Swarthmore Punishing Frat for Racy Flyer

For several years, Swarthmore fraternity Phi Psi (one of two on campus) has been recruiting members using a flyer composed of little teeny pictures of naked women. This year, amid a set of ongoing controversies regarding the school’s alleged “rape culture,” that flyer’s generating more controversy than usual.

Earlier this week, a petition was started in response to the flyer, demanding that the college pull funding for frat parties (the school funds frat parties?) until ten percent of all campus members were women. The school’s not going that far, but they announced certain punitive measures yesterday.

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The List: Which Area Universities’ Grads Earn the Most

Not all college grads are moving back home or living in small box apartments. According to a study published this month by PayScale.com—which ranks graduates of 1,000 U.S. universities based on how much they earn right out of college, how much they earn by mid-career and the degree to which they feel their careers make the world a better place—some local grads are doing just fine.

How did schools in the region do? Here’s who finished in the top 300. You can check out the full, list, sortable by region, major and type, here.
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“Snakey” the Snake Found in Swarthmore. Now Please Kill It.

“Snakey” the 7-foot-long Boa Constrictor that escaped his home in Swarthmore nine days ago has been found. Very near to his home in Swarthmore. What a relief. No, not that he was returned home to his loving owner. I don’t care about that. Rather, I’m relieved that he didn’t kill any young boys. Allow a brief rant.

A. I have no sympathy for snake owners who lose their snakes. Snakes are not good pets. They don’t care about you, they don’t do anything exciting, and when they do, it’s usually to try and escape your home. And sometimes they strangle children.

B. This snake was really called “Snakey?” No wonder it wanted out.

Humans have had an anti-snake bias ever since the serpent ruined nudity. But there’s good reason for it. Remember Kaa, from the Jungle Book? Well, just as Kaa plotted to kill Mowgli, these creatures kill 20,000 humans a year. Sure, everyone wanted “Snakey” returned home, but not everybody had the same reason for it. Snakey’s owner,who was fond of letting him “sunbathe” in the yard, missed him. The rest of us were terrified he was going to slither up our legs and asphyxiate us. My colleague Nick Vadala, upon hearing me voice my dislike of snakes, made the point that dogs are probably more dangerous, statistically speaking. Let’s hit the books.

From 1979-2005, an average of 19 human deaths per year were caused by dogs in the United States. From 1960-1990, meanwhile, snakes caused about 10 U.S. deaths each year. Relative to the prevalence of each animal in heavily populated human areas, it seems clear which is more dangerous. Make pet snakes–poisonous or not–as common as pet dogs, and watch our fine nation turn into Snakes on a Plane. Okay, I’m finished. Thank you for your time.

[6 ABC]

At Large: A 7-Foot Boa in Swarthmore

Swarthmore police have warned you, Swarthmorians: A seven-foot boa is on the loose after it escaped its home on the 300 block of Park Avenue. As the Daily News points out, a couple of Canadian boys were recently strangled to death by a hundred-pound python, after it escaped from a pet store. My I suggest some snake repellent, Swarthmore? Only $9.99.

Apparently, this is what the “pet” looks like.

[Daily News]

So Forbes Just Ranked Swarthmore Higher Than Harvard

Forbes is out with its 6th annual college rankings, which are calculated in a unique way. Rather than judge by SAT scores and selectivity, like U.S. News and World Report, Forbes has a more ROI-based metric that looks at what the schools did for students, after graduation. It measured student debt, academic success (scholarships, Ph.D.s), financial success, student satisfaction, and graduation rate. Coming in 6th, ahead of 11th place Penn–and ahead of Harvard–was Swarthmore College. (Forbes, it appears, did not factor Title IX sexual misconduct lawsuits into its rankings.) Bryn Mawr and Haverford were ranked 40th and 43rd, respsectively. Penn State came in 93rd.

Ironic Lighting Bolt Strikes Swarthmore

Swarthmore, if you haven’t been paying close attention, is embroiled in a scandal. Several former and current students at the school have accused the school of covering up rape allegations.

The students say that Swarthmore has violated federal law by failing to accurately report sexual assault cases, as well as by creating a hostile environment on campus where victims are discouraged from coming forward.

I’m a little late to this, but last week, God proved that he is an insensitive man that doesn’t understand the seriousness of these rape accusations. How did he do this? By striking the campus’s Women’s Resource Center with a lighting bolt, lighting it on fire.

Once the fire was out, it was clear the third floor, home to the WRC’s library and modest but prized collection of feminist literature, bore the brunt of the fire damage.

Of course. [Swarthmore]

Swarthmore: Loves Fraternities, Hates George W. Bush

When you picture Greek Life in PA schools, you think Penn State, not Swarthmore. Indeed, it probably surprised few when students elected to hold a campus-wide referendum on whether to eliminate fraternities altogether. When the results came in, however, they signaled an overwhelming support for togas, pong, and the like.

With roughly 80 percent of the student population casting a ballot, students rejected proposals to disaffiliate Greek organizations from their national chapters, eliminate, reduce or make fraternity houses into substance-free spaces, or ban Greek life altogether.

The only item that passed was a measure to make frats co-ed. And that may have only succeeded because of the general confusion surrounding its terms. Some voters thought they were voting to allow dudes to join sororities; others thought they were ushering in a new era of transgender rights for fraternities. Either way, the co-ed experiment probably won’t happen, for the ironic reason that they probably stand at odds with one of the other items the school voted against.

“It would jeopardize our relationships with the national fraternity if we were to become a co-ed, gender inclusive fraternity,” said a Delta Upsilon bro. “The student body has agreed … that we should maintain our national affiliation, so that’s something we don’t want to jeopardize.” So, there you have. Literally nothing will change.

In other Swarthmore news, former World Bank chief and very pro-Iraq War Bush administration official Robert Zoellick (Swat, ’75) has withdrawn his invitation to speak at the school’s graduation this year, after student protests made it quite clear he wouldn’t be welcome. In response, a group of students has published a slobbering letter today asking that he come back. (“Moral action comes in many forms and variations.” 45 students have co-signed it as of this afternoon.

Why Buy in Swarthmore? We’ll Give You 5 Good Reasons.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Why buy in Swarthmore?

Looking to relive those wonderful college years? Consider moving to the charming borough of Swarthmore, located in Delaware County. The perks of living in this family-friendly town are innumerable—and we’ll start the list with the top five reasons why we think buying in the borough is a smart move.

1. It’s a dry college town. Swarthmore is a classic college town, without the one big headache of living near a university: seedy college bars.  What residents do get is access to the college’s 300-acre arboretum, concerts and lectures, and other intellectually stimulating programs.

2. It has a high-performing school district. The Wallingford-Swarthmore school district is one of the best in the area.  Strath Haven High School has won two Blue Ribbons of Excellence, and Wallingford Elementary School has one from the state and one from the federal government. The graduation rate at the high school is about 97 percent.

3.It has a cute town center. Part of Swarthmore’s appeal is its charming town center, which offers a collection of independent and unique stores. Among them is the award-winning Swarthmore Co-op, a community-owned food market prized for the fruit and vegetable quality.

4. It has an easy commute to the city.  Swarthmore is conveniently located near both Philadelphia and Delaware with easy access to the Blue Route. It’s also located on the R3 Septa line with a station in the downtown area.

5. The town’s homes have character and charm. Just be warned: in this hot market, Swarthmore homes for sale can go quickly.