“I characterize you as Dartmouth’s greatest mistake of all time”

In the January/February 2014 issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Abbye E. Meyer, D’02, wrote about her lasting issues with the Dartmouth community — namely the exclusivity inherent in the social structure of Greek houses and senior and secret societies.

Then on Valentine’s Day, Judge Quentin L. Kopp, D’49, got in the spirit of the holiday and wrote Meyer an ode, of sorts:

“You claim feelings of ‘…loyalty and shame.’ I am ashamed of you.”

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How Will Princeton Grad Meg Whitman Explain Her Princeton Failure Sons in Her California Governor Election?

“If you ask me who I am, my first response is I am my mother’s daughter”

These are the words of Meg Whitman straight from her campaign video. Meg is running for Governor of California. She just won the GOP primary and will be facing Jerry Brown, the California Attorney General who is running a campaign based on his frugal ways (in comparison to Meg’s prodigal spending). Meg’s campaign is based on her leadership skills, years of being a powerful executive, and “cleaning up the mess those politicians have made in Sacramento.” Family is also important for Meg, which is why her two sons must be such a disappointment to her. On her campaign site, Meg mentions her Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum sons Will and Griff:

Meg has committed her energy, her trademark optimism and her belief in fiscal restraint to the challenge of rebuilding California. She has done so with the full support of her family, which is her greatest source of pride. Meg and her husband, Griff, a neurosurgeon at Stanford Hospital, have been married for nearly 30 years. Their two sons are now young adults. Meg and her family are ardent outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking, skiing, fly fishing and enjoying all of California’s natural treasures. “If we let California fail, we all fail,” she says. “And we love California too much to let it fail. We have to work together to make it the place of our dreams again.”

Cute! Her family is going to help her save California from failing! If only her sons could have figured out how not to fail Princeton, get kicked out of boarding schools, and shroud momma’s campaign in the kind of wealthy entitlement we all love to hate. First there was son Griff Harsh V. With such a pretentious, hoity-toity name, can Griffy really be blamed for this alleged quote which Gawker picked up after Griff got suspended from Princeton for a year?

Overheard at Charter [eating club]

Griff Harsh (Meg Whitman’s son) throws beer in Guy’s face.
Guy: You can’t do that to people.
Griff Harsh (points at himself): Billionaire.

Then there’s Will Harsh I. Gawker, ever the Ivy-obsessives, found this out from a tip:

Griff’s non-refundable membership to Cottage [eating club] was paid in full when he got suspended. So some of the officers would let Will attend some meals and formals events in his brother’s place until Will got banned from there.

The story goes that Will yelled “what are all these niggers doing here” one night when all the members of the Black Arts Company where there to celebrate a show they had performed. Cottage is know as one of the whiter clubs on campus so I assume that he was shocked to see so many black people there in a night. He was already on notice with Cottage officers because of an altercation he started with a bouncer early in the year.

Guest-of-a-guest got this equally rumor-based tip about Will:

“He’s just a tool. He was banned from at least one eating club for calling a girl a racial slur. He would pride himself on having several ‘girlfriends’ at one time, and tried unsuccessfully to be a player. He was actually independent (not in an eating club) which I always assumed was because no one wanted him or he was banned. OH and I almost forgot about the time he refused to introduce a girlfriend to his family because she was Jewish, and didn’t meet his standards of intellect. He may have thrown in fat, too. I can’t remember. Really classy.”

Okay. These seem like pretty gossipy rumors, but these stories seem all too indicative of what kind of people Meg Whitman’s sons are. And then, pardon our frequent Gawker references, there’s this possibility that Meg (who is the fourth richest woman in California) is actually getting campaign donors to pay Tweedle Dee (Griff)’s allowance through a mysterious payment to Solamere, a private equity firm that Whitman’s campaign has paid close to $96,000 in the past four months. Interesting. Because Griff used to ‘work’ at Solamere as an ‘analyst’ according to an old Linkedin profile:

Would it really be that out of character for former eBay CEO, current billionare Meg? Well, there was the time she donated $30 million in her name to help build the new Whitman residential college. Of course, according to Meg, it was all for her love of Princeton and excitement to be able to expand the school by 500 students. Or maybe it was just so she could convince Princeton to admit one student: Griff would be applying to Princeton just two years after donation, just in time to live in freshly built Whitman College. Griff had supposedly been kicked out of boarding schools before getting to Princeton, so a little $30 million nudge from Princeton board member mom probably couldn’t have hurt his application.

How will Meg hide her boys from yelling racial slurs or pointing out the obvious fact that they’re richer than most people out there on the campaign trail? Whitman’s already getting criticized for unnecessary spending on the campaign trail, but maybe paying them off or buying them a job would do the trick.

If you know anything further about Will or Griff Harsh (who have pretty amazing internet hiding skills) please send an email to the tip line!

Yale, Totally Gay

It's not what you think.Yale students are no doubt happy, but are they also gayer than their counterparts at other schools? That according to the latest issue of Yale Alumni Magazine, whose cover purports to explain “Why They Call Yale the Gay Ivy.” What you find out quickly is the reason they call Yale the Gay Ivy is because they call it the Gay Ivy.

In addition to the 1987 declaration  “Suddenly Yale is a gay school,” the assiduous editors offer such hard-hitting journalism as citing Wikipedia (but who doesn’t?) and availing themselves of that old saw, anecdotal evidence:

Yale probably does, however, have a higher proportion of gay students than other Ivies; there are no statistics, but many gay Yale students think it’s true. And if you walk around campus for a while on your visit, you may see a gay couple holding hands.

Well, if Yale students think it’s true, it must be. The fact gay Yalies are more comfortable holding hands than they might at, say, Princeton, where the gay community reportedly turns to Craig’s List for discreet hook-ups, supports the claim a bit more, though.

After the jump: how Yale came out, angry alumni commenters, and Patrick Bateman explains how he knew Yale was the Gay Ivy all along.

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Dartmouth Alumni Magazine Ruins Stephen Colbert’s Reputation

When “The Colbert Report” first came out in 2005, I predicted it would be a failure. The Colbert persona, while funny, is exhausting in large doses, and I thought people would get sick of him. This turned out not to be true, for awhile.

Enter Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, which has just come out with the best example I’ve seen of what happens when you try to hijack something that people have already perhaps had a bit too much of and…completely ruin it.

The idea of the magazine’s article is that, since Colbert’s conservative alter-ego went to Dartmouth, wouldn’t it be a hoot to do a profile of him as though he really were an alum? Except, you know, make it just a tiny bit sarcastic so the VERY acute reader can get in on the joke?

The result is, to steal a phrase from the NYT’s A.O. Scott, “antifunny.”

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Yale Alumni Magazine Rather Regrets the Error

We’ve all fantasized about writing, ah, creatively to our respective alumni magazines on behalf of friends and, more likely, enemies. But very few of us have actually done it. (There was the time someone from our high school wrote in saying that a classmate — a gentleman of a certain girth — had hiked Everest.)

Well, Jonathan Nathanson, Yale ’02, has lived the dream. And judging from the correction in the latest issue of Yale Alumni Magazine, it was well worth it:

<em>Yale Alumni Magazine</em> Rather Regrets the Error 

Nathanson’s struggle teaches us much about the art of making stuff up about other people:

  • Make it plausible. A friend’s coming out party is much more likely than, say, his getting hospitalized by a dray of furious squirrels.
  • Go the extra mile. If they need an e-mail confirmation, create a dummy e-mail account. If they need verbal confirmation, phone them up. If they need the person to confirm in the flesh, develop Face/Off technology, kidnap him and adopt his life as if you were the real Yale alumnus. 
  • Never, never own up. On this count, Nathanson failed miserably. He had plenty of excuses, too, starting with the obvious: that someone was in fact impersonating him, Jonathan Nathanson (which sounds like a fake name in the first place).

Now it’s your turn, Vogel. Revenge submission?

Letters to the Alumni Glossies, Redux

After slumming it up with flipping through a back issue of UVA’s alumni mag recently, we noted that it carried a few letters unlikely to appear in the Yale Alumni Magazine, an assertion we pulled halfway out of our ass. It got us thinking–what kind of letters do run in the nation’s oldest alumni publication? Are they really that different?

I am upset to read about the fate of “Geronimo’s” skull in Notebook (May/June). Whether or not it belongs to Geronimo, its continued presence demonstrates arrogance and insensitivity on the part of Skull and Bones toward other human beings, especially Native Americans.

By keeping this skull and other bones in their possession, Skull and Bones continues to venerate the original act of desecration by Prescott Bush and his friends. In 1983, I was given a short tour of the society. At that time, the skull was locked in a safe along with some other longish bones. There were also two or three smaller skulls on tables in the library, perhaps the plunder of other graves. How would Bonesmen feel today if a fraternity plundered Prescott Bush’s grave and kept his skull as a trophy for the next 90 years?

I suspect Mr. Bush and Mr. Davison never offered the Apache representative, Ned Anderson, what they believed to be Geronimo’s skull. According to the article, he was shown only the skull of a ten-year-old. The skull that was identified to me in 1983 as Geronimo’s belonged to an adult. Mr. Anderson, moreover, was never shown any femur bones. It is possible one of the smaller skulls sitting in the library was substituted.

The return of “Geronimo’s” skull and the other remains in Skull and Bones to the communities from where they came is long overdue. As the society has the chance to reflect on its past and present actions, I hope it will do so.

Fuck yeah secret societies!!! That’s what I’m talking about in an alumni periodical!

Do The Right Thing [Yale Alumni Magazine]

Letters Unlikely to Appear in the Yale Alumni Magazine

While flipping through a discarded UVA alumni magazine at the gym [Ed.: They’re letting Wahoos into Park Slope now?], we came across this charming letter to the editor:

It would seem there is a disturbing trend of pro-gay advocacy in Alumni News. In the class notes section, which I always look forward to reading, I was disturbed to read a proud “new parents” announcement of a girl to a pair of men.

Some on your editorial staff may think that this is progressive, politically correct and reflective of changing attitudes toward the family and marriage. To me, it is an insult to the core of society: the family. In the sad wake of the sexual revolution, there is already tons of data by sociologists that children raised in a home with a mother and father with whom they have a biological connection are the most stable, and less likely to fall into adolescent delinquency, substance abuse, teenage sex, etc. If the aim of the University is to serve society, then we need to foster an environment that helps strong citizens to grow and develop, and not just benchmark the steps taken by different persons as if any choice is equivalent.

I ask you if it is reasonable to endorse with normalcy the actions of a fringe of people that affect the foundations of society.

Barbara Ellen Spencer (Col ’83)
New Delhi, India

Yes, yes, this could just be the regressive ramblings of one cranky alum. Except the previous letter happens to be from someone disputing the Big Bang theory on the grounds that it sounds too crazy. Looking good, UVA. Lookin’ good.