Category Archive 'Harvard'
09 Jun 2017

Ooops! Harvard Offed the Daughter of a Major Donor

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Whipping a heretic.

Boston.com reports that at least one of the students who had their admissions to Harvard rescinded over private jokes on Facebook is closely related to somebody Harvard does not want to be messing with.

The daughter of a major donor to Harvard University was among the accepted students whose offer of admission was rescinded following the revelation that some incoming freshman were posting obscene and offensive memes in a private Facebook group chat, The Boston Globe reports.

At least 10 students lost their place at the university, according to The Harvard Crimson, which first reported the story on Sunday. Students in the chat allegedly shared offensive memes targeting minorities and mocking child abuse, sexual assault, and the Holocaust.

According to the Globe, after someone notified the admissions office about the posts, school administrators contacted students who posted the material in the spring and asked them to explain their actions.

Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor emeritus, called the school’s actions “dangerous” and a “serious mistake.”

“These actions are not consistent with the spirit of the First Amendment,” he told the Globe. Dershowitz told the paper he had not seen the posts and had no first-hand knowledge of the situation.

That little girl should get Daddy to hire Alan Dershowitz to sue Harvard and to sue personally the University bureaucrats who violated her privacy and trampled her free speech rights. Her father ought to ask his attorney to represent the other nine victims as well.

06 Jun 2017

So Much For Privacy and Free Speech

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At The Game in 2004, Yalies tricked Harvard fans into holding up signs creating this message.”

The Crimson reports:

Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups [i.e., Jokes] in a private Facebook group chat.

A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.

In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”

After discovering the existence and contents of the chat, Harvard administrators revoked admissions offers to at least ten participants in mid-April, according to several members of the group. University officials have previously said that Harvard’s decision to rescind a student’s offer is final. …

The chat grew out of a roughly 100-member messaging group that members of the Class of 2021 set up in early December to share memes about popular culture. Admitted students found and contacted each other using the official Harvard College Class of 2021 Facebook group.

“A lot of students were excited about forming group chats with people who shared similar interests,” Jessica Zhang ’21, an incoming freshman who joined both chats, wrote in an email. “Someone posted about starting a chat for people who liked memes.”

Messages shared in the original group were mostly “lighthearted,” wrote Zhang, who said she did not post in the splitoff meme group and that her admission offer was not rescinded. But some members soon suggested forming “a more R-rated” meme chat, according to Cassandra Luca ’21, who joined the first meme group but not the second, and who also said her offer was not revoked.

Luca said the founders of the “dark” group chat demanded that students post provocative memes in the larger messaging group before allowing them to join the splinter group.

“They were like, ‘Oh, you have to send a meme to the original group to prove that you could get into the new one,’” Luca said. “This was a just-because-we-got-into-Harvard-doesn’t-mean-we-can’t-have-fun kind of thing.”

Employees in the Admissions Office emailed students who posted offensive memes in mid-April asking them to disclose every picture they sent over the group, according to one member of the chat whose admission offer was revoked. The student spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be publicly identified with the messages.

“The Admissions Committee was disappointed to learn that several students in a private group chat for the Class of 2021 were sending messages that contained offensive messages and graphics,” reads a copy of the Admissions Office’s email obtained by The Crimson. “As we understand you were among the members contributing such material to this chat, we are asking that you submit a statement by tomorrow at noon to explain your contributions and actions for discussion with the Admissions Committee.”

“It is unfortunate that I have to reach out about this situation,” the email reads.

The anonymous student also said that administrators informed implicated students that their admissions status was under review and instructed them not to come to Visitas, Harvard’s annual weekend of programming for prospective freshmen held at the end of April. Roughly a week later, at least ten members of the group chat received letters informing them that their offers of admission had been withdrawn.

The description for the official Facebook group for the Class of 2021, set up and maintained by the Admissions Office, disclaims all administrative responsibility for “unofficial groups” and warns members their admissions offers can be rescinded under specific circumstances.

“As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions including if an admitted student engages in behavior that brings into question his or her honesty, maturity, or moral character,” the description reads.

Luca said she had mixed feelings about the administration’s move to revoke admissions offers. She said she was “going back and forth” on the matter.

“On the one hand, I think people can post whatever they want because they have the right to do that,” Luca said. “I don’t think the school should have gone in and rescinded some offers because it wasn’t Harvard-affiliated, it was people doing stupid stuff.”

She added, though, that if memes sent over the chat posed any kind of threat to members’ lives or well-being, then she believed administrators’ actions were justified.

Other members of the Class of 2021 said they strongly supported the Admissions Office’s decision. Zhang wrote that she thought the students’ actions were indefensible, and that the administration was correct in choosing to penalize those who posted obscene images.

“I appreciate humor, but there are so many topics that just should not be joked about,” Zhang wrote. “I respect the decision of the admissions officers to rescind the offers because those actions really spoke about the students’ true characters.”

“I do not know how those offensive images could be defended,” she added.

Wyatt Hurt ’21, who said he did not participate in either meme chat, agreed and said he was glad administrators took action.

“I haven’t seen any of the stuff firsthand, but I definitely think that the administration made the right choice and I think that as an incoming student—we all have our group chats and everything like that going on—we all pretty much universally agree it was the right decision,” he said.

Hurt added that he recently attended several scholarship conferences and that students he met at those events—many of whom he said planned to matriculate at Ivy League schools—also agreed that “rescinding was definitely the way to go.”

This incident marks the second time in two years that Harvard has dealt with a situation where incoming freshmen exchanged offensive messages online. Last spring, some admitted members of the Class of 2020 traded jokes about race and mocked feminists in an unofficial class GroupMe chat, prompting Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 to issue a joint statement condemning the students’ actions.

“Harvard College and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid were troubled and disappointed to see a conversation that included graphics with offensive themes,” Khurana and Fitzsimmons wrote in their statement, which they posted on the Class of 2020’s Facebook page.

But administrators chose not to discipline members of the Class of 2020 who authored the messages. Then-Interim Dean of Student Life Thomas A. Dingman ’67 said in an interview at the time that the individuals in question were “not matriculated students at this point.

RTWT

Where does Harvard get off investigating the content of teenage admittees’ jokes in a private group on social media?

This country needs a federal law absolutely protecting the privacy of all electronic communication, including both email and social media. Beyond that, email services and social media companies ought to be held liable when private communications are intruded upon with resulting injury to their owners.

One is inclined to advise those wronged ten students that they ought to consider themselves lucky that Fate has saved them from becoming members of that community of prigs and Pharisees in Cambridge. In a properly-run world, the president of Yale would respond by ordering letters of admission sent to each of those ten kids.

07 Apr 2017

The Stock of the Puritans Has Apparently Died

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Eden Girma, Harvard ’18, performing.

The Crimson reports that “the Puritan stock” is going to be re-written out of Harvard’s alma mater song.

Harvard will hold a competition to change the final line of “Fair Harvard,” the University’s 181-year-old alma mater, which has read “Till the stock of the Puritans die” since its composition in 1836.

Government professor Danielle S. Allen, co-chair of Presidential Task Force for Inclusion and Belonging, announced the plans to change the lyric at a three-hour event the task force held Wednesday in Sanders Theatre. Convened by University President Drew G. Faust in September, the committee is tasked with evaluating Harvard’s efforts to create an inclusive environment and recommend improvements.

The group is also launching a second competition for “a new musical variant” of the alma mater that could be performed as electronic, hip hop, or spoken word music. The traditional music would remain the official mode of performance for the song, but the new mode would be “preserved by the University as an endorsed alternative,” according to the group’s website—“The inspiration is ‘Hamilton.’ The point is to use your imagination,” it reads.

University affiliates can submit lyric and music variant submissions on the task force’s website through September, and winners will be announced in spring 2018.

Also at Wednesday’s event, the “Afternoon of Engagement on Inclusion and Belonging” featured remarks from Faust, stories from Harvard affiliates, and collaborative exercises designed to inform the task force’s future discussions.

In her welcoming remarks, Faust shared a story about receiving letters from young girls around the world after she became the University’s first female president.

“Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are fundamental to our missions and to our identity and essential for creating a better university, and the responsibility for that is one shared by students, faculty, and staff,” she said.

Individuals from across the University then took to the stage to discuss their personal experiences with “belonging.”…

Eden H. Girma ’18… recalled participating in a protest at Primal Scream, a biannual naked run around Harvard Yard before the first day of finals. The protesters wanted to observe minute and a half of silence for black men killed by police, Girma said.

“Thinking back to that experience, with all of the emotions that I had, I can only see at the moment, that seems so clear to me, seeing two Harvards. One, a student body that felt so intrinsically implicated in the violence that was happening in the world, and another that seemed so blind to that,” Girma said. “Thinking retrospectively, I know there are so many nuances to this.”

——————————-

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“Fair Harvard”

Fair Harvard! we join in thy Jubilee throng,
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these Festival-rites, from the Age that is past,
To the Age that is waiting before.
O Relic and Type of our ancestors’ worth,
That hast long kept their memory warm,
First flow’r of their wilderness! Star of their night!
Calm rising thro’ change and thro’ storm.

Farewell! be thy destinies onward and bright!
To thy children the lesson still give,
With freedom to think, and with patience to bear,
And for Right ever bravely to live.
Let not moss-covered Error moor thee at its side,
As the world on Truth’s current glides by,
Be the herald of Light, and the bearer of Love,
Till the stock of the Puritans die.

Samuel Gilman, Class of 1811
[Revised 1998]

——————————-

Shouldn’t they also change the song’s title to “Dusky Harvard”?

The admission to elite Ivy League Schools of non-traditional applicants started out as an effort to make more national the constituency of such schools and to discharge what the administrations of those universities saw as a duty to supply a national leadership class. In those days, the basis for the admission of outsider applicants was a combination meritocratic grades and test scores with geographical diversity.

More recently, identity group representation and Affirmative Action compensatory admission of members of favored groups has played a major role in determining the makeup of classes at elite schools.

In my own day, we had only a small number of African-American classmates, but they were admitted on pretty much the same sort of bases as everybody else, getting only a small (equivalent to geographical diversity) number of extra points for being black. Our black classmates consequently integrated into their Yale classes quite conventionally.

A few years later, in the early 1970s, Yale had a larger constituency of African Americans, admitted with a much stronger dose of racial favoritism. Those admittees were commonly far less well prepared for Yale educationally and integrated far less well. They tended to hang out together in all black groups, and spent most of their time in the African-American identity house. One tended not to know any of them. A few were spectacular failures, winding up arrested for crimes on campus. One guy, admitted to Yale out of the New Haven inner city community, was busted for dealing heroin to townies out of his room in Jonathan Edwards.

Today, decades later, the representation of non-traditional minority groups at these elite schools is much larger still, and those groups of students are more unruly, more obsessed with group identity and historical grievances, more self-entitled than ever.

In the early decades of the 20th Century, presidents of elite schools like Harvard placed a strict quota on Jewish admissions, fearing that intensely keen Jewish academic competition would change the composition of classes and the constituency of such schools completely, remaking them into Jewish institutions.

Today, minority admittees and presiding administrations eagerly lobby for fundamentally changing the composition, constituency, and even the complexion of those schools. Matters have reached a point at which the non-traditional groups feel entitled to rename buildings and to purge references and memorials to illustrious alumni and benefactors on the basis of their own amour propre. Now, at Harvard, they are sending the founders and original constituency of the college into exile from the school’s alma mater. All this causes me to wonder: had the people who initiated the effort at diversity admissions been able to foresee this occurring, would they ever have admitted any of these minorities at all in the first place?

16 Mar 2017

Just “A Vast Slave Society”

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J.T. Zealy, Renty, A Congolese slave on plantation of B.F. Taylor, Columbia, S.C., Daguerrotype photograph taken for Louis Agassiz’s study on Polygenism, March 1850.

Harvard Magazine reports that Harvard recently invited professional race-baiter Ta-Nehisi Coates to deliver the keynote address at a day-long liberal guiltfest over the century-and-a-half extinct institution which (regrettably) brought Coates’ ancestors to American shores.

The above 19th century daguerrotype served as poster-image for the conference because the wicked and nefarious naturalist Louis Agassiz, while working at Harvard, had caused that image to be captured for use in his studies of taxonomy and human etiology. That racist bastard Agassiz working in the first half of the 19th century (Can you imagine?) actually took the differences in skin color and physiognomy exhibited in this image as evidence supporting a significant taxonomic distinction between Sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans.

The audience of Harvards trembled guiltily on their seats as Ta-Nehisi Coates demanded reparations, telling his open-mouthed listeners that “We talk about enslavement as if it were a bump in the road. And I tell people: it’s the road. It’s the actual road.”

Daniel Coquillette, Harvard Law School’s Warren visiting professor of American legal history, and the author of the 2015 book, On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century, gave an account of Isaac Royall, whose bequest led to the 1817 founding of the law school and whose newly revealed slave legacy roiled the campus last year with intense protest and controversy. A West Indian planter and strikingly cruel man, Royall owned a sugar plantation on the island of Antigua during the eighteenth century. Sending gasps through the audience, Coquillette described how Royall brutally suppressed a major slave revolt there in 1736. More than 350 slaves had mobilized, but “at the last moment,” Coquillette said, they were betrayed. After it was over, 77 slaves were burned at the stake, and six others were drawn and quartered. The leader of the uprising, a slave named “King” Court, was gibbeted alive.

Following student-led protests, organized under the name Royall Must Fall, the law school decided last spring to change its shield, which was based on the Royall family crest. At the same time, professor Janet Halley, who is the school’s Royall professor—one of the country’s oldest named chairs—began taking first-year law students on tours of the slave quarters at Royall’s home in Medford, as a way of engaging the University’s heritage.

Read the whole thing.

27 Jan 2017

Harvard Guys Make Metallic Hydrogen

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The Independent reports:

For nearly 100 years, scientists have dreamed of turning the lightest of all the elements, hydrogen, into a metal.

Now, in a stunning act of modern-day alchemy, scientists at Harvard University have finally succeeded in creating a tiny amount of what is the rarest, and possibly most valuable, material on the planet, they reported in the journal Science.

For metallic hydrogen could theoretically revolutionise technology, enabling the creation of super-fast computers, high-speed levitating trains and ultra-efficient vehicles and dramatically improving almost anything involving electricity.

And it could also allow humanity to explore outer space as never before.

But the prospect of this bright future could be at risk if the scientists’ next step – to establish whether the metal is stable at normal pressures and temperatures – fails to go as hoped.

Professor Isaac Silvera, who made the breakthrough with Dr Ranga Dias, said: “This is the holy grail of high-pressure physics.

“It’s the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you’re looking at it, you’re looking at something that’s never existed before.”

At the moment the tiny piece of metal can only be seen through two diamonds that were used to crush liquid hydrogen at a temperature far below freezing.

The amount of pressure needed was immense – more than is found at the centre of the Earth.

The sample has remained trapped in this astonishing grip, but sometime in the next few weeks, the researchers plan to carefully ease the pressure.

According to one theory, metallic hydrogen will be stable at room temperature – a prediction that Professor Silvera said was “very important”.

“That means if you take the pressure off, it will stay metallic, similar to the way diamonds form from graphite under intense heat and pressure, but remains a diamond when that pressure and heat is removed,” he said.

If this is true, then its properties a super-conductor could dramatically improve anything that uses electricity.

“As much as 15 per cent of energy is lost to dissipation during transmission, so if you could make wires from this material and use them in the electrical grid, it could change that story,” the scientist said.

And metallic hydrogen could also transform humanity’s efforts to explore our solar system by providing a form of rocket fuel nearly four times more powerful than the best available today.

“It takes a tremendous amount of energy to make metallic hydrogen,” Professor Silvera said.

“And if you convert it back to molecular hydrogen, all that energy is released, so it would make it the most powerful rocket propellant known to man, and could revolutionize rocketry.

“That would easily allow you to explore the outer planets.

“We would be able to put rockets into orbit with only one stage, versus two, and could send up larger payloads, so it could be very important.”

However some scientists have theorised that metallic hydrogen will be unstable on its surface and so would gradually decay.

Asked what he thought would happen, Professor Silvera said: “I don’t want to guess, I want to do the experiment.”

Complete story.

11 Jan 2017

Harvard’s Brand Besmirched


Yalies got Harvard fans to hold up these signs in 2004.

Harvard-man Teddy Wayne does not feel like dropping the H-bomb.

[A]fter several incidents that have besmirched the university’s reputation, and in an era of heightened self-consciousness over privilege, that formerly contrived embarrassment may be ceding to sincere shame and a reassessment of the merits of a Harvard education.

The university has been in the news quite a bit lately. Its gargantuan $35.7 billion endowment, the largest in the country by far, was cited in articles about dining-hall workers who went on a successful three-week strike for a salary increase to $35,000 per year. The school canceled the men’s soccer team’s season after the discovery of a 2012 “scouting report” in which team members rated the sexual appeal of individuals on the women’s team; the men’s cross-country team was just placed on athletic probation for doing the same thing in 2014.

Also, Harvard had the sixth-most-reported rape cases on campus in 2014, and its law school figured prominently in the controversial documentary about campus sexual assault, “The Hunting Ground.” Students in all-male final clubs, Harvard’s longstanding and exclusive version of fraternities, will now be penalized for their membership (as will members of female final clubs).

The brand has also had an unexpected collision with that of the incoming presidential administration. Stephen K. Bannon, Donald J. Trump’s chief strategist and the former executive chair of Breitbart News, is a 1985 graduate of Harvard Business School. More than 600 female students and alumnae signed a letter to The New York Times denouncing his selection by Mr. Trump, accusing him of engineering “a movement that preaches white nationalism, racism, misogyny and hatred.” Mr. Bannon dropped out of a postelection event at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, perhaps because of a planned large protest.

Daniel Golden’s 2006 book, “The Price of Admission,” about how the rich buy their way into elite schools, has become newly relevant for its disclosure that Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, received acceptance to Harvard despite an unremarkable academic record, possibly thanks to his father’s donation of $2.5 million. (A spokeswoman for Mr. Kushner denied the allegation, noting that Mr. Kushner graduated with honors; Mr. Golden observed that, in a climate of rampant grade inflation, so did about 90 percent of Mr. Kushner’s graduating class of 2003.)

Beyond the unsavory headlines and questionable associations, swelling populist resentment for bastions of exclusivity and obscene wealth — from many of Mr. Trump’s supporters and critics alike — may inspire alumni of Harvard, and similarly elite schools, to be even less conspicuous about where they received their degrees.

26 Apr 2016

Soon, No More Masters at Yale

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BerkeleyMastersHouse
Roofline of Berkeley College Master’s House at Yale. Don’t you love those Tudor chimneys?

The Oldest College Daily happily reports that Yale is currently well along in the process of following the examples set by Harvard and Princeton in eliminating the title of Master for the heads of undergraduate residential colleges or houses.

Apparently, a majority of current students have gradually fallen into line in support of the demands of the radical lunatic fringe that the title be changed. In their wake, hastening to come on board, can be found the actual adults making up both the Yale Administration and the Yale Corporation.

A small racially-obsessed group of leftists, quite recently, decided that 150 years after the elimination of Slavery in the United States, it must be actively painful and humiliating for students-of-color to have occasion to address a head of college as “Master.” The memories and associations, you see, are just too painful. (sob!)

At Yale, the nonsense started last year, when the current Master of Pierson College, a hyper-sensitive creep named Stephen Davis found his new title unacceptable, and sent a letter to the college urging students to eschew tradition and address him merely as “Dr.” or “Professor” Davis.

One has to bear in mind that the title of Master has nothing whatsoever to do with Antebellum Slavery. It has everything to do with Anglophilic tradition and Pretension.

19th century Yale students were members of a single college (Yale College) or (if banausic) of the Sheffield Scientific School. The poor lived off-campus in rented hovels, the better-off in rooms in college residential buildings called “halls,” then much resembling architecturally orphanages or reformatories.

Where the Master business came from was via the philanthropy of Edward Harkness, a member of the Class of 1897. Harkness was the scion of a Standard Oil fortune. He had money like God has money, and cheerfully volunteered to pay for the transformation of both Harvard and Yale into residential colleges, i.e., fantasy imitations of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, designed at Yale by his classmate James Gamble Rogers. Yale’s student body was divided among ten (later twelve) residential college and its grim Victorian architecture was augmented by a new campus of whimsical Tudor and Georgian design.

The heads of Yale residential colleges and Harvard houses were called “Masters” in pure imitation of the practice of the majority of Oxbridge Colleges. Master, in this case, is a purely academical title, an anglicized version of the Latin “Magister.” It has no connection to Slavery. Nor does it imply domination of anything. A College Master at Yale has traditionally been a distinguished senior faculty member who lives in a mansion associated with a residential college and who functions essentially as that college’s master of ceremonies. The College Master is formally administrative head of the college, but he has a Dean and a bunch of secretaries and student aids to do all the shit work. The Master smiles at students, presides over functions, throws parties, and thinks up new, nice things he can do for the benefit of the undergraduates in his college.

There would be no opportunity for this particular politically correct grand gesture today, of course, had the presidents of Yale and Harvard in the early 1930s possessed crystal balls. They would then have foreseen all this, and taken care to call heads of residential colleges (or houses) “Rector” instead (as is the practice at Exeter College, Oxford and King’s College, Cambridge) or “Warden” (All Souls College, Oxford and Robinson College, Cambridge). Upon reflection, though, having to address the head of one’s housing unit as “Warden” could very possibly also have become a major issue for contemporary Ivy League students-of-color.

17 Apr 2016

Harvard Threatening its Final Clubs

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PorcellianClub
Harvard’s Porcellian Club

It is a measure of the hypocrisy and endemic intellectual confusion of today’s elite university administrators that they will commonly lavishly fund identity houses for spooks, beaners, broads, Injuns, and queers where representatives of recognized and privileged minorities can hang out, party, and discuss all their historic grievances ad nauseam in their very own safe spaces, while the very same university administrators will denounce male-only private clubs as flawed with a “deeply misogynistic attitudes, reflected by the long-standing refusal of many clubs to admit women as members.” Meanwhile, we are supposed to assume that the Harvard Women’s Center is obviously totally free of even superficial “misanthropic” attitudes.

The Harvard Administration is busy these days twisting the arms of its final clubs to co-educate, holding over their heads the threat of banning undergraduate membership in single gender fraternities or clubs with the expulsion of anyone who dared to violate such a ban as a penalty.

The Wall Street Journal remarked negatively on Harvard’s attack on students’ freedom of association.

22 Nov 2015

The Game This Year

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HarvardYale2015
Harvard won 38-19.

Quote from the Yale Class of ’69 list-server:

Harvard had more points but we had a more diverse defensive line. Does that mean we won?”

Reply:

“Yes. Because that diverse line didn’t inhibit Harvard’s freedom of expression and opposition to our view they should not score more points than us and win, but was allowed to express and implement that point of view at will with almost no resistance from us.”

Hat tip to Frank A. Dobbs ’69.

03 Oct 2015

Rara Avis: the Conservative at Harvard

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HarvardConservatives

The Crimson strokes its chin and wonders if diversity in politics should, or even could, be established at Harvard.

[T]hat conservatives come in small numbers at Harvard comes as no shock. For years, The Crimson’s freshman survey has found that liberals may outnumber conservatives in incoming classes by as much as five to one—65.1 percent of the 1,184 respondents to this fall’s Class of 2019 survey, for example, identify as somewhat liberal or very liberal, compared to just 12.2 percent who identify as somewhat conservative or very conservative. Last year, among survey respondents from the graduating College Class of 2015, former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton had a higher favorability rating than Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker—combined. A surveyed senior was almost 10 times more likely to have a favorable view of Bernie Sanders than Ted Cruz.

And the liberal bent—to put it mildly—is not limited to the student body. A Crimson data analysis last year found that nearly 84 percent of campaign contributions from a group of 614 University faculty, instructors, and researchers between 2011 and the third quarter of 2014 went to federal Democratic campaigns and political action committees. In the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, that number was closer to 96 percent. …

“Diversity? Political? Two words [that] can be put in the same sentence?” concludes freshman Sapna V. Rampersaud ’19, a registered Republican.

13 Mar 2015

Nationwide Levelling Policies Made Harvard Unbeatable at Sports

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HarvardSucks
At The Game in 2004, Yalies tricked Harvard fans into holding up signs creating this message.”

Fred Schwarz explains why SAT compression resulted in Harvard becoming an athletic powerhouse.

Harvard has won or shared the Ivy men’s basketball championship every year since 2010–11. And it isn’t just basketball: Harvard football has won or shared five of the last eight Ivy championships, up from a modest one or two per decade over the league’s first half-century (since 1956). In 1977, during oral argument before the Supreme Court on the momentous Bakke affirmative-action case, the distinguished lawyer Archibald Cox found time to joke about how bad Harvard’s football team was. But now the Crimson dominate the league in the only two sports that most people care about. What happened? The explanation lies in … policies imposed in the 1980s and 1990s, which … give Harvard a significant advantage over the rest of the league in recruiting athletes — and provide a lesson in unintended consequences. …

[The key cause was] the College Board’s decision in 1995 to “recenter” its SAT scoring. This meant that instead of the average score for all SAT takers being somewhere around 400, the board arbitrarily set it at 500 (midway between 200 and 800). Cynics suggested that this was done for political reasons, so the discrepancy between white/Asian SAT takers and others would be less dramatic; in any case, the effect was to crunch together all the good students near the very top of the scale. For example, any SAT Verbal score of 730 or higher from before the recentering would be an 800 today. This means that double 800s are “not that great a distinction any more”; over a decade ago, Harvard was already getting 500 double-800 applicants a year, and rejecting half of them. That’s part of the reason for the insane gauntlet today’s high-school students have to run, with activities, music, volunteer work, and all the rest, trying desperately to distinguish themselves from the herd. When applying to elite colleges today, it’s difficult to make yourself stand out from other very smart kids with your test scores or grades, since everyone has high SATs and straight A’s. More important, though, this compression means that the AI standard that Harvard athletes have to meet is not much higher than that of the rest of the league, whereas before the recentering, there was a significant gap, which gave the less selective schools much more latitude. So: Harvard has the best reputation among American universities and the most money to give out for scholarships, and when another member of the league goes after a talented athletic prospect, regulations prohibit it from sweetening the deal by offering extra money or relaxing its admission standards. That’s why the Crimson have been tearing up the league lately, and will probably continue as long as they want to. Letting colleges compete for students is all to the good, and there’s nothing wrong with a group of educational institutions’ agreeing to put education first. But in this case, as so often happens, when strict regulation meets vigorous competition (with a bit of statistical manipulation thrown in), the result is that the rich only get richer.

14 Dec 2014

Streaking, But No Silence, at Harvard

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PrimalScream
“Dean of College Rakesh Khurana attempts to gain the attention of the participants of Primal Scream by climbing onto the shoulders of a Primal Scream runner Thursday in Harvard Yard. Other students organized a protest in response to recent police brutality [in Ferguson, Missouri] that attempted to delay the start of the run.”

Primal Scream is a fairly recent (streaking era) Harvard tradition in which, on the last night of reading period, just before final exams start, Harvard students run naked across and then around Harvard Yard.

This year about 30 left-wing holier-than-thous tried to arrange a four-and-a-half minutes of silence prior to the Primal Scream naked run to protest the shooting of poor Michael Brown. Unfortunately, the more typical drunken and unruly Harvard students, bent upon streaking, objected to interference with the naked run, and proceeded to defy them, initiating the run, and chanting “USA!, USA!” while running.

The lefties grew angry and tried to block the naked runners, chanting “Black lives matter!”, while runners responded with obscenities and “USA!”, while ignoring them.

A number of Harvard administrators turned up to assist the protestors (not to run naked), and the best moment of comedy occurred when Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana climbed atop the shoulders of a naked young man, bullhorn in hand, tried, but failed, to persuade the crown to bow to the wishes of the leftie bedwetters,

Harvard Crimson:

Members of the protest said that they were upset by the reactions of the student streakers.

Amanda D. Bradley ’15, who helped organize the protest, said that while she did not know the intentions of the primal screamers, she felt disgusted by what they were chanting.

“For people to say black lives matter, and for the crowd to shout back ‘U.S.A.,’ which is upholding a system that is oppressing black people, I think that that is problematic,” she said.

Sasanka N. Jinadasa ’15 said she was appalled by what she called a disrespect both for Khurana and the protestors.

“I think that for many students of color, particularly black students, there’s always a fear of what white retaliation looks like,” she said, citing obscene gestures and language toward protesters.

Keyanna Y. Wigglesworth ’16, another protester, said she was “disturbed” and “angered” by reactions to the protest, especially from those in the front of the crowd of streakers who she believed could hear the calls for silence.

But, never fear, the pinkos at the Crimson were never going to let it be said that the left was defeated by youthful high spirits. It was all really a misunderstanding, you see.

Skip L. Rosamilia ’17, a Primal Scream participant, said that he could not hear or see through the crowd of streakers.

“I’m sad because it…look[ed] like there was one group who was for [the demonstration] and a huge group that wasn’t, and I don’t think that was the case,” he said, calling the interaction between the protest and the streakers a “huge egregious misunderstanding.”

Khurana also said many runners told him that they would have joined the protesting students if they had known about the demonstration.

“I think what it was, is just…a tight physical space and a relatively loosely structured event without actually clear planning,” Khurana said, noting that it was difficult for him mediate between the two groups of people.

Some students voiced similar concerns before the demonstration on the Facebook post for the event, saying that the protest would be disruptive to the College tradition of Primal Scream and potentially would risk student safety. As a result, organizers posted an update on the protest’s Facebook page saying that they had changed the nature of the protest from a die-in to a moment of silence out of safety concerns and in an effort to preserve the Primal Scream tradition.

Though Walker, one of four principal organizers of the protest, acknowledged Thursday afternoon that there “was some confusion as to what was going on and not a lot of individuals knew what was happening,” he said he thought the protest was a success.

“The event was successful because it started a conversation in communities that haven’t been talking about this.”

12 Dec 2014

Cayuga’s Waiters: “We Didn’t Go to Harvard”

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Cayuga’s Waiters is clearly a Cornell a capella singing group.

Hat tip to Frank Dobbs.

23 Nov 2014

Harvard Wins Again

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MontgomeryBurns

Burns: Honestly, Smithers, I don’t know why Harvard even bothers to show up. They barely even won.

Smithers: Their cheating was even more rampant than last year, sir.

Hat tip to the Yale Alumni Magazine.

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