Princeton May Ban Greek Life, Become Civilized

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman recently told the Ink in an interview that she is considering banning all Greek life on campus.  The threat comes in the wake of a series by a recent Daily Princetonian tell-all with some surprising(?) conclusions. Students in fraternities were:

a. Wealthier and whiter than other students on campus.  88% of Greek Life at Princeton is white, 70% of Greeks come from families that make more than $150,000 a year.  Even Tilghman said,

Those [students] who made the decision to participate in the Greek system were essentially engaging in organizations where they were going to meet people very similar to themselves.  It looked and felt a lot like self-segregation. And that was a problem for us.

Tilgman’s thoughts on other, non-keg-stand-related extracurriculars:

You will see students who come out of very selective schools. You will see students who are coming out of public schools. You will see people of different ethnic groups. It looks like America.

Tilghman’s vision of America isn’t of a land run by a bunch of wealthy white me,  like Princeton’s social life? For shame!

b. Frats are populated by barbaric, misogynistic brutes (remember, this is the DP talking. Haha… “DP.”)  John Burford, a whistle-blowing sophomore who rushed SAE as a freshman briefly before jumping ship, gave some colorful descriptions.  Burford was frequently forced to drink excessively; one of his brothers was taken to the hospital with a potentially life-threatening and totally buzz-killing blood alcohol level of o.40. Burford himself must have suffered damage to his stomach lining  (or at least his gag reflex) after his first year;

On average, I threw up once a day for my entire first semester. Not every day, but once or twice a week, I would throw up multiple times.

Burford was sober enough to recall that 5 of the 7 guys in his pledge class were felled by alcohol poisoning during the year.  As part of their pledge duties they were also sent to a strip club where he was treated to the world’s least enjoyable lap-dance:

Surrounded by his pledge brothers and 40 other club patrons, Burford climbed onto the stage and selected a stripper. She removed his shirt, handcuffed him to a tall metal pole in the middle of the stage and began to beat him with a thick leather belt volunteered by one of his pledge brothers.

Kinky. Burford, who also had trouble finishing his assigned tasks, was told to drink a 20-ounce soda bottle full of tobacco spit. This was reputedly a punishment for slacking off during milk-chugging/sprinting bouts; in other words, frat justice.

“Chewing tobacco pretty much instantly makes you throw up … so none of them thought I could do it,” Burford said. Still, he took the bottle and managed to drink all of its contents in one chug.

After pledge “activities” that forced Burford to risk hypothermia by swimming in a freezing lake — and his sanity, by making him listen to rounds of death metal at full volume in a dark, boiling hot room — he finally quit.  Who can be sure of what was going through his head? Maybe he realized that he could make friends, get girls, and be social without having to suffer through barbaric ritual abuse? Or maybe he wanted to join ballroom dancing.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, clearly all gentlemen, conducted a super-serious day-long investigation of hazing at the chapter–and shockingly  found that the allegations were all super-seriously false.  Princeton does not recognize greek life, which means they can’t investigate Burford’s claims or monitor fraternity activity.  In President Tilghman’s words,

I fundamentally believe that it’s impossible to regulate the very things that we are most concerned about with fraternities … which are the excessive alcohol and the hazing.

She’s considering a few options:  recognizing Greek life, suffering through the current status quo, or banning greek life completely by requiring students to sign a pledge not to pledge upon matriculation, which was the university’s policy between 1855 and World War II.  If Burford’s experience tells us anything, it’s that the university absolutely needs a way to police it.  A lot of the discussion in the aftermath of the Daily Princetonian‘s feature centered around a common refrain:  ”wait until a student dies–then the Princeton administration will learn its lesson”.  It shouldn’t have to come to that– and besides, kids have already risked their physical and mental health.  John Burford told countless news sources about the illegal activities of the men he used to call “brother”; it’s not too wild to assume that these barbarous bros didn’t like that too much.  Princeton already has exclusive eating clubs–greek life seems excessive.  Even the founding president of Kappa Alpha Theta at Princeton, Mimi Stokes Brown ’85 backs us up;

My personal feeling is that the school doesn’t need them. Between the eating clubs and residential colleges, it just seems unnecessary… I can’t think what value is added by having fraternities and sororities.

Shirley Tilghman was recently the subject of The Ink‘s recurring 21-question interview and when asked to describe, in one sentence, what exactly she does all day, Tilghman says;

I work to ensure that in the future, including tomorrow, Princeton University is fulfilling to the greatest extent possible its potential to transform the lives of its students, and discover new knowledge.

If Tilghman really wants this to be true she has to change her policy.  Non-recognition allows for illegal action to go unchecked.  Banning might work, but frats could continue in secret, or hazing could just get squeezed into other social groups.  Recognition could work if Princeton decides to take full responsibility and monitor fraternity parties and rush activities for fraternities and sororities.  Maybe this would make greek life so lame no one would want to do it.  That might not be a bad thing.

‘Princetonian’ Tells Women They Were Asking For It

The Princetonian, somehow, published an op-ed blaming women for getting raped. Buckle your seatbelts, here comes a long quote:

Therefore, the girl willingly got herself into a state in which she could not act rationally. This, in my opinion, is equivalent to agreeing to anything that might happen to her while in this state. In the case of our girl, this happened to be sex with a stranger.

This brings up another question: Why is the guy always to blame? Since the beginning of time, society has taught us that whenever a situation like this arises, the fault belongs almost entirely to the male participant.

And thus women ought not accuse men of rape, to correct the balance. Okay! Well. There are so many things to say — first of which is that the article is written by a freshman. Oh, Iulia Neagu, so much to learn about not starting controversies with your incredibly retrograde opinions! Also enraging: how she frames her argument as “logical” simply by using the phrases “common sense” and “therefore” repeatedly.

Other things to say are said by the 166 comments on the Prince site. One of them reads:

I’m very disappointed the Prince staff allowed this to be published. They’re obviously just using a poor freshman as a sacrifice to the publicity gods. Now, everyone will talk about this tomorrow, read their Princes, and post here. It’s really not okay to publish something like this, and the only reason it would be is for readership.

Hey, don’t get too mad at the editors, though. Little Iulia said it best: you’re not capable of making wise decisions when you’re drunk.

Princeton Student Sues University For Hating On the Disabled

VQBXITYWFBAWWJV.20091022182552Princeton freshman Diane Metcalf-Leggette is suing the university for not allowing her extra time on exams. Citing a learning disability, Metcalf-Leggette claimed that without the special concessions she might not do well on her midterms.

It’s called freshman year, Diane.  Most people don’t do well on their first midterms.

But really, there’s a bigger issue at stake. The place for learning disabilities on campus is generally drowning in a vat of amphetamine-soaked distrust. Diagnoses are diagnoses, right? Metcalf-Leggette has a whole bunch of them. According to The Prince:

Metcalf-Leggette’s complaint asserted that she has four learning disabilities, which were diagnosed in 2003: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mixed-receptive-expressive language disorder, disorder of written expression and developmental coordination disorder. The conditions, according to the complaint, hinder her ability to focus, process information and communicate in writing.

So should the University trust the doctors and give this girl some help? Oh wait, they already do.

The University currently accommodates Metcalf-Leggette’s disabilities by offering her a “reduced distraction testing environment,” a limit of one exam per day and a 10-minute break each hour, the law journal reported.

Get to know the Americans with Disabilities Act and fury of testing the Tiger after the jump.

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Princeton Freshmen Girls Dub Themselves “The Tribe,” People Act Like They’re Actually Surprised

tigerPeople who think the surreal but entertaining high school drama of bad teen movies end after “Pomp and Circumstance” stops playing obviously haven’t been to Princeton. An anonymous source recently called out a group of freshman girls who have been referring to themselves as “The Tribe” around campus. Perhaps trying to fight the widespread notion that Princeton girls are the fugliest in comparison with the sexier Ivies by proclaiming themselves as the hottest girls at Princeton, Regina George and company appear to be taking full advantage of rush week and using their marketing prowess to gain entry into one of the exclusive sororities on campus (cross your fingers for Kappa!). Apparently, the girls not only seek exclusivity in social organizations, but also in choice of sexual partners, according to the source, who claims:

They have decided that they are so hot that they will only hook up with legacies and athletes.

Feign surprise at Princeton exclusivity after the jump.

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Yale, Totally Gay

It's not what you think.Yale students are no doubt happy, but are they also gayer than their counterparts at other schools? That according to the latest issue of Yale Alumni Magazine, whose cover purports to explain “Why They Call Yale the Gay Ivy.” What you find out quickly is the reason they call Yale the Gay Ivy is because they call it the Gay Ivy.

In addition to the 1987 declaration  “Suddenly Yale is a gay school,” the assiduous editors offer such hard-hitting journalism as citing Wikipedia (but who doesn’t?) and availing themselves of that old saw, anecdotal evidence:

Yale probably does, however, have a higher proportion of gay students than other Ivies; there are no statistics, but many gay Yale students think it’s true. And if you walk around campus for a while on your visit, you may see a gay couple holding hands.

Well, if Yale students think it’s true, it must be. The fact gay Yalies are more comfortable holding hands than they might at, say, Princeton, where the gay community reportedly turns to Craig’s List for discreet hook-ups, supports the claim a bit more, though.

After the jump: how Yale came out, angry alumni commenters, and Patrick Bateman explains how he knew Yale was the Gay Ivy all along.

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Speaking of tools at Princeton, Here’s a Lawn Party Pic

gymclasshero-tiffany-liujpg

This just popped up on the Daily Princetonian’s blog, The Prox. This comment says it all:

I would boink half of them but still….ugh. Chest painting for Gym Class Heroes? Apples in Stereo were awesome.

Princeton Girl Explains New Slang Term, “Tool”

screwdriver-with-screw-holderI’ve heard this strange usage of the word “tool” bandied about and I’ve been waiting for an Ivy daily to publish a column explaining what it means. Finally, Cindy Hong, in “Taking a Peek in the Tool Shed,” has cleared things up for me. According to Cindy, a tool is a person who engages in:

being fake, networking, pursuing finance, trying too hard, trying too hard not to look like you’re trying too hard

Cindy is quick to assure us she is not a tool, despite her various and acknowledged toolish affiliations: The Daily Princetonian, Wilson School, USG (Editor’s Note: Cindy says these affiliations are toolish, not me. Though, I believe her.) Cindy writes:

“But I’m so cool and interesting,” I protested to my non-USG, non-Wilson School friends. “I listen to Neutral Milk Hotel and read David Foster Wallace.” These statements only confirmed their suspicions.

Yes, Neutral Milk Hotel is incredibly toolish (I’m not being sarcastic). After the jump, Cindy tells us why being a tool is actually a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Prince Reports on Gay Internet Sex, Bigots Attack

Siegfried Roy TigerYesterday, the Daily Princetonian ran a story on the proportionally high use of Craigslist among LGBT students on campus to solicit sex. Published on the first day of Pride Week, the article included a discussion of how being gay and getting laid at Princeton is difficult, especially compared to Harvard and Yale. How is it so difficult to be gay at an Ivy League school that one must hustle to the darkest corners of t’Internet, you ask?

The privacy provided by online sites like Craigslist is one of their primary appeals, Peter said, noting that it can be “dangerous” for male students to make out with other guys on the Street.

“I’ve been kicked out of both Cottage and TI (by student ‘officers’ or at least people claiming to be officers) for dancing/making out with another male,” he explained. “The problem is, the Street (excepting Ivy and Terrace) provides a poor environment for meeting other guys. So you have to turn to other outlets.”

So Princeton students use Craigslist for their afternoon delights. That seemed cool. Until kids started commenting on the story. If comments on the Spec Giant Inflatable Penis-gate story were thoughtful, the banter from readers on the Prince‘s website is, well, passionate. Here’s a mild example from “P10″:

Gays will not rest until they’ve converted us all. Campus isn’t welcoming of you guys??? Are you kidding me??? Half of my tuition goes to your moronic “support groups” that are listed every two days on Point. What else do you want me to do to make you feel “comfortable”? French kiss my roommates?

Leave us the crap alone. Do what you want in bed, but it’s OKAY for us to be against overt gaydom.

More after the jump. Also the results of my personal Craigslist Manhunt.

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Fake Gunman at Princeton Elicits Real Fear, PUPS’ Tail Retreats Between Legs

At 11:24 on Friday night, a student reported to Princeton’s Public Safety Office (PUPS) that a man was “sprinting” around campus with an AK-47. At 12:40, PUPS notified the students with this curt, misspelled, and mysterious text message or email:

This is an actual emergency and not a test. At 12:40 AM today, there is an unconfirmed report of a student-age mail [sic] carrying a weapon in the area of Spelman Hall. [sic]  Stay inside . [sic] Public Safety has recommended that all students remain inside until further notice.  Do not go outside to travel to another building. Close and lock the doors and windows.

This snippet had been sitting in the IvyGate tip box all weekend, until the Prince dished the real story. Nothing to be afraid of! It was only a student carrying a non-functioning weapon—that is, an AK-47 replica. Nevermind that whole Virginia Tech slash deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history thing. Princeton students were basically there and dodged the bullets.

Wait a second. It’s took PUPS 80 minutes to tell students that there’s someone patrolling campus with an AK-47?!?! Imagine being the parent paying $40K+ to send her son or daughter to that nice campus with such a cute name for their police officers (who don’t carry guns) and getting this news. Your head would explode.

Read the students’ reaction and the logic behind the delay after the jump.

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File Under Well-Intentioned But Hideously Misguided

Mark your calendars, Princetonians: it’s poverty simulating time. A tipster forwarded us an email to the class of 2011 that included this upcoming event:

“Experience” the frustrations and obstacles of living in poverty in a Poverty Simulation cosponsored by the Student Volunteers Council (SVC) and the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton. Participants will “experience” poverty for a month (four 15-minute weeks), and then a discussion about community service, public policy, and the myths of poverty will follow. Free lunch will be provided.

Hey! You don’t get free food in poverty! 100 people have signed up so far to go to “Realville,” where they will roleplay welfare recipients, people with disabilities and old folks living on Social Security, and go to jail and the pawnbroker.

If you’ll recall, Dartmouth just hosted a similar event, the Two Dollar-a-Day Challenge. And that Dartian from Zimbabwe said, “As a person who lives and sees poverty at home, I think it’s sort of a stupid exercise. I mean, fasting for a day isn’t going to tell you what hunger is like,” remember? I miss college. Read the rest of this entry »