10 Things You Might Not Know About College Mascots

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The Temple football team opens its season tonight with a game against Army at the Linc. (Tickets here!) Temple’s team is known as the Owls for the most proudly prosaic of reasons: It started as a night school, with a student body that worked during the day and went to classes after the sun went down. (Temple’s live great horned owl mascot is Stella, who, when she’s not on the sidelines, lives at Norristown’s Elmwood Park Zoo.) Army’s team (technically now the Army West Point team) is known as the Black Knights, a designation that, rumor had it, would be dropped last year under a rebranding with Nike. They originally became known as the Black Knights because their uniforms were black. So — what’s in a college mascot’s name? Some are weird, some are whimsical, some are politically incorrect all of a sudden. Just in time for back-to-school, here are the stories behind a few other collegiate sports teams’ names.  Read more »

Penn’s New Dorm Has Flat-Screen TVs in Every Suite

Penn - New College House

Penn’s new college house, New College House, sits at the corner of 34th and Chestnut streets | Photo: Kara Lindstrom

Classes started at Penn yesterday, and students have been filtering back into West Philly for a few weeks now. For some, though, move-in this year was extra exciting: They’ve moved into Penn’s New College House.

Those capital letters are intentional: In an interesting bit of recursion, Penn’s new college house is named New College House. It’s not named after former United States treasurer John C. New; the university has just not found a donor to pay to attach his or her name to the building.

Per a story in today’s Daily Pennsylvanian, New College House features quite a few amenities: Breathtaking views of Center City, suite-style living with private bedrooms attached to a common area, a sloping lawn facing downtown and, 42-inch flat-screen TVs in every suite.  Read more »

OPINION: More Should Be Factored In What’s Considered ‘LGBTQ Friendly’

 

hate crime laws

Another week, another ranking.

This time around, the non-profit Campus Pride, an organization that prides itself for hosting “student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities,” released their definitive annual list of top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. In Pennsylvania, only two campuses were even on the list — University of Pennsylvania and Penn State. Penn received a perfect score of 5 based on the organization’s Campus Pride Index, while Penn State was given a 4.5 score.  Read more »

Penn Study: Reading Harry Potter Makes You Less Likely to Vote for Donald Trump

Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, but with Donald Trump instead of Voldemort

Photo illustration: Dan McQuade

For readers of Harry Potter, there may only be one person more scary than Voldemort, the evil wizard referred to as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: Donald Trump.

A new study from Penn political science and communication professor Diana Mutz found that reading Harry Potter actually lowers people’s opinions of Donald Trump.

Dr. Mutz had previously studied the influence of fictional television portrayals on people’s beliefs — whether watching an episode of Law & Order where it’s clear the wrong person was put behind bars affected your opinion of the criminal justice system, she gave as an example. As part of a survey of the electorate she has been conducting since 2008, she decided to study Harry Potter’s influence on political beliefs when she had some extra space for questions.

“Even though people know it’s just fiction, it raises in their mind the possibility that mistakes can happen and in that way, alters their real-world policy attitudes,” Mutz tells Philadelphia magazine. “So it didn’t seem beyond the possible that something as popular as Harry Potter could have such an influence. Most of the time we can’t do observational research because the audience for any one storyline that might be out there is pretty small. Harry Potter is unusual in its widespread popularity.” Read more »

More Than 2,000 Wharton Affiliates Want Trump to Stop Name-Dropping Their School

Wharton's Huntsman Hall By WestCoastivieS - via CC0. Donald Trump, Andrew Harnik, AP

Wharton’s Huntsman Hall By WestCoastivieS – via CC0. Donald Trump, Andrew Harnik, AP

More than 2,000 students and affiliates of Penn’s Wharton school have signed an open letter to Donald Trump.

Why? They want him to quit name-dropping their alma-mater.

“We, proud students, alumni, and faculty of Wharton, are outraged that an affiliation with our school is being used to legitimize prejudice and intolerance,” the letter reads. “Although we do not aim to make any political endorsements with this letter, we do express our unequivocal stance against the xenophobia, sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry that you have actively and implicitly endorsed in your campaign.” Read more »

Shark Tank Will Be at Wharton This Weekend

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of Philly-based ZOOM Interiors.

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of Philly-based ZOOM Interiors.

Members of the University of Pennsylvania community will get a big chance to show off their entrepreneurial edge at a Shark Tank casting session this weekend.

The critically acclaimed ABC show will make a stop at The Wharton School’s Huntsman Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 11th, and will be open to the entire University of Pennsylvania community.

Read more »

Penn’s New Combined Medical-Law Degree Perfect for Overachievers

R: Courtesy Hazmat2 via Wikimedia Commons

R: Courtesy Hazmat2 via Wikimedia Commons

The University of Pennsylvania is creating a program that will allow students to pursue both law and medicine — at the same time.

Through the joint degree program, students can attain a juris doctorate degree from Penn’s law school and a doctorate of medicine from the Perelmen School of Medicine.

Because is studying at just one top-rated school really good enough? Why not just do both?  Read more »

Hershey’s Is First to Sign on to Pennovation Center

View from the University Avenue Bridge

View from the University Avenue Bridge

Things are going to be a little chocolatey on the banks of the Schuylkill River.

Today Penn announced that the Hershey Company — yes, the candy company — was the first to sign on as the corporate sponsor for its Pennovation Center in South Philadelphia.  Read more »

Penn Grad Accused of Being “The Vegan Bernie Madoff”

Sarma Melngailis in a Tuesday, October 18, 2011, file photo.

Sarma Melngailis in front of Pure Food and Wine with her restaurant’s most popular dish — a local heirloom tomato lasagna featuring basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia pumpkin seed ricotta and zucchini —  in an October 18, 2011, file photo.

Sarma Melngailis was born in Massachusetts, and her grades were good enough to get her into the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in 1994 — with a dual Wharton/College degree. Like many Penn graduates, she moved to New York and went into finance. In the booming 1990s, she worked at Bear Sterns, then moved to Boston to work at Bain Capital.

She shifted careers in the late ’90s, however, graduating from the French Culinary Institute and eventually becoming an advocate for the vegan lifestyle. She opened Pure Food & Wine in 2004, New York City’s first restaurant to serve “gourmet renditions of organic, vegan [and] raw food.” Though the restaurant had its critics — “I’ve certainly taken some criticism from raw-food purists,” she told the Village Voice — it was popular, and Melngailis seemed to be doing well.

Then things changed. The staff walked out en masse in January of last year over unpaid wages, with Melngailis offering various explanations for the paycheck delay. The restaurant — along with a companion business, One Lucky Duck — re-opened, but workers walked out again last summer due to unpaid wages.

Then, Melngailis disappeared. Or, she disappeared until she and husband Anthony Strangis were caught by authorities in Tennessee — after they’d ordered a Domino’s Pizza. The horror! Read more »

WATCH: Lin-Manuel Miranda Gives Commencement Address at Penn

At the start of his speech, Lin-Manuel Miranda apologized for mentioning Philadelphia just once in the smash hit musical Hamilton — “one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Liberty Bell reference,” he called it. He also apologized, in character as Alexander Hamilton, for advocating to move the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

“But take the long view, Motownphilly,” Miranda said. “Who really won that deal in the end? Look at D.C.: It’s synonymous with institutional dysfunction, partisan infighting and political gridlock. You are known as the birthplace of Louisa May Alcott, Rocky Balboa, Boyz II Men, Betsy Ross, Will Smith, Isaac Asimov, Tina Fey, cheesesteaks and you can have scrapple, soft pretzels and Wawa hoagies any time you want.

“You win Philly! You win every time! Water ice.” Read more »

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