Jill Abramson has been inked out

John Harvard Statue

What’s he hiding under all those layers?

According to a new interview in Out Magazine, Harvard alum and New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has 4 tattoos, including a “T” that stands for the prestigious Times newspaper and an “H” for Harvard — the “two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me.”

Quite why Abramson chose to reveal this is a mystery, but it does confirm that Times editors were at least once young and wild. Plus, Abramson shows some class, opting for the simple “H” over a full back portrait of the Harvard skyline.

“And now I feel like shooting myself for spending, like 10 minutes, talking about such a trivial thing.”

We reached out to current Crimson president Samuel Weinstock to ask about his upcoming alma-matter-associated tattoo plans. Perhaps unsurprisingly he declined to comment, saying that he “[didn’t] really have anything to add.” Tattoos and Crimson presidents don’t seem like they mix at any rate. Ah, to be young and wild.

[Image via Wikimedia]

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard’s 15 Hottest: An Analysis

Let’s be honest here: Valentine’s Day–and true love–is really about objectification, and no one understands that quite like Harvard. The Crimson just released its annual 15 Hottest Freshmen round-up, and this year’s selection is bound to impress. So many Splendid shirts. Such wind-blown hair. It’s good to see that Harvard is equal-opportunity in its objectification: the group is almost painfully diverse, to the point that you can almost hear each race being checked off a list somewhere as you scroll through the portraits. While Yale’s Rumpus releases a similar “50 Most Beautiful” feature each year, New Haven’s idea of beauty seems to include a lot of warm and fuzzy criteria like volunteering and having wholesome extra-curriculars or alternative passions. Harvard only cares about how attractive your face is, and we respect that single-minded honesty.

Our heavy-duty mathematical analysis finds that the hottest point of origin is New York State, with over a third of the freshmen hailing from Manhattan, Rye, Larchmont, or some other Westchester city. Internationals make a healthy appearance: 3 out of the 15 are from outside the U.S., doubtless with charming accents to prove it. Canaday and Weld are tied for buildings hosting the most heat, with 3 each. We’d also like to take this moment to point out that Harvard has a dorm called Wigglesworth. Oh, Harvard.

In the spirit of appreciation, we’ve awarded some superlatives of our own below. Congratulations, you lucky freshmen! Go out on the town (the square?) and experience the prime of your beautiful youth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard Student Killed in Crash

As The Crimson reports, an undergraduate student was killed in a traffic accident in New Jersey this morning. The Crimson could not confirm the student’s name at the time, as administrators are still contacting parents. However the Crimson does say that the student was “returning from a competition in Virginia” and that other students were injured and treated at a local hospital—indicating that the crash likely involved a sports team vehicle (though, of course, this is speculation). According to Go Crimson, the women’s Swimming and Diving team were successfully competing at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Virginia this weekend, in their final competition before Ivies.

UPDATE, 12:30 AM

An email from Interim Dean Pfister confirmed that Angela Mathew, H’15, died in the crash. She and six other students were returning from a mock trial competition. The Crimson reports that three students were injured and taken to a hospital in Trenton. They were driving in a minivan, hit a guardrail, and were struck by a tractor trailer.

“Our hearts are broken,” Pfister wrote. “This is a very sudden and unexpected loss.”

“The most brilliant students plagiarize.”

The visage of a disgraced journalist.

This Monday, the California Supreme Court denied Stephen Glass the right to practice law, backing the state bar’s earlier decision. For you too young to know, Glass was a journalist who wrote rollicking stories for The New Republic in the ’90s…that later turned out to be entirely fabricated.

Martin Peretz, formerly an assistant professor at Harvard, was the owner and manager of The New Republic at the time and had Glass fired. Apparently, over the past decade and a half, Peretz has gotten over the betrayal. Peretz even testified on Glass’ behalf at the trial, blaming himself for pressuring Glass to write crazy stories and for not catching lies.

Moreover, Peretz expressed, Glass should be given the opportunity to practice law because, come on, “[t]he most brilliant students plagiarize.” Peretz gained this knowledge from “his experience as a professor,” presumably at Harvard.

And who were these rotten, plagiarizing students he learned this from?  Well, “Al Gore, Yo-Yo Ma, James Cramer, and dozens of powerful lawyers and Wall Street types,” to start with.

Harvard students? Not performing at Ivy League standards? Inconceivable.


[via Tim Barker]

The Crimson Has a PR Flak

The crème de la crème of college papers is pretty, well, self-gratifying.

What we mean to say is: The Harvard Crimson has a PR team of at least one member, from which IvyGate has received literally dozens of frothily positive emails pitching us the cream of their coverage, that we might disseminate it. By means of aggregation.

Haley DeJulio, H ’15, (quickly) comes to mind. (Haley has sent us lots of really nice emails! They will so get her a job, we think! She seems really nice!)

Haley is “a Circulation and Marketing manager” at the Crimson. We’re not really sure what that title means, either—whether she is the only flak, or whether there is a whole “Circulation and Marketing” department. So we have…reached out to Haley, the Crimson‘s public relations representative, to see what the deal is.

We’re sure our email is being forwarded up the chain of command this very second.

Who Will Be Harvard College’s Next Dean?

Are you among the 9.8 percent of graduating Harvard seniors with an “undecided” post-graduation path? If so, you’re in luck! Trade that euphemism for some optimism and consider applying for the best new job opening in Cambridge: Harvard College dean.

According to recent reports, current dean Evelynn M. Hammonds will leave her post July 1. In a statement published through an “outside strategic communications company,” Hammonds claims she was not asked to resign, but decided to step down to focus on a full-time career in academic research. A professor of scientific history and African American Studies, she’ll resume her post at the College after a sabbatical.

But let’s face it: nothing sounds sketchier than “outside strategic communications company.” This humble blog is not the first to posit a link, however causal, between Hammond’s resignation and a series of “secret email searches” that occurred in the wake of Harvard’s now-infamous Government 1310 cheating scandal. And while one Crimson editorial does not a change-maker (or career-changer) make, 66 anonymous Crimson trolls can’t be wrong. To quote salient media critic “ConcernedCrimson”:

yea seriously tho.

Naturally, such recent events prompt an important question: who will be the next Harvard College dean? Will it be Andy Samberg, whose 2012 Class Day address seemed to eerily predict Hammonds’ fall from grace? Will it be Yale’s President-elect, Peter Salovey, who is “coincidentally” beginning his tenure June 30? Or will it be Christopher L. Eisgruber, who will “coincidentally” become Princeton’s president effective July 1? Okay, so it probably won’t be any of these guys. After all, a good dean is hard to find, and we’re counting on you to help us (and Harvard!) pick the right candidate. Who should be the next dean of Harvard? More importantly, who will be?

Think you have the answer? Write up a comment, drop us a line and let us know; that’s kind of what we’re here for.

Harvard Quiz Bowler Denies Cheating, Probably Just Liked Pictures On Questions Website

Who would have thought there would have been a weekend when Harvard’s basketball team was more respected than their Quiz Bowl players? One won four National Academic Quiz Tournaments championships in three years, and the other just went on a “historic run” of a two game NCAA win streak. However, last week the NAQT announced that they were revoking Harvard’s four Quiz Bowl championships from 2009-2011, following the revelation that one of the Crimson players had illegally accessed future Quiz Bowl questions.

According to an interview in The Harvard Crimson with Andrew Watkins — Harvard Class of 2011 and the accused Quiz Bowl cheat — this is all a big misunderstanding. Watkins admits that yes, he accessed a webpage with Quiz Bowl questions, and yes, he did this many, many times. But, as The Crimson reports:

“He declined to elaborate on his motivations for accessing the page, and would not say why he opened it repeatedly before important games.”

But what Watkins did say is potentially more interesting than what he didn’t. According to the former Quiz Bowler, “A website containing question content was loaded. At no point did I read the questions therein.” So, he knowingly and repeatedly loaded a webpage with Quiz Bowl questions, but didn’t actually read anything on it. The NQBT president calls shenanigans on Watkins though, telling The Crimson, “It was clearly marked, and anyone who plays Quiz Bowl would know, “Oh, I’m going to play on those questions, I need to stop looking immediately.’”

In true Harvard fashion, suspicions were first raised about Watkins because he was much better than any other player. Watkins, now a chemistry grad student at NYU, did “astoundingly well against some of the greatest science players of all time, beating them in their specialty categories over and over again,” according to a former rival. However, the NQBT president says they didn’t launch an investigation earlier because while Watkins was good, “he wasn’t so good that he was really standing out from everybody else.” Harvard motivation in a nutshell.

In Defense of Harvard: Why They Were Right to Search Faculty Emails

This weekend, it came to light that Harvard University secretly accessed the email accounts of their 16 Resident Deans. The Harvard administration confirmed this yesterday morning, releasing a statement detailing their search and the motivation behind it.

Since this revelation, Harvard’s administration has been the target of attacks both internally and externally. Alumni, faculty, and everyone in between have made no secret of the fact that they disagree immensely with the core of Harvard’s actions, and more specifically, how the administration handled the search. Over the weekend, The New York Times quoted Harvard professors who called the search “creepy” and “dishonorable.” Even after the administration released their statement explaining and apologizing for their actions, professors likened Harvard to the Hoover era FBI” and told The Crimson their true concern was the university “trolling emails.” Same thing, different eras, right?

These sentiments are misguided. While the Harvard administration did not fulfill their obligation to inform the Resident Deans of the investigation as it was happening, the university was fully justified in conducting their email search.

First and foremost: Confidential information was sent out twice by a Resident Dean. No matter how innocuous the emails may seem, the central issue at hand is that a Harvard employee directly in charge of students forwarded confidential information (however vague) about Harvard students involved in a disciplinary matter. It’s not that far of a stretch to worry about what other — potentially more sensitive — information this Administrative Board member would leak. And Harvard needs to worry about that, not because of pride or honor or their need to maintain everlasting fear, but rather because FERPA exists. Boring, maybe, but true.

According to their statement, the first step Harvard made was to ask the Resident Deans if one of them had leaked the emails. It was only after no one — including the guilty party — owned up to something the administration knew happened that the email search was initiated. According to the university’s statement, It was made clear at that time that absent clarification of what happened, an investigation would be required. No one came forward.” Resident Deans were asked multiple times if they knew anything about the emails and, shockingly, nothing was confessed. Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard Hacked Its Resident Deans, But Apologized

Over the weekend it was revealed that Harvard University had secretly accessed the email accounts of 16 Resident Deans in connection with a leaked confidential message regarding the university’s recent cheating scandal. Across a number of websites, Harvard faculty members and alumni called the search “creepy,” “dishonorable,” and “one of the lowest points in Harvard’s recent history — maybe Harvard’s history, period.”

This morning, Harvard’s Deans office released a statement about the email search, describing it as limited to a search of the subject line of the email that had been inappropriately forwarded.” The statement also revealed that the covert operation had the approval of Harvard’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and General Counsel, and the support of the Dean of Harvard College.

One of the key issues in question here is not only whether Harvard had the right to access the Deans’ emails, but if they also had an obligation to inform them of the search. From Harvard’s statement:

“Some have asked why, at the conclusion of that review, the entire group of Resident Deans was not briefed on the review that was conducted, and the outcome. The question is a fair one. Operating without any clear precedent for the conflicting privacy concerns and knowing that no human had looked at any emails during or after the investigation, we made a decision that protected the privacy of the Resident Dean who had made an inadvertent error and allowed the student cases being handled by this Resident Dean to move forward expeditiously.”

According to a Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences electronic policy document, “The faculty member is entitled to prior written notice that his or her records will be reviewed, unless circumstances make prior notification impossible, in which case the faculty member will be notified at the earliest possible opportunity.” While The Crimson notes that Resident Deans are not technically faculty, they do have some faculty privileges, so this would seem like “clear precedent.” However, the statement does offer an apology to the Deans (real story: Harvard apologizes!), so that’s something.

Also, for what it’s worth, the search worked. Harvard’s statement acknowledges that the university found the person they were looking for by searching the email subject lines and collecting “metadata” — the name of the sender and the time the emails were sent. While it may make for an uncomfortable precedent in the view of some faculty, it was also effective.

Click through for the full (long) statement from the Harvard Dean’s office: Read the rest of this entry »