Too Much Even for West Virginia University

All fraternities and sororities at West Virginia University were suspended Thursday after an 18-year-old freshman was found unconscious and not breathing inside a fraternity house, just a week after a different fraternity was suspended after 19 pledges got into a street brawl, university officials and police said.

And of course there was the matter of that massive, massively destructive student riot last month. Etc. Etc. Do a “West Virginia University” search on this blog if you have a lot of time and a strong stomach. It’s cute to call a university a “party school,” but at perennial top-ten party school WVU what it really means is huge numbers of permanently pissed, violent students (and, in some cases, pissed coaches) who end up torching Morgantown and fucking up freshmen whose bodies haven’t adjusted to prevailing blood alcohol levels.

Still. It’s interesting to see that even WVU has a tipping point.


But don’t get too excited. A temporary cease-fire has been negotiated between the two primary factions – the university and the fraternities. Left out of negotiations so far are both the government and citizenry of Morgantown, which will have to be included in any future agreement.

Further, there are very likely to be conflicts within Morgantown, for instance between business interests (large numbers of students with near-fatal addictions to alcohol attract large numbers of bars) and public safety advocates. Any attempted crackdown on alcohol will also mean a very unhappy sports program, which understandably fears a falling-off in game attendance if students are no longer allowed to get drunk enough to burn down Morgantown.

On top of all of this, the numbers crunchers at WVA will have to be consulted, since they can provide crucially important estimates not only of riot-preparedness costs, but settlement expenses arising from wrongful death suits filed by parents. It will be the money managers’ job, moreover, to remind the university (see Penn State and Chapel Hill) that public relations firms tasked with the almost-impossible job of making squalid universities smell like roses do not come cheap.

‘Some saw the dean as being dismissive when he announced the formation of a new task force on gender equity, saying it was necessary because some women felt there were problems. Dr. Daniel C. DiMaio, a genetics professor, said it was not just women complaining. The dean replied, “O.K., Dan and some women think there’s a problem.”’

Yale med’s Dean Robert Alpern and some men think there’s not a problem, and they’re boys, which means they’re in charge.

So they’ll make the decisions, thank you very much.

Some women best keep their traps shut. Dean Alpern can protect his friends and fail to protect his enemies just as effectively as I’ll Kiss Your Lips in Liguria and Kick His Ass in New Haven Michael Simons can.

In his fine early novel, Great Jones Street, Don DeLillo gives a vicious little domestic terror group the name Happy Valley Farm Commune….

… one of a number such acid jokes in his chronicle of a rock star’s withdrawal from the madness of postmodern culture.

UD was reminded of the Happy Valley Farm Commune when she saw the name of the University of Nebraska fraternity whose members gifted a freshman with the alcohol that killed him (blood alcohol content .365).

The name of the place? FarmHouse Fraternity. Sweet.


Interesting to see UNL keeping up the traditions of their big hero, Richie Incognito.

“The locals call Morgantown a drinking town with a football problem,” Playboy said. “We call it a seven-year plan with the …

possibility of parole.”

With Mr Football – the inescapable Gordon Gee – as president, with a drunk coach, with more liquor outlets in town than you can shake a couch-burning matchstick at, and with all its money spent on the stadium and a new “inspiration” room for the team (There’s too much West Virginia University filth on this blog for individual links: You’ll have to put West Virginia University in my search engine and settle in for the night.), WVU is jest about America’s trashiest school. Nestled in the heart of pillbilly country, WVU’s got something to offer every dead-head town-trasher in the nation.

West Virginia University: After you drink your way through football games, it’s time to hit the streets and set fire to Morgantown.

‘Another student, who grew up in Keene, said he wasn’t surprised by the behavior that happened over the weekend, and is disappointed at the college’s culture. “These things are going to keep happening and not change unless we do,” he said. “We have truly hit a low here.”’

First post-riot thing Keene State should do: Make Craig Brandon’s book about the school and his escape from it required college-wide reading. Students need to know the history and culture of their school before they can do anything about it.

Adjunct professor Lori LaBrie, a Keene resident, said there are people who live in the neighborhoods around the campus who aren’t college students.

If students want to do something to help the college’s relationship with the community, they should stop holding parties until 3 a.m., racing cars up and down the streets and setting off fireworks, she said.

“It’s terribly frustrating to people here, and really disrespectful of other residents,” she said.

That’s Keene State, long before the pumpkin wars.

Junior Mariano Perez said Sunday morning he was denied his regular student discount at a local coffee shop. He said he didn’t disagree with the decision, in light of what had just happened.

Freshman Heather M. Fougere said she walked into Cumberland Farms on Main Street Sunday wearing a Keene State College sweatshirt. While there, an elderly couple glared at her, then looked away, she said. She kept her head down, she said.

The Scarlet KSC! I wouldn’t wear those letters for awhile.

People trapped in Keene State Hell are going to do what they can by way of reaction to the destruction of their town, and there’s always the marketplace…

UD feels confident students will continue to find a discounted welcome at the liquor outlets.

And if you go to Yeshiva University, you get to walk all day around Wilf Campus.

But then, you also get to contemplate the glorious history of other Yeshiva trustees besides Zygi Wilf, like Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin, if you go to Yeshiva University.

Yes it’s a fine school, a religious school, and you know that “religious” means a finer moral compass…

But wait… What’s this headline?…

The Broken Moral Compass of Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf

This morning, after seeing which way the wind was blowing, the Wilfs released another statement, finding other principles that allowed them to cave in to the backlash against the Vikings. After “further reflection” and input they “appreciate and value” from the community – not to mention the loss of sponsors such as Radisson and Nike pulling AP jerseys off its shelves – they suddenly realized getting Adrian Peterson away from the team was actually what he wanted: “Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.”

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, the Wilfs continue to stall, delaying payments to the two partners who sued them in 1992. Apparently, 22 years is not quite enough “due process” for the Wilfs, who were already upbraided by the judge in uncommonly harsh language, when she found against them and said they acted with “bad faith and evil motive.” Nevertheless, the Wilfs have engineered yet another delay in paying the nearly $100 million ($84.1 million in damages plus $15.1 million in attorneys’ fees) for what the Star-Ledger describes as having “cheated their partners … for more than 20 years.”

Yeshiva University: Its main accomplishment in the last few years has been avoiding legal responsibility for what everyone agrees was decades of sexual abuse of their high school students. Now there’s something to be proud of! Meanwhile, there’s the likes of Zygi Wilf on their board of trustees; there’s the school’s abysmal Moody’s rating

Tax Syphons, Law School Edition

Scummy for-profit universities are by now a notorious national scandal; Paul Campos reminds us that that you can get the same thing in a law school:

[S]chools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.

It’s the very same scheme as the college scheme we’ve followed on this blog for years.

Campos features an amazing story that could have come out of North Korea (or, even worse, Chicago State University). The worse a university (the worse a country), the more repressive it is, particularly about threats to its propaganda machine. A candidate for dean at arguably America’s worst law school (one of the for-profits) not long ago tried to give a truth-telling presentation to its faculty. As the candidate spoke about the school’s astonishingly, cynically, low admissions standards, the school’s president stood up and told him to stop immediately, to leave the room, and if he didn’t leave, the president would call security.

The life of mind’s a beautiful thing, ain’t it? America can be proud of its ABA approved law schools and their commitment to the robust exchange of ideas…

I mean, to be sure, if fellow travelers, fair weather friends, and enemies of the state happen to appear among us, it is not only our right but our duty to rise up as one and eliminate them from our midst…

Low-ranking not for profit law schools, Campos points out, are pretty much just as brazen in their sordid profit-taking.

A glance at New England Law’s tax forms suggests who may have benefited most from this trajectory: John F. O’Brien, the school’s dean for the past 26 years, whom the school paid more than $873,000 in its 2012 fiscal year, the most recent yet disclosed. This is among the largest salaries of any law-school dean in the country. (By comparison, the dean at the University of Michigan Law School, a perennial top-10 institution, was reported to make less than half as much, $420,000, in 2013.)… Richard A. Matasar, a former dean of New York Law School, was, until his resignation in 2011, quoted regularly in the national press about the need to reform the structure of legal education, even as he collected more than half a million dollars a year from a school with employment statistics nearly as poor as those of [for-profit law schools].

Well, folks, this is what it takes.

I mean, if you’re wondering just how far you have to go to catch the eye of an accreditor, take a look. Decades of arrant criminal mismanagement and outright theft to the point where they’ve basically killed the institution. That’s what it takes.

And, you know, it’s not as though we’re talking revocation of accreditation or anything. It’s only probation because (cough) we’re just starting to get a little concerned here…

I guess they noticed the Pinson trial or something…

Background on South Carolina State University here.

How to parcel out all of a university’s money among yourself and your friends.

Way to go, Yeshiva.


Of course, there’s a teeny bit of collateral damage.

Classy of Yeshiva’s president (“One portion of spending that increased more than three times was the president’s compensation: according to documents the school filed with the IRS, where [the previous president] had earned just under $344,000 in his final full year as president (2002), in recent years, [Richard] Joel’s total compensation has reached $1.2 million.”) to make jokes about the situation.

Very Marie Antoinette.

Great News for Dartmouth!

Rape, rape, rape, go the fraternities; and now some of the complainants are coming out from anonymity, naming themselves (Wesleyan’s latest allegedly raped student is Cabri Chamberlin) and speaking directly to the media. That can be very compelling. A young woman telling her story can be very difficult for a frat to go up against in the court of public opinion.

And there have been two recent frat rapes at Wesleyan! Plus one almost-rape!! (Scroll down to this long article’s next to last paragraph.) This definitely goes against the school’s rep as a sylvan progressive civilized sort of place… People are saying that Wesleyan’s going to go the way of some other schools and shut down its fraternity system.

To which UD says: ATTENTION Dartmouth College Admissions Committee: HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS. For those east coasters for whom Zoo Mass simply won’t do – class-wise – you are kind of it now, if you know what I mean… The other Ivies either don’t feature your famous “intoxicating nihilism,” or they try and fail. No one does it like Dartmouth, and word’s getting out, especially after that Rolling Stone piece and all. An avalanche of applications for admission is on its way!

What do you want to know about New Mexico State University?

Correct answer: Nothing. You don’t want to know from NMSU because NMSU is NSFW – it’s the sort of obscenity from which decent people avert their eyes. Tens of millions of dollars in athletics debt… no one goes to the football games… no money for academics… and except for this guy and a few others no one gives a shit.

Here’s a sample from a letter the chair of the board of trustees wrote. I won’t quote from it because I’m one of those people who doesn’t enjoy puking her guts out, but you might enjoy it, so go ahead and take a look.

A couple of NMSU students actually thought trying to understand what the trustee wrote and then responding to it might be worthwhile, and UD applauds the effort. You should never give up on human beings, no matter how…

This is truly a clown school. This is truly a school with not a shred of dignity. And now this. One of their players is a violent shit who set off a huge on-court brawl. UD figures he’ll be back attacking opponents after a two-game suspension. After all, it’s New Mexico State.

Dartmouth, and the JTD Problem.

Its applications are down fourteen percent this year due to the JTD (Just Too Disgusting) problem.

The Rolling Stone article about its way-past-you-could-puke frat system probably accounts for about five percent of the drop (“There’s been a lot of turnover [of staff] in the Dean of the College and other offices . . . and fraternities have been left somewhat to their own devices,” [one alumnus] said. “It’s become a bit of a ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation.”).

The rest of the drop might be parceled out between catastrophic credit swaps courtesy of grown up frat boys, and of course Christopher Kipouras.

Just in time for campus Martin Luther King Day commemorations:

The American university as plantation.

Albuquerque’s Own Rob Ford…

… keeps his job as superintendent of schools despite a domestic violence incident, and despite sending out a series of disgusting tweets about the state’s education secretary. The school board loves him and is keeping him until at least 2016. Although it’s not extending the contract, it has made clear that because it continues to love him, it will review its non-extension decision.

Why does it love him? Because he fanatically opposes the ed secretary’s efforts to do something about the fact that New Mexico perennially ranks close to dead last for educational achievement.

Don’t nobody get to fuck with that.

Chicago State University, America’s Very Own Academic North Korea….

… once again cracks the whip. You recall its directive to faculty last year:

In an email sent March 22 to faculty and staff, Sabrina Land, the university’s director of marketing and communications, wrote that all communications must be “strategically deployed” in a way that “safeguards the reputation, work product and ultimately, the students, of CSU.”

The policy applies to media interviews, opinion pieces, newsletters, social media and other types of communications, stating that they must be approved by the university’s division of public relations. “All disclosures to the media will be communicated by an authorized CSU media relations officer or designate,” the policy says.

Failure to follow the rules “will be treated as serious and will result in disciplinary action, possible termination and could give rise to civil and/or criminal liability on the part of the employee.”

And they meant it, baby. Chicago State has a 10% graduation rate, and much else besides, to protect; and now you’ve got some faculty undermining the peace-loving progressive masses of CSU by starting a blog!

A blog written by Chicago State University faculty members that has been critical of the school’s administration was sent a “cease and desist” notice by university lawyers …

[CSU] said the blog “violates the University’s values and policies requiring civility and professionalism of all University faculty members.”

Cage demanded that site administrators “immediately disable” the blog and provide written confirmation of that no later than Friday to “avoid legal action.”

UD trusts free speech advocates are all over this one. I’d say it’s an outrage, but everything about CSU is outrageous and it still syphons huge tax dollars from the poor citizens of Illinois. So it’s wasted breath.


Scott Jaschik takes note.

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