Cornell Student: Internet Bandwidth Is My Anti-Drug

MetaEzra reports that a Cristina Lara, a rising sophomore, is pushing against the University’s policy of capping internet bandwidth to 50 GB per month and charging heavy users for overconsumption of bandwidth.  She’s started a petition here and argues that “With a pricetag $57,000 per year, Cornell University should give it’s students unlimited internet usage.” All right, fair enough. But wait! There’s more. Lara’s petition goes one step further and makes a statement on Cornell’s social scene:

Cornell students in particular face a great deal of stress, and one of our outlets is to “surf the web”, read the news, watch movies, and make online purchases. By charging us for our internet usage, the Cornell University administration hinders our ability–and our willingness–to use the internet for recreational purposes.

If Cornell was situated in a major metropolitan area with a vast nightlife that could accomodate the interests of most, if not all, our undergraduates, then many Cornellians wouldn’t be so inclined to stay in their rooms and get on the internet. But that’s not the case. Cornell’s greek life dominates the social scene, making “nightlife” a dividing factor in the community.

Cornell students rely on the internet for recreational purposes, and are unwilling to pay the price for that any longer. While some students opt to partake in drug-related pastimes, other students stay in and watch movies, talk on Skype or iChat, or even just surf the web. We should not be penalized for this, and implore the Cornell University administration to completely eliminate it’s policy of charging students for the internet.

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Harvard Grads Get $30 Million to Annoy Brazilians

According to an anonymous tipster, three Harvard grads have made it big in Latin America – that is if you consider creating a more annoying version of Farmville being successful.

In 2007, Harvard alums Daniel Kafie, Joshua Kushner, and Mario Schlosser created Vostu, a social network game similar to the American Zynga. Thanks to these Harvard men, people in Brazil can waste valuable time cultivating virtual crops in Mini Fazenda. Orkut, a Brazilian version of Facebook owned by Google, carries the game. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, these Harvard computer nerds entrepreneurs just received $30 million in investments from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.

The company’s CEO is optimistic. Daniel Kafie told the Wall Street Journal,

Vostu is profitable and well-capitalized and continues to grow at an extraordinary pace.

Vostu, pat yourselves on the back! However, if you send us a million alerts about your new tractor and livestock purchase, we might rescind our congratulations.

Rambling, Gambling on the Grade

Need money? An incentive to study for your final and not stare in a drug-like trance  at the millionth YouTube video? Jeremy Gilbert, a former student of the University of Pennsylvania, created the website Ultrinsic as a way for students to bet on their grades. On the website, Gilbert states that the brainchild for the site was a bet he made while in school and further claims that the purpose of the website is to provide motivation for studying.

CEO Steven Wolf explained how the site works to the Huffington Post:

A student registers, uploads his or her schedule and gives Ultrinsic access to official school records. The New York-based site then calculates odds based on the student’s college history and any information it can dig up on the difficulty of each class, the topic and other factors. The student decides how much to wager up to a cap that  starts at $25 and increases with use.

Like your FIFA bracket, top performance garners better rewards. A’s will give you the most money. If you think you might fail a class, you can buy grade insurance that will pay you if you do indeed fail. Although calculation errors and unpredictable professors do exist, most of the end result depends on the skill of students and the effort they are willing to put into earning the grade.

Although the site is legal under both state and federal laws and its “supposed” purpose seems innocent enough, betting on one’s grades is a tricky and ethical dilemma. Classes, that should be educational ends, are transformed into debased means fixated at achieving desired ends, in this case — financial reward. Kant stated,

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.

You really don’t want to violate Kant’s second categorical imperative, do you? (Wow, IvyGate is  quoting Kant again!)

Is your school eligible? According to the Associated Press, thirty-six colleges are able to bet on their academic excellence starting this August. Out of these thirty-six, four are members of the Ivy League (Columbia, Harvard, Penn, and Princeton).

Cornell Slope Day Bingo: Where the Center Square is “Paying $25 to Never Stop Drinking”

Cornell Slope Day is a-comin’! Are your 40s and your barf bags ready? A Cornell student blog gives us the heads-up on precisely what to expect, in handy bingo form!: “Tik Tok” played constantly, “awkward encounters” (oh, gee, I hardly think this is specific to Slope Day — can the era of using “awkward encounters” to signify “college events” pass, already?), “some guy named ‘Trent’ or ‘Chip.’” As that last one signifies, this mainly seems like it could have been written by someone outside Cornell — are the stereotypes we believe about Cornell believed even by Cornell students? Could they even be true?

Then again, some of these are so impenetrable that we find ourselves wishing we could go to Slope Day, just to figure out this bingo-themed charticle on a blog. “You hear someone yell ‘I hate these fucking caterpillars!’” Huh? Ithaca has caterpillars? Maybe we’re just as happy not to!

Cornell Sun’s Hot New Webpage Commits Hara-Kiri

Early this morning, we received a tip from a Cornell student who just wanted to read the latest news on campus online; perhaps he saw our feature on the Sun‘s redesigned site and wanted to check it out. The Sun website had always been, he recalled, a reliable source for news and information!

UNTIL TODAY.

Yep, someone at the Sun forgot to renew the domain name. It’s all fixed now! But for a brief, terrifying moment, students were unable to access stories like “He’s a Loser, He Has No Career, You’re Better Than Him,” an opinion piece about Audrina from The Hills. Okay, now we know why the site crashed — it was committing suicide.

Full image of the cornellsun.com death screen after the jump!

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Alumni Roundup: IvyGate Editors Loose in the Big Scary World

When we heard Maureen O’Connor was promoted to full-time editor at Gawker — and this after the Style section thing! — we thought we’d round up all the old hands and see what exactly they’re up to now. Did you miss them?

Nick Summers, co-founder: Newsweek reporter, of late covering technology, aggressive Tumblr defriender.

Chris Beam, co-founder: Slate reporter, Obama Facebook creator.

Hal Parker, editor emeritus: First year grad student in the doctoral program of philosophy at Penn.

Jacob Savage, editor emeritus: Living in western Massachusetts writing screenplays.

Jim Newell, editor emeritus: Editing Wonkette, the D.C. gossip site.

Robyn Schneider, alumna: Just published a young adult novel–Knightley Academy–under pen name, Violet Haberdasher.

Neel Shah, alumni: Glamour magazine featured man-candy, Gawker and Radar writer–and now, Page Six.

…and too many others to name.

99 Columbians: An Artsy Facebook of the Elite and Photogenic

Lots of curious looking people with unusual stories: they must be Columbia students. They’re captivating, posed in their dorm rooms with whatever they’ve got around—a bassoon, a rat, a teenage mutant ninja turtle action figure. Two enterprising student photographers, Angela Radulescu and Bennet Hong, knocked on their doors and shot them—99 times.

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Web Site Review: The Onion Comes to Hanover

Dartmouth’s campus is no stranger to controversial attempts at humor.  The Dunyun attempts to bring witty commentary to The Big Green’s tiny, oh-so-important corner of New England, laced with criticisms of some of Dartmouth’s most cherished traditions, such as drinking shitty beer andinteracting with wild-life.  Most of the site’s humor stems from its accurate parody of the social norms surrounding the Greek scene, and at times it paints uncomfortably accurate pictures of student life.  In poking fun at its own North Face-clad audience, however, The Dunyun occasionally toes the line between relevant (after-all, who hasn’t hooked up in the stacks?) and borderline offensive (I believe Haiti jokes are the realm of Rush and Cornell’s own Ann Coulter).  In fact, according to tipsters, some students have already expressed concern and notified the administration of their moral indignation at the flippant coverage of recent charitable efforts at the school.  Given the school’s recent string of mea culpas on behalf of its squash-match-ruining students, it will be interesting to see how much longer they will be able to keep up the good fight without apologizing for it.

Friday Leftovers: Absurdist Edition

Found via a Google Alert for “Ivy league”:

“I was asked why my blog was titled “Ivy League Neck Tats”. Basically it’s just a mockery of people who think there’s an issue with me having a neck tattoo and attending an Ivy League university.”

(Sadly, we never see the neck tattoo itself, but we’re assuming it’s a picture of Amy Guttmann, because why not?)

Hey, that reminds us! Have you read our Yalie fashion columnist Rene Bystron yet? He’s a mockery of people who thinks there’s an issue with him being fashionable and attending an Ivy League university! Or something! Go!

Places (You Couldn’t Afford Anyway) to Avoid in New York

Food club VS NYCGuest of a Guest recently made some conclusions about where the Princeton diaspora settles once they hit New York. Breaking down the New York hot spots by the Eating Club alums who hang out there, the article does an alarmingly good job at calling the Tigers stripes.

First of all, eating clubs are all too Princetonian to begin with. At Brown, the “bohemian eating club” is the city of Providence, but we’ve never harbored the illusion that society at Princeton was neatly regimented enough to contain Mean Girls-style cliques. Don’t all eating clubs have exactly the same sort of people — Princetonians?

No, there are many different types of Tigers outside the Amory Blaine archetype. It’s convenient that they’re going from the nation’s most socially stratified campus  to its most socially stratified city: one-to-one comparisons between the top-shelf Ivy club and the equally prestigious Rose Bar flourish.

Other highlights are the spot-on Princeton-to-Williamsburg assumptions:

Preppy Princeton might not overflow with bohemians, but the school’s soon-to-be-starving artists probably eat up at the Terrace Club’s buffet. You can find Terrace alums chains-moking at grungy/artsy venues like Glasslands, Union Pool and Galapagos or trying to catch a big break with their band at Mercury Lounge or Cake Shop.

After the jump, see what the bloggers had to say about Tiger Inn, eBay founder Meg Whitman’s son, and your mom.

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