Penn: Need Friends? There’s An App For That

Hate to burst your bubble...

If you’ve heard of Grouper, you already know what’s coming. Inspired by the online matchmaking service, Penn now has its very own social start-up to link like-minded students, and its name is just as punny as you would expect. With the tagline “Expand your circles,” it seems that rather than acting as a dating site, GrouPenn just wants you to make new friends. Think that sounds peculiar/desperate/pathetic? Remember the last time you made a new friend, then get back to us.

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From Whence Hath Thee Come, Whartonite?

It’s a long, winding road from the crucible of the college frat house to the laurels of Wall Street, isn’t it? (No, not really, but play along for a second.) Wharton Follies, the semi-self aware Penn student theater troupe, has put out a video charting the evolution of an MBA from his primitive state — a bearded, slick-haired, shake-weight-and-Four-Loko-pounding douche bag — to his final incarnation — a clean-shaven, slick-haired, platinum card-wielding douche bag on the cover of Fortune magazine. Time-lapsed video has never felt so fucking rad. (If by “rad” you mean sweat-stained, Jager-bombed, felonious and probably syphilitic.)

Penn’s Huntsman Hall: It’s Like “The Apprentice” Never Went on Hiatus

Ahh, to be a Whartonite! The envy it must arouse in all your friends. The world is your oyster! You’ve been accepted to a prestigious business program and now all you need to do is meet the right people, say the right things — a sexual favor here and there — and KABLAM! Millionaire.

“Pshaw,” you say to all those jealous lesser mortals who haven’t the fortitude or charisma to be a titan of industry, to ascend to the heights of Mt. Brolympus. How you long to do God’s work! “Pshaw!” again, you say. Down with all the haters. They’re probably communists, anyway.

Of course, if you’re going to cavort around on Nantucket in boat shoes and horribly redundant Vineyard Vines garb some day, you’ll need to hit the books in the mean time. Which is where Huntsman Hall comes in, apparently. We don’t really know all that much about the hyper-capitalist enclave, but judging by this website that popped up — Heard in Huntsman — it’s awful; like the fourth circle of Hell, only filled with Alex P. Keaton clones. Anyway, you can judge for yourselves. Here’s one particularly telling entry:

More winners after the jump!

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RagTime: Controversy Edition

  • Harvard: Racism Allegations Surround Student Local Area Club
  • Yale: Addresses the WikiLeaks Controversy
  • Columbia: Barnard’s SGA Approves Sorority Recognition
  • Brown: Newly Relased letter fuels Cuomo-Rattner row
  • Penn: Wharton alum faces trial in insider trading case

For Those About to Graduate, Obama Salutes You—NOT!!!

obamajpgIn an “After the Recession” interview with the New York Times, today, President Obama slammed the quality of education at U.S. colleges in the age of grade inflation, naked parties, and IvyGate.

The somewhat convoluted criticism outlines the difference between the high school education his grandmother used to ascend to corporate vice presidency and the college education most kids are currently using to ascend the stairs of the local unemployment office. And he trashes the letter-writing skills of University of Chicago Law School students!

She went to work as a secretary. But she was able to become a vice president at a bank partly because her high-school education was rigorous enough that she could communicate and analyze information in a way that, frankly, a bunch of college kids in many parts of the country can’t. She could write —

Today, you mean?

THE PRESIDENT: Today. She could write a better letter than many of my — I won’t say “many,” but a number of my former students at the University of Chicago Law School.

So you’re probably thinking where’s the Ivy? Who needs to know how to write a letter when some can pull in six figures for kissing great ass? Excellent question, Watson! No matter what the name of the school is, the recession is slapping the meaning of employability across its status-obsessed face. And even Obama’s Columbia-Harvard one-two doesn’t mean a thing if you have no real abilities.

After the jump watch some Wharton students wipe their noses on the cuffs of their Thomas Pink shirts.

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Remorseful Manual Laborer and Whartonite Faces Four Years in Jail

On Friday, Penn alum and petty criminal Edward Anderton was sentenced to four years of prison and ordered to repay $100,000 in restitution for a spree of identity-theft crimes he committed with Jocelyn Kirsch, his former girlfriend and partner-in-crime. Although the duo dabbled in scams in equal measure, Anderton received a lighter sentence than Kirsch – four years to her five – because, as his lawyer successfully argued, he showed greater remorse.

There are many ways to show remorse: a tearful apology, self-flagellation, etc., but, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Indeed,

Since posting bail, Anderton has worked at a manual labor job and his salary goes toward a bank account specifically for restitution. This salary, in addition to his liquefied 401K and other legally obtained money in a bank account, amounts to about one third of the total restitution he will have to pay.

A manual labor job, really? We know that Wall Street is in the toilet, and that many Whartonites are being terminated from their jobs en masse, but one would think that all Wharton alums – especially those who are criminals – would be far too proud to accept such work. So Anderton’s sentence is probably well-deserved.

Whartonite Wins Lottery, Poor People Pissed

Whartonites worried that the recent i-bank apocalypse will spoil their plans to bathe nightly in a sea of money, fear not! There’s always the lottery, an institution weirdly remniscient of Ivy League admissions, anyway. (Fill out bubbles in #2 pencil, wait anxiously, be disappointed 99.9% of the time.) In an article titled “RICH GET RICHER IN LUCKY $CRATCH,” the Post reports that the first-ever winner of the “$1 million a year for life” lotto is a dispassionate i-banking Whartonite:

Keenan Altunis, 33, a banker raised on Long Island and now living in London, accepted his prize with a smug shrug, noting he’s already a multimillionaire.

“Is it going to materially change my life? No,” he told The Post. “I have been a very blessed and fortunate person.”

And if that isn’t an argument for spreading the wealth around, how about this: Since he lives in Britain, Altunis, an executive at the European banking firm Unicredit, will have to pay New York but not federal taxes on his winnings, which means he’ll net $931,500 a year for the rest of his life.

Irony Gods, are you serious?

“Don’t get me wrong, no matter how rich anyone is, a million a year is a lot of money,” he said. “But I don’t expect this to change my life very much at all.”

The family left New York yesterday for a vacation in the Caribbean – one that had already been planned and paid for prior to his winning ticket.

Apparently so.

There is a chance that every single news outlet misspelled Altunis’ name (sweet justice?) because the only Keenan Altunis we can find in Penn’s records is one Kenan Altunis (Wharton ’97), whose sole claim to fame was being in a frat and being quoted in the DP once about beer. IronyGoddammit.

A Parade of Somber Whartonites

Under the Button spied a sad, prophetic — and, ok, kinda gratifying in a hideously inappropriate and schadenfreude-riddled way — scene outside Lehman Brothers, deposed financial behemoth and quondam employer of upwardly mobile econ majors across the Ivy League.

Wait, did you not catch that? Cut to the relevant portion:

Damn straight, bitch went to Wharton. Now she’s so poor, she’ll have to trade in that Banana Republic bag for the Gap. Or worse: the sale rack at Old Navy.

Deposed Lehmanites, allow us to bear witness to the diminishing returns on your B-school degrees. What will happen to the storied traditon of Ivy Leaguers summering on Wall Street, now that the Street’s hit the wall? Rants, musings, terrifying anecdotes, and backstabbing gossip welcome always at tips@ivygateblog.com. Anonymity guaranteed.

Former Wharton Student Discovers Recession-Proof Industry

Things were looking up for former Wharton student and recent Columbia temp employee Chris Clemente in September 2005. For one, Clemente, 37, had just been released from prison after serving 15 years for heroin and weapons possession. But even better than his freedom–he allegedly discovered a new and promising illegal scheme! A friend tipped Clemente off to an MTA machine that was malfunctioning and giving out free fares, authorities said. Over the course of the next three years, Clemente and two others, Cary Grant (that’s his real name) and Lisa Foster Jordan, allegedly stole more than $800,000 worth of MTA money from this Penn Station machine.

In a New York Post article, an MTA spokesperson explains how this mechnaical error probably happened:

The odds of [the suspects] stumbling on this were astronomical,” MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said. The scenario “would only happen if you used an active debit card but had insufficient money in your account and it was from a smaller, nonlocal bank.

In other words, if you were broke and had an account at a nontraditional bank, you too could have taken advantage of the MTA.

What could have possibly brought these three down? According to this Post article, it was a “routine agency audit.” Yeah, I guess an audit conducted every three years is kind of routine.

Your Education Means Nothing

Bloomberg News columnist Amity Shlaes has a monster scoop this morning: Ivy League networking is dead.

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Shlaes points out, recently tried to quantify the strength of what the authors call the “connection premium” of attending an elite college or business school. Focusing on Wall Street analysts, the economists looked at whether the financial advice they gave was better when they had the same alma mater as a senior officer at the company they were recommending. It was, obviously — by 8.16 percent.

This all changed, apparently, with a 2000 Securities and Exchange Commision rule called “Fair Disclosure” that prohibited, it seems, chatting over drinks at the Harvard Club. After that, the “connection premium” disappeared. Fair, indeed, I guess.

No one will suffer more from the new rule than Harvard kids, who once made up 19 percent of all networking, according to the killjoys.

After the jump, what schools used to have the most connections. Read the rest of this entry »