August 29, 2011

As A New Semester Begins, A Message From Mads

We haven't forgotten about you.

After three thousand posts over the last four years, is currently on hiatus. Thank you for reading and visiting the blog almost one million times.

Continue to follow @madsvassar on Twitter to find out what's up with the blog. Have a great semester. 

May 24, 2011

Kudrow's Commencement Speech Is 4th Most Popular On YouTube

Everyone enjoyed Chip Reid '77's commencement speech on Sunday about his days as a Vassar student and his soul searching after graduation, but chances are it won't be as popular as Lisa Kudrow '85's speech from last year. According to the Huffington Post, Kudrow's address is the fourth most popular one on YouTube. It has been viewed 476,000 times, beating President Obama at University of Michigan, Meryl Streep '71 at Barnard, and Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane.

May 22, 2011

Watch Today's Commencement Live

Watch today's commencement ceremony here!

May 20, 2011

BREAKING: Jury Indicts Three People On Embezzling $2.5 Million From Vassar

The Vassar embezzlement case went to trial today and according to Mid Hudson News, the results are quite surprising. The jury indicted not two, but three people on charges of embezzlement. Further, the amount of money was not $1.98 as previously believed, but $2.5 million.

In addition to the Fishers, Christopher DeSanto, 31, of Ossining was also indicted.

The jury charged the Fishers with grand larceny in the first degree. Arthur Fisher also got grand larceny in the second degree.

The issue of Arthur Fisher's illegal firearms and law enforcement paraphenalia was not decided on. He remains charged with 8 counts of forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Update: More from Poughkeepsie Journal here.

Pssst...Your Spring Grades Are Actually Online

Who knows if they're up for good, but we just learned of a trick to see your Spring grades, which are already online:

1) Log on to Ask Banner - Banner Online
2) Search "registration history" in search bar and click on the result

Update 5/21: Predictably, this will no longer work. If you didn't have a chance to see your grades, you'll just have to wait a few weeks like everyone else.

The Biggest Stories Spring '11

Although many of you are already home, the semester officially ends in two days. Here is our biannual look back at the biggest stories of the semester.

10. Death of Haveagood. 
In March, we broke the story that former ACDC cashier Kathryn "Haveagood" Porter passed away. Sadly, only seniors will remember her legendary antics.

9. Shootings in Poughkeepsie. 
In February, Don Marsala told students to avoid going downtown. News soon broke that a man had shot and killed his wife and a police officer before turning the gun on himself. The Poughkeepsie Journal continued to provide updates as the city mourned the death of the officer. Months later, another fatal shooting downtown broke the peace.

8. Colorado mayor lies about her Vassar education.
In a scandal that broke over Spring break, Boulder, Colorado mayor Susan Osborne lied about graduating from Vassar when she really transferred out her sophomore year. AAVC and College Relations came to her defense, a move the original whistleblower disagreed with.
7. Students react to world events (Egypt, Japan, Osama).
Three major world events this semester penetrated the Vassar bubble. Vassar had no students studying abroad in Egypt during the protests or Japan during the earthquake and tsunami, but we learned of personal accounts from alumni. One alumnus used social media to post about the situation in Egypt, while the AAVC created a message board for alumni in Japan to connect. Months later, when news of Osama bin Laden's death broke, Vassar students took to Facebook and Twitter with their reactions.

6. Vassar announces $105 million science building.
Now is a good time to be coming to Vassar if you're interested in the sciences. In an interview, Cappy said she wants her legacy to be improving the sciences. Further, the school announced a $150 million science building to go up by 2016.

5. Main House President resigns, students question elections policy.
When Sienna Brown '13 resigned as Main House president-elect, students questioned her original commitment and also the policy that VSA Council should decide on her replacement. In the end, the VSA upheld its policy and appointed Jeremy Garza '14 to the position.

4. Professor takes issue with tenure committee.
In another big story that broke towards the end of the semester, professor Kiese Laymon felt that FASC unfairly asked him to provide personal information and even questioned his graduate school degree.

3. Events, cakes, Founder's Day commemorate the sesquicentennial.
Beginning in January, everyone had the big 150 on their minds. Vassar began its sesquicentennial celebrations with a website re-design, banners around campus, events like Sexycentennial, Vassar Voices, and the Cakebration, and a hold bunch of takes on the famous Matthew Vassar portrait (here, here, here). Even Founder's Day embraced the "Vintage Vassar" theme as a way to look back.

2. VSA tries to implement major structural changes.
In February, we first leaked news that the VSA Council was planning major structural changes. Weeks later, the changes came to a vote in council, followed by a student referendum and an unsuccessful appeal. Ultimately, things are the same now as they were before, although it got everyone talking about student government.

1. Former employee arrested for embezzling $1.98 million from Vassar.
It was the biggest story that brought Vassar outside the bubble and put us under public scrutiny. Police arrested former project manager Arthur Fisher for embezzling $1.98 million from the college between 2005 and 2010. Cappy has tried to be transparent about the issue in her emails, although news media all over the world have found out more, including Fisher's bizarre obsession with law enforcement and stash of illegal firearms.

Exclusive: Haveagood's Son Speaks About His Mom's Death

In a comment on this blog almost two months after his mother's death, Kathryn "Haveagood" Porter's son Ralph writes about what Vassar meant to his mother.

"I write this tears are in my eyes," says Ralph. "My mom loved working at Vassar and she loved all the students and people she met there. Believe me, she talked about you all with great love and respect. Thanks to the big group of Vassar employees that showed at her wake. You will never know how good that made me feel. Thank you."

Spotted: New Signs Up On Campus

Those of you still on campus have probably noticed the new street signs put in place yesterday. The signs, just in time for Sunday's commencement, have white lettering on a green background and are supposed to be easier to read.

May 16, 2011

This Week On Campus...'Closing Time' Edition

There may have been no "This Weekend on Campus" edition last weekend, but now we have a week of nothing but events to celebrate the Class of 2011's commencement. Here is the full list of Senior Week events, all leading up to the big day on Sunday.

* = ticket required

Senior Class Bracelet Distribution, 11-3pm Mug (seniors only)
Lavender Reception, 5pm Rose Parlor

Senior Class Bracelet Distribution, 11-3pm Mug (seniors only)
President's Reception, 4-6pm Alumnae House (seniors only)
Formal, Grandview Hotel (buses from Main Circle at 6), 6:30-11:30pm*
Violet Senior Lounge Night, ALANA Center 10:30pm-12
Neverland Mug Night, 12-3am Mug

Senior Field Day, 2pm Quad
Ultimate Frisbee, 3pm Noyes Circle
Sigma Xi Ceremony, 3:30pm Aula (invitation only)
Afternoon Cruise on the Hudson, 5-7pm (buses 3:30)*
Evening Cruise on the Hudson, 7:30-9:30pm (buses 5:30)*
CBS Block Party, 10pm-2am Villard Room

Winery Brunch, Hudson Valley's West Park Winery, 11am-4:30pm (buses 10:30, 11:30, 12:30)*
Storm King Art Center, 1-4pm (buses 12:00)*
Roller Skating, 3-5pm Hyde Park Roller Magic (buses 2:30)*
Campus Life/Alana Reception, 5-7pm ALANA Center
Drive-In Movie, 7:45pm Overlook Drive-In
Commencement Cabaret, 10pm Shiva
Mahoney's, 10pm-3am (buses from TH Circle, 10pm)

Commencement Rehearsal (mandatory to walk at Commencement), 9-11am Outdoor Amphitheater
Scavenger Hunt, 1-3pm Library Lawn
Improv Show, 3pm Shakespeare Garden
Class Tree Decorating Ceremony, 4pm Chapel Lawn
Vassarion Release Party, 5-7pm FLLAC
Ice Skating, 7:15-9pm Mid-Hudson Civic Center (vans 6:45pm)
Café at the Aula, 9-10:30pm Aula
Bowling at the Hoe Bowl, 10pm-12am (walk, or continuous vans from Main)

Awarding of Prizes, 11am-12pm Chapel (recipients notified in advance)
Phi Beta Kapa Luncheon, 12:30-2pm UpC (invitation only)
FLLAC Reception, 1-3pm FLLAC
APAVC Lei Ceremony, 1:30-3 UpC
Family Reception ft. A Cappella, 2-4pm Chapel Lawn
AAVC Kent Cloth Ceremony, 2:45-3:45pm Aula
Commencement Concert, 3-4pm Skinner
Baccalaureate Service, 4pm Chapel
Champagne Reception, 9pm-12am UpC
Bonfire, Ballantine Field 12-2am

147th Commencement Ceremony, 10am Outdoor Amphitheater
Commencement Reception, Chapel Lawn following ceremony

May 15, 2011

What We're Watching: Marist '11, Ya'll!

Here's a video making the rounds of a Marist senior rapping about her class' last days at the school. It's gotten over 6,000 views and comments ranging from "absolutely atrocious" to "you are the Rebeccca Black of the rap game."