In Defense of the Ivy League

The current issue of the New Republic features former Yale professor William Deresiewicz going on for 4000 words deriding the Ivy League and other “elite” schools. This is not unusual: Deresiewicz has done this before and probably will do so again (there’s freedom in not getting tenure, it seems). But with a solid clickbait headline, the article made the rounds on social media and we decided to address some of the fallacies and paradoxes presented in his TNR arguments. Join us.

Scout Willis, uncensored

Our old pal Scout Willis, Brown ’13, has publicly returned to Twitter and is using it to promote a good cause: nipples. Last week, Scout posted a picture of a sweatshirt that she designed with an image of topless women on her Instagram, leading Instagram to delete her account for violating community guidelines. She has since taken to Twitter (@Scout_Willis, bio “BougPunk lives“) to express her discontent with their censorship of a sweatshirt she designed women’s bodies.

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BROWN: Getting Frisky For Spring Weekend


This week, Brown revealed a hodgepodge lineup for their April 11-12th Spring Weekend (clever name): Lauryn Hill, Diplo, Chance the Rapper, and Andrew Bird. Shortly thereafter, students began making preparations for the event, namely in the form of personalized bro-tank. And everyone knows there’s no better way to celebrate your inner bro than reppin’ the biggest campus controversy of the year.

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JUST SAY YES, YOU’RE MAKING US ALL LOOK BAD

This week on the venerable HuffPost Live, user “gaydood” asked a hard-hitting question: “is sex better at better universities?” Rather than making the correct response of “yes of course! So much good sex all the time always forever!” participants Donny J. of Cornell and Margot Harris of Brown succeeded in perpetuating the Ivy League image of nerds clumsily bumping uglies. They grew immediately uncomfortable and tried passing the question off to each other, with Harris finally claiming she didn’t have enough experience with other schools to have a particular theory. Thanks a ton, guys.

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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.

Brown Daily Herald Columnist: ‘Universal Suffrage Is Immoral,’ ‘I Read Atlas Shrugged Once’

Meet Oliver Hudson. Oliver is a junior at Brown University, where he is editor-in-chief of the campus’ conservative magazine the Brown Spectator, and writes a regular column in the Brown Daily Herald. Today, Oliver focused his writing on a topic he appears to be quite passionate about: voting rights.

“Most of us accept and celebrate our universal suffrage. But is it a good idea? In my view, no.”

Rather than allow every adult U.S. citizen to vote, Oliver argues, this “privilege” should be based on taxes. As he writes, Restricting the right to vote to taxpayers is moral and practical. Sounds like someone really dug that Ayn Rand seminar they took last semester.

If Oliver ran things around here, people wouldn’t just be voting wherever and whenever they pleased, no sir. Right now, the voting population is comprised of two groups: Those good hearted people who pay their taxes and give the government revenue, and another set of people who then take that money in the form of “benefits and programs” — or “stuff and things” — but may or may not pay their fair share. And for Oliver, if you don’t pay, you shouldn’t be voting, because a vote for a federal representative immediately decides where the government’s money goes. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch A Brown Student Troll A Hurricane Sandy Broadcast

Amid the chaos yesterday of Hurricane Sandy, one Brown student apparently thought it would be funny to score an live, on-air interview and then question the legitimacy of the storm (props to Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose, Brown Class of 2009, for finding the clip). When NBC reporter Alison Bologna asks Brown junior Daniel Moraff why he would brave the weather in Providence, he responds:

“I’m still pretty skeptical. I don’t really believe that there’s a hurricane. I know the government wants us to think that, but think about it — the earth rotates very quickly.”

How droll, Daniel. You must write for a Brown University humor publication of some sort.

Although confused, Ms. Bologna moves forward with the interview, probably thinking, “well, that sounds like something they teach at Brown.” However, when she gets to her next question — school cancellations — Daniel’s attempt at a joke becomes clear:

“Well, you know, the government definitely wants you to think classes have been cancelled. I’m not so sure.”

Brilliant trolling Daniel! Fantastic performance!

To her credit, Ms. Bologna clearly realizes at this point she’s being messed with, and does her best to expertly distance herself from Daniel by looking directly at the camera. Watch it for yourself below:

Work for IvyGate: Back to School Edition

It’s that time of year again. While the Ancient Eight are preparing themselves for the quickly upcoming academic year, here at IvyGate, we’re looking for new talented contributors to join our elite ranks. And, as we’ve said before, “Experience is arbitrary.”

Seriously though, we want you! We’re looking for the next crop of newsies to break the big stories, investigate enticing leads, and cover the day-to-day foibles of the Ivy League. We’re looking for columnists to give their opinions on Ivy League sports, ethics, and whatever else you can think of (we’re open). We’re looking for design and multimedia mavens to create images, cut videos, and generally make us look as pretty as possible.

Have your work read by literally thousands of eyes every day, including some of the snarkiest most beautiful and intelligent commenters in the game. Join the entity recently referred to as a “blog” by The Huffington Post, ABC News, and many other equally impressive outfits. And look out, because there’s a website redesign coming soon that’ll knock your socks off.

If anything here appeals to you, or you have something slightly/wildly different in mind, or you have no idea what you’d want to do, hit us up at tips@ivygateblog.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

After Year at Oxford, Emma Watson Postpones Return to Brown

We are sorry to break the news to the Brown University Class of 2016, but Providence will be a little less magical than you expected. Emma Watson, one of Brown’s token celebrity/witch/normal students, will be taking another leave of absence to work on her Hollywood street cred, the university confirmed.

Although several news outlets are trying to portray this as a “career crossroads,” with Watson choosing between a barrage of movie offers and her everyday life at Hogwarts Brown, it seems that she is committed to completing her course load. A spokesperson for the actress said, Her plan is to resume her studies in January in order to complete her last semester before graduation. Brown has been very flexible regarding her filming commitments.” We’re sure they do that for all their students with a hectic international filming schedule.

This is just the latest extension of Watson’s self-imposed separation from Providence. In March 2011, Watson announced a leave of absence from Brown, which turned into a yearlong study abroad at Oxford (where she apparently went by the exceptionally British alias “Humphrey Appleby”). Now it seems that she won’t be back on campus until January 2013, close to two years since she first left.

We will continue to miss Watson’s droll observations about weird American formalities such as our need to drink beer out of red plastic cups after the ritual exchanging of ping pong balls, instead of, you know, out of a glass and with less ping pong balls. To get you ready for her post-Potter career, here’s the trailer for her upcoming adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower:

Was Scout Willis Framed by the NYPD?

Attention celebrity photographers! Tomorrow Scout Willis appears in Manhattan Criminal Court, where the rising Brown senior will answer the underage-drinking and fake-ID-carrying charges for which she was arrested in late June. As you’ll recall, 20-year-old Scout briefly went to jail for drinking an 8 oz. can of “Pakistani beer” in Union Square and handing an NYPD officer someone else’s ID.

The case seems simple. But is it? Maybe not! Apparently Scout’s lawyer plans to argue that the beer her client was drinking never actually existedFrom the New York Post:

Trouble is, the mostly Muslim country’s lone brewery — the Murree Brewery, founded in 1860 and touted on its Web site as Pakistan’s “oldest continuing enterprise” — doesn’t make or distribute 8-ounce cans of beer, defense lawyer Stacey Richman told Manhattan prosecutors in papers made public yesterday.

There was no beer. Of course. The beer can? What beer can? The beer itself? According to Scout’s lawyer, the illicit liquid could have been soda—or anything!

“I don’t know whether they have it. I don’t know whether it’s beer. I don’t know if it’s a Sprite.”

Hoooooookay, Scout’s lawyer. We believe you. IT WAS A SETUP.  Read the rest of this entry »