Bwog has an email up from the Barnard Associate Director for Residential Life expressing her “great disappointment ” that one Barnard bathroom has been closed by the school due to various cleanliness issues. Apparently the girls of Hewitt Third Floor are guilty of “improper behavior” when it comes to cleaning up after themselves, as the email details the many disgusting issues present in the bathroom.
“Over the past few months, we have seen feces smeared on toilet seats and the floor, urine on the floor, clogged and overflowing toilets, paper towels clogging the sinks, and garbage strewn around the bathroom.”
The best part of the email though is how the Resident Life director not so subtly accuses the perpetrators of being unbalanced and in need of serious help. They write,
“the responsible individual(s) may need the resources and support of the counseling center based on what we have witnessed in this bathroom.”
Since this revelation, Harvard’s administration has been the target of attacks both internally and externally. Alumni, faculty, and everyone in between have made no secret of the fact that they disagree immensely with the core of Harvard’s actions, and more specifically, how the administration handled the search. Over the weekend, The New York Times quoted Harvard professors who called the search “creepy” and “dishonorable.” Even after the administration released their statement explaining and apologizing for their actions, professors likened Harvard to “the Hoover era FBI” and told The Crimson their true concern was the university “trolling emails.” Same thing, different eras, right?
These sentiments are misguided. While the Harvard administration did not fulfill their obligation to inform the Resident Deans of the investigation as it was happening, the university was fully justified in conducting their email search.
First and foremost: Confidential information was sent out twice by a Resident Dean. No matter how innocuous the emails may seem, the central issue at hand is that a Harvard employee directly in charge of students forwarded confidential information (however vague) about Harvard students involved in a disciplinary matter. It’s not that far of a stretch to worry about what other — potentially more sensitive — information this Administrative Board member would leak. And Harvard needs to worry about that, not because of pride or honor or their need to maintain everlasting fear, but rather because FERPA exists. Boring, maybe, but true.
According to their statement, the first step Harvard made was to ask the Resident Deans if one of them had leaked the emails. It was only after no one — including the guilty party — owned up to something the administration knew happened that the email search was initiated. According to the university’s statement, “It was made clear at that time that absent clarification of what happened, an investigation would be required. No one came forward.” Resident Deans were asked multiple times if they knew anything about the emails and, shockingly, nothing was confessed. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the weekend it was revealed that Harvard University had secretly accessed the email accounts of 16 Resident Deans in connection with a leaked confidential message regarding the university’s recent cheating scandal. Across a numberof websites, Harvard faculty members and alumni called the search “creepy,” “dishonorable,” and “one of the lowest points in Harvard’s recent history — maybe Harvard’s history, period.”
This morning, Harvard’s Deans office released a statement about the email search, describing it as “limited to a search of the subject line of the email that had been inappropriately forwarded.” The statement also revealed that the covert operation had the approval of Harvard’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and General Counsel, and the support of the Dean of Harvard College.
One of the key issues in question here is not only whether Harvard had the right to access the Deans’ emails, but if they also had an obligation to inform them of the search. From Harvard’s statement:
“Some have asked why, at the conclusion of that review, the entire group of Resident Deans was not briefed on the review that was conducted, and the outcome. The question is a fair one. Operating without any clear precedent for the conflicting privacy concerns and knowing that no human had looked at any emails during or after the investigation, we made a decision that protected the privacy of the Resident Dean who had made an inadvertent error and allowed the student cases being handled by this Resident Dean to move forward expeditiously.”
According to a Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences electronic policy document, “The faculty member is entitled to prior written notice that his or her records will be reviewed, unless circumstances make prior notification impossible, in which case the faculty member will be notified at the earliest possible opportunity.”While The Crimson notes that Resident Deans are not technically faculty, they do have some faculty privileges, so this would seem like “clear precedent.” However, the statement does offer an apology to the Deans (real story: Harvard apologizes!), so that’s something.
Also, for what it’s worth, the search worked. Harvard’s statement acknowledges that the university found the person they were looking for by searching the email subject lines and collecting “metadata” — the name of the sender and the time the emails were sent. While it may make for an uncomfortable precedent in the view of some faculty, it was also effective.
It seems there have been some confusion among the Yale graduate student community as to what exactly a bathroom should be used for. A tipster recently forwarded us an email detailing the debauchery rampant in Helen Hadley Hall, a grad student dorm that houses mainly international students. According to the email, sent from Yale’s Graduate Housing Office to the residents of HHH, the dorm has experienced feces smeared across walls, non-Western hygienic habits, and even, gasp, chamber pots.
It’s all a big misunderstanding though, because most of the students are foreign and, you know, different. As the email states:
“Because we have some many students and so many cultures represented in HHH, it is often necessary to clarify what is acceptable use for the bathroom facilities … Regardless of the many cultures represented in HHH, I need all students to follow the standard US/western culture for restroom use.”
Thankfully, the good ol’ GHO is here to lay out some basic ground rules for proper Yale bathroom etiquette. We’ve adapted some of them here for easy reading:
Rather than digging a hole outside or using the tub, poop and pee should only go in the toilet.
If you absolutely need to use a chamber pot due to your non-Western cultural upbringing, it must be emptied into a toilet, not the kitchen sink.
Do not wash your feet or your genitals in the bathroom sinks. In America there are showers for that.
“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 »
We know everyone’s sick of (read: from) Four Loko. We are too. We’ll stop mentioning it after this, probably. Maybe. But this little tidbit, which appeared in Yale inboxes this morning, was just too good to pass up:
Dear Yale College Student,
As you are likely aware, this Friday, December 10th marks the date Connecticut will end sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Four Loko. These beverages pose serious, unknown health risks, and we urge students not to throw Four Loko commemoration events, remembrance parties, or blackout memorial services. Since it is reading period, and students seem to have developed an attachment to these unsafe beverages, we thought it would be helpful to provide some of the new FDA research on alcohol-laced energy drinks. It is our hope that students continue to make educated, healthy decisions through Friday.
– 1280 million people have already died from Four Loko.
– With each can of Four Loko you drink, you take 25 years off your life.
– Drinking four cans of Four Loko is really like drinking eight cans.
– 4 out of 5 people in an insane asylum were committed because of Four Loko induced madness.
– In the time it takes you to brush your teeth, three children have died from Four Loko.
– One can of Four Loko will power a car for thirty miles; this is considered drunk driving.
– If you drink a watermelon-flavored Four Loko, a watermelon will grow in your stomach.
– Four Loko is the number one contributor to climate change.
– 5 out of 4 inner city children were raised by a Four Loko.
– The number of lokos per Loko has doubled from two to four in the last decade.
The Four Loko culture on campus has been upsetting to us at the Yale Health Center. In particular, we are deeply disturbed that a student group would sell these pro-Loko t-shirts. To the Yale community: do not buy these t-shirts. If you are in Bass Cafe between noon and 4:00 today, do not buy them. It is distressing that students would create something so hilarious about a topic so grave. So please, consider the safety risks, and do not buy these shirts. Do not buy them for ten dollars.
James M. Perlotto, M.D.
Chief of Student Health and Chief of Athletic Medicine, Yale Health Center Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
IvyGate emailed Dr. Perlotto–who, here’s the weird part, actually is the chief of student health–to ask him why he was so awesome why he was spamming our mailboxes with factoids about Evil Four Loko. He has yet to respond, which makes us suspect one of two things: (a) this is a prank by a Yale student who has defied everything we know about Yalies, and has written an entire email without mentioning Nathan Hale or his Marshall Scholarship; or (b) Dr. Perlotto is too cool for us. Dr. Perlotto, if you’re reading this and you’re a real person, we’d really like to be your friend. Or at least your Facebook friend.
Also, we think that we recently busted our knee after slipping on a piece of the tangerine we were eating and falling down a flight of stairs. We could use some treatment for that.
Among the contents of said email was a three-stanza riff on … well, uncertain. On its own, the thing is actually fairly oblique: “Welcome to Dartmouth; we are glad you are here; Prepare to surrender; what you hold most dear.”
The poem moves swiftly from salutations into evocations of all-enveloping darkness in such a way that mostly just leaves us scratching our heads. But clarity, it turns out, was granted in the form of a musical number titled “Out of Control,” included as an attachment with the email, and — OH MY GOODNESS IT’S A SIX-MINUTE SONG ABOUT RAPISTS.
Let’s break it down, though, because this is deranged: Starts innocently enough. The propulsive drum beat and screeching electric guitar. Shredding axe. Fuck yeah…
Only to catch us off guard when the twee vocalist with the affect of an Auto-Tune suddenly transitions into a throaty growl as she ravages the Greek community (figuratively, people, c’mon) with her acid-tinged couplets.
There are roofies and underwear mishaps; negligent college officials; Dementor-esque fraternity brothers with no reservations about sucking out your soul through their Ice-stained maws. And, somewhere in the middle, the whole thing breaks into a minute-long November Rain guitar solo. So. Yeah. What exactly are we supposed make of this?
For starters, there’s the dissonance between the song’s themes (dark) and its presentation (an imbroglio of heavy-handed Guitar Hero histrionics). The Guns N Roses pastiche doesn’t help. And, do we count it as irony that the singer’s choice of a vocal aid — the Auto-Tune — has provided the musical accompaniment for its fair share of sexual misdeeds?
Long story short, the song mostly just confuses the hell out of us — and everyone else too, by the looks of it. For example, an opinion columnist for the Dartmouth gave an account of the ballad that puts the “silly” in “supercilious”:
“’Out of Control’s’ eschatological refrain … has offered you a Miltonic Satan singer: compelling, victimized; brooding, cynical; most importantly, destructive … Sexual assault is a real problem at Dartmouth. But to say that my alma mater is a place where humanity dies is turgid poetics.”
So, rather than grasping at straws, we’ll just say this: Date rape is messed up. But so is this song.
After the jump, an (abridged) transcription of the song’s lyrics:
Dartmouth’s Sigma Delta sorority has been passing around a horrifying email from a sophomore Chi Gam bro, with a schedule for a sketchy and outrageous pre-rush event — this after ongoing scandals swirling around Dartmouth’s rowdy Greek scene. In the sisters’ words, “so much for improving gender relations on-campus.” The encouraging author of the frat email to his prospective brothers:
Some of you have gotten hand jobs. Some of you have gotten on table. And a select few have gotten hand jobs under the table. Welcome to college.
Well, welcome to Dartmouth at least! His advice?
Hang the Fuck out. It’s Friday. And It’s Dimensions. You can finally be the man in front of younger girls.
Oh and just in case they missed any horny frosh:
let us know if there are any chill bros you don’t see here that need to be added to the list.
Maxing and chillaxing with blacked out Chi Gam frosh? What more could a girl want!
Dear Dartmouth: If you want us to write about you, pass along crazy emails like this one. Mary Miller, Dean of Yale College, responds to “class disruptions” with threats, demands, and allusions to campus tragedy. The threats:
Faculty members have the right to teach in their own classrooms without interference, and students enrolled in these courses have the right to be able to listen to lectures and participate appropriately without disruption. Any infringement of the right of an audience, such as a classroom of students, to listen to a lecture is a violation of the Undergraduate Regulations and will be subject to disciplinary action.
The demands — can’t you just see Mary Miller banging her shoe on a table while saying this?:
I call upon the leaders of these groups to cease immediately these disruptive and disrespectful actions and on the members of student organizations to refuse to participate in such demeaning activities.
Aaaand the tastelessness:
All of us — students, faculty, staff — have come together as one community several times this year in times of crisis. As the year draws to a close, I call upon you to continue to demonstrate that support and mutual respect and to maintain our commitment to the educational mission of Yale College.
Hm, we disagree that students comforting one another after the death of their classmates matches, in gravity, avoiding silly pranks! But we’re not Yale administrators! [Yet!]
Student council has never been this exciting for us — we’re transferring to Penn, and becoming younger.
You may recall the curious case of Jake Shuster, “the Money Booster,” who emailed out a list of grievances against the unnamed 2013 Class President in order to argue for his own election. In a reply to Shuster’s email — in which he declared incumbent Jonathon Youshaei’s ” reckless fiscal irresponsibility and lack of financial foresight threatened to bankrupt the 2013 Class Board” — Class VP of Internal Affairs Ben Watkins sent out a Sunday night, pre-voting email to the class, declaring the Class Board, as one (minus VP Finance Shuster, naturally), endorsed Youshaei:
Your Class Board is a family. […] We have spoken. We stand together.
One problem, though: word has it that the Class Board don’t stand together — that they didn’t support Watkins’s email, and that Youshaei himself drafted it. While the board opposed a class-wide email, Watkins got it out just before voting began, citing the same small-bore goals (“negotiating for cheaper Dunkin’ Donuts”) as did Shuster. The one thing that sets this email apart is the long list of class officers who are listed as supporting Youshaei. Too bad that may not even be true.
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.