May 25, 2009

Have A Great Summer!

Commencement has come and gone and this school year is officially over.

Mads will be taking a short break for a few weeks because the start of summer means internships, the beach, and not a whole lot of Vassar news.

Be sure to keep checking the blog though! We'll be updating every now and then with the important stuff worth knowing about.

Have a great summer! As always, feel free to get in touch with us at Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter if you aren't doing so already. Thanks for reading!

May 24, 2009

Commencement Is Today!

Click here to check out the live webcast of today's Commencement.

Congratulations seniors!

Update 11am: Meryl Streep sighting, according to one student's Twitter.
2:30pm: Lisa Kudrow too.

May 22, 2009

AP Quotes Vassar Professor

Professor of Religion and Africana Studies Lawrence Mamiya was quoted in an article yesterday about the recent bombing plot against synagogues in the Bronx. The article discusses the mosque that two of the bombing suspects belong to, which is led by an ex-convict.

"I know the mosque and I know the imam very well," Professor Mamiya says. "He's not radical at all. He's very mainstream."

The mosque's leader also serves as a chaplain at the nearby Fishkill Correctional Facility, as well as once a week at Bard.

New Dean Of Studies Announced

In an all-campus email sent earlier today, Dean Roellke named Joanne Long the new Dean of Studies.

Ms. Long previously served as Dean of Freshmen and a faculty member of the English department.

May 21, 2009

On The Cover

The special graduation issue of the Miscellany News is out. Here are the big stories...

Four-year review of the Class of 2009's tenure.
Senior retrospectives.
Powerhouse Theatre summer program preview.

And online only:
College preserves need-blind for 2013, becomes need-sensitive on wait list.

May 19, 2009

Survivor Winner and Vassar Grad Has Cancer

Sad news. Ethan Zohn '96, the winner of Survivor: Africa, has been diagnosed with cancer.

"This is the ultimate game of Survivor, and there's really only one outcome, and that's to win. There's no other option," Ethan told People.

Both of Ethan's parents died of cancer, but the type that Ethan is fighting has a survival rate as high as 90%.

Ethan returned to Vassar in 2005 to speak about his charity work.

Image via Hummel International.

May 18, 2009

Another School Shooting, This Time At Harvard

An unidentified man was shot around 5pm on the Harvard campus today, The Crimson reports. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and is in stable condition. Two or three suspects fled the scene after the shooting.

It is unconfirmed whether or not the victim is a Harvard student.

The university's emergency alert system sent out text messages at 5:45.

What We're Listening To

We haven't done one of these posts in a while, but our latest obsession comes right in time for summer break.

Here is "Kids" by Chiddy Bang. It samples MGMT, but makes something entirely original. It's our favorite MGMT hip hop mash-up since "Nasty Feel." It also has a line about Svetlana from The Real World: Key West. How do you beat that?

Props to the Neon Gold blog for finding this.

May 16, 2009

This Rumor Is False

There's been a rumor floating around campus that ACDC and the Retreat took such precautions against swine flu because a visiting alumnus/a on Founder's Day had it.

This rumor: FALSE.

According to a representative for Campus Dining, plans for the modifications were put in place on the Friday before Founder's Day. "It was done out of an 'abundance of caution', as they say," the rep exclusively tells Mads. Another representative confirmed this, telling Mads she has "no knowledge" of the rumor and that it "sounds like a fabrication."

There you have it!

In other swine flu news, according to Flu-Tracker, there are no confirmed cases in Dutchess County.

May 14, 2009

By Word Of Mouth

We hear that yet another Streep girl is coming to Vassar. Meryl's daughter Louisa Gummer will be joining the Class of 2013 next year. 

"Vassar Night" Off-Broadway

The hit off-Broadway show "Sleep With Me" starring Mike Birbiglia will be having a "Vassar Night" this Saturday, May 16th. Vassar students can get 45% off the regular ticket price. 

Check it out!

May 13, 2009

Hunger Strike Continues For Worker Rights

According to an update from the Vassar Hunger Strike Facebook group:

"As we started yesterday, five us us are and will remain on a hunger strike until a meaningful negotiation of our demands has taken place. One of us is already approaching 36 hrs without any food; all of us are well beyond 24 hrs."

The administrator also claims that negotiations will be taking place tomorrow.

ALANA Center Vandalism Actually Months Old

In an all campus email sent earlier today, Ed Pittman revealed that the word "whites" was actually scratched into the ALANA Center sign last Fall.

How did it go unnoticed until now?

May 12, 2009

No Midnight Bkfst, But Some Still Streaking

From the Class of 2009 president:

"I am writing because I have been hearing rumors that the seniors are meeting Tonight at 11:45PM in the Joss Parking Lot (in front of the ROC) and that apparently we are streaking at midnight right after the Primal Scream. As Senior Class President I am NOT confirming or denying these rumors, or endorsing any kind of naked running- I just wanted to let you all know what word on the street is...

Although I am personally still debating whether I will let Carlos (my pudge) out to play tonight, I want to encourage all seniors who decide to streak to PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF SAFETY! Last year a senior got severely hurt during the streak. Let's avoid a repeat of this unfortunate (and avoidable) situation by making smart decisions and being mindful of each other's safety and well-being. Please do not get so intoxicated that you make poor choices. Do not engage in stupid behavior that might put your life, the life of your peers, or the integrity of college property in danger. Finally, I want to speak against bullying people into participating. If someone feels comfortable enough with their own body and finds it liberating and fun to run naked across the Quad, then HEY, GIRL/BOY HEY, go for it! On the other hand, if anyone feels like this is not for them and they would rather not be a part of it, PLEASE DO NOT PRESSURE THEM INTO PARTICIPATING!

I hope that we can show the college community that Primal Scream and the Senior Streak are fun and harmless traditions that are worth maintaining. I would hate it if the reputation of our class and the permissibility of these traditions is tainted by a negative experience that is avoidable and unnecessary!"

Rally Update...Police And Hunger Strike

Someone involved in today's worker rally tells us that police became involved when the rally moved to Collegeview Avenue. Police took down some identifications, but no one was arrested.

Also, people are currently "hunger striking" and camping out in front of Cappy's office, we're told.

Keep us updated! Email

Rally For Vassar Workers Today

There will be another rally in support of Vassar's workers today, from 12-2 in front of Main.

The list of demands includes:
Respect, dignity and peaec on campus for all workers.
Summer Employment.
Job Security.
A New Economic Strategy.
Social Justice Committee.
Financial Transparency.

Click here for more information.

May 10, 2009

Spotted...Bard Pirates

A reader spotted a group of "pirates" from Bard outside of ACDC earlier today.

May 9, 2009

ALANA Center Vandalized

Breaking. The sign in front of the ALANA Center has been vandalized, according to an email sent by the Multiracial/Biracial Student Association president to ALANA Center members. Someone apparently scratched the word "whites" into the sign.

"We are sick of people threatening our spaces and our presence on this campus," the email states. "We are sick of talking to the same people when these things occur and having nothing done about them."

The president calls for a meeting on Monday at 5pm in the ALANA Center to discuss a plan of action.

Cappy Writes A College Essay

Today's Wall Street Journal features "admissions essays" from various college presidents, including our very own Cappy. She writes about a person who has had a significant influence on her. Here is an excerpt:

"Gordon [Winston] and Henry [Burton], fellow economists, friends, and colleagues, have influenced my career path from economist and professor, to Provost at Williams, to President at Vassar. Retired now from teaching but still going into the office, both are quintessential college professors – active researchers, superb teachers, and committed to the ideals of a liberal arts education. Both have an amazing ability to ask the important questions and then make progress on discovering the answers. I think of them often as we work through extremely complex issues in these uncertain times."

Click here to read her full essay.

May 8, 2009

Vassar Jewish Union Speaks About Wesleyan Tragedy

The Vassar Jewish Union's president Natania Gazek '09 is speaking up about the Wesleyan tragedy. Natania wrote the following message in an email to VJU members:

"I'm writing to you in light of the fatal shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich yesterday at Wesleyan. Today Wesleyan's website reported that, "Although [Stephen Morgan, the shooter] apparently had a direct link to the victim but no other connection to the Wesleyan community, we have now been made aware that he expressed threats in his personal journals toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students."

I was overwhelmed when I read this statement, and I don't doubt that some of you may have similar feelings and reactions. I want to reiterate Dean Roellke's statement that support is always available on our campus through friends, classmates, faculty, administration and staff. I especially want to remind you that our Adviser to Jewish Students, Rabbi Rena Blumenthal, is one of these people who is here to support us, especially when our feelings are related to our identity as Jews."

In other news on the shooting, The New York Times reports that the judge raised Morgan's bail from $10 million to $15 million in this morning's arraignment.

Please Vote In Our Polls!

If you haven't done so already, please vote in our two polls by 11:59pm on Saturday. They will help us know who we're writing for.


Brian Rouse Cuts Rat Tail

The Facebook group that we mentioned a few weeks ago, Brian Rouse Will Cut Off His Rat Tail If This Group Gets 1,000 Members has achieved its goal.

"We have just made the world a better place," the page states.

We hope they post pictures!
Update: Yes! Pictures!

May 7, 2009

*Breaking* Suspected Wesleyan Gunman Turns Himself In


Multiple sources are reporting that Stephen Morgan, the suspect in the Wesleyan shooting, has turned himself in to police.

More info here and here.

New York Times report here.

Courtant reports it: "Stephen Morgan called 911 Thursday night and Meriden police picked him up. He was taken to police headquarters, and then turned over to Middletown officers."

He has been charged with murder and his bail is set at $10 million.

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth writes:
"We have received confirmation from the Middletown Police Department that Stephen Morgan, the suspect in the recent shooting at the Red and Black Café, has been apprehended. The Wesleyan community is grateful for the work of the law enforcement agencies involved in this process. We are all breathing a little easier with this news.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Johanna and hope that this latest development brings them some measure of comfort. Wesleyan will resume normal operations, as originally planned on Friday, May 8th."

Update Fri morning: Eyewitness News video here, including interview with a clerk at the store where Morgan turned himself in. She says that he asked to call the police, but couldn't dial the number, so she did it for him. Also, new reports claim that Morgan wanted to turn the incident into a "Jewish Columbine."

On The Cover...Your First Look

Here is your exclusive first look at the cover of Contrast's latest issue, scheduled to come out next week.

This is our favorite one yet!

Freshman Wins $23K on Jeopardy

Finally, some happier news. Vassar freshman Greg Lichtenstein '12 won $23,000 on Jeopardy last night.

You can check out his questions and answers here.

Congrats, Greg!

Roellke Responds To Wesleyan Tragedy. Also, New Frightening Developments

Dean Roellke sent an an all-campus email earlier this morning addressing yesterday's Wesleyan tragedy.

"As you may have learned through the media and other sources, a Wesleyan University student, Johanna Justin-Jinich ‘10, was shot and killed yesterday afternoon in Middletown, Connecticut. Wesleyan University has been providing its campus with periodic security updates at

Our hearts go out to the victim's family and friends and to the entire Wesleyan community. We recognize that members of Vassar's community may be impacted by this tragedy. Please know that support is always available on our campus through friends, classmates, faculty, administration and staff."

In other news on the shooting, new information suggests that the gunman "expressed threats...toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students" in particular. Meanwhile, students and faculty are told to still remain indoors. All classes and activities have been cancelled.

Press conference here.

Update 2pm: Here is the most accurate photo of suspect Stephen Morgan, who remains on the loose.

NBC is reporting that victim Johanna Justin-Jinich had filed an "aggravated harassment" complaint with the NYPD against Morgan in 2007 when they were both were attending NYU.

Update 5:45pm: Chilling new details...

According to the Courant:
"Police later discovered a journal inside the car with an entry in which Morgan outlined his plan to rape and then kill Justin-Jinich before going on a shooting spree on the Wesleyan campus.

It also turns out that Morgan stayed in the parking lot after the shooting and was interviewed by police as a witness.

All of Wesleyan's events for the weekend have been cancelled.

May 6, 2009

Update On Tragic Wesleyan Shooting

The victim in this morning's Wesleyan bookstore shooting has been identified as 22-year-old junior Johanna Justin-Jinich. This was announced in an all-campus email sent to Wesleyan students at 6:15pm.

"There is no reason to believe that the perpetrator of the shooting earlier today is on or near the campus, but we believe that the Wesleyan community could possibly be at risk," Wesleyan President Michael Roth wrote in the email, advising against holding a candlelight vigil tonight.

Hartford Courant coverage here.
New York Times coverage here.

Update 11pm: Middletown police have identified Stephen Morgan, 29 as a suspect in the shooting based on surveillance tape footage. He remains on the loose and is considered armed and dangerous. More here.

Update 2am: Click here to watch the latest update, including interviews with witnesses, from WTNH by way of Wesleying.

Images via Courant, Wesleying.

Vassar On Yahoo Homepage

First a Vassar freshman on Jeopardy, now this. Contrast's blog points out that the Thompson Memorial Library was featured on Yahoo's homepage earlier today.

The article, "College Presidents Tackle Essays," also has a quote from Cappy.

*Breaking* Fatal Shooting At Wesleyan Bookstore...School In Lockdown


There was a shooting at the Wesleyan University bookstore in Middletown, CT at 1pm today. A female student is believed to have been shot three times and killed. She said she didn't know the shooter. The school's emergency alert system was activated and the campus, as well as other Middletown schools, are in lockdown.

The suspect has not been caught.

This is truly tragic news. We will be monitoring this story and updating as more information becomes available.

Update: You can hear the emergency alert message here.

Hartford Courant is reporting.
NBC in Connecticut is reporting.

Today was to be school's annual Spring Fling, featuring performances by Santigold and Clipse.

The school's Wesleying blog seems to be unavailable, perhaps from too much site traffic.

Story developing...

Vassar Freshman On Jeopardy Tonight

Tune in to Jeopardy tonight to see Greg Lichstenstein '11 competing in the college tournament for $100,000.

“Memorizing facts has just always come naturally and I tried out for 'Jeopardy!' for the first time my senior year in high school. I wasn’t offered a spot after the audition that time, but this year just ended up better!” Greg told the Times-Herald Record.

Check it out tonight at 7pm on ABC.

Update: In other Vassar-students-competing-on-television-news, AirCapella will appear on America's Got Talent on June 23rd.

Image via

Take A Study Break With Iced Brew

Here is a message from Iced Brew about their upcoming skating night:

Iced Brew, Vassar's synchronized skating team, is hosting a Friday Night Skating this Friday, May 8!

What better way to cool down and take a much-needed study break?

For $10, you get admission to the public session and ice skate rental, plus transportation there and back. The public session runs from 8pm - 10pm, and vans will be leaving Main Circle starting at 7:30 until about 8:15, and will pick us up starting at 10pm.

This is also a fundraiser for Iced Brew, and we could really use your help -- skating is an expensive sport, and this will go a long way to help making our team even better than it already is!

May 5, 2009

Senior Comp Reading On Thursday

Check out the Senior Comp reading this week, featuring Mike Alberti, Lucy Clark, Kate Fussner, Anabel Graff, Phoebe Magee, Mike Malloy, Kyle Nelson, Jiuen Paik, Eliza Thompson, Annie Reiner, and Nick Schmidt.

Thursday from 7-9 in Taylor 203.

Senior Week Schedule Announced

The official schedule for Senior Week has been announced. Most events are free, but tickets for others will be sold tomorrow, May 6th, from 10am-5pm in the Villard Room. There are way too many events to list them all here, but here are some highlights:

Tues, 5/19
Formal, 6:30-11:30pm Grandview Hotel.
90s Mug Night, 12-3am Mug.

Wed, 5/20
Field Day, 11:30am-3pm Ballantine.
Cruise 1, 5-7pm Hudson River. Buses leave from Main.
Roller Skating, 5-7pm The Rink. Shuttles from Main.
Cruise 2, 7:30-9:30pm.

Thurs, 5/21
Mahoney's 2.0, 11pm-3am Mahoney's.

Fri, 5/22
Mandatory Rehearsal, 9-11am Sunset Hill.

Saturday, 5/23
Bonfire Dance Party, 11pm-2am Ballantine.

Sunday, 5/24
Commencement, 10am Graduation Hill.

May 4, 2009

Film League Presents Wet Hot American Summer

Summer is almost upon us and ViCE Film League is celebrating with a screening of one of our favorite films, Wet Hot American Summer. It'll take you back to the good old days when you were a camp counselor and didn't have to worry about field work and internships.

Do not miss this! Tomorrow (Tues) at 8:30pm in UpC. Free food!

Update: The screening is now in UpC, not Rocky or the F&D quad.

Vote In Our New Polls!

In the spirit of the school year coming to an end, we're interested in seeing how our readership has changed over the year since our previous polls last May.

Please vote!

Founder's Day Recap In Pictures

By the afternoon, the sun had come out, hundreds of students took to the hill, and Founder's Day was in full swing. The highlights for us included the !!! performance and the fake mustaches.

Campus Dining Reacts To Swine Flu

ACDC has made several modifications to keep Vassar students from getting swine flu (because we all know those bagel bins were breeding grounds for H1N1). These modifications have come mainly to the self-serve stations, such as the salad bar and bakery, which now feature individually packaged options.

The Retreat has also made an effort to keep faculty and students healthy by temporarily closing the salad bar.

May 2, 2009

Happy Founder's Day!

Today's schedule is:

11am-1pm: Kids house
11am-5pm: Bands performing
11:30-5: Rides
12-5: Food vendors
12:35: Cappy's toast, visit to Vassar's grave
5-6: BBQ
8:30: Barefoot Monkeys performance
9: Fireworks
9:30: Screening of Super Mario Brothers

Have a great day!

P.S. In case you were wondering, Matthew Vassar's actual birthday was last Wednesday.


Vassar workers and supporters united on Friday at two different times to march through campus for improved rights.

We're told that Jimmy Kelly made an appearance at one of the rallies.

May 1, 2009

This Weekend On Campus: FOUNDER'S DAY Edition

We can't believe Founder's Day is finally upon us. Tomorrow's events are pretty self explanatory, as are Sunday's (sleeping it off). Regardless, here's what to check out today and tonight...

CHOICE Open House, 1-5pm CHOICE office (Jewett basement)
ViCE's Pre-Founder's Day Show featuring Elizabeth & The Catapult, 8pm Aula. With free cotton candy.
R.E.A.L. Hip Hop Theatre presents "What's Really Hood," 7pm (doors), 7:30 start, Lateef Islam Theatre at the Family Partnership Center. 29 North Hamilton St. Shuttles from Main Circle starting at 6pm.


Pre-Founder's Day Show Tonight

The Founder's Day festivities begin tonight with ViCE After Hours' annual pre-Founder's Day Show! This year's main act is Brooklyn band Elizabeth and the Catapult.

Tonight at 8pm in the Aula.

Co-sponsored by the Founder's Day Committee, Class of 2012, and Class of 2010. There will be free cotton candy!