September 30, 2009

PETA Will Report Findings Tomorrow

A representative for PETA will be on campus tomorrow to report the findings of an investigation on the Vassar campus. Here is a message from the Vassar Animal Rights Coalition:

"PETA has targeted Vassar for an investigation into animal testing and abuse on campus, and tomorrow at 5pm in ROCKY 200, their famed investigator Dr. Alka Chandna will be revealing her findings and leading a Q&A with the audience. Maybe you saw the guy in the monkey suit on campus today handing out flyers?

VARC is encouraging all students, faculty, community members to come out and join the conversation, no matter what their opinion or affiliation. We want to open this up as an ongoing dialogue about animal rights and the ethics of scientific study."

Here is the official press release on PETA's website, which includes a quote from the Vice President of of Laboratory Investigations, as well as a graphic description of the treatment of animals in Vassar's science labs.

9.30.09 9:38pm

Quote Of The Day

"Not only is animal experimentation cruel, it's also bad science... Vassar students have the right to know that the college is using funds to harm animals."

- Kathy Guillermo, PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations in a press release about PETA's recent investigation into animal cruelty at Vassar.

9.30.09 9:34pm

What We're Watching

The second trailer for Wes Anderson's upcoming The Fantastic Mr. Fox was just released. The film was co-written by Noah Baumbach '91 and features the voice of Meryl Streep '71.

9.30.09 12:44pm

September 29, 2009

ViCE Jazz Presents...

Jazz Night is in the Mug tonight at 10:30 with Capital Zen. Here is a description from ViCE Jazz:

"Capital Zen is a high energy funk/rock quartet based out of Upstate NY with an explosively addictive, danceable; yet edgy groove, and a keen sense of surprise. Zen's members draw on their influences in funk, rock, jazz, reggae, and punk, bonding them at the molecular level to create a truly explosive sound that can only be described as Capital Zen. Live Zen is all about getting people up and moving. Expect it be the beastly baby of Blues meets Jazz. It’s a sound derived from a range of greats including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus and the Incubus unfamiliar to most, namely their 1997 S.C.I.E.N.C.E. album."

Check it out!

9.29.09 7:40pm

*Breaking* Vassar Speaker Denied Entry To The U.S.

German publisher and former activist Karl-Dietrich Wolff, who is scheduled to speak at Vassar, was denied entry into the U.S.

According to the Guardian, Wolff was not allowed to enter JFK airport this weekend. "He had been invited to speak at the academic conference at Vassar College because he took part in the beginning of the civil rights movement as a high school exchange student in the US in the early 1960s and founded the Black Panther Solidarity Committee," the article states.

Cappy commented to the Guardian on the matter: "He could thus share his biographical experience with the international academic community assembled at the conference, which features, among others, such prominent speakers as Angela Davis," she said.

Story developing...

9.29.09 12:11pm

September 28, 2009

Official Statement From Security

As we posted late last night, Poughkeepsie police and Vassar security vehicles were spotted outside of Davison and Raymond. Don Marsala has now addressed the incident in an all-campus email:

"Late last night a Vassar student was assaulted as he walked on the north end of the Quad. A young male that was walking with two other males struck the Vassar student from behind.

Fortunately, the Vassar student avoided serious injury, and refused medical attention. Both Vassar College Security and the Town of Poughkeepsie Police conducted a search for the suspects but were unable to locate them.

We determined that after the assault, two of the non-students were allowed to enter a residence hall. The knocked on the front door of Davison House and a Vassar College student who thought they were students opened the door for them. Fortunately, the student realized they were not Vassar students, as they were in their teens, and the student followed them as they exited the south door and ran out of sight."

9.28.09 4:31pm

Spotted...Police By Raymond

We just received word from a tipster that campus security and Poughkeepsie police are by the quad side of Davison and Raymond. We don't want to jump to conclusions and there hasn't been any word from security yet, so it's probably not anything major. Stay safe, Vassar!

9.28.09 12:38am

September 27, 2009

Grizzly Bear At Skidmore Last Night

Edit 9/30: ViCE has informed us that Grizzly Bear has asked for no cameras at their show. We're not sure if this was the case at Skidmore, so the video and pictures below may have been obtained illegally. Please don't bring cameras to the show on 10/9.

We're still waiting for our friends at Skidmore Unofficial to put up their coverage of last night's Grizzly Bear show at Skidmore, but here is a video of what we can expect to see on October 9th. If you don't like "spoilers" of concerts, skip this post!

The info for the video reads, "Great show put on by Grizzly Bear! But the crowd SUCKED! Dear Skidmore kids, you are the worst excuse for a crowd that I have ever seen. Did mommy not tell you that you don't talk at shows?" Hopefully the Vassar crowd will be better.

Here is another review, this one sent in to the
"The Brooklyn-based band made its Capital Region debut Friday night with a dramatic and engaging concert at Skidmore College’s Sports and Recreation Center. If the setting proved a bit antithetical, the band had no problem creating their own ethereal atmosphere onstage with a combination of floating chords and strings of simple white lights in mason jars... This was a college show if ever there was one. The audience was a mix of die-hards gently grooving to every song and freshmen desperate to neck in [public]."

There are also some pictures of the show on Flickr.

Gang Gang Dance, who played Vassar last semester, opened for Grizzly Bear.

9.27.09 4:48pm

Munch Pics

In honor of our new Vassar Munch site, here are some old food-related images of Vassar. All images and info come from the V-Encyclopedia.

Students used to eat in their houses until the creation of ACDC. Here is the dining hall for Main.

The kitchen in Main.

Vassar girls milked cows and raised crops at the Vassar Farm, especially during WWI and WWII.

Follow Vassar Munch on Twitter!

9.27.09 4:05pm

September 25, 2009

Former President Fergusson To Join Board of Pfizer

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. announced today that Frances Fergusson will be joining its Board of Directors. Fergusson currently serves on the board of Wyeth, which is merging with Pfizer.

Fergusson was president of Vassar from 1986 to 2006.

Photo via NNBD.

9.25.09 3:23pm

This Weekend On Campus

Here's our weekly list of events worth checking out. Email madsvassar [at] gmail [dot] com for publicity.

Vassar Filmmakers' 12-Hour Film Screening, 8pm Rocky 300
ViCE Special Events presents Comedian Geoff Keith, 8pm UpC
Indecent Exposure Presents..., 9pm Sanders Auditorium
Fly People Mug Night, 10pm Mug

Saturday (Freshmen Parents Weekend)
Arlington Street Fair, 12pm Raymond Avenue
Co-Ed A Capella Concert, 1pm Aula
VCPUNX Showcase, 8pm Mug
Barefoot Monkeys Fire Show, 9pm Quad

Yom Kippur Pre-Fast Dinner, 5:30pm CC MPR
Yom Kippur Kol Nidre Service, 6:30pm Aula

Click here for the official list of all Freshmen Parents Weekend events.

9.25.09 8:23am

Freshmen Elections Results

The Class of 2013 election results were announced at 11pm on Thursday. Here are the results:

Class Treasurer - Jason Rubin
Class Secretary - Raffi Kiureghian
Vice President - Matthew Horton
President - Eli Berns-Zieve (shown in image)

And the House representatives are:

Strong - Sophia Wasserman
Davison - Cory Epstein
Raymond - Jake Harris
Noyes - Jenna Konstantine
Main - Alexandra Magill
Lathrop - Natalie Allen
Joss - Dan Flynn
Jewett - John Lee

No one ran for Cushing representative.

9.25.09 12:31 am

September 24, 2009

Library To Be Open Late Again!

In an all-campus email sent moments ago, Dean Kitzinger shared the good news that the library will once again be open until 1:30am Sunday-Thursday starting October 4th. "In response to student concerns and our own desire to make the library as available as we can," Dean Kitzinger writes, "I am pleased to announce that we have found a way to return to keeping the library open until 1:30 AM."

See - student voice really does make a difference.

There is one slight qualification, however. "Please be aware that, because of the nature of staffing constraints, the library may have to close on any given day at midnight," Dean Kitzinger writes. Hey, that's better than nothing!

9.24.09 8:50am

Audition For After Hours

ViCE After Hours is holding auditions this weekend. Here is a message from them:

"ViCE After Hours Auditions are THIS SATURDAY! If you write original songs, you should audition. If your friends write original songs, you should convince them to audition!

Sign ups are on the ViCE office door.
Auditions are 12-5 in the CC MPR."

9.24.09 1:58am

September 23, 2009

From The Munch

Here are some of the latest updates from our Vassar Munch:
  • Matthew's Bean and UpC are both now open for late night coffee and snacks.
  • The compost bins have finally been put in the Retreat. Make sure to read the signs to see what you can and cannot compost.
  • Today's chili day in the Retreat has been rescheduled to tomorrow. "Are you serious? I woke up for chili," one disgruntled student complained. Maybe Jesus is taking a sick day again, because it is still being offered in ACDC.
Click here to get all the latest updates from Vassar Munch. Email food tips to madsvassar [at] or respond @vassarmunch on Twitter.

9.23.09 1:09 pm

Field Hockey Game Today

Before the volleyball game, check out the field hockey game from 4-5:30pm at the Weinberg Turf Field at Prentiss.

9.23.09 10:06pm

September 22, 2009

Women's Volleyball Tomorrow

Don't miss Vassar's women's volleyball team play New Paltz tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7pm in Kenyon.

The team is undefeated 8-0 so far!

9.22.09 8:16pm

ViCE Jazz Presents...

Tonight's ViCE Jazz Night will feature LYNCH at 10:30 in the Mug.

From ViCE Jazz:
"LYNCH is a song structured improvisational fusion of hip-hop, rock, and jazz... flirting with many styles from drum and bass to latin and reggae. There isn't a crowd Lynch can't rock. It's no wonder the band is being called the "Van Halen of hip-hop."

Click here for more info.

9.22.09 7:23pm

September 21, 2009


Spotted: Betty wearing a stylish pink surgical mask outside of the entrance to the Mug.

9.21.09 9:36pm

VSA Might Consider New Disciplinary System

The VSA Council might consider a new disciplinary point system, according to various council members and The Miscellany News.

The new system might assign specific points to specific offenses, with accumulations of points leading to various punishments.

At last night's meeting the Council decided to look into such a proposal by an informal vote of 19-5. Revisions will be made and the Council will hold a more formal vote on a finalized proposal.

This plan is still in the very early stages.

Edit: Although a sample of such a point system has been made available to Jewett residents and the Class of 2011, the VSA executive board has asked us not to post it.

9.21.09 4:10pm

Contrast Wants Bloggers

Here is a message from Contrast:

"Contrast wants YOU!

Contrast is looking for columnists and contributors to the blog. We are accepting anything that has to do with culture and style--from articles to art projects, this blog is all about you, your interests, and the Vassar community. Interested? Check out the details at or e-mail the editor, Ceci Cholst, at cecholst [at], for more info."

9.21.09 10:19am

Vassar Fail

9.21.09 9:36am

September 20, 2009

The Code Word For Grizzly Bear Tickets!

The code word for our Grizzly Bear ticket giveaway is...

Droste in Ed Droste, the member of Grizzly Bear.

Email with the word "Droste" in the subject line. The 30th email will get a free pair of tickets! Three email limit per person. You don't have to be a Vassar student to enter, but you can only enter if you haven't received a ticket yet.

We'll respond to the winning email with more information.

Update 10:40pm: Don't be shy...we haven't hit 30 yet. Email us up to three times!

Update 11:05pm: Just hit 30! We'll announce the winner soon...

Update 12:30am: Congratulations to Ashten Bartz '13. See you at the show! Thanks to everyone else for the emails. Stay tuned for info on more ViCE ticket giveaways.

9.20.09 10:00pm

Ticket Giveaway Tonight!

Don't forget to check the blog at 10pm tonight to see the code word for our Grizzly Bear ticket giveaway!
Don't forget to check the blog at 10pm tonight to see the code word for our Grizzly Bear ticket giveaway!
Don't forget to check the blog at 10pm tonight to see the code word for our Grizzly Bear ticket giveaway!

9.20.09 5:38pm

September 19, 2009

Tickets On Sale For Grizzly Bear

Tickets are currently on sale for Grizzly Bear on There are 88 tickets left, according to ViCE.

Remember to check the blog tomorrow night for our ticket giveaway.

9.19.09 12:30pm

Model For Contrast

Contrast is looking for models. All are welcome. Stop by the Joss parlor tomorrow (Sunday) at 2pm if you're interested.

9.19.09 9:11am

September 18, 2009

What We're Watching...Rosh Hashanah Edition

Did you know that Barack means lightning in Hebrew?

9.18.09 3:44pm

And The Candidates Are...

Filing for the 2013 elections ended yesterday. The candidates for president are Bob Lutz, Clayton Masterman, Joshua Rosen, Matt Kramer, Daniel Lempert, Sharon Onga, Patty Walton, Eli Berns-Zieve, and Ocasio Willson.

Click here to see all of the candidates. Voting is from September 22nd to 24th.

Side note: A candidate for president and a candidate for vice president both have Kanye/Taylor posters. Awkward.

9.18.09 2:00pm

Announcing Our Grizzly Bear Ticket Giveaway!

If you didn't get a Grizzly Bear ticket this week, fear not! is giving away a free pair of tickets, courtesy of ViCE. Here's how to get them...

On Sunday night at 10pm, we will be posting a "codeword." Something like "Bears" or "Cappy." When you see that word, email it to us at with the word in the subject line. No need to write anything else. The pair of tickets goes to the 30th email we receive. If you have the winning email, we'll respond asking you for contact info.

The rules: You're only eligible if you haven't gotten a ticket already. We'll give your name to ViCE and they'll check to make sure. Also, there is a limit of three emails per person, so please don't flood our inbox with 30 emails.

You don't have to be a Vassar student to enter.

Image via MySpace.

9.18.09 12pm

This Weekend On Campus

Our weekly list of what events are worth checking out. As you can see, this weekend is a whole lot of Rosh Hashana, plus the first real Mug and dorm parties of the school year. Email for publicity.

Rosh Hashanah services, 6pm Aula
Rosha Hashanah dinner, 7pm CC MPR
Hip Hop 101 Mug Night, 11pm Mug

Rosh Hashanah services, 10am Aula
Rosh Hashanah services, 6pm Aula
Rosh Hashanah dinner, 7pm CC MPR
Welcome to the Jungle, 10pm UpC

9.18.09 10:30am

The Return Of Campus Parties

The last few weeks have been quiet - other than the Shiva Rave - but the season of campus events has finally arrived. Jewett and Lathrop announced at the last minute that they will be hosting Welcome to the Jungle in UpC on Saturday night featuring DJ LykeMic. The Vassar Greens are co-sponsoring the event.

Also, although it hasn't been officially announced yet, Cushing and Noyes' second annual DayGlo Toga party is listed on the InfoSite for November 7th. We'll of course have more details on that soon.

9.18.09 10:15am

September 17, 2009

Check Tomorrow For Big Announcement

Check back here tomorrow (Friday) at noon for a big announcement!

9.17.09 10pm

Sent In By You

9.17.09 11am

September 16, 2009

ViCE Ticket Update

The line for Grizzly Bear tickets went all the way from the Chapel past the Loeb today at 3pm. At 3:30, tickets were still available and the line was significantly shorter.

More free tickets will also be given out tomorrow and Friday at 10am.

Update: Tickets ran out at 4pm.

Update #2: Here is a message from ViCE:

If you didn't receive a ticket today, don't worry! We still have two more days of tickets. Tomorrow and Friday at 10AM!

Want to win cool posters and ViCE stuff? Hunger Action will be there collecting cans of food or dollars to buy cans of food, and if you bring them some, you will be entered to win these awesome prizes. This is a really good cause, so please help out.

9.16.09 4:10pm

Mads Turns Two! Big Announcements...

Today is Mads Vassar's second birthday! The site has been through a lot of changes in content and design since 2007, which we hope better suit the Vassar community and all of our readers.

Last week we reached half a million site visits, which is incredible. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying the site. We do it for YOU! We had 40,000 more visits this year than the previous year.

Now for some big announcements...

First, Mads has taken on Vassar Munch, which had been up for grabs since its founder graduated in May. The Munch is your source for news about food on the Vassar campus, and most importantly, where and when you can get free food. Follow the Munch on Twitter to get the latest updates. We'll also make it a feature on this site.

Our other big announcement is that we are looking for writers! Mads is going abroad next semester and we want to keep the site going. If you're interested or want to find out more about what the job entails, email with a few sentences about why you're interested and what writing/blogging experience you have. Please include your contact information. No experience necessary and you must be a current Vassar student to apply. This is unpaid.

We have one more big announcement, which we'll announce on Friday afternoon. Check back then.

Again, readers, thanks for another amazing year. Thanks especially to those of you who sent us tips and stories. We couldn't do this without you! Let us know how we're doing by emailing And for the latest updates, follow us on Twitter!

xoxo Mads

9.16.09 1:05pm

Shiva Rave In Pictures

Better late than never...

Photos by Becca Mountain '12 and Madeleine Little '12 for Vassar Teknowledgy. VT is currently celebrating their tenth year.

As we wrote in our first post ever exactly two years ago, VT can throw a party!

9.16.09 12:30am

September 15, 2009

Powder Kegs Tonight

Stop by ViCE Jazz in the Mug tonight to see the Powder Kegs.

From ViCE Jazz:
"A starry eyed trio reminiscent of Band of Horses or My Morning Jacket" - The Vermont Cynic "The Powderkegs play an original kind of soulful and experimental rock n' roll (with pop sensibilities) informed by their punk rock/energetic old-time roots. They are currently experimenting with newer noises and songs, working on a new E.P, and otherwise rocking audiences east of the Mississippi."

Tonight at 10:30 in the Mug.

ViCE Ticket Giveaway Tomorrow

The big Clipse / Yes Giantess show was less than two weeks ago, but ViCE is already gearing up for the Grizzly Bear / Beach House show on October 10th. 800 free tickets for the show will be given out tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday.

The tickets are free to the Vassar community, but they are limited, so you still have to pick them up!

ViCE is doing all they can to eliminate the challenges of previous years' ticket giveaways. M.I.A. tickets were expensive and sold out early on, and last year people took advantage of the 6 ID limit for
Beirut tickets. This year there is a limit to 2 Vassar IDs per person and 1 ticket per ID.

Tickets will be available on the Chapel lawn at 3pm on Wednesday, 10am on Thursday, and 10am on Friday.

Tickets will also be available for purchase on starting at noon on Saturday.

More info here.

Meet Me In Poughkeepsie Is Rescheduled

The VSA announced yesterday that the second annual Meet Me in Poughkeepsie will now take place on October 10th instead of October 3rd. This change came after the event organizers realized that the opening of the walkway over the Hudson would make traveling through Poughkeepsie difficult.

The new date isn't without its conflicts, though, as Pete Seeger will be performing on the Chapel Lawn at 2pm. The VSA hopes to avoid conflicting with this, and says that MMiP activities won't begin until after the concert. "The FLLAC concert was designed in large part to bring community members to campus," VP for Activities Aaron Grober '11 wrote in an email to org. leaders. "Moving MMiP to 10/10 allows us to make it a community day, beginning with community members coming to Vassar for the concert, and Vassar students getting out into the community for MMiP!"

Applications for organizations to participate in MMiP are due on Thursday.

September 14, 2009

Rick Lazio '80 To Run For Governor

According to the New York Post, Vassar alumnus Rick Lazio '80 will be running for New York governor. He is expected to announce this on Monday.

Lazio, who is a Republican, lost to Hillary Clinton for the Senate in 2000.

Image via NY Times.

Has Swine Flu Arrived?

Multiple students have been spotted wearing surgical masks around campus, according to sources. Has swine flu finally arrived?

According to FluTracker, there have been 38 confirmed cases of H1N1 in Dutchess County.

As annoying as it was last semester, we think it's time for ACDC and the Retreat to eliminate self-serving options again.

Wash your hands, folks! And if you're sick, don't put others at risk.

September 13, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"I loved the Backpage, by the way, so [I] was very sad to see it go."

- Cappy in a recent email to a "Backpage" supporter.

Big Week For Grizzly Bear and Beach House

Grizzly Bear and Beach House - both of which will be playing Vassar on October 9th - had some big news last week.

It was announced that Beach House will be releasing their upcoming album on Sub Pop, the home of Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, The Postal Service, The Shins, and more. Their previous two albums were on indie label Carpark Records.

In other news, Grizzly Bear released the video for "While You Wait For Others" on Friday. Check it out below.

Finally, ViCE has announced that the free ticket giveaways for the concert will be on the Chapel Lawn at 3pm on Wednesday (400 tickets), and at 10am on Thursday and Friday (200 tickets each day). There is a limit to 1 ticket per Vassar ID and only 2 IDs per person.

Tickets will then be available for purchase on Saturday at noon at

New Vassar Cooking Blog

A Vstudent has written in to Mads about her new cooking blog, Vassar Cooks, which serves as a place for students to read and submit recipes. The site already features nine recipes, including for salmon spread, Parmesan chicken, and chocolate chip cinnamon muffins.

Check it out here and email to submit a recipe.

September 11, 2009

Some Old "Backpages" Resurface

Although The Miscellany News removed the "Backpage" archives from their website - which the former writers were not too happy about - one Mads reader and former Misc editor did some digging and found these pages still available online:

Vassar Students: They're Just Like Celebrities (2005)
Design Your Own Supreme Court Justice (2005)
Hipper Than Your Mom: Dad Chic (2005)
Yale Restricts Parties, Vassar Fears Backlash (2005)
The Vassarer (2006)
The Vassar Board Game: The Last Hurrah (2006)
The Hook Up: The Aftermath (2007)

Misc, if you're reading this, keep these up. And restore the archive, please.

Vassar's Economic Troubles On Gawker

Vassar is featured on the popular blog Gawker today, but unfortunately it is for our economic troubles. Keep in mind that the post is written by Andrew Belonsky, a Vassar grad.

"Barack Obama spent some of his very important time this week telling school children they should shoot for the stars and aim for grade-A educations. Sadly, our president was wrong, because America's institutions of higher learning are dead broke!!

Yes, we Americans — and, in fact, all Western dwellers — are taught that we should aim for schools like Harvard, Yale, Brown and, if you must, Vassar. Yet, in a sad testament to our nation's increasingly depressing economic situation, all four of those schools are losing their economic prestige...

Meanwhile, the president of [Yale]'s former love, Vassar, sent out a letter to graduates, including this editor, announcing that the storied institution — Jackie O went there!! — has lost nearly [27%] of its precious, precious piggy bank...

Rather than revamping dorms and building new graduate campuses, these schools should have been focusing on improving preexisting services, like teaching. (The Vassar president's letter encouraged students to visit a newly redecorated dorm, then discussed how staff needed to be cut. Silly!)."

September 10, 2009

The Misc Vs. Backpage Drama Continues

Just when we thought the "Backpage" controversy was starting to die down, the new calendar section in today's Misc took this dig at the former Backpage writers:

"Tea. Instead of getting a job, I'm going to belligerently and incoherently write about the death of the Backpage on my blog! This is the most important thing that's happened in my life since graduation! Rose Parlor."

Loving the drama. Stay tuned.

Film League Presents...

This week is ViCE Film League's first Blodgett screening of the semester. They're following up last week's outdoor Jaws screening with Star Trek. Not bad considering it won't be on DVD until late October.

Friday and Saturday @ 7:30pm in Blodgett Auditorium. Free.

"Backpage" Drama Dates Back To May

Mads dug up an old email from last year's "Backpage" writers about how the Misc censored their final editorial...which happened to be about the Misc's censorship!

"The email comes from early May when we wrote an editorial about the Misc's efforts to censor our work," one of the Backpage writers now tells us. "Seemingly unaware of how ridiculous and backwards they were acting, Brian Farkas and Ruby Cramer CENSORED OUR LETTER ABOUT CENSORSHIP."

Here are some quotes from the editorial. The words in bold were censored from the final version.

"Politically incorrect humor on Vassar's camps is like lesbian sex in a nunnery: everyone's doing it, but they're praying to Jesus that the public doesn't find out."

"While we wait for our Communist president to go before the U.N. and ask those cheese-eating surrender monkeys for a non-binding resolution to stop the genocide that’s happening right now on the third floor of Main Building, we, your outgoing Backpage editor and special correspondent, would like to briefly discuss the place of humor and censorship in a college newspaper." In the final version, "genocide" became "tragedies."

"Get it? We think you do, because we know you’re smart and you understand irony, unlike Carlos Mencia. Oh wait, we’re not allowed to make fun of him because he’s from Honduras and is retarded. So next year, assuming the hostage crisis in the Misc office has died down and we find a poor soul to replace us, tell your editors that you can handle a little humor dripping with irony, even if it crosses a few lines. And to the editors of the Misc: even though your paper will go under by the time you graduate, try to take some risks before Cappy sells your Macs and turns the office into a McDonald’s."

In addition to the censoring, the editorial was featured only online and not in the print edition.

Take A Look At This

Just to take a break from the "Backpage" posting...

Apparently Mads Vassar was used in an economics problem set. Ha! Thanks to a reader for sending this in.

September 9, 2009

More "Backpage" Reaction...Another Writer Responds

Another former "Backpage" has written in to Mads, this time responding to the Misc's Editors' Note posted earlier tonight. Here is what the '09er has to say:

"In their upcoming official public statement, the editors of the Misc publicly say 'that in the past the image and credibility of the newspaper has been tarnished due to continuously-printed material which some believed expressed racist, classist, sexist, homophobic or anti-Semitic view.' This is beyond words. I am shocked and disgusted at how low they will stoop by suggesting we are bigots.

Of the past three writers of the Backpage, all are firmly committed to social equality, at least one is an avowed socialist, all three are strong feminists, all three are queer allies and two are Jewish.

I am disgusted. Truly disgusted. And if this was a real newspaper, and it's not, this would be considered libel. Of course how would a bunch of 19-year-olds understand that?

Unfortunately, the humor, at least in the Backpages I worked on, was above the heads of the Misc exec board, who gain the positions not through merit and intelligence but rather by just showing up enough to meetings. If the Exec Board thought that we meant any of those identity politics jokes, then they are the ones who are truly ignorant."

Official Editors' Note On "Backpage" Cut

The editors of The Miscellany News have included this note in tomorrow's issue:

"Last week, the 2009-10 Miscellany News Editorial Board unanimously voted to continue the Sports section to the final page of the newspaper—as many national and college newspapers do—rather than continue the Backpage, which previously occupied the space.

The Board also voted unanimously to dedicate the last page of the Opinions sections to humor and satire columns, as well as to a themed calendar and a regularly featured comic. This week, you can find these items on page 12 of the paper.

To expand on our decision, the editors feel that in the past the image and credibility of the newspaper has been tarnished due to continuously-printed material which some believed expressed racist, classist, sexist, homophobic or anti-Semitic views.

That said, we do not wish to eliminate humor from the pages of the Miscellany. In fact, it is our firm belief that humor writing falls under the purview of the Opinions section, where multiple writers can submit their satirical works, which can, in turn, be attributed to the specific authors. For the duration of its history, the Backpage has only able to feature the comedic stylings of one to two writers per year...

As we reflect on the 143-year history of our publication, we truly and unanimously believe that the change is in the long-term best interest of The Miscellany News."

Your First Look...Grizzly Bear Posters

just released the poster for the Grizzly Bear / Beach House show on October 9th.

So excited!

September 8, 2009

ViCE Jazz Presents...

The second ViCE Jazz night of the school year is tonight in the Mug featuring Lubriphonic.

"They call themselves 'groovy organic funky rock,'" Jazz Chair Ethan Feigenbaum '11 tells Mads. "I think it's going to be even better than last week."

Check it out tonight at 10:30 in the Mug.

CHOICE Unveils Its Own "PostSecret"

CHOICE just unveiled its new blog, CHOICEsecrets. Like the popular blog PostSecret, CHOICEsecrets invites people to send in their secrets anonymously for everyone to see. Right now the blog consists of secrets collected during Spring 2009.

There aren't many secrets posted yet, and some of them are difficult to see (we had to fix up the one above), but this could be the start of something cool. Also, unlike PostSecret, all of the CHOICEsecrets are specifically about body image and sex. It would be nice to see a broader range, although that might not fit in with CHOICE's mission statement.

Send in your love, sex, and body secrets to campus box #3538.

"Miscellany Haikus"

Here is how Molly Finkelstein '08, the Misc's Backpage writer from 2004 to 2008, feels about the Misc's decision to cut the Backpage.

"Miscellany Haikus"
by Molly Finkelstein '08

Guess what time tea is.
Misc doesn't want you to know.
Fucking censorship.

September 7, 2009

Athletes May Get Credit For Sports

In one of the most significant VSA endorsements in some time, the VSA is endorsing a proposal for Vassar athletes to receive credit for their participation on sport teams. This proposal was two years in the making and was finally endorsed at last night's Council meeting.

The proposal now goes to the Committee on Curricular Policy and will then be presented and voted on by the faculty.

Read more about it here.

A Brief History Of The Backpage/Former Editor-In-Chief Responds

According to the Vassar Encyclopedia:

"In the mid-1990s, the Miscellany also began to publish humorous stories and quips on its final page. At first, the back page held the calendar of school events and classified ads, and over time the writers added funny jokes to each description. From this format came a comedic page that often included satire of the school alongside the calendar. The Backpage continues today, entertaining readers and humorously critiquing the traditions of the school."

And from Brian Farkas '10's book Covering the Campus: A History of the Miscellany News at Vassar College:

"Numerous editors from other college papers, as well as journalists and professors who attended the conference [in 2008 sponsored by Bloomberg News], lauded the overall 2008 Miscellany, but considered the Backpage to be childish, distasteful, and unable to effectively satirize the College in any meaningful way."

Update: Just to clarify, the decision to remove the Backpage was voted on unanimously by the Misc's editorial board of 20 full-time student editors. Although we think Brian Farkas' book provides insight into this debate, Brian played no role in the Misc's decision.

Update 2: Another former Misc editor-in-chief is speaking up. "I agree very much with all the impassioned arguments Eliza and Molly and various other backpage writers and former misc editors and staff," Acacia O'Connor '08 wrote to us in an email. "I never guessed that things could move so far away so fast from the paper I worked so hard on... into a shrouded mouthpiece for student government and the administration," she adds.

Of her time at the Misc, Acacia writes, "It was what we loved doing, and something we felt was important - a (not always successful, of course) attempt to report, comment and criticize on the college and its relationship with the area surrounding."

"Our connection to the paper and our work there isn't broken by a couple years time," she writes. I know former EIC's from the '70s and '80s, and... I have no doubt that many of them, too, would shake their heads as we are currently doing."

Acacia is going to Italy in a few weeks on a Fulbright scholarship to teach English, as well as coach basketball and soccer. She also held a job at the Association of American Publishers this past year.

Former "Backpage" Writer Responds

One of last year's Backpage writers, Eliza Thompson '09, just sent us this exclusive statement.

"As a former editor of the Backpage, I am very upset by the news about the Misc's decision to cancel it, and I think you should find it upsetting as well. Whether or not you thought it was funny, it attempted to poke fun at Vassar and campus life, and if you have been there longer than a week, you probably know that the school and its students often take themselves waaaay too seriously. We worked very hard for many hours to produce content that was funny and well written, and sometimes we succeeded and sometimes we didn't, but in any case, the goals behind it were simple: provide an arena for criticism and satire of Vassar life, in a paper otherwise filled with serious content. We know that all of you didn't find it funny, and that's fine--obviously two or three people cannot appeal to everyone's sense of humor at once. For example, many people find Family Guy to be very hilarious, while I find it mostly unwatchable except when I'm extremely drunk. The same is true for the Backpage. Many people have told me it was the only section of the Misc worth reading, while others thought it was not funny at all. Either way, I think its presence on campus is something worth fighting for, and not just because I used to write it.

As to why it was cancelled: One reason given is that the section does not have a byline and so seems to reflect the opinions of the paper itself. This is a legitimate problem but an easily fixable one: put the writers' names on the page (which are also inside on the masthead). This was discussed while I was there, and though I suggested it several times as a solution to the "paper's opinion" problem, nothing was ever changed. The second reason is that the Backpage supposedly generated too much controversy and received many complaints from the Vassar community. However, while I was Backpage editor, none of these emails or letters were forwarded to me, and despite my continued offers to field questions and comments from readers, the editors repeatedly told me it was unnecessary. I was never given any information about complaints except vague things like "someone didn't like that women's studies joke, no more women's studies jokes." If the section actually did generate a lot of controversy, I was never given an opportunity to address it myself, and never once saw an actual letter or email about offensive content or spoke with anyone in person.

But even if the Backpage did inspire tons of angry letters, I wonder why the current editorial board is so afraid to court controversy in its paper. That's what real journalists do, it's part of the job description. A journalist who's afraid of pissing people off is like a pilot who's afraid of heights or a drunk celebrity afraid of the paparazzi. This is not to say that the Backpage ever produced hard-hitting journalism, but the principle is still the same. If real-life editors avoided criticism and controversy in the same way that your current Misc editors do, nothing of consequence would ever be published. Even if you didn't like the Backpage, the fact that it existed at all should mean something to you, and the fact that it's being cancelled now should show you what kind of people are in charge of the school's newspaper.

Furthermore, I would like to address Brian Farkas's statement, which I found incredibly offensive. First of all, while I was editor, the Backpage was NEVER "poorly/hastily planned." Ben Grinspan and I put a lot of time and effort into the Backpage, as did the people who helped us with photos and ideas from week to week (special shout-out here to Mike Alberti for that one time we made him play Jesus), and I don't appreciate Brian's belittlement of something that we worked so hard to produce. Secondly, saying something like "thank goodness" in response is just a TAD rude. Many people spent a lot of time on the Backpage over the years, and while Brian did not find it funny and didn't like answering all these alleged complaints about it, to brush it off like that so flippantly makes me question the amount of respect Brian has for the people who helped him put his paper together. No one who disliked him as an editor-in-chief took to a website to publicly rejoice in the end of his career at the Misc.

Molly Finkelstein (your Backpage editor 04-08 and my career mentor) and I are in the process of starting a letter writing campaign in an attempt to restore the Backpage to its rightful place in the Misc. In the mean time, go ahead and send an email in protest if you're interested in saving the Backpage. If you're not, that's fine, but remember that your editors are very afraid to deal with controversy and a little bit of button-pushing. If you think the Misc is going to get any better under their control, you best think again."

September 6, 2009

Misc Ditches Its "Backpage"

The Miscellany News will no longer feature its satirical "Backpage" section, according to insiders. The reason given was that in some years it was just too offensive.

The Sports section will now be expanded to the last page and the Opinions section will feature some brief satirical and humorous pieces.

The old Backpage archives are also no longer available on the Misc website.

Update: The Misc's editor-in-chief Ruby Cramer has confirmed that there will be no "Backpage" this year.

In an emailed statement, last year's Misc editor-in-chief and author of Covering the Campus: A History of the Miscellany News at Vassar College, Brian Farkas '10 writes, "Thank goodness. In past years, the Backpage was offensive and sometimes poorly/hastily planned. I had conversations with many, many students and community members last year who were really offended by content presented there. Current editors are really excited to be able to utilize a broader segment of Vassar students to inject humor and satire into the paper. I wish them luck!"

Meanwhile, an anonymous blog called The Backpage Lives has popped up. So far there is only one post with a schedule of this week's activities and funny/inappropriate comments beneath them. Ironically, former Misc staff members created a blog called Post-Backpage almost a year ago.

Also in support of the Backpage, one anonymous reader wrote to us in an email: "The last thing this campus needs is less of a sense of humor."

Update #2: There is now a Facebook group, "Save the Backpage!" The group already has 64 members.

September 5, 2009

Lathrop Wins Serenading

Lathrop House won Vassar's first water-only Serenading, singing a few lines from Lady Gaga's "Love Game." Jewett came in second and Noyes in third.

This year's change to using only water (as opposed to chocolate sauce, ketchup, and other condiments) seems to have worked out well, although one student told us she was hit with sticky beer and Gatorade. The seniors still had fun, using water guns that were periodically filled up in strategically placed kiddie pools.

Another notable change this year was the omission of the administrators' song. Instead, Dean Roellke watched from the sidelines of Ballantine Field.

The Night In Pictures

Here are some pictures from last night's Clipse / Yes Giantess concert. Send your pictures to

Yes Giantess takes the stage.
The view from backstage.
The crowd.
Clipse backstage after the show.

September 4, 2009

Grizzly Bear To Play Fall Show

During the Clipse / Yes Giantess show earlier tonight, ViCE announced that Grizzly Bear and Beach House will be playing the Vassar Chapel on October 9th.

Check back for updates!

Photo via MySpace.

Backstage With Clipse

Mads got an exclusive look inside Clipse's green room for tonight's concert. The food table consists of Hawaiian Punch, assorted fruit juices, Pepsi, water, assorted fruit, and tea. ViCE is also providing them with some merchandise, including the new tee shirts and coolers.

Don't miss the concert! 8pm tonight at Ballantine field.

Clipse And Yes Giantess Tonight!

We could not be more excited for ViCE's Clipse / Yes Giantess concert tonight, which is really the first big event of the school year. Do not miss it!

Tonight, 8pm, Ballantine Field (by Walker Field House).

September 3, 2009

2009 To Celebrate 100 Nights Again

The Class 0f 2009 is celebrating 100 nights again, this time to commemorate 100 nights since they've been at Vassar. The celebration will be taking place in four different cities. Check out one of these events on Saturday, September 5th. Current Vassar students are welcome!

Big City
138 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

New York City:
The Ginger Man
11 East 36th St
New York, NY 10016

San Fransisco:
1028 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109

Washington D.C.
Front Page Restaurant & Grille
1333 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Sent In By You... Fighting Vassar's "Douchey" Portrayal

One anonymous student sent us the following message in reaction to GQ ranking Vassar #22 on their list of "douchiest colleges."

"I was concerned about the image that GQ portrayed of Vassar in their 'Top 25 Douchiest Colleges' op-ed. I was mystified as to where they came across the notion that Vassar had an overbearing lesbian aesthetic. Sure there are lesbians here, some where, but to not even mention gay men is appalling and is a testament to how little they know the depth of douche at our beloved school. So in an effort to better educate those who would like to know about the actual culture at Vassar, I have put together a little Vassar Buzzword Bingo for this coming year that anyone visiting or even in coming freshman can use as a tool to familiarize themselves with our institution."