A New Year’s Roundup of News

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?)

Guilty of Title IX Violation, Princeton Will Reexamine 11 Sexual Misconduct Cases

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced on November 5th that Princeton has been found guilty of a Title IX violation, prompting the university to review all of its sexual assault cases from the past three years. The OCR’s verdict stated that Princeton had not “promptly and equitably responded” to complaints of sexual violence, including harassment and assault. Along with the guilty verdict, the OCR announced a resolution for an agreement with Princeton to ensure further compliance with Title IX. Princeton’s policies and procedures in place to respond to cases of sexual assault at the time of the investigation were also not compliant with Title IX’s requirements. Much like Columbia’s Title IX complaint filed in April, OCR’s investigation was a response to complaints filed on behalf of students.

Princeton was prepared for the verdict.

BREAKING: Students file Title II, Title IX, and the Clery Act complaint against Columbia and Barnard

A startling twenty-three students collectively filed Title II (Americans with Disabilities Act), Title IX (Higher Education Act), and Clery Act violation complaints against Columbia University and Barnard College. The violations, handled by a group called Our Stories Columbia, included in the complaints filed with the Department of Education include survivors discouraged from reporting, perpetrators allowed to remain on campus, inadequate disciplinary sanctions, and discrimination based on sexuality and mental health and wellness.

The press release (which can be found at the bottom of this post) includes stories from survivors, which range from a queer trans* survivor having their story doubted due to their gender identity to a survivor denied mental health accommodations and threatened with expulsion.

The complaint follows a year of raised awareness and discussion at Columbia and other Ivy League schools — along with an increase in the national discussion — and Harvard students filing a Title IX complaint at the beginning of this month.

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Ivies under attack for sexual assault policies

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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Vaginas Optional For Cornell’s Lady Fencers

Make all the jokes you want about fencing being a girly sport; about guys in bee-keeper suits waving their epees around like magical wonder wands. Fencing, it turns out, is more masculine than you ever imagined, even on the ladies’ side. Take Cornell, for example. The women competing on the Big Red fencing team are dogged competitors with raw, ferocious athleticism to match that of any dude. Especially when it turns out they are dudes.

The New York Times ran a story yesterday exposing the roster chicanery that college sports programs use to pack  more men onto their athletic teams in the age of Title IX. The 1972 federal law mandates that colleges field a number of female athletes proportional to the overall percentage of women on campus. This has created a number of issues for collegiate sporting clubs in which girls are under-represented, limiting the number of spots available for men. As a result, athletic directors employ all sorts of creative write-arounds to satisfy Title IX without actually, you know, satisfying Title IX.

Case in point: Cornell listed 34 women on its ’09-’10 varsity fencing squad — which is cool and everything, except…

Only when the 34 fencers on the women’s team take off their protective masks at practice does it become clear that 15 of them are men.

Oh.

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Yale Males Can’t Behave Even While the Press Is On Campus

In the ongoing national coverage of Yale’s Title IX situation, journalists and reporters are descending down to New Haven faster than old people flocking to Florida. Most of the ABC coverage below is pretty bland, but provides good background and female perspectives. (Also, Linsey Davis: if you are reading, which you’re probably not, I have the same exact J. Crew coat.)

Yet things get IvyGate-worthy when you get to the 1:22 mark. In the middle of an interview with a female freshman, a male student shouts out a “sexually explicit remark” in the background. (IG’s good ears still couldn’t exactly discern what the bro was saying.) ABC also said that part of the the feds’ investigation will be a campus climate check in the next few weeks. This means either: A) fratty boys will learn to keep their mouths shut, B) the University will start passing out mouth-sized duct tape, or C) more ridiculous behavior from Yale will be cropping up on IvyGate. Only time will tell.

Full Roundup of Yale’s Title IX Complaint

As everyone knows, things have been blowing up left and right this weekend on how Yale students filed a Title IX complaint against the University on March 15.

Here is IG’s comprehensive roundup of the story:

March 31st

To see what happend on April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, follow the jump.

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