When University of Pennsylvania Elvis Hatcher, P’16 passed away on February 4th, students did not receive an email from the university announcing his death. They did not receive an email announcing the death of Madison Holleran, P’17 over winter break or for the nine other Penn students who have lost their lives in the past three years.
Because after only two weeks with strangers in a strange land, you might get made fun of by a jackass 14,000-circulation magazine you’ve never heard of, by soulless editors you’ve never seen, for trying to appear confident/fetching in a headshot taken at Sears that your mom probably made you dress for. Penn ’11, meet 34th Street Magazine‘s “Freshmen Superlatives.”
(Let’s get full disclosures out of the way: I was Editor-in-Chief of 34th Street in 2006. Go ahead and complain, but I don’t even know half of these people anymore.)
Street, the Daily Pennsylvanian’s weekly culture magazine, released in today’s first issue its annual–and highly popular, as these things go–“Superlatives.” In years past this meant stealing a copy of the freshmen directory, scanning funny headshots and writing a superlative for each (think high school yearbook). “Superlative” eventually became “random asshole comment,” and this year the University didn’t even publish a freshmen directory. Street editors took shots from Facebook instead.
Click on the top image for a JPEG of unrelenting abasement. And if you’re a Penn freshman not seen here, you’ve dodged your first bullet.