Phi Delta Theta’s unfortunate choice of Christmas card
Happy 2015, guys. Now that we’re collectively, if slowly, waking up from our post-holiday daze, it’s time to start getting back in touch with the crazy shit your peers got up to while you were sleeping. Ranging from deadly serious crimes to seriously unfunny jokes, here’s a taste of winter in the Ivy League. In order of descending gravity:
- A Princeton graduate has been indicted for his father’s murder. Thomas Gilbert, P’09, allegedly killed his father, who was the founder of a hedge fund, by staging a suicide while his mother was out of the apartment (he got her to leave by asking her to buy him a sandwich). Gothamist claims that Gilbert Jr. – a 30 year old man – was provoked by a cut in his allowance from $600 to $400 a month.
- The complaint filed by 23 Columbia and Barnard students back in April has finally been answered: Columbia University is officially under investigation for violations of Title IX and Title II. The lesser-known federal Title II deals with cases of discrimination based on ability, while 2014′s buzzword Title IX addresses equal treatment in regards to gender. Barnard College is under a separate Title IX investigation.
- If you thought Dartmouth has been suspiciously quiet of embarrassing scandals lately, think again. 64 Dartmouth students have been charged with cheating in – get this – an Ethics class. Most of them will be suspended for a semester. More specifically, the class was a “sports ethics course targeted at student athletes struggling with academics.” We are sunbathing in the irony.
- UPenn frat Phi Delta Theta decided to send out a digital Christmas card to spread holiday cheer this season. They also spread racism, since their card included a couple dozen white men plus a black female blow-up sex doll. The frat publicly apologized for the “act of poor judgement,” and insisted that the blow-up doll was supposed to be Beyonce, which of course no longer makes it the sexual objectification of a black woman anymore, since it’s Beyonce. Meanwhile, BroBible just didn’t get why everyone’s panties were in such a twist over the situation. Phi Delta Theta has since then been suspended.
- To lighten things up, here are some photos from the 2015 “Men of the Vet School” Cornell calendar. “Great-looking men and adorable animals” apparently make for a “unique and special dynamic” in this photo series of shirtless guys parading around with puppies and tractors. Yep. Special.
- And finally, a beleaguered young Princeton freshman is bravely calling out the microaggressions perpetrated against those who pronounce their “wh”s as “hw”s. For those who don’t know what we or he are talking about, think Family Guy’s “cool hwip.” Grassroots activism, y’all. (Sorry, is that a microaggression?)
Police in Ithaca are stumped as town residents are being shot by paintballs from a moving vehicle.
According to two press releases issued by the Cornell police, several students were hit in paintball attacks between September 4 and 12. “Over the past week Cornell Police have received several reports of students being targeted with a paintball gun discharged from a moving vehicle. In all cases, students reported seeing a black or dark-colored sedan drive by them as they were struck by a paintball.” None have sustained any serious injuries.
To make this situation sound even more like the plot of a B movie, no one knows what the shooter looks like. According to Cornell police, “[t]here is no further description of the vehicle or any of its occupants.”
Police have yet to announce if the ongoing investigation has yielded any results. In the meantime, Cornell students should take precaution in case of a paintball attack by wearing thick clothing and carrying large umbrellas.
Judging from the lack of coverage and online discussion, Cornell seems oddly okay with this turn of events. A Cornell Sun article about the drive-by shootings barely goes into more detail than the initial police alerts, and tweets from students poke fun at the incidents.
The fact that a serial paintball shooter appears to be the most wanted man in Ithaca says something about the level of crime in the region. So even if other Ivies might make fun of Cornell for its rustic sensibilities, at least Ithaca has crime statistics that would make Yale jealous.
“Every non-sage is mad” – Cicero
A “bizarre…incident” took place last week that proved at least some Cornell kids are on the search for higher knowledge this summer. On July 22nd, The Ithaca Voice reported that a marijuana pipe was found on campus by a custodian (or, as the police report phrased it, “drug paraphernalia”) (yes, they sent a Cornell police officer to investigate an abandoned pipe). The newsworthy–and hilarious–part of the story lies where the offending item was found: Cornell’s Sage Chapel. Given the evidence, we really can’t be sure that the kids weren’t just burning some incense in a linguistically appropriate location.
Janelle Hanson, an official with Cornell United Religious Workers, claims the incident is the first of its kind that she’s seen in her three years overseeing the chapel. She also expressed mystification as to how or why the pipe could have ended up there, and conjectured that “maybe they were just walking by and accidentally set it down when they were praying,” a response that makes us wonder if everyone’s trolling everyone here.
A Cornell police report deemed the case “closed,” which we feel was a sage decision on the part of the university. There should never be shame in communing with a higher power, especially in the search for some sage wisdom. We congratulate the unknown students for finding a far more ingenious place to search for divine inspiration than the tired rooftop/park/hotboxed dorm room. Who says you can’t reach new highs and execute clever wordplay? Although if they’d been smoking salvia, we’d be on a whole new plane of pun.
Sage has been used throughout history for warding off evil, snake bites, and increasing women’s fertility. It has also been lauded for its healing properties since the Middle Ages. The herb was sometimes referred to as “S. salvatrix,” or sage the savior.
Random facts about sage via Wikipedia
Depending on your opinion, people have either been (a) getting their panties in a twist or (b) expressing some legitimate concerns over Facebook’s sinister-sounding “emotional contagion” research project, news of which hit the Internet in full force yesterday.
The week-long study, conducted in January 2012, selectively altered the news feeds of about 70,000 Facebook users by skewing the news, photos, and statuses they saw to either an overly positive or overly negative angle. And as various media outlets have frantically reported, turns out we are influenced by other people’s moods and the type of information we receive. Crazy.
While Facebook itself collected the data, the results of the study were analyzed by scientists at Cornell – and before the world could even point an accusing finger towards Ithaca, a well-timed press release from Cornell’s Media Relations Office was quick to shout, “don’t look at us, bro.”
tl;dr of the release: Cornell’s Professor Hancock only had access to the research results, so you don’t need to worry about the school keeping your alcohol-fueled depressive statuses in a database somewhere, waiting to be revealed Snowden-style. The decision was also made to not consult the Human Research Protection Program because Hancock “was not directly engaged in human research”; or, we’re all just meaningless numbers in the end.
Cornell: even when they try to reassure you, they somehow make you feel worse.
Calling all female Cornell grad students: are you still looking for a date to tomorrow night’s Graduate Ball? Don’t you worry — if you act quickly, you can score a date with the hottest man in town. Ivan Martynenko is a grad student in Structural Mechanics and Materials, and, in a class-wide email sent to the Cornell graduate listerv, has created his own version of The Bachelor, minus the hot tubs.
Rather than forgo this year’s Ball, or, y’know, ask somebody in person/via text/via a single-recipient email, he’s inviting all Cornell grad ladies (sorry, gents) to submit an application to be his date. (Here’s hoping they don’t hit reply-all). Ivan says it best himself: “If you are smart, attractive, talented — this is your chance.” Who could resist?
But wait! There’s more!
A man was stabbed this past Thursday at Ithaca’s Level B bar, otherwise known as the place Cornell students go to drink $18 fishbowls every Wednesday night. The Ithaca police who encountered the victim reported that he was “stabbed in the torso area,” and was brought to a regional trauma center. There was no information shared on whether the victim — or the suspect, for that matter — is a University affiliate.
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Ah, springtime at an Ivy: students descend on the quad, thesis writers emerge from their caves, and — best of all — high school seniors attack campus with naïveté, un-jaded excitement, and a myriad of questions all boiling down to:
Can my host get me alcohol? Is this the school for me?
Columbia’s first Days on Campus program — prospective student visiting weekend — for the Class of 2018 began today. Prospies were treated with a beautiful spring day and blue and white balloons blanketing College Walk. But they’re also getting another dose of classic Columbia: protests.
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Down at the bottom of this morning’s Bit of News rundown of stories, they included one headline different from the others:
“Tiger goes after senators. Four senators are mauled by a tiger in front of a live Congressional session.”
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Cornell President David Skorton, who has held the position since 2006, was named the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute. He will be the first physician in charge at the Smithsonian. Skorton’s shipping out from Ithaca at the end of the next school year, starting at the Institute in July 2015—so he’ll be around for Cornell’s sesquicentennial (150, guys).
Skorton got to Cornell with a bang in 2006, living in a freshman dorm and getting his own ice cream flavor. He was, by all accounts, a jazzy dude. In the seriousness realm, he’s tried ending hazing and scored Cornell its very own NYC tech campus.
We can’t imagine why Skorton would want to leave Cornell (OK we can, it’s because Ithaca), but in this last year we hope to see an increase in jazz shows and idealism. If you catch Skorton up to anything fun, drop us a line.
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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