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

Genius Princetonians Will Reform Wall Street by Working for Wall Street

No matter how many famous novelists in its employ, Princeton University is firstly a grooming school for bankers. With that in mind, the student-led Occupy Princeton has, for about a month now, protested (i.e., TERRORIZED) several recruitment events hosted by human rights organizations such as J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Which has struck many of the group’s betters as kind of . . . bizarre, yeah? Don’t these people want . . . money? And a summer property in an equatorial country? What else are we here for??

Fortunately, chipper Prince contributor Elise Backman ’15 and Prince columnist Aaron Applbaum ’14 have offered a time-tested solution to appeasing Occupy Princeton: Just work for Wall Street! Easy! You’ll fit right in!

Applbaum, from January 9:

It is true that the Princeton students of today traditionally become the Goldman partners of tomorrow, but chanting at them repetitively only serves to alienate them, not to change their minds.

Traditionally? Unless that awful Henry Moore sculpture is in fact a secret wormhole to Lower Manhattan, working for Goldman Sachs is about money, not one’s ride on the Long Orange Line.

Becoming more politically engaged and discussing fiscal policy, I believe, is the way to shift the dialogue and create the change sought after by the Occupy contingency. I see this as a way to alter, and break through our [in]famous complacency. This is not to say that Washington is exclusively at fault for New York’s behavior — both financiers and policy makers are to blame for their actions — but the two are inextricably tied and an opening for change right now lies in the political arena.

This is the counter-argument to the Occupy movement’s rather explicit charge that money has corrupted American politics? Unless Alan Greenspan recently rewrote several founding documents, no, “financiers” and politicians are not “inextricably tied.” Well, they are, of course. But that’s the problem, not an a priori truth.

And here’s Prince contributor Elise Backman, from January 11:

When I have tried to discuss Occupy Princeton with my friends affiliated and unaffiliated with the movement, at the first sign of a critique I am met more often than not with, “Oh, of course, you just want to go make money on Wall Street,” “Don’t you care about the economy at all?” or my favorite: “You’re so politically apathetic — how Princeton of you.” Are we all suddenly politically apathetic if we don’t support Occupy Princeton?

Oh yes, the very reasonable “friends” argument: my friends said something, so everyone thinks it. QED! But wait: Read the rest of this entry »

Angry Emailer Sara Ackerman: I am the Lawrence Summers of NYU

Columbia University recently bested its chief rival in everything, NYU, by coming up with a slightly more complicated version of the Occupy Wall Street “course” NYU now offers. But NYU has won the much more entertaining prize of which is more pointlessly dramatic, after a senior there compared herself to Harvard’s former president, Lawrence Summers, for some reason.

Sara Ackerman (pictured), a student in NYU professor Caitlin Zaloom’s senior research seminar, recently turned the class into a strange theatrical production involving a 3,000-word script of craaaaazy emails to her professor and NYU administrators, in which she refuses, against Zaloom’s instructions, to visit Zuccotti Park, in the day time, because people there are rude and gross. Oh, and the drama. Bribery! Danger! Nepotism! Drama drama drama. To quote:

I have no history of mental health issues, I have never been written up by an NYU security guard, I have no criminal record, I have an above average GPA, impressive extracurricular activities, an amazing resume with great recommendations/references, 3 post-graduation job offers, and I have sustained wonderful relationships with many of my previous employers, and NYU professors, over the years.

And:

Now would be a good time to step in—unless of course, you still think that I am bluffing about going to the press–remember, I know people–close family friends, in fact–who work for:

1. WSJ
2. The NY Observer
3. NYT
4. The Washington Post

I have already written the op-ed, and a draft has been approved by one of the reputable newspapers listed above.

And!

I have over 1,000 friends on facebook, and if Professor Zaloom does not resign, or is not fired by 9 am tomorrow morning, I will publish every single email exchange we have had, on my facebook account.

Ackerman eventually email-bombed the listserv of NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, at 3:30 AM, to ask them whether they’d heard of Harvard (and something about Cornel West):

On a side-note have you ever heard of that mega-university in Cambridge, Mass. called Harvard?Long story short, they had a few disputes between a tenured professor, and a big man on campus, and look what happened in the end:
They swapped him:
For him:
And got a PR nightmare—does anyone see the parallels? Or do I have to continue tospell it out for you, as I have been for over 2 months?
Look, neither Summers nor West is perfect, but why don’t you do a little research to see who was more deserving of a prominent position at Harvard?
Sara Ackerman: The Lawrence Summers of NYU. Really, though: read the whole thing.
(In less absurd, Columbia-related news, Christopher Coles, male lead of last year’s Operation Ivy Leaguecould get parole for selling pot to an undercover officer, if he finishes a year-long residency in rehab. Beat that, Ackerman!)

Columbians Pull All-Nighter to Resist NYPD at Zuccotti Park

During a raid around 1:20 AM this morning, hundreds of NYPD in full riot gear descended upon Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park to forcibly remove protesters and their property, claiming that their tents and equipment were ‘safety hazards’. Following an online call for help from Occupy Wall Street organizers, at least a dozen Columbia students responded between 2 to 3 AM and travelled to the scene, forgoing sleep and studying to help resist NYPD.

Your one and only IvyGate bicycling correspondent arrived around 4 AM, at which point dozens of protesters had already been arrested and the park had been completely cleared. Large crowds were gathered on the streets, where heavy squads of police stood keeping them at bay, some swinging their batons casually.

More pictures, the full story of my night, and a video interview of the Columbia students after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Occupy the Ivies: An Overview

Here’s a rundown of the Occupy Wall Street movement around the Ivy League campuses, ranked in order of excitement:

Columbia – Hundreds (thousands?) of Columbia students have been to the protest at some point over the last few weeks; the catchphrase around campus is “have you gone yet?” A large walkout took place last Wednesday. Some students arrested earlier. University President and over 300 professors declare support for Occupy Wall Street; Jeffrey Sachs leads a pack of  students downtown to join protests and avoid watching the football team get ransacked by Penn at Homecoming.

Harvard – Scores of Harvard students join Occupy Bostonfive arrested. Harvard doesn’t get much appreciation, though: a Boston Herald op-ed slams student protestors for their $50,000 tuitions and lovely, neo-Georgean dorms with – gasp – private bathrooms! Also, labor unions protest Harvard as a ‘tool of corporations’.

Brown – Econ, history, poli sci, and sociology professors hold an Occupy Providence Teach-In inside a lecture hall packed with “several hundred people.” Meanwhile, Occupy College Hill begins meeting 3x a week on Brown’s Main Green, and even has their own wiki page. Not so disorganized, after all!

Yale – Students will Occupy New Haven this weekend; counter-protest group led by the Yale College Republicans announces it will “Occupy Occupy New Haven“.  Awww snap!

Cornell – Some Cornellians trek to New York City and join protests, others Occupy Cornell on Friday (minutes from the protest here). One op-ed’er tells protesters to “stop protesting and study for LSATs.” Not sure how that one’s gonna work out.

PennOccupy Philly receives statement of support from 87 faculty. Penn students travel to protests in Philidelphia (includes a glorious quote by a Wharton sophomore who supports the movement anonymously, saying his sentiments are “not consistent with the general sentiments of Wharton”).”Occupy Wharton” Facebook group is a dud.

Dartmouth – Protesters standing around on a patch of grass apparently want to cure AIDS, stop climate change, and elect Ron Paul.

Princeton – Little online evidence that anybody at Princeton gives a damn, other than one student op-ed calling protesters throwing his support behind the movement after being pleasantly impressed by the  “jobless potheads” and “banjo-strumming hippies”.

If you have any tips or links we should know about, please email us at tips@ivygateblog.com!

Columbia Students Take To the (Wall) Street

So, we were down in the Financial District on Friday night, and happened upon some of those Occupy Wall Street protesters in an area McDonalds at 2 in the morning. (Long story.) They were all wearing trash bags as rain slickers and singing and dancing and, as happy as they all seemed to be there, good lord, did they smell.

Still, odor notwithstanding, the protesters have done a good enough job of riling up the young and the restless that reinforcements seem to be coming — and in a big way. Among all the unions and progressive-minded activist groups planning to descend on Zuccotti Park this afternoon are a bunch of Columbia kids primed to ditch class at 3:30 p.m. sharp to do something that isn’t so god-awful boring.

The Columbia U Student Walkout is upon us:

*We will meet outside campus gates and take the subway down to Foley Square, where we’ll join the Community/Labor March in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, endorsed by dozens of NYC unions and community groups including the United Federation of Teachers, SEIU 32BJ and SEIU 1199, the Transit Workers Union Local 100, Make the Road New York, New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts, the Alliance for Quality Education, and more!

If you have any more information about the walkout, want to send us a first-hand account, or — even better — if you can snag some video of it actually happening, you’ll be handsomely rewarded (in the “pat on the back,” rather than monetary sense … but still!). Hit us up at tips@ivygateblog.com!

Boom or bust? We’re watching anxiously.