After a video of Columbia Physics Professor Emlyn Hughes’ unusual introduction to his Frontiers of Science lecture began circulating the web yesterday, The Spectator has reported that Columbia administrators will review the video to determine … something. According to Columbia’s statement, the university will judge “excerpts” from Hughes’ lecture — in which he stripped to his boxers, showed video of 9/11, and brought ninjas onstage, among other still unexplained actions — to see if he potentially crossed “academic freedom” and entered “things that have nothing to do with quantum mechanics.”
Frontiers of Science, or FroSci, is a mandatory part of Columbia’s Core Curriculum (freshmen are preregistered for the class). According to its website, the course’s goal is to “change the way students think about questions of science and about the world around them.” Columbia’s administrators should keep this in mind when watching Hughes take his clothes off to Lil Wayne’s remix of “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” because after Monday we doubt any FroSci student will be thinking of their professor the same way.
Following the recommendation of Columbia’s Inter-Greek Council Judicial Board, the school’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter lost its charter this week due to a hazing infraction, The Columbia Spectator reports. Although it has not been revealed what exactly ZBT did to lose recognition, their national organization will be appealing Columbia’s decision.
A tipster forwarded us an email sent Thursday night by the IGC’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing cautioning the Greek community to remain tightlipped and alert in this time of “heavy scrutiny.” Perhaps more seriously, he foresees a Columbia where the newly outlawed ZBT brothers have become modern thugs, terrorizing campus and turning Greek against fellow Greek. We imagine something like The Warriors. Or maybe Mad Max.
Our tipster sums it up pretty nicely: “Stick together, because we’re a Greek family … but watch out, because ZBT might try to forcibly extract information from you.” You know, because they haze.
Earlier this week, we received an anonymous tip about a post on SpecSucks, a blog unhealthily obsessed with the Columbia Spectator. The post details a fairly ridiculous story of a group of Spectator editors breaking into the Columbia Provost’s office, using their connections in the Deans’ office to get out of trouble, and then calling in favors at Bwog to keep everything out of the headlines. Perhaps worth noting though, there’s now an update on the post that mentions “a dozen or two factual issues with [our] post.” So there’s that.
While we corresponded with several people who anonymously vouched for the veracity of various parts of the story, representatives from each accused organization have all denied involvement. This morning we reached out to Columbia Dean Terry Martinez, who was accused by SpecSucks of “sticking out her neck” to help the Spectator editors. Below is the university’s statement:
“While federal student privacy law prevents us from commenting on specific cases involving student discipline, we can say unequivocally that any claim of an improper relationship involving Dean Terry Martinez is completely false and without any factual basis. Moreover, Dean Martinez has no role in adjudicating these types of disciplinary matters. Reports made earlier today in this vein fail any standard of journalistic credibility and should be promptly retracted.”
“With respect to the Columbia Daily Spectator, it is important to note that like any news media organization, the student newspaper is completely independent from the University, and we have no comment on its handling of this matter.”
More than half of the Harvard students involved in last year’s cheating scandal have been forced to withdraw from the university, according to an email sent out today to the Harvard community. The investigation into members of Government 1310: Introduction to Congress was first announced in August, after similarities were found in 125 take-home open-book final exams.
The Crimson reports that of the students initially charged by the university more than half were required to withdraw, while about half of those who are allowed to stay on campus received disciplinary probation. No actions were taken against the other students.
As Bloomberg points out, Harvard stated in August that students forced to withdraw as a result of cheating could be off campus for up to two semesters.
“This house values secrecy and we have seen how quickly things get out of control when we do not keep things in the house. You will likely lose your pledgeship if you are found to have revealed house secrets. Trust is a key component to a strong brotherhood.”
However, at some point Tuesday, information about SAE’s event was posted on Bored@Baker, an anonymous Dartmouth message board. A subsequent email from the president notes “Bored@Baker reads that hazing will occur at the BEMA tonight at 9pm.” Although he continually stresses the need for secrecy about the night’s activities, he never denies that hazing will take place. Read the rest of this entry »
Aleksey Vayner, the Yale graduate who became famous for a video résumé titled “Impossible is Nothing,” has died, according to several sources. An email sent by a friend of Vayner’s to a small group of people at Yale confirmed his death, and a woman claiming to be his niece recently posted a notice about him on Twitter.
Today a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner confirmed to IvyGate that a 29-year-old man matching Vayner’s description, under the name of Alex Stone, died on the morning of January 19 in Queens, New York. The spokeswoman indicated that the cause of death has yet to be determined.
Yesterday we noticed The Daily Princetonian’s unfortunate misquote of Antonin Scalia’s comments on homosexuality during a Q&A at Princeton on Monday evening. (The article was soon corrected.) Then, last night, MSNBC aired the same error beneath the paper’s logo. We imagine the scene at the Prince’s newsroom went something like this:
Unnamed Prince staffer #1: Oh my god. Our logo!
Unnamed Prince staffer #2: Our error. The error.
Unnamed Prince staffer #3: No. Nooooooooooooo!!!!
Unnamed Prince staffer #4: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
Disembodied voice of Shirley Tilghman: It was the only quote that anyone cared about!
Disembodied voice of David Petraeus: The only quote that mattered!
Presumably because all current students are too busy being severely depressed or dealing with soul-crushing workloads to think of column ideas, the Columbia Spectator recently published a guest article by self-proclaimed “Ivy League Dropout” Hannah Shaper, formerly CC ’15. In her rambling, I-might-be-high manifesto—titled “The sun rises without Columbia”—she tells everyone why Columbia sucks and she dropped out and they should too. We think!
Yes, there are communities within that enterprise like Sorority Sisters and the Chinese Dragon Dancing People and the Butler Chain Smoker Union, but Columbia is you. You aren’t Columbia. Dig? You are the only thing that makes Columbia anything remotely substantial. It’s not Mother Theresa’s house of the sick and dying, it’s a corporation. If it’s not making you happy, you’re not a terrible person.
Society can go fornicate itself for stamping your forehead with the seal of approval if and only if you follow its path. For better or for worse, this mysterious nonentity that we call Columbia University caters to societal approval.
As best as we can tell, Shaper picked up a bunch of scraps of paper from the remnants of the OWS camp and pasted them together to make an article. It’s kind of impossible to follow her argument, but at least this explanation would account for the large number of contradictions. Like how she lavishes praise on her fellow students for being awesome and totally special and making her Columbia experience totally worth it — “But in all seriousness, the moments that augmented my experience with hope and beauty came from you” — but also tells them that Columbia is not a society and if they dropped out and disappeared off the face of the planet no one would care less: Read the rest of this entry »
Some housekeeping: we’re taking a break for a bit, and will return to regular posting in early December. In the meantime, if you want to write for us, get in touch. (And be sure to follow us on Twitter.)
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.