Outgoing Brown President Ruth Simmons Taking Her Talents (Back) to Princeton

Generally beloved Brown president Ruth Simmons announced last September that this year would be her last at the helm of the university, and since then there has been a lingering question: What is the next move for someone as accomplished as Simmons?

We now have at least part of an answer. Simmons will swing some of her energy back to Princeton, where she was previously a vice provost in the early 90s, to serve a four year term on the university’s Board of Trustees. Simmons is the only non-Princeton graduate of the seven new trustees announced Tuesday, but does hold an honorary degree from the school.

While it is unlikely Simmons was planning for this position in September, it will be interesting to see where her focus now lies. In her original email to the Brown community announcing her plans, Simmons wrote that she hoped to take a leave to “take up projects that have been on hold far too long,” before returning to teach at Brown. While we can’t claim to know how much of a commitment being a trustee at Princeton is (still waiting for that phone call), it’s probably not just a line on her CV. Add to that her duties already as a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, and Simmons should have an interesting balancing act between the three institutions. However, if any former Ivy president can handle it, it’s probably the one with the 80-percent approval.

Can Students Fix the Ivy League?

Three weeks ago, we suggested that Occupy Princeton should drop out of Princeton. Because it’s a little silly to protest Wall Street—or the present economic order, or income inequality, and so on—if you attend a school which both perpetuates all of those things and benefits from them. A school which, arguably, is less a university than a finishing school for bankers. (And which employs Jeffrey Eugenides and Joyce Carol Oates for the same reason Goldman Sachs installed a Franz Ackerman mural in the lobby of its New York headquarters.)

Here’s how one commenter answered:

No. That would be dumb. That’s like saying “If you don’t want Romney for president you should totally just leave the country if he’s elected.”

It’s like retreating. Giving up! White-flagging! Total pussy move.

It’s totally OK for people to criticize something they’re part of if they’re asking it to change for the better and they themselves are working to be better.   Read the rest of this entry »

Princeton Student Worked Really Hard On This Rap Video

Princeton Occupiers Have the Most Condescending Sign Ever

A photographer onscene at Occupy Wall Street’s May Day demonstration caught a gaggle of Princetonians marching with the commoners. Guess what their banner said.

EVEN PRINCETON. Get it? Edgy. Cool. SubversiveMore photos here.

Given that Princeton is less a university than the X-Mansion of Wall Street analysts, it would seem vastly more serious—and so much cooler, frankly—if, in addition to interrupting on-campus recruiting sessions for Goldman and JP Morgan, these earnest students left. Dropped out. Transferred.

For good.

Remember that Goldman VP who wrote mean things about his employer in the New York Times? Well, he quit.

Until Princetonians make some kind of transfer-to-Hampshire-College pact, the eyeballs of every New Yorker shall continue to roll throughout Midtown, sort of like that Sony commercial with the bouncy balls:

Photos by Michael Discenza

“This Is Just The Beginning” of Princeton’s Worst Website

FuluMail, the online intimidation tool recently founded by two Princeton students, is undergoing renovation. Here might be why: over the past few weeks, FuluMail has transmitted a staggering amount of intimidating, threatening, semi-illiterate FuluMails—most of which are quickly deleted from the website, but not before delivery to their intended recipients.

“We are not a hate mail service,” according to the footer of FuluMail.com.

We were able to capture a handful of the nastier messages before the site went down a few days ago. They’re like dark emissions from Princeton University’s collective id: stalking, bullying, threesomes in the Charter Club’s bathroom, and so on. Here are five samples from FuluMail’s Hall of Fame: Read the rest of this entry »

Prince Article Based Entirely on Off-the-Record Quotes from Politico Reporter, Other “Political Heavyweights”

Per the star-spangled Daily Princetonian, a Monday debate moderated by Politico’s Jonathan Martin

pitted former Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan and former George W. Bush communications adviser Jim Dyke against Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Jesse Ferguson and former Communications Director for the House Budget Committee Nu Wexler.

Three different commenters on the Prince’s website state that the debate—on which the Prince’s article is based entirely— was conducted off-the-record. Or, in American, don’t quote us on this:

I attended the event and all the participants clearly stated they were doing this discussion off the record.

And: “Remember when all the participants said that they were doing the discussion off the record?” And: “These things were pretty clearly off the record.”

That didn’t stop the Prince from publishing an 810-word article which promiscuously quotes Martin et al’s political banter. Zero of which amounted, as far as we can tell, to any actual revelations—but still! Journalism! Integrity! Ethics! Etc. The dailies are supposed to be the good guys, remember?

REPORT: Ivy Leaguers Tell IvyGate What Admissions Numbers Actually Mean

The numbers that are the dick-measuring contest known as Ivy League admissions are finally in, and IvyGate could think of no better way (we didn’t try that hard) to gauge the different school’s reactions by taking to the streets to interview students and determine their (hilarious) reactions to the statistics.

Brown University rolls in (alternatively, “wraps up”) with an admission percentage of 9.6%, a .6% increase from last year! When asked about this rise, I was met with stony eyes and this response: “Brown recently discovered that admitting more students meant more money from tuition. The following year admissions rose higher than for any other Ivy League institution. Where do you think we got the money for our new pool?”

Columbia coasted into a .5% increase from 6.9% last year, on which a student commented,

I’ve never looked at Columbia’s admissions the way others look at it. Others look to decrease the number to appear better. Columbia has always let in more than they can, because we’re not looking to falsify our admissions statistics, though they will automatically be low, as it is an Ivy League school.

Yeah…you can only expect so much from a school in baby blue.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shirtless Princeton Student Wants to Anonymously Intimidate You

Princeton’s Bobby Grogan ’13 (as seen on his website’s homepage) pitches FuluMail like so:

FuLu.com: We aren’t fancy, we’re for the average person. The concept is simple. A website that allows you to send emails anonymously. No frills here. Have a boss you don’t like but can’t say something to his face? FuLu.com. Have a teacher you can’t stand? FuLu.com. That’s our pitch — vote for us.

OK, so this—this pitch, for FuLu.com, presented by this guy, and printed in Princeton’s daily newspaper—is just so beyond the realm of snark or criticism or even reason that it feels pointless to say what normally would need to be said—that this is the dumbest, most goddamn irresponsible thing we’ve ever heard of. This dude is pitching his site as a way to anonymously intimidate human beings. That’s what he’s selling.(Even College ACB—yes, COLLEGE ACB—pretended to promote “deep and thoughtful discussion.”)

From the Prince we learn that after Grogan presented this idea at a Princeton conference for entrepreneurs, he met up with one of its judges (a visiting lecturer), who encouraged Grogan’s plan without having any idea what Grogran was talking about: Read the rest of this entry »

Ranking the Haze: These are the Haziest Members of the Ivy League

Last week we ranked the laziest of the Ivy League: those schools at which hazing is non-existent (or, possibly, so underground as to avoid detection). Yes, you may have been wondering, but who are the haziest Ivy Leaguers? So here they are, beginning with the laziest of the haziest: Princeton.

One thing to remember about these rankings—and, to a degree, about all of the Ivy League—is that hazing (both the phenomena and the perpetual scandal) is more or less the outcome of combining two very different populations: the world’s future overlords and the anxious, striving individuals who will form tomorrow’s press corps.

It makes a ton of sense, anyway, why the Ivy League is almost always awash in one hazing scandal or another. What else would you expect? The Ivy League attracts students who willfully submit themselves to the judgment of schools which constantly market, and profit from, their exclusive reputation. They bring together people who, for whatever reason, need to constantly distinguish themselves in as many ways as possible, no matter how illogical or arbitrary or pointless those ways are. Add to that a well-funded press corps with a taste for scandal, and voilà! Hazing controversy!

To get rid of hazing in the Ivy League, you’d have to stop admitting the very people who applied to any of its schools. You’d have to start admitting people who don’t care about reputation, or status, or prestige; about feeling (and, yes, being) better than others. But then the Ivy League wouldn’t be the Ivy League, would it?

Anyway! Here are the haziest members of the Ivy League: Read the rest of this entry »

Admissions Controversy: It’s 2006 All Over Again!

Remember that Yale freshman (and soon-to-be Harvard transfer) who filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton because he believed that Old Nassau had rejected him for being Asian? After which The Daily Princetonian mocked the complainant by, um, making fun of him for being Asian? 2006: stellar year for race relations in the Ivy League!

Minus the race-baiting Prince column, it’s happening all over again, this time with an unnamed Asian-American of Indian descent, who has filed complaints with the Office for Civil Rights against Harvard and Princeton for discriminating against Asian applicants. The complaints have stirred sundry responses of equally mild outrage. Even the more right-wingy op-eds read as though their authors are posed in perpetual shrugs.

There may be a decent explanation for the befuddling lack of concern, as Daniel de Vise of the Washington Post argues. The entire basis for the 2006 complaint, and the current complaints against Princeton and Harvard, is that Asian applicants whom either school admits almost always possess the highest SAT scores of their class. However, as de Vise points out:

[R]emember that Asian-Americans outscore all other racial and ethnic groups on the SAT. A college where Asian students have lower SAT math scores than whites would be a statistical oddity.

Which means the whole problem is more likely found in that sinister totem of elite colleges: holistic admissions. As both a phrase and an idea, “holistic admissions” is sort of misleading: it describes the method whereby colleges admit a carefully calibrated freshman class, not individual applicants. Such a process contradicts the bizarre caricature that statistical studies paint of college admissions. To draw a meaningful conclusion from, say, this Princeton study, you’re required to imagine that admissions committees serially pit the applications of two students against each other, much like an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch. (Which would be really exciting to watch, no?)

Probably the biggest concern is that if Harvard and Princeton can be found to discriminate against Asians based on statistics alone, then pretty much every elite college (with the exception of Berkeley, and apparently CalTech) can be found to discriminate against Asians. If that’s true, it would be an enormous (and very newsworthy) conspiracy. And if it is a conspiracy, then Harvard and Princeton appear to be exceptionally incompetent conspirators: though Asians account for some 5% of the U.S. population, they make up, respectively, 17% and 19% of Harvard’s and Princeton’s undergraduate bodies.