Over the weekend, UPenn fraternity Beta Theta Pi and sorority Chi Omega hosted a mixer in which people presumably got drunk, took pictures of themselves, and wore clothes that they sure as hell wouldn’t wear to class. But this time around, overly cropped tops weren’t the issue: the partygoers sported fake knuckle tattoos, “thug” insignias, baggy hoodies and sweatpants, and flipped-back hats. And according to student Ernest Owens, P ’14, the mixer’s theme was “gangsta,” and it was “offensive, disrespectful, racially charged, out of line, and straight up buffoonish.”
For a few weeks in May, my friend Greg worked as a “scavenger” at Yale, going through all the crap people leave behind in their rooms after finals and (mostly) trashing it. He was paid pretty well, and got to keep anything he found. His final haul, I believe, was a few bags of chips, a blue bicycle and a ratty Dr. Pepper t-shirt he is way too proud of.
That is all very much less impressive than this.
According to police, a West Philadelphia apartment vacated by seven Penn students last month was, upon later inspection, found to contain a human skull.
John P. Pryor, director of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s (HUP) trauma program, describes in a fantastic Washington Post op-ed from Sunday how Philadelphia’s violent crime rates in low-income areas are spiking. “The War in West Philadelphia” is the second national bit I’ve read this summer that likens Philadelphia’s dangerous neighborhoods to Iraq:
In Iraq, ironically, I found myself drawing on my experience as a civilian trauma surgeon each time mascals [mass-casualty situations] would overrun the combat hospital. As nine or 10 patients from a firefight rolled in, I sometimes caught myself saying “just like another Friday night in West Philadelphia.”
Penn is situated between West Philly and Center City in the neighborhood of University City, a district Penn helped found in 1997 to make itself sound and look yuppier. And if you measure yuppie success by Starbucks, I usually passed two on my way to class.
Mmm… gentrified Frappuccino with eminent domain sprinkles… University City makes me feel so warm and guilty inside.
But to the Penn ’11s, you might consider hiding a collective Glock under those “New Student Orientation: Library Social 2007” t-shirts you’ll soon get. University City is still only 6 or 7 blocks from the new Sadr City. Thank God I peaced out when I did. Boogity boogity boo!
If students have any defense it will be behind the Daily Pennsylvanian‘s hard-nosed crime awareness reporting, as exemplified recently by the paper’s weekly summer outlet, the Summer Pennsylvanian. Think Ernie-Pyle-in-World-War-II quality. Then imagine the complete opposite, only fully realized in vibrant Adobe Creative Suite 2 mauves and ecrus.
After the break, “Why report on this ‘crime epidemic’ when Nintendo’s making some ‘Wii’ dojiggly?”