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A Burgeoning Trend


I dare somebody to tell me this one is intentional.

M. Hoops | Insert Yale Headline [DP]

Penn Needs Extenze

The Inquirer reports on Penn’s incredible shrinking endowment. Let’s do the quote of an article quoting another article!

During the 2008 fiscal year, of the 20 universities with the largest endowments, “the largest percentage decrease was at the University of Pennsylvania, which lost 6.1 percent of its endowment’s value, or $401.9 million,” Inside Higher Education reported in this article.

This is funny. A few years ago, the argument was that Penn’s endowment wouldn’t lose as much money this decade because it hadn’t made as much money during the late-90s tech boom, and its holdings were stronger positioned going into the future.

Hell, as recently as November the headline in the Daily Pennsylvanian was, “Penn may post fewer endowment losses than other Ivies.” The same argument about Penn’s endowment that was applied to tech stocks is applied to the housing market in that one. The economy has completely imploded since the end of fiscal year 2008, so Penn actually could be right this time.

On the other hand, it is Penn, so my guess is they’ll be selling off buildings to make payroll by next week.

Penn Sorority Girls: So Boring

Hey, Beige Block - which sorority will have the hottest pledge class this year? Which frats should you avoid at all costs?

No, it’s not Gossip Girl, but gossip Web sites can offer freshmen going through the rush process a wealth of information.

Hey, Daily Pennsylvanian, thank you for writing this story, because I bet it’s going to be awesome.

JuicyCampus features a running commentary of the sorority rush experience, with posters asking fellow rushees “who had the best skit?” and comparing the wait for bids to be announced to “purgatory.”

In addition to frequent posts rating Penn’s different chapters, both sites feature users’ observations about the organizations.

On College Confidential, members of Delta Delta Delta are called “the college equivalent of the high school cheerleader” and Kappa Alpha Theta members are described as “notorious cokeheads, though this is really more legend than reality.”

Look, I was right! Everyone knows those Theta girls are total lightweights.

Interfraternity Council president and Wharton senior David Ashkenazi said he doesn’t read any online gossip Web sites but said that there is “probably a lot of positive and negative stuff on Facebook and elsewhere online.”

However, he added that relying on these sites does “the fraternity system at Penn a disservice by not getting to know the frats individually.”

Similarly Panhellenic Council president and College senior Drew Tye wrote in an e-mail that she has never visited JuicyCampus “because I feel it unjustifiably labels people.”

The head of the sororities at Penn has never visited a gossip website!? What is going on over there! First the coke sorority is deemed a legend, and now the head of all the sororities is eschewing gossip? Someone needs to put things right at Penn, and fast.

Spotted: Online gossip creeps into rush [Daily Pennsylvanian]

Penn: Diverse, But Not

120408shermanklump.jpg Big breaking news from a Penn class: Turns out, at Penn, all the races stick together!

Students in professor Paul Rozin’s Psychology 001 class conducted a “racial association” study which found that, despite Penn’s diverse student body, people on campus tend to spend time with others of the same ethnicity.

Geeze, they coulda learned that at Orientation 001. Or asked anyone who has ever gone to Penn. I’d bet it’s still a running joke in the student body. Rozin himself even knew what the results would be, but said “sometimes what we find out in psychology is that something everyone already knows is true, but once in a while we find it is the opposite of what we expect.” Makes sense.

Fair enough. Now let’s take a look at the students in the class who the Daily Pennsylvanian talked to:

But the point of this exercise was not simply to analyze data. Rozin said he was trying to teach his students how hard it is to make accurate observations. “It turns out when you want to observe something simple” - like someone’s race - “you have to make a lot of judgement calls,” Rozin said.

College sophomore Jayme van Oot conducted her study on a rainy day and said it was hard to discern race and ethnicity when people were wearing raincoats and holding umbrellas. “My results weren’t very accurate because they weren’t representative of a normal day,” van Oot said, adding that it is hard to categorize people unless you ask them to place themselves in a group.

College freshman Ali Levine also did not think her results were representative of those of the rest of the class. “I didn’t really see any patterns,” she said. “In fact, a lot of them were mixed groups.”

Hmm. I sense a pattern of my own here: No matter who the DP talks to, the response will be that he or she found a lot of mixed groups on campus, and he or she has lots of friends of other races.

Or, you know, small sample size. Or something, I dunno, let’s just hit “Send to Weblog” because I’ve spent far too much time on bad jokes in this post already.

A new kind of people-watching [DP]

I Am A Drexel Dictionary

111808trophy.jpg Whoo! Did youse all enjoy my Twittering? Well, apparently Twitter is down right now so even if you were interested in my thoughts on an early-season college basketball game you might not have been able to hear them. Only from me can you get wisdom like, “Academic inquiry: Have Drexel’s girls gotten hotter in the last ~4 years?” and “Penn kid: ‘Hey number zero, is that how many points you’ve scored?’ Me: ‘Hey number forty-two, is that how many points you’ve scored? Oh wait1.’”

This was the first time Penn played Drexel at Drexel in 87 years. usually the two teams just play at Penn’s Palestra (aka the best place to watch a basketball game ever). Drexel’s gym, the DAC, actually has banners for the winner of the school’s annual intramural basketball league and is not the best place to watch a basketball game ever.

Here’s what happened at the Penn-Drexel game today: 745,000 foul calls, 45 billion missed free throws, a couple okay rollouts and horrible chants from everyone. Despite also giving up 40 offensive rebounds (or so), Penn had a chance to tie the game with three free throws with 2 seconds left. Naturally, the team missed the first one. But Penn actually almost hit a turnaround jumper at the horn on the offensive board; it missed, sparing us overtime.

The best part of the whole game was the trophy for winning the Battle of 33rd Street (apparently) as well as this definition which was on a poster all over the gym:


That’s from Samuel Johnson’s, right? I can only assume, with how poetic it is and all.

1 This was actually “Oh shit” in the Twitter version, but I changed it for my mom. In real life I sorta just went “OshhHH,” the all-purpose non-vulgar interjection expressing humor.

The New South Street Bridge, 13 Years In The Making

111008december.jpg Hallelujah! Mayor Nutter held a press conference today to announce the South Street Bridge is finally coming down in December!

In true Philadelphia fashion, an exact date hasn’t been released yet. But here’s the best part of the mayor’s release:

The design phase for the new bridge began in 1995.

Good to see they got right on fixing it. It’ll take about 24 months to complete the bridge, and the city has a whole webpage full of detour maps and other .pdf files. Let’s hope they figure out a day in December to close the bridge sometime soon.

Stephen Morse Reappears Like Clockwork To Document Election

Hey, look, here’s a video from “Election Journal” and oh my God it’s done by Stephen Morse. Back when we last visited Stephen, he was a finding controversies among poll workers as a Penn undergrad. Earlier today I linked that story, finding it funny there were similar “controversies” this year. And now I find out this Black Panther story is not only the same story it’s the same person oh my God history doesn’t just repeat itself, it repeats itself with the same exact people.

Anyway, I apparently gave Stephen Morse an award, so clearly it was only a matter of time before he returned into the Philadelphia Will Do universe. Welcome back, Stephen! Hope you’re doing well.

Brave Penn Kids Get McDonald’s Workers Fired

102908mcdonalds.jpg A group of Penn kids had a bad experience at the McDonald’s at 40th and Walnut the other night. This happens nearly every night, because when drunk kids from North Jersey and Long Island meet night shift workers making somewhere around minimum wage, no good things can happen.

Thanks to this being our modern era of technology, the Penn kids then made a group on Facebook imploring students to boycott McDonald’s. (It’s a well-known fact that nearly any event can lead Penn kids to boycott something, no matter how slight the offense.)

And, thanks to that, several workers at McDonald’s have been fired.

Wharton sophomore Keith Williams, who witnessed the incident, explained that he and a group of friends entered the McDonald’s that morning so his friend, a College junior who did not wish to be included in the article, could use the restroom.

The security guard told them that the friend was not allowed to use the restroom until he ordered food. The student proceeded to order a meal, Williams said, but the cashier made a mistake and needed an override from the shift manager.

Because the friend had already complained about the service, the manager on duty “deliberately told [the cashier] to take her time,” explained Williams. When he complained again, the security guard jumped in and began threatening the students.

The guard said things like “don’t make me take you out of here,” and referred to the rest of the customers as “stupid school kids,” Williams said. The cashier also screamed at the students for standing too close while trying to read the menu, Williams added.

Ha ha, I know what you’re thinking: This is the greatest McDonald’s of all time and it is totally worth eating their disgusting food to support it. Apparently, though, the McDonald’s caved to the record 17 (!!) complaints about its service and fired some people. For shame, McDonald’s.

And shame on the Daily Pennsylvanian, too, for using the phrases “a College junior who did not wish to be included in the article” and “a College sophomore who witnessed the incident but wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions.” Look, the least you can do is write these peoples’ names, so we can more easily mock them online.

McDonald’s boycott [sic] leads to firings [DP]

I Have No Idea What’s Going On Here

Brian McManus posted these awesome photos (e.g., above) from a concert at Pi Lam over the weekend. Apparently the band’s name is Monotonix, and they… hell, I can’t explain it. Just go look at the photos. I can only hope The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza is set up to play Pi Lam next.

Yesterday’s Monotonix Photos Explained [Make Major Movies]

Penn Kid Offended By Mad Mex Menu

It’s been a pathetically long-sounding time since I graduated college (4 years). A year before even that, I edited 34th Street. Fortunately, I was the managing editor, and was therefore only responsible for the content in the magazine; the editor-in-chief dealt with all the people offended by the content I had allowed to run. Technically, he was responsible for it, too, but it was kind of a nice scam for me in some ways. Still, I think the situation was useful, in that it left one editor being overly cautious and one not being cautious enough.

Even though I think we struck a pretty good balance eventually, we still got frequent complaints from Penn students offended at a joke we had made or some photo we had taken without permission or some lead singer of AFI we had told to get a new PR person. (I actually answered the phone when that PR person called back. Also, ha ha: AFI? Really?)

All of this was really good preparation for running a blog, obviously.

It seems like things haven’t changed much since I left. For some evidence, let’s turn to a recent offering from The Spin, the DP’s blog:

Of all the restaurants on Penn’s campus, Mad 4 Mex is the by far the nicest. Craig Laban gave it, like, five bells. The restaurant is famous among local drunks for its Big-Azz Margarita, which is not only absolutely big ass but also contains roughly 99 percent alcohol, so no one remembers how it tastes.

Apparently our friendly DP opinion blogger here is a little upset at the menu, which stereotypes several groups:

Okay, I understand that Mad 4 isn’t the most family-orientated establishment, and that humor probably plays a role in catering to a predominantly college crowd. So I can look over the stereotypes they play up about hippies while describing their vegetarian “Angry Hippie Burrito”

Have your Birken stocks dropped? Your hacky been sacked? … Smell?

… and I can ignore the fact that they poke fun and exploit the celebrity culture while pitching something like their “Winehouse Fajita”…

Eat it quick - this crazy dish is set to self-destruct.

Yes, how dare they stereotype hippies and Amy Winehouse. Who ever would have expected it from a restaurant called Mad Mex???

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