Classism: It’s at Yale, and Not Hard to Find

“I believe that talking about socioeconomic status is one of the last taboos among Yale students,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in his Freshman Address this fall. As if in response to this call, Yale Alumni Magazine showcased class in their January/February issue, declaring on the cover:

“Yale College seeks smart students from poor families. They’re out there—but hard to find.”

Nope, this isn’t a parody of Yale stereotypes—it’s really a thing they thought was OK to put in big letters.

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Cornell Spring Celebrations Rescheduled: “It’s Terrible!”

Senior Days? Say it ain’t so.

This year’s Cornell seniors will have less to celebrate come May. Slope Day, historically held on the last day of classes (and typically a Friday), has been moved to the Thursday after the last class day. Senior Week, meanwhile, has been converted into a 3-day mini-celebration dubbed “Senior Days.”

This spring semester will be different, resulting from some scheduling changes initiated in 2012. The university has recognized MLK Day as a holiday, a short “winter break” has been introduced with the Monday and Tuesday of Presidents Week off, and spring break has been pushed back to the first week of April. These changes were made in an attempt to split the semester into thirds, ostensibly easing pressure and lessening stress for students. However, the major result is that the last day of classes is a week later on a Wednesday, rather than the usual late April/early May Friday.

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Yale Administration Blocks Student Course Selection Apps

Though having been available for the last three semesters, Yale Bluebook+, an application-based website similar to Yale’s current course selection site, was blocked from Yale University servers on the first day of shopping period (the two week, somewhat stressful process when students pick their classes). Designed by seniors Peter Xu and Harry Yu, Yale Bluebook+ emphasizes course rankings, assigning a numerical evaluation to each class based on an arithmetic mean, derived from the current scale of “Poor” to “Excellent.”

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86 Yale SigEp Brothers Sued For 2011 Accident

All 86 former and current Yale students who were members of Sigma Phi Epsilon in 2011 have been sued by the victims of a fatal driving accident at the tailgate for the Yale-Harvard game in November of that year. Brendan Ross, Y’13, was driving a U-Haul filled with kegs to the tailgate when he struck three women, injuring two—Sarah Short, SOM’13, and Elizabeth Dernbach—and killing one, Nancy Barry.

Since then, Barry’s estate and Short have worked toward toward a large settlement (specifically, upwards of a million dollars) on the tragic collision. The cases against the students, filed individually by both parties, are the latest in their series of suits filed over the last two years, which have also charged Yale, New Haven, U-Haul, and Ross himself.

After some nice legal footwork from the national SigEp association, these 86 members—including those who were at the tailgate and those who weren’t—have been individually sued. Per the YDN:

National Sigma Phi Epsilon Director of Risk Management Kathy Johnston said in a deposition that, legally, the local chapter and national association have nothing to do with each other. Furthermore, the national fraternity’s insurance — Liberty Mutual of Boston — does not cover actions by the local chapter.

The boys are left on their own to sort this out, though 84 of them are being repped by the same Westchester attorney. More on this as we hear it.

Princeton Pusher Won’t Say What’s in Shady Supplement

Hafiz Dhanani, Princeton ’16 and creator of Luminate, deadlifting.

Hafiz Dhanani is a go-getter—one who sometimes he needs a little chemical help getting going. To that end, he’s come out with a “natural supplement” called Luminate. What’s in it? Well, artichoke extract, and some other stuff that he won’t say.

The young job-creator—previously featured on this blog—talked vaguely about his supplement in a bizarrely uncritical Princetonian article. What little we do learn there is that Dhanani has used a lot of supplements, Luminate has something to do with artichokes, and—taken with a cup of coffee—it increased the heart-rate of one of Dhanani’s friends.

(We asked the Prince if the article was “some sort of unmarked sponsored content.” EIC Luc Cohen replied, “The answer is no.”)

So, as is often the case, the comments are more interesting than the article—and more edifying. Ben Hebert, co-founder of supplement supplier NaturalStacks.com, commented: “Thanks for ordering from us (NaturalStacks.com) and then copying. I would have expected a lot more from someone at Princeton :)”

Dhanani replied that ”none of the ingredients you use are proprietary or something that can’t be found on Amazon.com. You have my email if you’d like to chat.”

Naturally, we wanted to chat. Hebert explained that Luminate closely resembles his product CILTEP: both use artichoke extract, and “[t]he mechanisms of action for CILTEP and Luminate are exactly as described in the article.”

According to Hebert, Dhanani ”ordered our combo pack twice and then ordered the 4-month supply of both CILTEP and SMART CAFFEINE just the other day.” Hebert added that Dhanani isn’t the first copy-cat, and that his recipes are public and non-proprietary, anyway. He “just thought [he]‘d comment on the post to let him know that we’re watching.”

Dhanani didn’t reply to multiple emails for comment. But here’s a deal, Fiz: send us some Luminate, and we’ll review it while on it.

Supplements at work (?) courtesy @HafizDhanani

Way to Express Yourself, Yale!

“Yale is Brave” isn’t the next “Why I Chose Yale“—it’s not as smug.That said, it’s pretty fucking smug.

The basic conceit, as we understand it, is a bunch of Elis prancing around, lip-syncing Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” (which is Top 40 bullshit). So there’s that, plus a few cut-together scenes. One where a shy guy approaches a girl sitting on a bench using a MacBook Pro (he’s being brave). In another, a different guy starts dancing at a lame party, and all the other people dance too, after they take the sticks out of their asses (just kidding, they don’t). And one more where a girl dances on a library shelf in a room full of working students (obnoxious, not brave).

This is an assignment for CPSC 183 Law, Technology, & Culture, a current-eventsy class about computers ‘n’ stuff. The video is a class-wide project (normally they do individual blog posts, but this year the class opted for this).

Instructor Brad Rosen tells us, “As an academic exercise, I think it was a success.  I hope they had fun in the process. (I suspect they did.)”

Addendum: The Bullblog made a video, too.

Thiel Fellow to Plebs Whom She Wants to Employ to Run Her Extracurriculars: “Stay Awesome”

Eden Full, P ’15

Just under one month ago, we introduced you to Fiz, a public servant at Princeton in search of a private servant. He emailed his residential college looking to pay a classmate to run his errands.

Well, meet Eden. She’s a junior at Princeton, but only because she took two years off for a Thiel grant to make the desert bloom with solar power. Eden lives in the same residential college as Fiz! And she needs help, too—not only with errands, but with her startup and extracurriculars and personal projects. (Resumes don’t build themselves.)

From a tipster:

From: Eden Full
Subject: Seeking a Ninja!
Date: November 6, 2013 at 7:14:03 AM GMT+8
To: [the same residential college as last time]@Princeton.EDU

Hi [residential college]!

I hope all is well. I’m seeking a ninja for 3-5 hours/week to help me with some errands/research. For example:

- Mailing stuff at the post office
- Helping with some administrative stuff and/or research for my startup, extracurricular activities and personal projects
Compensation would be $15/hour, and you would complete these tasks at your own convenience, as long as it gets done before the very reasonable deadline. Some weeks will have more work than others, but it will definitely be nothing too intense.

If this is something you think you have free time in your schedule for, please email me back with:

- 2-3 sentences about yourself
- Possible hours you are available to work each day, organized as a Google spreadsheet and shared with me as a link in the email
Looking forward to potentially working with you!

Stay awesome,

Eden

[Photo via NPR]

Academics… They Fight About Books in Comment Threads!

Adams’s Facebook post

“If there was anything Adams could learn from having a child with Down syndrome, she hasn’t learned it yet.”

That’s the second to last line of Cristina Nehring’s utterly vicious review of Columbia English professor Rachel Adams’s Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery. Merits of the book notwithstanding (I haven’t read it), Nehring takes obvious pleasure in turning a cruel phrase. Nehring depicts Adams as a narcissistic, selfish mother to a son with Downs syndrome; she unfavorably compares Adams to herself, who has a daughter with Downs syndrome.

Read it for yourself, in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

After the review went up, Nehring sounded the horn: she wrote to an international Down syndrome email listserv for support in the comment section. (A commenter quotes Nehring from there: “I confess that if you felt like throwing yourself into the fray to comment, I’d be touched and grateful.”) In response, Adams posted the above on her Facebook page, calling upon her friends to “please comment in my defense!”

And it was on: a comment thread of academics pseudonymously carping at one another. Read the rest of this entry »

Brown Protesters Shout Ray Kelly Out of Providence

Protesters at Brown students shouted down NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, preventing him from  giving a scheduled lecture, “Proactive Policing in America’s Biggest City.”

Having previously tried to get the administration to call off the event, they did on their own, yelling over Ray Kelly, each other, and the Brown administrator who failed to appeal to the students’ decency.

In the above video, produced by the Brown Political Review, you can see various students stand, raise their fists, chant, etc. And you can see other students remain seated, roll their eyes, and tell them to shut up. Administrators called it off after thirty minutes of this, before the scheduled question and answer period.

President Christina Paxson wrote in a statement, “The conduct of disruptive members of the audience is indefensible and an affront both to civil democratic society and to the University’s core values of dialogue and the free exchange of views.”

Update, 11/6, 9:54 p.m.: Paxson is investigating whether the hecklers should be disciplined. A Daily Herald poll showed that 73% of students opposed the heckler’s actions.

Drama: A Do-Over for the 119th Annual Varsity Show?

“A tradition of drama, satire, and Columbia spirit”—that’s our annual Varsity Show. At its best, it critically and cohesively ties off one year in Morningside Heights. At its worst, it delivers three hours of dull one-liners that reduce to, “Ha, ha! We go to Columbia, too!”

Broad consensus on campus is that V118—two shows ago—was the former.  V119—last year’s—was the latter. Read the rest of this entry »