May 24, 2011

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

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

May 22, 2011

Watch Today's Commencement Live

Watch today's commencement ceremony here!

May 20, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Update: More from Poughkeepsie Journal here.

Pssst...Your Spring Grades Are Actually Online

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

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

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

The Biggest Stories Spring '11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotted: New Signs Up On Campus

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

May 16, 2011

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

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

* = ticket required

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 15, 2011

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

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

What You "Liked" In Spring '11 (Before Blogger Messed It Up)

We were all set to publish our bi-annual list of the Mads posts you "liked" this semester, when Blogger went ahead and messed up all the "likes." Luckily, we got them down before the malfunction. Here it is...

1. Exclusive premiere of "Theory of Flight" song / 38 likes
Either the students behind the Theory of Flight project "liked" the post a bunch of times to get some publicity, or this was the semester that Vassar students really supported each other's creative endeavors. Next up for the project is a live performance in the Aula on Thursday as part of Senior Week.

2. The tenure committee messes with Kiese Laymon / 27 likes
In one of the biggest and most controversial stories of the semester, a professor felt that the tenure committee treated him unfairly. Students showed their support by liking the post. Or maybe they just liked the drama.

3. Checking in with the Deece cat / 25 likes
It's the Vassar celeb that won't go away. The stray cat that made a home outside of ACDC dominated our list last semester, so we decided to check in with its adoptive owner.

4. Canadians don't know what Vassar is / 24 likes
Our school may pride itself on being a highly selective coeducational liberal arts institution, but our neighbors to the north don't give a shit. Or at least this one article would lead you to believe.

5. Photo of the day: Stop praying for snow / 24 likes
As we found last semester, no matter how hard we work on these posts, all it comes down to is a funny photo. This one came out during the infamous Snowpocalypse of 2011.

6. Spotted: Cappy doesn't want the chili / 24 likes
Everyone liked our random anecdote about Cappy dissing Chili Day in the Retreat. One Two Six Oh Four even turned it into a cartoon a few weeks later.

7. Betty will return to her famous spot / 22 likes
One of Vassar's most tragic losses this school year was of Betty Francis, the former security guard who passed away in December. This semester, student leaders began to plan a memorial plaque to go by the Mug, a spot Betty knew well.

8. Meryl cross-dresses as Matthew / 22 likes
Not only did our most popular alumna cross dress on the cover of the Alumnae/i Quarterly, but she did it as Matthew Vassar!

9. An Open Letter to Dutch bartender / 20  likes
Before the Dutch Cabin became Billy Bob's BBQ, we took to the blog to express our feelings about everyone's least favorite bartender. It turns out a lot of you agreed. Luckily, BBBBQ got some new help.

10. Exclusive: First look at Founder's Day merch / 20 likes
We did a lot of Founder's Day posts, but this one got the most attention. No wonder items sold out within the first few days of sales.

Spotted: The Knocks Return To DJ TH Party

One half of beer pong champs/of Montreal opener The Knocks DJed a TH party last night. Highlights from his set included three Michael Jackson songs in one hour and The Knocks' original "Dancing with the DJ."

May 14, 2011

Bridegroom Death Finally Getting Coverage

Finally, Vassar alumnus and television celebrity Tom Bridegroom who tragically passed away a few days ago, is finally getting the coverage he deserves:

WVKI: "Former Starke County Man Dies After Fall From Building"
iMusicDaiy: "iMusicDaily Founder Thomas Lee Bridegroom Passes Away"
Schubert Says: "The Tragic Death of Tom Bridegroom Leaves Hollywood Speechless"

Tom will be laid to rest in Indiana in the coming days. The Los Angeles will take place on June 25th, according to the Facebook memorial page.

Another Band Fools Around In The Green Room

Here is your chance to experience Founder's Day all over again, this time through the eyes of "Taco Bro"-loving Toro y Moi.

Toro Goes to College from Jordan Bee on Vimeo.

All of these bands lately sure know how to use a green room. And yes, they spell our school with an "e."

May 13, 2011

Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern '84 Did Heroin At Vassar

In a new candid interview with The Fix, television foodie and Vassar alumnus Andrew Zimmern '84 talks about his freshman year experience.

"By the time I was a freshman in college, I’d experimented with—and fallen in love with—heroin," he says.

Zimmern's addiction to drugs and alcohol led him to contemplate suicide. Luckily, he has now been clean and sober for almost twenty years.

After doing heroin, eating cow testicles and all that other junk probably isn't so bad.

May 11, 2011

Still Few Details On Tom Bridegroom's Death

Sadly, there are still few details regarding the death of Tom Bridegroom, a Vassar alumnus, model, and MTV host. Since we posted the news yesterday, Tom's Wikipedia page has been updated, but with little additional information. According to the page, Tom's death occurred on May 7th. This was the last day that Tom used his Twitter account. The only posts that indicate  what he was doing that day include two about going to the gym and one featuring a picture of two glasses of Prosecco.

The biggest update is the creation of a Facebook memorial page, which appears to have gone up earlier today, possibly within the last hour. The page's administrator writes that Tom's funeral will take place in Indiana and there will be an additional memorial in L.A., tentatively scheduled for June 11th. One post reads:

"We want to let you know that Tom's mother, Martha Bridegroom, is planning Tom's funeral arrangements and he will be laid to rest in his home state of Indiana. The Los Angeles memorial will bring together anyone and everyone who will not be able to attend the memorial in Indiana."

May 10, 2011

Famous Alumnus Dies In Tragic Fall

We've just learned that Vassar alumnus Tom Bridegroom fell to his death while photographing a model. According to one source, he accidentally stepped off the balcony of a building in the Silver Lake neighborhood and fell four stories.

Before becoming a photographer, Tom was a male model and gained popularity hosting MTV's The X Effect in 2007. He turned twenty-nine last month.

Something Sweet Is Coming...

We don't know what this means any more than you do, but we received this anonymous tip: "Studying got you down? Be in the library for 9:30 for a sweet surprise tonight!"

Looking back on previous last nights of study week, we can predict that the surprise may include:
  • An a cappella group singing
  • Students drumming on tables in a coordinated routine
  • Streakers
  • Matthew's Bean workers giving out free coffee
Let's hope for all of the above? Except maybe the drumming.

Former Vassar Prof. Gets Huge Job With Getty

The art world is abuzz with news that James Cuno, who was once an assistant professor of art at Vassar from 1983 to 1986, will be the next chief executive and president of the Getty Arts Trust, the third-largest arts foundation in the world. (The Wall Street Journal says Cuno directed the art museum at Vassar and does not mention the assistant professorship.)

Cuno also served as museum director at University of London, Harvard, Dartmouth, and University of California, Los Angeles.

The former Vassar professor will be responsible for assets of $7.1 billion, including a statue called Getty Bronze that the Italian government claims should be returned.

Here Is What The Dutch And Arlington Looked Like In 1940s

We're a huge fan of the "Vintage Vassar" videos the college has put online to commemorate the sesquicentennial. The latest one compares footage of Arlington from the 1940s to footage recently shot. Highlights include the Juliet as a movie theater and the quaint-looking "Mrs. Frazier's Dutch Cabin."

May 9, 2011

BREAKING: VSA Upholds Re-Elections Policy, Appoints Garza As Main House President

Shortly after 8 p.m. tonight, the VSA Council appointed Jeremy Garza '14 to the position of Main House President. This appointment concludes several days of controversy following Sienna Brown '13's resignation from the position and original candidate William Serio '13 calling for changes to the re-election process.

Jeremy came in second place to Sienna in the initial election. When asked how he thought the new president should be appointed, he said, "I trust whatever decision the Council thinks is best."

Hipster Runoff Dubs Vassar Student "The Taco Bro"

We posted last week that Toro y Moi had fun at Founder's Day, but now we know the extent to just how much fun the group had. Hipster Runoff just posted a picture of lead singer Chaz Bundick with a Vassar senior dressed in a taco costume at what we assume to be an after-party at the THs.

"Based on this picture, we have to guess that Chaz Bundick, chillwave crooner from Toro Y Moi 'had his way' with this Taco Bro," the post states. "It seems like this taco would be pretty chill to eat. Some iceberg lettuce. Tomato. Some sort of authentic meat. Maybe some cheese. Hard/soft shell. There's nothing better than a taco after a show. Quick 'on-the-go' food that can give you the life you need to go on a bender."

The picture first appeared on the blog of Jordan Blackmon, Toro's tour manager.

May 8, 2011

Poughkeepsie Journal Writes Up Of Montreal Show

[Katie de Heras/Misc]
Two weeks after the big spring concert featuring The Knocks and of Montreal, The Poughkeepsie Journal has published its review. Here's what the writer - a SUNY New Paltz sophomore - had to say. (Correction: we originally wrote that the writer was a sophomore at Spackenkill High School.)

On The Knocks: "It was hard to care about two regular dudes singing about nighttime, dancing and having fun."

On the crowd: "Ten percent of every ViCE show's crowd takes the phrase 'Dance like no one's watching' way too literally and it's really, really wonderful."

On of Montreal: "Of Montreal's energy was received with varied reactions. Some audience members were drenched in sweat from boogieing while others checked their watches. The band interacted very little with the crowd and at times it felt like Barnes forgot people were watching him perform."

On last year's spring show featuring The Flaming Lips: "underwhelming"

Someone Is Burglarizing The Town Houses Again

According to Don Marsala's all-campus email sent a few hours ago, someone removed items from a Town House this morning. Police and Safety and Security searched the premises but no suspect was found.

Marsala made no connection between this incident and the string of incidents that happened earlier in the school year.

Lock your doors and windows, people!

May 7, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Sienna Speaks About Resignation

Since news hit of Sienna Brown '13's resignation as president-elect of Main House, commenters on this blog have expressed their confusion of why she resigned and if it had anything to do with her going abroad next Spring. Here is Sienna's response:

"I did not resign because I was planning on going JYA, my JYA plans were certain before I decided for running for president and then when I won, I was decided I would stay here. I resigned because I was not comfortable with the way that I was being treated by the VSA and with the plans that council is making for next year. If you would like to talk to me about it as opposed to hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, please feel free to."

Watch The Deece Flashmob Clip

We can't seem to embed the clip here, but footage of the Deece flashmob from Thursday is now online.

Other Original Candidate Is Applying For Vacated Position

Jeremy Garza '14, who ran for Main House president alongside Sienna Brown '13 and William Serio '13, tells us that he will be re-applying for the position now that Sienna has stepped down.

As for William Serio's request for the Board of Elections to use the existing votes rather than handing the decision over to the VSA Council, Jeremy says, "I trust whatever decision the council thinks is best."

Sources tell us that the VSA Council members involved in the elections process have held an emergency meeting to decide how to proceed.

EXCLUSIVE: Original Main House Candidate Asks VSA To Use Old Results

William Serio '13, who ran for Main House president last month, has asked the VSA and the Board of Elections to reconsider the process of filling a vacant position.

According to the VSA Bylaws, the VSA Council must vote to fill a vacant position. "This interpretation gives the VSA unneeded power over an election that can and should be decided by the constituency of Main House," William exclusively tells Mads.

From William's email to the VSA and Board of Elections:
"I am writing to make a request concerning the Main House President vacancy that was announced today. I feel that the easiest, cleanest, and most efficient way to pursue this problem is by re-using the election results that were already taken and replacing all the votes for Sienna Brown with the second-place choices. By doing this, the constituency of Main House is still allowed to decide the President and the VSA doesn't have to create a new candidate pool and a new election."

Some of the response from Ruby Cramer '12, outgoing VSA Vice President for Operations:

"I totally see what you're saying about the announcement of the Main House President vacancy that Tanay announced today. Unfortunately, as you predicted, the decision was made to appoint—rather than re-use the election results—based off a bylaw that we're bound to (Bylaws: Elections, Section 2, Part F):

F. In the event that an elected official resigns or is removed from his/her position, the VSA Council shall decide whether to fill that position by election through a Special Election or appointment. For an appointment, the official notice and application information must be advertised to the relevant constituency. The appointment process shall be conducted by the VSA Appointments Committee, as stated in Article I of these Bylaws."

William tells us that he is unsure whether he will apply for the position if it comes down to a VSA vote. "I would like to run, but I think this unfairly allows the VSA to make a decision that should not be up to them," he says.

Another Poughkeepsie Shooting

[Google Maps]
There was another shooting in downtown Poughkeepsie late Wednesday night, this time at the well-known bar Congress. According to The Poughkeepsie Journal, Newburgh man Mahdi Elting, 26, was interacting with four men when they decided to move towards the door and then outside, where the shooting may have occurred. Police are giving only limited information. Police charged three men with second-degree murder, one man with criminal possession of a weapon, and one woman with tampering with evidence.

Below is an actual photograph PoJo took of one of the men arrested.

Mayor John Tkazyik is now calling for Congress to be closed on grounds that the establishment "permits disorderly behavior." At least three cases, all of which have been dismissed, have been filed against the bar in recent years. The bar has been under the same family's ownership since 1949.

Congress is a seven minute drive from Vassar, and only blocks away from February's shooting that left a woman and a police officer dead.

Main House President-Elect Resigns, Position Opens

The position for Main House president is now open after Sienna Brown '13, the president-elect, resigned. Candidates can now file for the position and it will be voted on in tomorrow night's VSA Council meeting.

No word yet if Jeremy Garza '14, who lost to Sienna by 29 votes, or original candidate William Serio '13 will apply.

May 6, 2011

This Weekend On Campus...Stuck In The Library Edition

There really isn't much going on this weekend, so you might not have a choice but to stay in the library and actually attempt to get something done. Here is our list of the few events worth checking out. Email madsvassar[at] for publicity.

Vassar Filmmakers Screening, 7pm Rosenwald (Drama & Film)
Vassar Jazz Ensemble, 8pm Skinner
"Reefer Madness", 8pm Shiva
No Offense Show, 9pm Sanders

"Reefer Madness", 2pm & 8pm Sanders
No Offense Show, 9pm Sanders
The Limit Show, 10pm Taylor 203

Matthew's Mini-Strels Final Concert, 5pm Sanders

P.S. Check out our Mads Vassar Guide to Studying from last semester.

The Return Of Anonymous Commenting can now comment anonymously again.

May 5, 2011

Spotted: Now A Flashmob Takes The Deece

Apparently another flashmob danced its way through a dining hall today, this time in ACDC between 6 and 7 p.m.

By the way, our last flashmob caught the attention of our friends at Wesleying.

May 4, 2011

Finally, A Clip Of The "Thriller" Flashmob

Someone has finally put up a video of the "Thriller" flashmob that a dance class performed in the Retreat yesterday.

Contrast Release Party Tomorrow

Contrast is teaming up with Late Night at the Lehman Loeb for the launch party of their newest issue. The event is tomorrow night (Thursday), from 6-9 p.m. at the art center. There will be a student performer and food from Rossi's. It will be your only chance to get a copy of the issue!

Click here for more info.

May 3, 2011

Tenure Committee F***s With Kiese Laymon, Questions Graduate School Degree

Professor (and occasional Mads guest blogger) Kiese Laymon took to his blog to explain how the Faculty Appointments and Salary Committee stopped looking into a possible tenure appointment after unethically requesting personal information and verification that he graduated from graduate school.

First, Kiese explains, FASC asked to see his Penguin book contract, which contains personal information. "My initial anger, sadness and dismay came from the fact that the entire contract is indeed personal information," he wrote to the committee and called the request "unprofessional and unethical" and "disrespectful and sad."

"Though I am your junior colleague," he continues in the letter, "I am not a child...I never thought of FASC as celestial gate-keepers who can ask for whatever they want from potential candidates. Perhaps I was wrong."

Soon after, a FASC member reportedly told Kiese the committee finds him "intimidating" and can no longer "fairly assess" him.

But there's more. Kiese then found out from an email that was mistakenly sent to a colleague that FASC sought verification of his graduation from Indiana University's graduate school program. He again wrote to FASC, this time not holding back: "I’m going to ask you kindly one more time to please stop fucking with me. I mean that with sincerity and kindness."

FASC's response the following week: "FASC has decided to recuse itself in the case of Kiese Laymon."


Update 5/6: To respond to a question that so many of you have been asking, we temporarily disabled commenting on this post so that we could have a chance to respond to feedback from concerned readers while the post remained somewhat static. We're continuing to look into the story and we urge readers to see Professor Laymon's original post here.

New AMC Show Takes Place During Vassar's Opening

When Vassar opened its doors in 1865, there was a Confederate soldier working on the Transcontinental Railroad on the other side of the country, seeking revenge against the Union soldiers who killed his wife. Or so the new AMC drama wants you to think.

Mad Men may have the liberal arts school references, but Hell on Wheels, which was announced today, may have more in common with Vassar historically. The first trailer for the upcoming series opens with the "1865" marker.

Spotted: "Thriller" Flashmob In Retreat

A tipster tells us that Kathy Wildberger's Looking at Dance Theater class did a flash mob of "Thriller" today in the Retreat at around 12:20 p.m.

Exclusive: New Chronicle Covers Osama's Death

MICA's new Chronicle comes out today and we have an exclusive statement from the new Editor-in-Chief, Alaric Chinn '13, about the issue:

"On behalf of the Vassar Chronicle, I would like to introduce what I hope will be an exciting edition for the end of the year. We tackle issues such as the impacts of Osama Bin Laden’s recent death, the pink bike program, and also have an exclusive editorial about a student who was singled out and judged by the Board of Elections in this year’s spring elections. I hope that this edition—which I am proud to call my first—will serve as a springboard for discussion, discourse, and exchange of ideas. As always, letters to the editor, general comments, and interests on contributing and editing can be forwarded to vassarchronicle[at] Thank you and I wish you a good summer."

The Top 10 Things Only Seniors Remember

Unbelievably, today is the last day of Vassar classes for members of the Class of 2011. Seniors are sure to be nostalgic for that time not so long ago when they were moving into the dorms for the first time, attending the Pimps & Hos party, and paying for DC food by each item. Here is a list of the top ten things (in no particular order) that only seniors will remember.

1. Haveagood. The ACDC cashier née Kathryn Porter who wished everyone to "have a good" left Vassar in 2008. It's sad that Porter passed away this semester and even more sad that only a quarter of current students will have any memory of her and her antics.

2. Trays/Trayffiti/Traying. When ACDC underwent significant changes in Fall 2008, trays disappeared. There was an uproar about it for a while and then people realized balancing two plates actually wasn't that bad. Missed though will be the culture that came with the trays, including trayffiti and traying on Sunset Hill.

3. Boredat. Before the slew of anonymous online message boards that arrived this school year, Bored@Vassar shook things up and showed everyone just how mean Vassar students are. Things got so nasty that administration forced the site's creator - a Columbia student who ran versions of the site for multiple schools - to take it offline.

4. Serenading with food. OK, sophomores can remember this too, but the current water fights are child's play compared to what seniors used to put freshmen through.

5. Scantily Clad. It was an event crazy enough to be covered in Vice Magazine. Imagine the entire student body practically naked and squeezed into the Cushing MPR. They sure don't make campus parties like they used to.

6. Dean JJ Jackson (and her songs). Before Chris Roellke, there was Dean JJ Jackson, who famously sang "Colors of the Wind" at the welcoming ceremony for freshmen. She left us for the University of Kentucky in 2008.

7. Old Davison. Members of the Class of 2013 got brand new rooms in Davison when they arrived at Vassar, while 2012 saw it covered in scaffolding when they first came. Only seniors remember what it used to look like inside.

8. Naps. Depending on who you ask, seniors will remember Napoli's late-night pizza delivery as either the best or worst food ever made. No one really knew where it came from - according to the legend, it was from the kitchen of an old man who used ketchup instead of tomato sauce. But when they closed and re-opened as Cozzy's, things were never the same.

9. The old Raymond & Collegeview. Can underclassmen imagine a time when Bacio's, Babycakes, MyMarket, and Twisted Soul weren't within walking distance? Or when you had to wait to cross the street before there was a roundabout? Or when administration started a scandal when they tore down the fence on the north side of campus?

(Update: To clarify, Babycakes closed temporarily in 2007 before re-opening in 2008. We meant that seniors are the only current students who can remember a time when Babycakes was not open.)

10. Blegen House. Before it moved to its current location on the second floor of the College Center, the LGBTQ center had its own house next to the Bayit on Collegeview Avenue. It supposedly closed for renovations, but never reopened either because of financial restraints or code violations.

May 2, 2011

BREAKING: Govt. Issues Alert For Student Travelelers

While most Vassar students are responding lightheartedly to Osama bin Laden's death, things are starting to get real. Both the Vassar and Obama administrations are cautioning students from traveling abroad. According D.B. Brown's all-campus email sent moments ago, the State Department has "issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans abroad."

Mads spoke to a rep for the Study Away office, who said that Brown sent the email on the advice of Susan Correll, Director of International Programs.

The rep also told us that there is an important distinction between travel alerts and travel warnings. Warnings, like those issued following the events in Egypt and Japan earlier this semester, are more serious than alerts and require students and parents to sign waivers.

Students and other people can sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which offers updates on travel alerts and warnings.

Two Alumnae On Time's "100 Most Influential" List

 Time's "100 Most Influential People" list is out and two Vassar alumnae made the cut - Rebecca Eaton '69 and Hung Huang '84. They join the ranks of Mark Zuckerberg, Julian Assange, Justin Bieber, and Bruno Mars.

Diane Von Furstenburg wrote Huang's biography, saying, "What makes Hung unique is that she understands America, its pragmatism and practices, yet she remains a true Chinese patriot." She also mentions the Vassar connection.

X-Files actress Gillian Anderson writes about Eaton, a long-time television producer.

Outside The Bubble: Students React To Osama's Death

Unless you were stuck in that 5 and a half hour VSA Council meeting last night, you were probably glued to the news and social media waiting for the latest developments about the death of Osama bin Laden (or, as Fox News calls him, Usama bin Landen and Obama bin Laden). Vassar students took to Facebook and Twitter to react to the news in typical Vassar fashion.



A Linguistic Analysis Of Mads Vassar

Mads is flattered that Neal McFarland '12 thought that the phrase on our blog header ("Forget Brad...Tonight I'll gets totes cray and bellig") was worthy of a four page analysis for a linguistics class. Apparently the words are demonstrative of "the linguistic zeitgeist of our campus" and represent "a critique of ourselves." Here are selections from his essay.

"The statement [according to one student] expresses a universal college mentality of, 'getting drunk and living a life outside the world of her parents - a world where she can do what she wants.' The girl in the graphic expresses 'college' sentiments - but with a Vassar twist, of course."

"A friend of mine hypothesized that the girl represents a moment in our life experience where we can try to express the agency of an adult, but only through the adolescent vernacular of our peers. She sounds young and foolish in a way that we all fear we sound in our most unfiltered moments."

"She has been called, 'The modern "Vassar Girl",'—though perhaps facetiously...'I love that she’s rejecting this guy "Brad" in favor of a good time,' said another student, 'she’s just so f***ing sassy!'...The fact that this statement comes from a woman represents the core Vassar ideal of gender equality."

"Our tendency for abbreviation is part of why we imagine this statement to be such an apt critique of our Vassar speech...We abbreviate in text messaging and twitter for convenience...The girl in the graphic must use abbreviations because she is a critique of ourselves, and the use of abbreviation is something for which we feel we most deserve to be critiqued."

Play Dodgeball For UNICEF's Japan Relief

Here is a message about a dodgeball tournament this week that will raise money for UNICEF:

"Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive, and Dodge!

Come show off your dodgeball skills with your team on May 5th at the 2nd Annual UNICEF DODGEBALL TOURNAMENT!

Winners will receive glory, trophies, and gift certificates to a local establishments. Sign up your team of (maximum) 5 PLAYERS by emailing your roster to Registration is $5 per person (so maximum $25 total per team), which entitles you to hours of dodgeball fun, as well as refreshments and the chance to claim victory! Teams will be seeded by the order they sign register your team right away to get a higher seed in the bracket! All proceeds from this event will go towards the UNICEF Japan Relief Fund.

PRIZES INCLUDE: Gift certificates to Marcos, Thai Spice, All Shook Up, Crafted Cup, Kismat and My Market!"

Pam Vogel '12 Speaks About Last Night's Win

Pam Vogel '12 spoke exclusively with Mads about her appointment last night for senior class president:

[VSA website]
"I am obviously really excited to be a part of VSA Council and the senior class president this coming year. I can't reiterate enough that this race had two very good candidates, and that the decision VSA Council made tonight was an extremely difficult one. I think that the extra pressure/attention on this particular race allowed me to think more critically about what I want to accomplish this year and what my priorities are, and now I look forward to working to meet all of these goals!"

May 1, 2011

BREAKING: Pam Vogel '12 Wins Senior Class Presidency

Pam Vogel '12 just won tonight's VSA Council appointment for senior class president, a position which resulted in a tie in last week's elections.

While many of Pam and Zan's supporters attended the meeting, the Council moved into closed session for the voting. Both candidates had an opportunity to present candidate statements and take questions from the Council members. During the closed session, Pam won 11-6. She and four other council members abstained.

Update: Pam took to Twitter to express her joy:

Hugathon Raised Hundreds For School In Himalayas

Last week's third semiannual hugathon raised $300 for a school in the Himilayas, an event organizer tells Mads. In thirty hours, members of the Jhamtse Club gave 1,026 hugs.

"Jhamtse Club hosted our third Hugathon in the College Center this Wednesday and Thursday. Over the course of the 30 hours, we gave out 1,026 hugs and raised over $300 to support Jhamtse Gatsal school in the Himalayas (and the hugs to celebrate and emanate the premise of love and compassion at the core of the school’s philosophy).

The club would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported us, whether with donations or with enthusiasm. We’d also like to say a huge, huge thanks to the crew team, whose members volunteered throughout the event to help us pull it off. They noted that the Vassar community has been really generous and supportive of their team this year, and they wanted to take the chance to pay forward some of the kindness shown them. Jhamtse really, really appreciated their help, and extends an enormous THANKS for making the Hugathon such a success."

VSA Deciding Senior Class President Tonight

Tonight the VSA Council will be voting on the position for senior class president, which resulted in a tie in last week's Spring elections. Zan Schmidt '12 and Pam Vogel '12 (who sits on the exiting council) are the candidates.

Update 10:42 PM: Pam just tweeted:

Toro Y Moi Had A Good Time At Vassar

Here is what Chaz Bundick, a.k.a. Toro y Moi, who headlined Founder's Day, tweeted about his Vassar experience.
Chaz and his bandmates were spotted hanging out at a TH party later last night.