives on Wall Street, Ivy Leaguers still find the time to act ridiculously. Ivy absurdity doesn’t take a vacation, and neither do we. So as you slave away at your unpaid internship, rack up mandatory Science credits, get wasted at your BS “language study” abroad, enjoy a free “cultural” beach vacay on your school’s travel grants, and suck up to your parents for spending money, you can still count on IvyGate for perennial distraction/chuckles.

But of course, fresh air calls for fresh blood, and so, in the time-honored guest editor tradition, IvyGate’s shaking up its editorial leadership for the summer, giving some new folks a chance to test their muckraking mettle. Your irresponsible EICs, Alex Klein and Dan D’Addario, are taking a break–hopefully to produce stories of wrongdoing of their own for others to write about. Freed from the day-to-day slog of the site’s trenches, we’ll be providing guidance and checking out applications for July’s guest editor positions (if you’ve emailed us already: don’t worry, we’re compiling the list and getting back to you all with application info ASAP).

Stepping into the breach for the month of June are two phenomenally talented writers and editors, both IvyGate contributors, who we think will rock your Argyle socks. They’ll be taking the good and leaving the bad with a very short learning curve, pushing out 5-10 posts a week and fielding your tips, love-songs, and hate-rants.

So give a warm welcome to your June guest editors, the dastardly duo of Miranda Lewis — also Editor-in-Chief of Yale’s Bullblog — and Gabe DeLeon — actor, humorist, man-about-town. Look forward to their introductory post tomorrow, and to phenomenal stuff from these time-tested satirists and blogstars in the weeks to come.

Creative Dartmouth Fratboys Snort Coke off of Their Brothers’ Photographed Faces, Urinate on Their Socks, Destroy Their Tables; Police Confused

As generations of uptown yuppies, downtown hipsters, Austrian supermodels, and Ivy society types have discovered, cocaine is one versatile and fashionable narcotic. Stylish as it is already, snorting it through rolled-up Ben Franklins makes it even classier. Or off of a mirror: super 80s chic. You can slice it and dice it every which way: really, it’s an outlet for creativity.

So, how to amp up the cool-quotient of your high, while adding that special Ivy League flavor? Well, turns out the DartCoke bros and an unknown number of their SAE cohorts have found a way: snorting the drug off of the grinning visages of their fellow brothers, immortalized on alumni photo composites. Combine that with Jim Beam shots, unrequited lust, post-Tabard fun, and the venerable SAE “Pool Room” (all chronicled in Sarah Koo’s arrest affidavit, great bedtime reading) and you’ve got real Hunter S. Thompson fodder. And apparently, past partakers in the common-room antics that got the “SAE 3″ — Andrew Lohse ’12, Brian Shea ’10 (for snorting) and Clark Warthen ’10 (for witness tampering) — pinned with felony charges and kicked out of SAE have left traces all over their frat, confounding the cops.

The basic story: eyewitnesses told police that they had seen some of the foolhardy fratboys snorting off of composites– picture frames with head-shots of every brother in a certain year, usually festooning frat walls and trophy closets. The dutiful police went in to test the pictures for cocaine residue, CSI-HPo style.

But here’s the rub: According to an insider source, the crusading popo picked up the wrong composite for testing, one that Shea and Lohse had never used. The guys thought they were in the clear, and probably headed off to go dance to house music and clench their jaws. One problem though: the other composite also had cocaine residue on it, allowing the cops to bust the unlucky trio. Catch 22, we guess. They can’t really say, “no, test the other one!”, can they?

You could definitely see headshot-snorting as a profound gesture of brotherhood, though one sort of nullified by the fact that it was a fellow brother, Phil Aubart, that called security on the drug trio. Seems as if the frat has a double problem: a snake in the grass and coke in the composites. A bro civil war is afoot! That said, does Aubart really deserve the destruction of his pet brotherhood project, an apparently-cool table, as well as people peeing on his socks?

“[Aubart] cared a lot about that table.”

Never come between a boy and his furniture. According to Phil, quoted Warthen’s arrest affidavit, it gets worse, with plans for

“pissing on all my stuff”

and statements like

“a number of guys want to kill you.”

Witness-tamperer Warthen, former Vice President of SAE, showed off some impressive, Solomon-like leadership by issuing an open fratwa against Phil. (For reference, here he is in The Dartmouth defending the display of the Confederate flag and chastising an offended black woman for her ignorance.) He had this to say about Benedict Aubart, in an angry email to his pals, planning vengeance:

guys,

can you seriuously [sic] smash-bros the shit out of phil’s table? it would really mean a lot to Brian, and would be a great signal to Phil that it’s not just a small contingent of people in the house that despise him, it’s truly a widespread sentiment that he’s the most abhorrent thing ever happen to this house and this campus.

And Smash Bros they did (Falcon Punch; none of that lame-ass Kirby nonsense). The table was shattered and immolated, post haste. Andrew Lohse just spit on Phil, while others poured beer on his door and put their bladders to work on his clothes. “They stand together“: fraternity and camaraderie, obviously bonds everlasting. At the very least, the sad, gonzo story of shattered brotherly love and squandered opportunities has left us with this tidbit, probably the best thing ever written in a Hanover Police arrest warrant:

I asked Mr. Shea about his relationship with Bernadette Reyes [accused snitch]. He stated that she is a girl that wants to “hook up” with him. He denied that he has any interest in her and attributed the attraction to being primarily one way. I told him that I had some further work to do with Bernadette Reyes and that I did not want him to communicate with her until it was completed. He agreed not to be in contact with Miss Reyes.

And of course, making the rounds from an anonymous source:

I asked an SAE what happened. He said, “I’d love to Phil you in, but can’t Shea anything other than doing drugs is not Warth it because you could Lohse everything you’ve worked for. I told him that’s Koo but it will be Hart not to Reyes the question later.”

The Adam Wheeler Delusion: An Ivy Student for the Ages

Self-proclaimed “sententious, crypto-tendentious, slightly pedantic” scamster Adam Wheeler has been described as the shy, quiet type, not one to boast in person about his falsified straight-A’s, book-deals, lecture-invitations, and sexual prowess. After all, he managed to fool a whole parade of supposed smart people at admissions offices and scholarship committees nationwide, outwit Harvard profs and fellow classmates, and successfully beat the shitty, shitty system that is the Ivy “meritocracy.” Allegedly, his high-school classmates liked him and his Cantab buddies thought he was swell: definitely not criminal mastermind material. A humble victor for sure.

But on paper, a different story: Wheeler’s flowery self-aggrandizement is pretty staggering… At least from an SAT Vocab section standpoint, far surpassing non-English-fluent Aleksey Vayner, Wheeler reaches into pure, Shakespearean megalomania. (For the record, despite claiming perfect stores, Wheeler only got a 1220 on his second SAT try). For example, in a letter sent to his fellow Harvard transfers in September 2007, Wheeler’s lexicon-breaking verbal vomit reaches a high pitch. From the Crimson:

My own, brief, assessment of my character is that I am sententious, crypto-tendentious, slightly pedantic with a streak of contrarianism, a fascination with any pedagogical approach to Shakespeare, and a decent sense of humor…[At MIT], I was, to put it poorly, suckled upon the teat of disdain. That being said (fortified by a reflexive snort), I was inspired therby [sic] to apply to Harvard, where the humanities, in short, are not, simpliciter, a source of opprobrium.

Well, there goes the tale of the gutsy populist, breaking into the Ivory Tower. On the contrary, seems as if Wheeler has enough pretension running through his veins to rightfully earn a spot at any Ivy, all trickery aside.

But not, as it happens, at The New Republic, to which Wheeler applied for an internship and, unfortunately for his lawyer, sent his resume. Yes, the number of prizes are obviously impossible and the fakery seems really, really obvious, but what really struck us was the resume’s intense, well… Ivy-ness. The Crimson’s done a thorough fact-or-lack-thereof-checking here, but in keeping with the above, see our favorite sections below and note how many of them could have easily appeared in any given reading assignment or boring section discussion. First off, his fake lectures were all carbon copies of those delivered by a real Harvard professor, James R. Russell:

“From Parthia to Robin Hood: The Armenian Version of the Epic of the Blind Man’s Son (Köroghlu)”

“Black Milk and the Stairway to Heaven: Bedros Tourian, Paul Celan, and Anselm Kiefer”

“The Rime of the Book of the Dove: Zoroastrian Cosmology, Armenian Heresiology, and the Russian Novel”

Then there’s his manuscript descriptions, which read like totally normal course-catalogue entries/Anthropology department lecture notes… at least at Yale:

Critical work that has attempted to explain the experience of geographical and textual space in modern writing has focused predominantly on the map as an analytical tool of orientation that makes formal writing structures legible…By restoring the experience of disorientation, I argue that getting lost becomes a radical discourse that reflects back to us how we orient ourselves—what we pay attention to as we move through physical space and how we construe meaning as we move through a text from page to page…

Accordingly, each of the texts that I examine betrays an awareness of writing as a spatial activity and space as a scripted category. The critical topographies that these writers created are maps of ideology, figural territories within which social conflict and political antagonism are put into play.

If anything, this guy has mastered the art of imitation. This is exactly the kind of pseudo-intellectual, effectively contentless, buzzword-laden Humanities bullshit that the Academy thrives upon. Just throw in a couple of “isms,” Derrida references, and journal citations, and you’ve got a doctoral-candidate leading seminar discussion as a successful TA. He just played the part too well.

Yes, the loquacious and devious Adam Wheeler presents us with quite a pickle. He’s learned our language, mastered our ways, and taken the self-promotion and ambition that we’re all groomed for  – yes, all — to its natural conclusion. He’s all of us through a funhouse mirror, all of our most Ivy-tacular characteristics amplified to monstrous proportions.

If it walks like an Ivy student, talks like an Ivy student then it is, without a doubt, an Ivy student. Go home folks, there’s nothing to see here.

Columbia GS Valedictorian Not Comedian, Not Honest, Not Patton Oswalt

Columbia’s rarely news-making school for non-traditional students just capped off its graduation with a little bit of an academic no-no: plagiarism. Nontraditional indeed! The school’s Phi Beta Kappa and resume-heavy valedictorian Brian Corman (recently married, sorry girls) blatantly ripped off comedian Patton Oswalt in his speech. Midway through his dull oration (see 38:40 in the video), Brian regales the crowd with a funny, fondly remembered tale. Apparently, his physics exam had a cute, ‘Star Trek’ referencing acceleration question; someone stood up to make a nerdy correction; hilarity ensued!

Problem is, this never happened to Brian. It’s actually part of a stand-up comedy routine far-better delivered by Patton Oswalt (for example, our valedictorian finishes his “joke” with no citation, before moving onto “finally, diversity” with a smirk.) See videos below for confirmation. Brian and Columbia have both released tail-between-their-legs apologies, but not before misspelling Oswalt’s name, as the comedian noted on his blog. (Then again, Oswalt himself misspelled Brian’s name on twitter: “”Did any of my crafty, diabolical fans “grab” a copy of the Brian Corben video? Something? Please?” Touche.)

While we appreciate the effort to liven up painfully boring valedictorian speeches — yes, our university’s real resource is its students — we can’t help but wonder if douchey joke-thievery could be a sign of worse things to come in this clearly well-positioned valedictorian’s future. After all, his Dad’s a former congressman. That said, as a PoliSci major and aspiring politico, it’s certainly good for him to learn to deal with criticism. Even the Columbia Marching Band has taken a shot at him, posting on their Facebook page:

Dear future GS valedictorians: the next time you plagiarize material from Patton Oswalt, try not to do it during your Class Day speech.

When your own schools tromboners are out to get you, you know you’ve made a mistake. Well, at least he didn’t give a speech to the wrong school.

Vids after the jump:

UPDATE: Columbia School of General Studies sends us this statement: “It has come to our attention that a portion of our Valedictorian’s remarks at this year’s School of General Studies Class Day was taken from a comedy routine by Patton Oswalt.  As an institution of higher learning that places a core value on respect for the works of others, we were surprised and disappointed to have learned of this matter today. Columbia University and the School of General Studies do not condone or permit the use of someone else’s work without proper citation. The student speaker has appropriately issued an apology to his classmates and to Mr. Oswalt for failing to provide such attribution.”

The Greater Dartmouth Drug/Alcohol Crackdown: Four Frats and Two Sororities May Face Criminal Charges… Tomorrow?

Boredatbaker gave sketchy testimony… We investigated, and now have multi-source confirmation: the beleaguered Dartmouth greek system is probably in a world of trouble. What we know for sure is that executives of six Greek houses have met with police regarding underage alcohol provision and also, allegedly, the recent SAE DartCoke scandal. Now, the popo are flexing their legal muscles, preparing to press charges. The busted bros and gals?

Fraternities: Alpha Chi Alpha, Chi Gamma Epsilon, Phi Delta Alpha, and Alpha Delta.

Sororities: Epsilon Kappa Theta and Sigma Delta.

UPDATE: The Tabard, a coed house, is also under investigation.

While reports vary, it’s clear that at least a few of the houses, if not all, will be charged Monday with serving alcohol to minors. Some houses have, according to one source, taken precautions and cut back, checking IDs at the door, but others just “couldn’t give a shit.” Cavalier indeed.

Just when we thought the Dartmouth party scene was out of the woods and that anti-frat manifestos were unnecessary, the Hanover Police get all blustery once again, and the specter of intense bakerboredom looms… Apparently, if these charges stick, the houses will be hit with a smattering of pricey fines, perhaps closing houses and driving drinking underground. Well, if so, thanks for the memories and the lolz, Dartmouth greeks. And also the coke.

Personally, we don’t understand how a school with vomit-parties (“Convention,” look for our coverage soon) and an almost-exclusively frat-based social scene can possibly weather these kneejerk Hanover Police, not to mention the crunchy, anti-bro opposition. While distinctively unfratty schools like Yale and Columbia enjoy police more likely to do a shot with you than shut you in the slammer, the Ivy League’s few Grecophiles get busted for open containers at best. Well, and also the coke. Still, seems counterintuitive… We’ll let you know as the story develops.

Harvard’s “15 Hottest Freshmen” Seize Power in Bloodless, Contentless Coup

The Harvard Crimson‘s weekly magazine FM — like The New York Times Magazine, only student-produced and ineffably awkward and absurd — has taken campus journalism to new heights, past tabloid and gossip site, while simultaneously elevating freshman-stalking to a high-art.

Yes, the oglers have crowned Harvard’s 15 Hottest Freshmen, and the results are… well, we’ll let you judge for yourselves. What we can reasonably comment on are the honorees’ somewhat bizarre on-camera behavior. Here’s one of them, on what being named as “beautiful” has done for her self-esteem.

It’s like finding your purpose in life. Before this I was kind of lost, I was like, where do I belong at this school, then I woke up one morning, headed to the bathroom, looked down on the floor and there was an envelope and it was telling me that I was picked for this. It was kind of like something clicked. Like there was a part of me that was over here and another part that was over here and they just kind of… *clicking sound and hand gesture.*

Read the rest of this entry »

Aleksey Vayner Reincarnated as Andover/Harvard Fraudster/D-Bag

Like a real life version of Leonardo DiCaprio’s insufferable character in the insufferable movie Catch Me if You Can, the insufferable Adam Wheeler has burst onto the scene, making Aleksey Vayner seem like small potatoes and Goldman look good.

Wheeler fabricated grades, rec letters and — *nostalgia bomb* — published books in a mad Ivory Tower infiltration scheme. Shooting for the big leagues, he BS-ed his way into Rhodes and Fulbright scholarship applications as well as thousands of dollars in Harvard grant money (endowment stewardship FTW).

It gets worse. Unlike his affirmative-acted and last-name-legacized peers, Wheeler definitely doesn’t deserve to be at Harvard at all; he made up his high school credentials too.

Now the Big Liar On Campus has to contend with 20 criminal charges and will probably have to fabricate a pretty good legal degree. Wheeler’s story — a testament to the analytical prowess of admissions offices and scholarship committees coast-to-coast — is currently lighting up the internets, with comment pages boiling over with anti-Ivy vitriol.

On our part, we’ll cover the story as it develops. So far, we’ve got an alleged tale of his expulsion from Bowdoin of all places, for academic dishonesty, and the fact that many people think he’s hot.

Readers: some of you must have known the guy. Give us the scoop, anonymity guaranteed.

Child of the Corn Interested in Harvard/Yale/Columbia, World Domination

Helicopter parenting of the Black Hawk variety and classic kiddie exploitation have converged to produce the Ivy League’s next scary superstar: Fatima Ptacek. She’s a nine-year-old supermodel, raking in $250,000 a year, while appearing in national ad campaigns and chilling with Michelle Obama; on the side, she’s an award-winning gymnast, horseback rider, chess wiz, and Spanish/Mandarin Chinese speaker. Oh, she’s also starred on Saturday Night Life, and is appearing in a Catherine Zeta-Jones movie in a few months. So, Ivy League masses, prepare to feel more overwhelmed by your classmates than ever before, because, in Fatima’s words:

My dad said I’m allowed to go to Harvard, Yale or Columbia.

Why is herr father so adamant?

Barack Obama studied at Harvard, and I really like him. I want to be a lawyer. I was thinking of maybe going to the Olympics, but you know what? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I want to be in the court and fight for people saying, ‘My client is innocent!’

Such high sell-out ambitions at such an early age? Sounds like Ivy League material to us…  Get a load of the supposed secret to her success, according to her manager:

She’s ethnically ambiguous.

Regardless, something tells us Fatima won’t need the affirmative action bump come admissions season. Especially considering her Common-App ready childhood (or lack thereof):

Fatima is up every day at 6 a.m., preparing for school at PS 150Q, where she is in the Academy for Intellectually Gifted Children. At least twice a week, she cuts out of class early with her mom to ham it up at auditions and casting calls in Manhattan. She finishes her homework in the car on the way back to Flushing — for a three-hour workout at a Russian gym, Lana’s Gymnastics Club, three or four nights a week. Fatima finally hits the hay at around 10 p.m. Weekends are eaten up by horseback riding and five hours of Mandarin class on Saturdays.

We predict that this talented young woman will have several things to look forward to in her future, or combinations thereof: peaking early, burning out, world-domination, soulless careerism, the Presidency of the United States. Or maybe just following in Emma Watson’s footsteps and dating this guy:

Supreme Court ZOMG Roundup or Enter the Kaganator or Why Ivy Grads Scare People

So, turns out that a whole lot of serious people are seriously up in arms about the fact that Elena Kagan, if confirmed, will render the nation’s High Court 100% Ivy Grads. I mean, after all, why on earth would you expect a job whose prerequisites include academic-erudition-par-excellence, writing hundred-page abstract legal analyses, and knowing everything about law, ever, to be filled by graduates of the nation’s top law schools and undergrad colleges?? No way! In fact, the punditocracy is clamoring for more (wait, wasn’t it less last time around?) diversity, and less (wait wait, wasn’t it more?) academic expertise. Makes sense to us!

Here’s some of the best commentary we’ve seen thus far.

With the award for most heavy-handed simile, here’s The Washington Post:

Ivy has twirled itself around the marble columns of the Supreme Court like some smarty-pants weed.

Objective journalism, ho! But the WaPoets aren’t done yet:

Lady Justice: Your toga is stained crimson and littered with skulls and bones!

Never mind the fact that none of the Justices are Bonesmen… It sure sounds grandiloquent and faux-populist! Here’s another choice insight, quoted from a UChicago Prof:

We have to get nine vestal virgins from Harvard or Yale.

Taken out of context? Delightfully pervy. Plus, virgins from Harvard and Yale? Shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

Upping the douche-quotient, here’s Jerome Karabel, who wrote a book about how Ivy admissions used to be really unfair and why Santa Claus may not be real:

Harvard and Yale are, by any standard, great educational institutions, but it is not one of their strengths to instill in their students a sense of humility.

To which we respond: “Silence, impertinent fool!” (before twirling our mustaches, focusing our monocles, and releasing the hounds.)

Which, of course, brings us to our favorite and most sensible anti-Elena/Ivy-League argument: Those darned eggheads are smart… too smart. But, also… not smart enough to understand the trials and tribulations of us regular folk. (Wait, wasn’t that the problem with Sotomayor? Her rich life experiences and empathy? Okay, never mind…)

Throwing down the elitism gauntlet, here’s Kathleen Parker, also from the WaPo:

A New York City girl who attended a prep school, Ivy League colleges and law school — who once barred military recruiters from Harvard’s recruitment office and was an adviser to Goldman Sachs — can’t be characterized as anything close to mainstream America.

And Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas:

Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the D.C. Beltway. These are not places where one learns how ordinary people live.

Yeah, because we definitely want “mainstream America” and “ordinary people” adjudicating on complex issues of Constitutional interpretation.

Upping the ante, here’s David Brooks, dissing Kagan, and by extension, all of us Ivy Leaguers (whom he terms “Organization Kids”) for being cold, calculating careerists:

There’s about to be a backlash against the Ivy League lock on the court. I have to confess my first impression of Kagan is a lot like my first impression of many Organization Kids. She seems to be smart, impressive and honest — and in her willingness to suppress so much of her mind for the sake of her career, kind of disturbing.

Makes a lot of sense, especially from the mouth of a columnist who has marched in lockstep to the Left ever since Obama’s inauguration.

Finally, according to Bay Buchanan’s, the only difference between Elena Kagan and airhead Bush-nominee Harriet Miers is (drumroll, please):

Ivy League!

So, the difference between a qualified, educated person and an unqualified, uneducated person is… a good education. Buchanan’s has to be an Ivy Grad with those powers of deduction.

It’s always funny how these public putdowns seem to orbit in similar constellations: “Ivy League elitist,” “cold and unapproachable,” “out-of-touch,”
“under-qualified,” “over-intellectual.” Just mix and match and slap them on your political enemy of choice (Clinton, Obama, Kagan) and watch the populist resentment rise! But, really, doesn’t this all just boil down to America’s knee-jerk ambivalence to us Ivy Leaguers in general: yeah, they’re smart, but, um, no smarter than the rest of us! Anti-intellectualism–like sex on TV–sells; haters gon’ hate.

I wonder if the Court serves arugula.

Cornell Basketball and Hockey Captains Demand that You Put a Ring on It

Just when you thought “Single Ladies” parodies were tired and stale — well, okay they still are… But at any rate, this video is incongruous and wacky enough to tickle our fancy. Here are Cornell’s basketball and hockey captains awkwardly dancing/convulsing to the dulcet tones of Beyonce’s seminal relationship anthem. The eligible ladies in question are Louis Dale, Jeff Foote, Ryan Wittman (ballers) and Colin Grenning, Brendon Nash, and Joe Scali (skaters.) Apparently, the video is part of a promotion for Cornell’s prom-like end of year dance (Congrats! You’re all invited!) We’re especially fans of 2:02, at which an enthusiastic head-jerk sends a pair of athletic sunglasses flying. He should have put a band on it.

Video.