September 30, 2010

Another Vassar Mention...Vassar Girls In Paris

[madsvassarblog.com]
Vassar got a mention a few days ago in a Wall Street Journal article on laptop-free cafés. When mentioning the places where he used to go to write in Paris, the author writes, "There are, famously, Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore on the Left Bank. Very early on, while my café philosophy was still a work in progress, I will admit to have written there—amidst the sea of Vassar girls with their Gitane cigarettes and their Thomas Mann. Then I came to my senses and moved on to the much more congenial Chez Prune, just off the Canal Saint Martin in the 10th Arrondisement—only to find a sea of Vassar girls with their Gitane cigarettes and their Thomas Mann. How many Vassar girls are there, anyway?" 

(For the record, the Deux Magots area mentioned is within walking distance of the Vassar program's Parisian school.)

Thanks to a reader for sending this in.

Spotted...Red Bull Takeover

Spotted: Every pedestrian crossing sign at the THs has been given a Red Bull makeover. The figures have wings drawn on and are holding mini cans of Red Bull. We're not sure how long these have been up, but it's a well known fact that Vassar has a Red Bull campus rep.

Update: It turns out that the cans weren't mini at all, but full ones attached to the signs with Velcro.


Buy Tickets For ASA's "Market"

Tickets are on sale today for the Night Market, an event tomorrow hosted by the ASA and other organizations. Here is a message from ASA:

“On Friday, October 1st, ASA will be hosting “Night Market” in collaboration with many other organizations in celebration of the East Asian Mid-Autumn Festival. It will be set up in a traditional 'night market' style from 6-9pm, with tables set up outside the College Center (College Center Circle) where you can buy cheap food (under $3), drinks, merchandise, and play games. You must first buy tickets as currency for that night, and will be available in the College Center on September 27, 29, and 30 (1 ticket = $1). Some examples of food that the Night Market will have include: bubble tea, mango lassi, crepes, soba noodles, mocktails, and much, much more. So buy some tickets and stop by on October 1st for an awesome time!”

September 29, 2010

Vassar Mention On "Daily Show"

Vassar got a mention on last night's episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. When introducing Arianna Huffington at the very beginning of the show Stewart says, "My guest tonight, a professor of studies Vassar - no - she's the head of the Huffington Post." (55 seconds in.)

See it here.

Thanks to a tipster for sending this in!

Mads In The Misc

Check out tomorrow's issue of The Miscellany News (or online here) for an article on Twitter at Vassar, including a mention of our Twitter page.

September 28, 2010

Spotted...Deer Campaign Continues

The protest of Vassar's deer culling campaign continues with a new sign by Pete's Famous on Hooker Avenue. The sign went up sometime in the past few days and reads, "Vassar College / Science Over Slaughter." (Sorry for the poor image quality.)

As we reported over the summer, the Save Our Deer organization has plans to continue protesting Vassar's deer culling last winter, although Vassar Public Relations told us that the school has no plans to do another culling.

2014 Election Results!

At the "results party" in the Retreat at 9:00 last night, the VSA announced the winners of the 2014 elections. Here are the results:

[AskBanner]
President - Michael Moore
Vice President - Anna Carias
Secretary - Lily Choi
Treasurer - Mariah Vitali

Moore is from Pennsylvania and currently lives in Noyes. In his candidate statement, he said, "Vassar students ardently seek new answers, new puzzles. This is the kind of brilliance that I want more than anything to represent."

Click here to see the full results.

Edit: We previously reported that 356 students voted (53.4% of the freshman class), but that was only the number who voted for president. 443 students participated in total, 66.5% of the class.

September 27, 2010

Cappy Responds To NYT Op-Ed

[madsvassarblog.com]
At this year's convocation, Cappy spoke in response to a September 5th op-ed piece in The New York Times called "The End of Tenure." She said that she had sent the Times a letter, which was finally published last Friday alongside the responses of three professors from various schools.

Cappy, who is largely responsible for Vassar's need-blind aid policy, writes that Shea's piece "misses the noteworthy shift over the past several decades on the part of the wealthier institutions to allocate their coveted spots by academic talent and not by family income, spending significant amounts on financial aid."

She continues: "Just when first-generation college students and children of low-income families can make it to the Ivies and the elite liberal arts colleges... we start questioning the allocation of resources at these schools? The solution to the haves and have-nots in American higher education is not to make every college and university a have-not, but to increase our society’s commitment to higher education and reverse the gutting of our public universities."

Lazio '80 Drops Out Of Race We Didn't Know He Was In

[Flickr]

Somehow we missed this, but apparently Rick Lazio '80 got his name on the Conservative Party ticket after failing to secure the Republican nomination for New York State Governor. But that race was short lived, as today the alumnus announced plans to remove his name from the ticket in a show of support for tasteless anti-Semite Republican candidate Carl Paladino.

Lazio's official website has not been updated since before the primary elections.

Spotted

Some hoarders have moved into the THs.

More On This Year's Increase In Drinking

Last week, Dean Roellke sent out an all-campus email regarding the significant increase in alcohol-related EMS calls and hospitalizations this semester and asked students to behave more responsibly. Now, the official Twitter page for Main House reports that there has been a 37% increase in alcohol-related hospitalizations from this point last year. We're not sure where that specific number comes from, but it's a scary statistic. With Halloween just over a month away, we hope students can learn how to have fun while doing it responsibly.

September 26, 2010

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Coming To Vassar?

[IMDB]

Edit: Oops, earlier we accidentally referred to the actor as Justin rather than Joseph.

A celeb sighting could be in the near future. According to The Miscellany News, at tonight's VSA Council Meeting, the council allocated $7,000 to ViCE to bring actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt to campus. The actor was most recently in Inception and 500 Days of Summer. He is also listed to appear in the next Batman film. Gordon-Levitt's lecture is tentatively scheduled for November 5.

Are Stink Bugs The New "Vassar Bug"?

[via Flickr]
Over the years, the term "Vassar bug" has been applied for a number of insects that seem to exist only in the dorms of Vassar. (The term is also used for the cough that all students seem to get right before midterms.)  But if you ask most students, the Vassar bug probably refers to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, which according to yesterday's Washington Post, is becoming a major problem.

Don't worry, the stink bugs aren't aren't the new bed bugs. Despite their intimidating shield-like appearance, they actually don't bite, sting, or transmit disease. They do release an odor when they're crushed though, hence the name "stink bug."

Some people are pessimistic. "I think this is going to be biblical this year," says an expert in the Post article. The problem is particularly bad right now as the bugs seek warmer climates, i.e. the inside of houses. "What's happening now is a massive population shift from orchards, cornfields and gardens to suburban homes," the article states.

Unfortunately the stink bugs have no natural predators and resist pesticides. The only way to avoid them are by sealing cracks in doors and windows.

Update: A commenter is right, the Scutigera coleoptrata is also often considered the "Vassar bug." We had the misfortune of coming across one too many times.

Feminist Org Uses Quidditch Cup To Promote Equality

[madsvassarblog.com]
According to Midd Blog, the Feminist Majority Foundation is using November's Quidditch World Cup - which Vassar is attending - to promote a new clause in the Quidditch rule book that will state that each team must have at least two female players. 

The foundation says Quidditch is unique because teams are co-ed. "We believe that if men and women learn to compete equally, then they will learn to respect and value each other's abilities regardless of gender," the Foundation states. The new clause will called Title 9 and 3/4, after the real Title IX and the Platform 9 and 3/4 from the Harry Potter series. "With Title 9 3/4, the IQA will use the growing popularity of real-life Quidditch to challenge the way our world thinks about gender in sports and athletics."

Another Snooki Sighting?

We hear that Snooki was spotted in the area again yesterday, this time at the Arlington Street Fair. But with so many people around, we think more people would be talking about it. Did anyone see her?

2014 Elections Are Underway

Voting for the 2014 elections ends today at 5pm. There are eight candidates for class president. The other positions are other class officers, dorm representatives, judicial board representatives, and committee members.

Freshmen, in case you're still trying to decide who to vote for, here are some quotes from the candidate statements. (If a candidate is not quoted it is because he or she did not submit a statement.)

Evan Lester: "There is no reason that just one person should lead this class to greatness, if elected I would ensure that every person in the class of 2014 has the ability to make us shine even brighter."

Michael Moore: "Vassar students ardently seek new answers, new puzzles. This is the kind of brilliance that I want more than anything to represent."

Vivian Duygu Parlak: "I’m very motivated and willing to be your guide in our explorations of the ins and outs of the college, bringing the Mediterranean breeze and warmth to the student life."

Angelica Periera: "Vassar has done a great job with activities thus far, but not all of them were enjoyable for a large number of people and I think we can do better."

Emilia Petrarca: "There is no way of listing my Student Government experience without sounding like a total nerdface, (or tyrant), but I think that it is important for you as a voter to understand both my intense commitment and excitement when it comes to being a leader."

Thomas Rafferty: "I try to live days to the fullest, leaving dreaming to younger years that past, and reflection on years to come."

Willow Thompson: "I spent my senior year of high school as a full-time student at Oberlin College in Ohio. During my time at Oberlin, I served as the president of the class of 2013."

The results will be announced tomorrow night in the Retreat.

September 25, 2010

Celeb Sighting...Denis Leary On Campus

Tipsters tell us that actor Denis Leary was spotted in Rocky earlier today, probably attending the "How They Spent Their Summer" panel for Freshmen Families Weekend. Leary's daughter is in the class of 2014.

Live-Tweeting From The Street Fair

Check out our food Twitter, Vassar Munch, later today for live-tweeting from the Arlington Street Fair!

September 24, 2010

Quote Of The Day

"Bummed cuz i lost the dj contest to a girl :(" 
- the Facebook status of a certain popular campus DJ regarding the results of ViCE's DJ contest.

FlyPeople Mug Night Tonight

If you haven't been to the Mug yet this semester (or ever), tonight is the night to do it. The annual FlyPeople Mug Night is known as one of the best Mug nights of the year, mostly because of the music selection and overall atmosphere.

"FlyPeople Mug Night is gonna be hot," Meghann King '13, FlyPeople co-director, tells Mads. "We are DJing ourselves, and you can expect everything from old Britney to new Britney, all your 90's faves, hip hop jams, and not to mention the guilty pleasures we hear you blaring in your room." FlyPeople will also be performing at midnight.

This Weekend On Campus: Family Edition

This weekend is Freshmen Families Weekend, so be on your best behavior in front of all the adults. Accordingly, there are lots of family oriented events - street fairs, frisbee tournaments, trivia nights. There is also one of the best annual Mug Nights of the year, though, so you'll have a chance to let out your crazy. Email madsvassar [at] gmail.com for publicity.

Click here to see the full schedule for Freshmen Families Weekend.
(Is it the first year it's called that?)

Friday
Film League Trivia, 7pm Faculty Commons
Fly People Mug Night, 10pm Mug

Saturday
The Huck for Red October, 9am - 5pm, Women's competition at farm, men's at Prentiss Field
Arlington Street Fair, 11am - 6pm, Raymond Avenue
Parents Weekend Fire Show, 6pm Res Quad

Sunday
The Huck for Red October, 9am - 5pm, Women's competition at farm, men's at Prentiss Field
 Lakefest, 12pm-4pm Sunset Hill

September 23, 2010

The Dutch Is Back On Twitter

Breaking news: The Dutch Cabin has updated its Twitter account for the first time since March.

(Yes, we see the irony of posting this after our previous post.)

Roellke: Stop Drinking So Much

In an all-campus email sent moments ago, Dean Roellke expressed concerns about alcohol-related incidents that have happened this semester.

"This past weekend there were at least five reports of students needing assistance due to excessive alcohol consumption, including two emergency transports to local area hospitals," Roellke writes. "During the first three weeks of our academic year, the Arlington Fire District’s emergency response team has been dispatched more than twenty times to respond to alcohol-related emergencies, resulting in several hospitalizations for severe alcohol poisoning."

The dean continues to ask that students take responsibility for their actions. He also thanks Vassar's EMS responders.

So why has this year been so messy? Is it because the Class of 2011 - thought by some to be the messiest class of possibly all time - is now of the legal drinking age and living in senior housing? Or has the Class of 2014 brought to Vassar a whole new level of drinking? Or should we blame it all on Four Loko?

Mads Hits 700K!

Yesterday was a big day for us. First eCollege Finder listed us as a "Top 50 Freshmen Advisor." Then at around midnight we hit 700,000 site visits! All of this coming just one week after our third birthday.

Thanks for reading!

September 22, 2010

Some New Info On Arlington Murder

Much remains unknown about yesterday's murder minutes from the Vassar campus, but the police department has released some new information to The Poughkeepsie Journal and other news outlets. The victim, 59-year-old Ronald Green, did not live in the house where the homicide took place, but was a friend of the homeowner. The house is a five minute drive from campus. Daily Freeman reports that Green died of a stab wound to his upper torso.

Mads Awarded As One Of Top 50 "Freshmen Advisors"

ECollegeFinder has listed madsvassarblog.com on its list of Top 50 Freshmen Advisors. We're listed under the "general" section alongside College Blender and other websites aimed at helping students get the most out of college.

According to ECollegeFinder's official press release, "The Freshmen Advisor Award recognizes the top 50 Internet-based resources offering young students advice toward advancing their college-life experience.  By introducing students as well as parents to both the exciting and challenging trials and tribulations of beginning college, Mads Vassar Blog has shown its commitment to college freshmen during their transition into higher education."

See the full list here and our blurb here.

September 21, 2010

Police Investigating Murder In Arlington

[Point A is Vassar, Point B is murder site. madsvassarblog.com]
Poughkeepsie police are investigating a murder that happened on Hemmond Bouvelard off of Route 55, half a mile from Vassar.

According to The Poughkeepsie Journal, police responded to a call about a "seriously injured person" at 2:45pm today. The victim has not yet been identified and the suspect is still at large.

Daily Freeman reports that the victim - a man - was shot dead in his home, possibly after a robbery.

Story developing...

Virginia Smith's Partner Speaks (And Other New Details On Her Life And Death)

In a new obituary in The Seattle Times, new details about former Vassar president Virginia B. Smith's life and death come to light.

For example, Smith was the fifth of six children in a family that struggled to make ends meet. The article quotes Smith's 94-year-old sister as saying, "We were very, very poor." Smith's father took a job as a custodian while her mother worked as a cook.

Another fact is that Smith was known to some as "Ginny."

There is also mention of Smith's relationship with Dr. Florence Oaks, her partner of 57 years, who speaks about Smith's passing publicly for the first time. The two met at the Institute of Industrial Relations. According to the article: "The women were in their 20s when they met in the 1940s and clicked almost instantly, Oaks said, but they kept their relationship secret. 'It wasn't a matter of hiding anything,' Oaks said. 'But it was a very different time. People weren't really talking about (being gay).'"

The exact details of Smith's death are also revealed for the first time. "Eight years ago, she developed heart problems, and in mid-August, the woman who never seemed to stop going got a terminal diagnosis from the doctors. She died a week later," the article states, quoting Oaks as saying, "Her heart just gave out."

Smith, who passed away in August at the age of 87, had wished that no services would be held.

Autumn Has Arrived

[madsvassarblog.com]
The temperature has dropped, apples are in season, and the leaves are starting to change; today is the first day of fall. There is a lot to look forward to this season, like Meet Me in Poughkeepsie and the 2011 Halloween Party.

Brattle Group Meeting On Thursday

Here is a message from the Vassar Business Club:


"'The Brattle Group (www.brattle.com) is an economic consulting firm which provides litigation support, expert testimony and advisory services. Our clients range from law firms, fortune 500 and 100 companies, to international regulatory and government agencies.'

They are currently looking for research assistants; this job consists of conducting research as well as performing quantitative analysis and modeling for projects. They were recently named among the 'Top 50 Consulting Firms' to work for as well as one of the top 20 'Best Consulting Firms for Diversity' in the 2011 Vault Ranking. They have offices in Cambridge, Mass., San Fransisco, Washington, D.C., Brussels, London, and Madrid, so it is an appealing variety of locations for those who wish to travel in their work. 

Regarding who they are looking for, 'Our RAs have quantitative backgrounds in the following areas: economics, math, finance, or engineering. While we are a professional services firm, our culture at Brattle is collegial where staff interacts at every level. We also foster camaraderie through socializing at Friday office parties and seasonal get-togethers.' So math, economics, and those majoring in the sciences will definitely want to check out this meeting. It will be at 5 PM on Thursday, September 23 in the Faculty Commons. 

The Vassar Business Club (VBC) is attempting to foster better relations between companies so that they look to Vassar for recruits more often. We have more information on our site, www.vassarbusinessclub.com under the Jobs and Internships tab. We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 8 PM in College Center 204."

September 20, 2010

Candidates Announced For 2014 Elections

Filing closed earlier today for the 2014 elections. The candidates for class president are Adrienne Kurtz, Evan Lester, Michael Moore, Vivian Duygu Parlak, Angelica Periera, Emilia Petrarca, Thomas Rafferty, and Willow Thompson.

Click here to see the full list of candidates for each position.

These Posters From The Man Who Beat Lazio '80

Here are the latest classy campaign ads from Carl Paladino that crazy guy who beat Rick Lazio '80 for the Republican nomination for New York State Governor:


Images via Paladino For The People.

Fire On Metro-North Halts Service

Service has been suspended on the Metro-North line, which connects Poughkeepsie and New York City, because of a bridge fire, according to reports. The bridge is located near 138th Street in Harlem.

CNN video of the fire here.

Update: According to the Metro-North website, service on two of the four tracks that cross the bridge has resumed. Delays of fifteen minutes are expected.

Cops At THs, Reason Unknown

Here is a tip we just received about something going down in the THs (what else is new):

"3 cop cars and a few kids right outside the THs entrance, all of whom are examining and reaching into a sewer grate."

September 18, 2010

Dinallo '85 Speaks About Election Defeat

[via ericdinallo.com]
We've been anxiously checking Eric Dinallo '85's official website for a statement about his defeat in Tuesday's election, and now after four days, he is finally speaking.

"While the outcome of the election was disappointing, the opportunity to run for Attorney General, and to meet with you and thousands of New Yorkers from across the state was tremendously gratifying," Dinallo writes in a message that automatically pops up. "I am also proud of the incredible work we achieved – especially as a first a time candidate. We surpassed expectations at every turn, raising nearly $3 million," he continues.

"I will continue to work to improve New York, and I sincerely hope you will remain involved with this democratic process: hold your candidates and elected leaders accountable, share your ideas, lend them your support, and most importantly, vote," the alumnus concludes.

Dinallo received only 8% of the vote. Eric Schneiderman, who secured the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of New York, received 34%.

Rick Lazio '80, who lost the Republican nomination for Governor of New York has yet to release a statement on his website.

Some Take Offense To "Indecent Exposure"

[via Flickr]
We're not sure what exactly went down at last night's Indecent Exposure Stand-Up show, but whatever happened has prompted the group to send a Facebook message to event participants apologizing for the program's content.

"We feel that some issues were raised last night by a few members' stand-up, particularly dealing with race and sexuality, that we as a group were uncomfortable with, and that the Vassar community may also have found to be inappropriate," writes a member of the group in the message. "We acknowledge that this was our fault and that we should have been more vigilant with screening our newer members' sets, and we are sincerely sorry."

Indecent Exposure is Vassar's only all-female comedy group. The event was so crowded that some people were turned away at the door.

Update: Mads spoke with a co-director for the group, Lilly Richard '12, who explained that it was actually the members of Indecent Exposure who took offense to the material, not the audience. "No one has approached us about the content, but there were a couple of jokes that made me and a few other group members uncomfortable, so we wanted to be proactive and apologize to any audience members who might also have been uncomfortable with them," says Lilly. "Offensive material is frequently performed on campus without comment, but because this was at our show, we wanted to call it out ourselves and make it clear that part of our group's mission is to perform comedy without relying on oppressive tropes.  I'm sure that our future shows will better illustrate these values."

Update #2: Writes Sam Leonard '11, the group's other co-director: "Indecent Exposure is all about making good comedy that does not rely on the "easy joke", which so often relies on the offensive, the sexist, and the racist. As a group (and individuals), we take this seriously, and for that reason we decided to be proactive, acknowledge what happened, and take responsibility for not better preparing for the performance."

Some Helpful "ABC" Ideas

[via Flickr]
Tonight is the third annual Anything But Cloth party and in case you're having trouble coming up with outfit ideas, we've put together a list of some suggestions.

Good ideas:
Flags. Some might find it offensive to alter the American flag, but maybe you can find a way to do it respectfully. Those Vassar banners sold in the college store would be unique, if you're willing to spend that kind of money.

Balloons. Preferably deflated and made of foil. They probably sell them at the dollar store.

Bad ideas:
Only duct tape. May seem like a good idea at the time (it stays in place), but think about the painful removal.

Garbage bags. Sure it's cheap and wouldn't require much alteration, but that Villard Room is going to get hot and you'll want something that will breathe.

You can also do a full out costume. Wear plastic flowers and plants and be Adam or Eve. Or cover yourself in wrapping paper and a bow and be a "present." Remember, keep it classy. Scantily clad students have been thrown out in years past.

September 17, 2010

Spotted (By Word Of Mouth)

[via MTV]

Unconfirmed, but we hear that Snooki, a.k.a. the Princess of Poughkeepsie, may have been spotted at local Vassar hangout Mahoney's on Wednesday. We tried to verify this based on her Twitter posts, but they were just too damn confusing.

This Weekend On Campus...5771 Edition

What better way to celebrate the year 5771 than by wearing duct tape and going to a Villard Room party? And you'll have a clean slate after all that atoning. Here is our weekly list of everything worth checking out on campus. Email madsvassar AT gmail DOT com for publicity.

Friday
Yom Kippur Pre-Fast Dinner, 5:30 PM, CC MPR
Yom Kippur Service, 6:45 PM, Aula
Indecent Exposure Stand-Up, 9:00 PM, Sanders

Saturday
Yom Kippur Services, 10 AM, 6:45 PM, Aula
Yom Kippur Break-Fast Meal, 7:45 CC MPR
Anything But Cloth, 10 PM Villard Room

September 16, 2010

ResLife Confirms Bed Bugs At Vassar!

In an all-campus email sent moments ago, Director of Residential Life Luis Inoa confirmed that bed bugs have in fact made it to Vassar. As we posted two weeks ago, there has been speculation about bed bugs here since the beginning of the semester. When we spoke to a rep for ResLife at the time, the person told us he was "out of the loop" and couldn't give us confirmation.

In his email, Inoa confirms that Vassar has had "one confirmed case of bed bugs on campus." He says that ResLife received two calls about possible bed bugs today, and our anonymous source in ResLife says they've received a lot more.

Inoa explains the process for dealing with bed bugs, which involves contacting the off-campus contractor and going through a six-week treatment process.

Mads Turns Three Years Old!

Mads turns three years old today! For three years, we've been providing students and everyone else interested with daily updates on Vassar news and culture.

It's only fitting that yesterday happened to be our most-viewed day of 2010, with well over one thousand site visits.

Since last year, we've been using our birthday as an opportunity to make big blog announcements. This year is no different. So, we are now announcing two new features that will soon appear on the blog - a webseries and weekly podcasts. The webseries will consist of 2-3 minute mini-documentaries that each explore some aspect of life at Vassar or in the Hudson Valley. As for the podcasts, we plan to release one twenty-minute episode every Sunday that will review the week's biggest stories, as well as feature stories that didn't make it on the blog. Expect these features to appear on the blog in the next two weeks.

We'd like to thank everyone who continues to make this blog possible. Please continue to send us tips, as well as feedback on how we're doing. Remember to "like" us on Facebook and "follow" us Twitter. You should also follow our "Vassar Munch," which brings you updates on everything to do with food on campus. Also be sure to check out and subscribe to our MadsTV YouTube page.

As always, thanks for reading!

September 15, 2010

Wesleyan Student Commits Tragic Suicide

[Wesleying]
Tragic news from our friends at Wesleyan - a junior named Nora Miller committed suicide on Monday by setting herself on fire.

According to Wesleying and other sources, the student was airlifted to Hartford Hospital on Monday after she was found on an athletic field at around 7:30 AM with burns covering 100% of her body. She was later taken to the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center. The incident was not considered a suicide until yesterday when the student passed away. Wesleyan President Michael Roth sent out an all-campus email:

"It is with great sorrow that I inform you that Nora Miller, a Wesleyan student from the class of 2012, died late Monday afternoon. Nora was a film major of great talent and energy, an athlete of distinction, an engaged contributor to our community, a devoted friend and a loving daughter and sister. Her parents, Jeff and Patricia Miller, are former Wesleyan employees close to many here. We have offered to help the Millers in any way we can."

Wesleyan has faced too much tragedy in the last few years. In May 2009, the campus went on lockdown after a man shot a student in the campus bookstore.

Update: Notably, although tragically, this is not the first suicide at Wesleyan in recent years. In fact, in May 2009 Wesleyan settled a a lawsuit with the family of a student who committed suicide in 2003, according to an old post in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The family claimed that the suicide was the result of "institutional negligence" after campus police dropped the student off at a hospital without making sure he received medical attention. The student, who was suffering from a panic attack, left the hospital and committed suicide.

Dinallo Also Fails To Secure Nomination

An unfortunate night for Vassar's alumni politicians. In addition to Rick Lazio '80 losing the Republican nomination for New York State Governor, Eric Dinallo '85 failed to secure the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. With 94% of polls reporting at around 1:30 AM, sources began declaring Eric Schneiderman victorious. Disappointingly, Dinallo secured the least amount of votes of the five candidates, with only 8% of the vote (compared to Schneiderman's 34% and Kathleen Rice's 32%).

Dinallo announced his candidacy August 2009. While he received less "Vassar press" for his effort, the alumnus ran a campaign committed to cleaning up the scandal-ridden Albany and closing the enormous state defecit. Dinallo was also vocal about gay rights, among other issues.

In her statement conceding to Schneiderman, Kathleen Rice stated, "There were always more similarities than differences between the five Democrats who vied heartily for this office, and now is the time for party unity to ensure that the principle we all hold dear – that government is a force for good in people’s lives – continues to thrive in the people’s lawyer."

Little is known about Dinallo's time at Vassar, other than that he was a philosophy major and also tried pot with his girlfriend.

Click here for our full live-blog of the election coverage.

Image via Dinallo on Flickr.

End Of The Line For Grad's Governor Race

Tonight marked the end of the line for alumnus Rick Lazio '80, who ran against Carl Paladino for the Republican nomination for New York State governor. Polls closed at 9 PM and Paladino secured a lead of about 35% throughout the night. At around 11:10 PM, AP reported that the race was being called in favor of Paladino. At the time, 56% of polls were reporting. Paladino had 65% of the vote, while Lazio had 35%.

In his concession speech, given at around 11:30 PM, Lazio thanked his staff and supporters and claimed that he will "embrace" many of Paladino's platforms. "We wish we had a different outcome, but we are proud of the quality of the campaign," he said, adding, "There's a lot of work yet to be done. Count on me to be part of that."


Lazio first announced his intention to run exactly one year ago yesterday. His campaign took a new direction this summer when he became one of the most vocal opponents of the Cordoba House, also known as the "Ground Zero Mosque." In a statement responding to President Obama's message about the project, Lazio said, "This is not an issue of religion, but one of safety and security through transparency." He ran a vocal campaign that made use of social media and frequently criticized the Democrat nominee, Andrew Cuomo.

"If we learned anything tonight, it's that New Yorkers are mad as well, and we're not going to take it anymore," Paladino wrote in his victory speech, quoting the memorable line from the film Network that he adopted as a campaign slogan. "I want to commend Rick Lazio for running a clean campaign and ask him to join us," Paladino adds.

George Pataki served as New York's last had a Republican governor from 1995 to 2006.

Click here for our full live-blog of election coverage.

Image via Lazio on Flickr.

September 14, 2010

2010 Election Coverage

At around 11:10 PM, sources called the the Republican nomination for New York State governor for Carl Paladino, beating out Rick Lazio '80. Paladino had 65% of the vote, Lazio 35%, with 56% of polls reporting.


At around 1:30 AM, The New York Times declared Eric Schneiderman the Democratic nominee for Attorney General, defeating, among others, Eric Dinallo '85. There will be no Vassar alumni holding top New York State positions any time soon.


Continue to check back here for coverage of the New York State primaries, which has two Vassar alumni running.

9:00 PM Polls have closed and the first results are coming in.

9:30 PM Sarita Gregory, Assistant Director of Poli Sci and administrator of Voting@Vassar tells Mads:

"My POLI 170 class spent the entire day at Arthur S. May as poll watchers and reported no issues for Vassar students today at the polls, which was great news.  The major issue with today's election seemed to be with opening the new machines and poll worker training.  Delay in machine setup caused Arthur S. May's polling site to open an hour late.  There are reports of other poll sites experiencing some issues with voters who were uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the new voting process."

Check out the post below to read more about problems at today's polls.

10:30 PM With 24% of polls reporting, Paladino holds a lead over Lazio of 38%. In the race for Attorney General, Dinallo has the least amount of votes.


11:00 PM With 43% of polls reporting, Lazio and Dinallo continue to trail behind. Dinallo remains at 7% of the vote (Kathleen Rice leads with 32%). The gap between Lazio and Paladino has closed slightly to 34%.


11:10 PM With 56% of polls reporting, sources are calling the Republican nomination for Paladino over Lazio.


11:18 PM It's official. New York Times "news alert" states:

"Carl P. Paladino, a wealthy Buffalo businessman and political neophyte, beat former Representative Rick A. Lazio in New York's Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night.

The victory for Mr. Paladino, whose agitating campaign strategy and attacks against Albany earned him a late surge in the polls, was a stunning win for the Tea Party movement, which backed the businessman against Mr. Lazio, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican mainstay."


11:30 PM Lazio gives his concession speech, thanking his supporters and saying, "We wish we had a different outcome, but we are proud of the quality of the campaign."

In other New York races, incumbent Kristen Gillibrand has secured the Democrat nomination for Senator, along with incumbent Charles Schumer, who ran uncontested. Andrew Cuomo - whose father gave Vassar's 1985 Commencement Speech - ran uncontested for Governor on the Democrat ticket.

1:00 AM Despite 89% of polls reporting, the Democratic nomination for Attorney General has yet to be called. Eric Schneiderman took a 3% lead over Kathleen Rice. Dinallo remains in last place with only 8% of the vote.


1:40 AM The New York Times calls the Attorney General race for Schneiderman. 94% of polls reporting. Dinallo '85 secures the least amount of votes.

Problems At Poughkeepsie Polls

[courtesy Baynard Bailey]

 We haven't heard from any Vassar students about problems at the polls - including the ones students faced last year - but The Poughkeepsie Journal is reporting that "the new voting machines and ballots posed a challenge for some local people." Some machines had faulty memory cards. Poughkeepsie residents also complained that the form was unclear.

Update: Sarita Gregory, Assistant Director of Poli Sci and leader of Voting@Vassar tells Mads:

"My POLI 170 class spent the entire day at Arthur S. May as poll watchers and reported no issues for Vassar students today at the polls, which was great news.  The major issue with today's election seemed to be with opening the new machines and poll worker training.  Delay in machine setup caused Arthur S. May's polling site to open an hour late.  There are reports of other poll sites experiencing some issues with voters who were uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the new voting process."

Power Goes Out Across THs

First robberies, now power shortages. Not a great week to be living in the THs. Some Town House residents are reporting power outages this evening, with emergency flood lights going on and lights and other power sources working at low or nonexistent levels. Security says it hasn't identified the problem, but to sit tight. B&G's offices are closed for the day, so no word on when this will get resolved.

Update: The power shortage lasted around three hours. At one point the power went out completely, and then returned to normal moments later. Security, B&G, and what looks like an off-campus electrician continue to cruise the THs. We're good, people!

Update #2: The Poughkeepsie Journal is reporting that the power failure affected 1,900 residents in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Here is their brief report:


"A power failure in Town of Poughkeepsie has affected about 1900 customers in an area just south of Route 44. Central Hudson reported the outrage at approximately 8:20 p.m. Representatives were not available to give a reason for the power failure. The outage has also knocked out power to parts of Vassar College."

Power did not go out in other parts of campus.

Vassar Grads Face Primaries Today

Today is election day for New York State primaries, which will determine the political future of two Vassar alumni. Rick Lazio '80 is running against Carl Paladino for the Republican nomination for Governor, while Eric Dinallo '85 is running against four others for the Democrat nomination for Attorney General, including Kathleen Rice, the current District Attorney for Nassau County.

Lazio has made headlines lately for his opposition to the Cordoba House, or "Ground Zero Mosque." He and Paladino are tied in most recent polls.

Images via Flickr.

Spotted: No More Pesticides

[madsvassarblog.com]
Those yellow signs on the lawns around campus have been removed, so it's technically okay to walk/sit on the grass without fear of pesticides.

Vassar Changes Number To Prevent 911 Calls

In an all-campus email sent moments ago, CIS announced that beginning October 25th, the new number to dial out from campus phones is 2 instead of 9. This change comes because too many people were dialing 911 by mistake. This won't really affect students unless they are dialing from campus land lines.

More On Plans For Third "MMIP"

On Sunday night, the VSA announced its plans for the third annual Meet Me in Poughkeepsie. Mads spoke with Tanay Tatum '12, VSA Vice President for Activities, who says that she expects the specific list of events to be announced next week.

Tanay hopes that this year's events will consist of more than just Vassar students visiting locations. "I really want students and organizations on campus to shape the programming that takes place during MMIP," Tanay tells Mads, adding, "however, I am pushing for more events that actually engage the community." Ideally, Tanay says, she would like to see Vassar groups partnering with local non-Vassar organizations. Tanay also hopes that dorms and orgs will focus on events specifically in Poughkeepsie, staying true to the event's mission, rather than in the greater Hudson Valley.

According to the letter the VSA sent to org presidents about the event, the VSA will cover up to $10 per participant. Each organization is asked to contribute only $25 to help cover the cost of transportation. The event application form to be submitted by organizations states that ideal events "will host a large number of participants, take place off campus, and celebrate the rich culture of Poughkeepsie and the surrounding area."

What We're Reading...How To Be A Good Roommate

We are now two weeks into the semester and some of us may still be getting to know our roommates. Last week, the blog The Art of Manliness posted a quiz from a 1947 men's magazine titled "Are You a Good Roommate?" Questions include "Do you gossip continually about other people," "Do you play the radio or phonograph continuously," and "Do you monopolize the morning paper?" We were surprised to find that the criteria for being a good roommate really hasn't changed in the last sixty years.

September 13, 2010

Third Annual "Meet Me In Poughkeepsie" Announced


At tonight's VSA Council Meeting, Vice President for Activities Tanay Tatum '12 announced that the third annual Meet Me in Poughkeepsie will take place on October 9th.

For those of you who don't know, MMIP is when dorms, orgs, and other groups organize events throughout Poughkeepsie (apple picking, bowling, Haunted House visits, etc.), funded by the VSA and free for all students.

No word yet on when the schedule of events will be announced.

2014 Elections Process Begin This Week

The 2014 elections process begins this week with filing from September 15th (Wednesday) to September 20th. Campaigning will then take place between the 20th and 24th, followed by voting from the 24th to 26th. Results will be announced on the 27th.

September 12, 2010

By Word Of Mouth

We hear that a suspicious person was spotted lurking around the THs last night, specifically between A and B blocks. No word if this was the robber who stole from the THs in three separate incidents last week, but we heard from a security guard that that robber has not yet been apprehended.

According to a source who saw the action go down, eight to ten security guards were in the area looking for the suspect. A voice on the walkie talkie said, "white male spotted earlier, seems to be unarmed. Cannot find suspect."

Remember to lock your doors! Even when there are lots of people around.

Introducing Libertarians Of Vassar

The newest political student organization on campus is the Libertarians of Vassar, or loV. The group has been growing in popularity lately through the use of use of social media sites, including Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

According to the group's mission statement, loV "is a non-partisan student organization at Vassar College dedicated to educating the Vassar community to the philosophical, empirical, and economic principles of libertarianism beyond mere political divides."

So how will this group interact with the other political groups on campus? "I want loV to work with M.I.C.A. just as much as I think loV should work with liberal Vassar organizations," writes a blogger for the group's Tumblr account.

loV will be holding its first meeting tomorrow (Monday, 9/13) in Main's Gold Parlor at 6pm.

24-Hour Library Space Opens Tonight

[madsvassarblog.com]
Tonight is the start of the new 24-hour room in the library. Here are some details, according to Director of Libraries Sabrina Pape in an all-campus email sent out yesterday:

"Located at the north end of the Library (close to Chicago Hall), the area opens as the after hours study space at midnight Sunday-Thursday, after the Main Library closes. Between the hours of 12 AM and 8 AM, this space will be physically isolated from the rest of the Library and there will not be access to library materials. If you are in the Library when we close and would like to continue working, you can move into the space at that time. If you come later, entry will be through the north door of the Library (facing Chicago Hall). You will need to exit through that door as well and you will need to swipe your Vassar ID to enter and to exit."

Planning for a 24-hour study space began after administration's decision to cut library hours last September. (That decision has since been overturned.) When we spoke to Dean Kitzinger at the time, she told us, "In the long term, we would like to set up a room in the library, which might be ready for the 2010-2011 school year." Her concerns were that "such a room in the library would cost money we don't have to set up because there is no one room that can be isolated."

As we posted a few weeks ago, under the new policy any student working past midnight must move into the 24-hour space. Will it be big enough?

September 10, 2010

What You Didn't Read In Smith's Obituary

[Via Vassar]
A few bloggers have picked up on a detail that was only hinted at in the obituaries for former Vassar president Virginia B. Smith: she was a lesbian.

A blogger for "Band of Thebes" writes about how unique it was to be in a gay relationship in 1953, when Smith was first with her partner of 57 years, Dr. Florence Oaks:

"One of the most fascinating -- and unexplored -- details in her obituary is that she is survived by Dr. Florence Oaks, her partner of fifty-seven years. They've been together since 1953. A little perspective: They'd already been together fourteen years when, in 1967, Mike Wallace announced in CBS Reports: The Homosexuals that the homosexual is neither capable of nor interested in a longterm relationship."

The blogger continues to write about the unfortunate fact that even after the relationship of almost sixty years, Oaks cannot receive social security benefits:

"After fifty-seven years together, Oaks is not eligible to receive Smith's surviving spouse social security benefits, as she would be if they were a straight couple even if they had divorced in 1963."

San Francisco's Edge also noted that Smith was a "lesbian president."

This Weekend On Campus...Recovery Edition

Not much going on this weekend, maybe because everyone is still recovering from last weekend. Instead of raves and all-campus parties, there are org preview shows. Things should get interesting with the annual Gays of our Lives, though. Email madsvassar [at] gmail.com for publicity.

Friday
A Capella Preview Concert, 7pm Villard Room
Comedy Preview Show, 10pm Sanders Auditorium

Saturday
Gays of Our Lives, 8:30pm UpC

Update: They added a Mug night after all. 10pm tonight (Friday). There is also a performance by the 24-Hour Theater tomorrow (Saturday) at 9pm in the Shiva.

September 9, 2010

Pics From "Voting"


Voting@Vassar and other campus and local organizations had tables set up yesterday in the College Center to register students to vote and give out other useful information.

Here is what Baynard Bailey of CIS had to say about the event:
"Poli Sci Professor Sarita Gregory organized the event. Dozens of students registered locally or in their home districts via computers or paper forms. Helen Benlisa of the Catskill Center for Independence was there to discuss issues of accessibility for all voters. There was a video loop of various students and Vassar luminaries talking about issues surrounding voting at Vassar. The board of elections provided an Accessible Voting machine (mandated by law to be at all polling places this year) for folks to try out. MEChA and the VC Green Party also hosted tables."

Click here to see pictures from the event, courtesy of Baynard Bailey.

September 8, 2010

Man Admits To Vassar Theft (But Not The Recent Ones)

When we saw the headline in today's Poughkeepsie Journal, "Man admits theft at Vassar College," we hoped that it was the person responsible for the recent thefts in the THs. Unfortunately, the person/people responsible for those incidents remain at large.

This is good news though. From the Journal:
"Corey David, 23, of College View Avenue, entered a guilty plea in Dutchess County Court to third-degree burglary, a felony."

David must complete a drug rehab program or he will go to prison.

Virginia B. Smith Obituary In NY Times

They're a little late on this, but The New York Times ran an obituary today for former Vassar president Virginia B. Smith, who passed away on August 27th.

The article features the same information from previous obituaries as well as some new information. An excerpt:

"Ms. Smith was chosen to lead Vassar from among 450 candidates for the job partly because she had a strong vision for using the Vassar presidency as a model of innovation for American higher education, said Elizabeth Runkle Purcell, who was chairwoman of the selection committee...

"Ms. Smith’s appointment as the eighth Vassar president was announced in April 1977. When The New York Times asked her why she had been chosen, she replied matter-of-factly, “Because I was the best qualified.”

Spotted


A certain 2011 student was featured last week on the official blog for the clothing company Opening Ceremony. The blog profiled him more in depth a few weeks ago.

Your Guide To Rosh Hashanah At Vassar

[Via Flickr]
This evening marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. Here is the schedule of events hosted by the Vassar Jewish Union:

Wednesday, September 8th
6:45pm - Evening Service in the Aula
7:45pm - Catered Dinner* in the CCMPR

Thursday, September 9th
10am - Morning Service in the Aula
12pm - Kiddush & Light Snack in the Aula
12:30pm - Tashlich Service at Sunset Lake
6:45pm - Evening Service in the Aula
7:45pm - Catered Dinner* in the CCMPR

Friday, September 10th
10am - Morning Service in the Aula
12pm - Kiddush & Light Snack in the Aula
 6pm - Shabbat Shuvah Service at the Bayit
 7:15pm - Student Cooked Dinner at the Bayit

Voting@Vassar Tabling Today

As we posted last week, Voting@Vassar is returning to help students with their voting needs for the upcoming elections. The group will be tabling today (Wednesday) from 3:30 to 6:30pm in the College Center.

September 7, 2010

Hide Your iPods, Hide Your Xbox, and Hide Your Laptop, 'Cause They Robbin' Everyone Out There

As we tweeted shortly after the first incident occurred, a series of robberies have recently taken place in the THs. One student had her laptop taken after a thief slit her first-floor window screen. Other students, who had left their door unlocked, had their Xbox, camera, and other valuables stolen.

The incidents took place on September 4th around 1:30am and September 6th between 3 and 4am. A third incident occurred this morning when iPods were stolen through an unlocked door. At least two of the incidents happened in the new THs.

Police cars have been spotted cruising through the THs over the last few days, and now that administrators have returned from their Labor Day vacations, campus is atwitter with the news. "The Town Police and Vassar College Safety and Security are actively investigating the case and have added patrols to the area," wrote Kim Squillace, Associate Director of Security, in an all-campus email sent out by both Luis Inoa and D.B. Brown.

Sam Seymour '11, president of the Town Houses, also sent out an email to residents. "While it doesn't sound like there is any particular threat to anyone's safety," he wrote, "I'm trying to get in touch with the college to figure out if there's any sort of plan for dealing with this issue."

The thieves aren't very professional. We heard that they actually updated the student's Facebook status on her stolen laptop. We also heard (but this is not confirmed) that among the items stolen was marijuana and a pipe.

Remember, wherever you are living on campus, to lock up your valuables!

Update: Concerned TH residents are invited to meet with Don Marsala, director of security, at 8pm on Thursday, according to a second email from Sam Seymour. Seymour also wrote that police will be increasing their patrol in the area.

What We're Listening To



The Mug opens for the school year tomorrow and this is just the song to get things going. "Stereo Love" by Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina is in no way new. Romanian pop singer Maya released it in late 2009 as his debut single. But ask any student who was abroad last semester and they'll tell you: this was one of the most popular club songs in Europe. Now, the song has finally made it to the U.S.

There are lots of different remixes of "Stereo Love." Oh, and the melody for that great accordian riff was actually stolen from this song.

September 6, 2010

Don't Forget To Tip Your Bloggers

Remember, this blog is made possible because of Vassar students, employees, alumni, and other readers who write to us with tips! We'll keep your name anonymous if you want. We also encourage campus organizations to get in touch with us for publicity. Email us at madsvassar [at] gmail.com.

September 5, 2010

Kid Sister Plays Graduation Hill

Kid Sister performed at last night's annual Serenading concert to a crowd of hundreds on Graduation Hill. Some students sat on blankets and watched the concert from above, while others danced up front near the stage. Kid Sister played a short but excellent set that had high energy and seemed to not skip a beat.
Javelin was the opening act, and as if often the case with these concerts, the crowd was small until the end. The group stopped playing for about fifteen minutes when a light rain fell. "It's a shame that we're an electronic group," one of the guys said as event organizers rushed to cover the band's equipment with plastic bags. To make up for lost time, the group continued to play as the fireworks went off overhead.

Kid Sister's DJ continued to spin before her encore and students breached the barricades. A lucky few made it on to the stage. 


Check out our full recap of the Serenading festivities.

September 4, 2010

Serenading Recap

Breaking News... Noyes won Serenading moments ago! Main came in second place and Jewett in third.

Here are some notable moments:
  • The 2011 chant: "What do we want? FRESHMEN. How do we want them? WET."
  • Fights for the hoses at each dorm were intense, especially outside of Joss.
  • Non-water substances thrown included silly string and glitter.
  • One Jewett freshman attempted to jump in Sunset Lake before his more sober friends stopped him.
  • Seniors infiltrated Davison and dumped a trash can of water on the freshmen outside below.
  • Seniors dumped a trash can of Sunset Lake water on some unfortunate freshman. That freshman will probably grow a third arm soon.
This was the second year that Serenading has been water-only and although it was certainly less messy, the event wasn't without incident. There was a bit of drama when seniors rushed through the front of Lathrop rather than the back and started a water fight in the hallway and lobby.

Former Jewett house president Chris Doscher '11 said his old dorm "was not up to par." Then we told him we would quote him and he said, "They should have won!"

Update: Senior class vice president Nick Dressler '11 tells Mads: "Serenading was fucking amazing! The weather was perfect, the freshmen were rowdy, and we sure as hell got them wet! A really great kick-off to senior year!"

Shiva Rave Was Shut Down

As we tweeted last night, campus security and the fire department shut down the Shiva Rave at around midnight. The line outside was complete chaos and neither security nor the event's organizers could control the crowds.

Here's what happened, according to an insider:
"The Shiva was over-capacity so Security stopped anyone else from entering. The door line quickly became a crowd... and then a mob... and then a small riot as people forced their way past the human barricade that Security had made. When that happened, the Fire Marshall killed the event. The stone wall around the small park outside the Shiva also sustained property damage."

September 3, 2010

Coming Soon...Another Name Change

First Vassar Teknowledgey became VC Soundsystem. Then Vassar Security became Vassar Safety and Security. Now we hear from an inside source that College Relations will soon be renamed College Communications.