Colleges Still Don’t Know How To Approach COVID-19

You might recall that a few months ago I wrote an article about my own college shutting down. Well, at the end of the article I made a promise that might not pan out: that gross frat basements would be ready and waiting for us this fall. It turns out that not only was that super wrong but also super naive. 

Here’s the thing, universities have even less of an idea what fall will look like than I have about what I’m going to do in the spring when I graduate. So, having no plan for the future is just one of the things that America’s most prestigious institutions and I have in common. 

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Every university has just been super shady about their reopening plan, mostly to avoid making any real commitments. Even Tulane, which is where I go, sent out an email confirming that campus will be open in the fall but the email was filled with a ton of caveats and since then the school has started to push optional remote learning.  School’s plans pretty much fall into one of three categories: full in-person learning (let’s call that denial), a hybrid learning plan, or full remote learning. 

Regardless of their school’s official plans, students and administrators are desperate to have some sense of normalcy come the fall. Whether that means heading back to their off-campus apartments to take online classes, abiding by mask-wearing requirements, or creating plans for shortened semesters that limit how often students leave and return to campus. 

But, even at schools that move forward with an in-person learning model in the fall, it is pretty unlikely that life will be returning to normal. Like, it’s honestly never a great idea to be in a tiny frat house with 100+ random people, but it’s an even worse idea now. And, if frat boys insist on coming up with any possible reason to not wear a condom, how can we trust them to socially distance and wear masks at their own parties? 

It’s important to remember universities’ plans for the fall have a much deeper impact on society than whether or not I’ll get to wear a sparkly mini dress at my semi-formal this semester. Universities have to consider what they will do about tuition, international students, and all employees and faculty members. Universities are huge ecosystems that have major impacts in surrounding communities, and any decisions about the fall have to take these things into consideration. 

Many schools that have moved online for the semester are still having students pay full tuition. Sure, classes are being offered online and people will still be learning, but online learning does not come close to in-person learning. Students are losing out on personal relationships with their professors, hands-on instruction, and some of the campus services that make a world of difference when it comes to actually understanding class material. 

On Monday, ICE, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, reported that they would be issuing a regulation prohibiting international students whose universities have adopted online learning for the fall from staying in the country. As schools continue to change their plans based on developments in research and changes in their communities, this f*cks over more than a million students. 

ICE said in a news release yesterday that students “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” adding, “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”

Here’s the thing: while I disagree with ICE and the government in general, they make an interesting point. The government is saying that learning remotely is different than in-person college, which is correct. So, if the college experience is different when it is done online, maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have to pay the same tuition as if it was in person. Just a thought. 

All that said, politicians and some universities are pushing for full reopenings next semester – citing financial concerns. Ok, sure. There are legitimate economic concerns especially when we think about service workers and the impact students and professors have on local businesses. But, when colleges express concerns about their own bankruptcy, it’s like a. what about your endowments and b. ok way to make a great case for federally funded college. 

At the same time that schools, parents, and students are grappling with hard decisions about the fall, students are returning to their off-campus apartments for the summer. IMO, there’s nothing wrong with heading back to school, especially if you’re paying for an apartment that you were unable to sublet. But, you have to be safe. There’s a huge difference between spending the day working on remote internships and summer classes and going to huge parties where no one is wearing a mask. I’m not saying that you can’t do anything but sit in your living room and stare at your roommates, but it’s important to remember to wear a mask, socially distance, and keep your circle small. 

Here’s the deal, there is a direct correlation between the way we act now and what the rest of the year is going to look like. If we want this shit to end we have to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid big parties. Until this happens, the likelihood of life returning to any sense of normalcy is extremely small. 

Hate to break it to ya, but the only thing guaranteed about fall 2020 is that it’s going to be a clusterfuck. 

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5 Fall Jackets Under $35 That You Won’t Mind Losing

At one point or another, we’ve all been guilty of walking across campus in nothing but a crop top and pencil skirt for the latest “CEOs and corporate hoes” party. Not only is walking through populated streets in one-third of an outfit almost as degrading as the title of the party (“corporate hoes…” are we kidding?), it’s also not great for your overall well-being, especially when winter rolls around. Do I sound like your mom yet? Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold! Even if you feel hot as hell in your outfit, there’s no f*cking way you’re enjoying tip-toeing across campus in heels with your arms crossed so tightly across your body that you’re cutting off your own circulation. You may think you can beat the cold because you have on your “liquor jacket” (aka you pounded shots* until your body heated up) or because you’re going to take an Uber, but let me tell you from firsthand experience, both of those excuses are absolute B.S.

Cold air has some seriously fast-acting sobering qualities, and just because you’re coherent enough to run directly to your Uber on the way to the party doesn’t mean that by the end of the night you and your friends won’t be drunkenly running around like chickens in the freezing cold, approaching every passing vehicle looking for your ride. 

As someone who only started wearing jackets out sophomore year onward, believe me when I say it’s not worth freezing your nipples off just to maintain the aesthetic of your look, or because you don’t want to have to look after a jacket when you get to the frat party. You’ll be so thankful for your sober self when you realize she had your back and made your now-drunk ass wear a jacket out. Here are five frackets (frat jackets) that are cute enough to seamlessly be incorporated into your look, keep you warm(er), and won’t break the bank, because let’s be honest—all of us are broke as hell in college, and you’re not going to hang onto this for more than a season before you forget it somewhere. 

Forever 21 Twill Zip-Front Jacket, $34.90

This jacket is a classic fall staple. It’s versatile enough to be a great layer for your sorority’s apple picking photoshoot during the day, and to cover the bra you’re trying to pass off as an actual top at night. Let me assure you, no one’s buying your “no it’s just like a really short crop top, like a bralette” bullsh*t, but you will look a lot less like a try-hard freshman if you have this cute jacket over it. The Army green also provides a nice pop of color, which can be a good change for someone like me who lives in strictly black clothing year-round.

Nasty Gal Day Tripper Denim Jacket, $32.00

Every basic bitch loves a denim jacket. They go with everything and provide juuuust enough warmth for the walk from your dorm to the frat house. This denim jacket will give you a trendy yet relaxed look and can easily be tied around your waist without looking stupid once you inevitably start having hot flashes in the frat basement. 

Pro tip: only wear your denim jacket if MAX one or two other people in your friend group have one on too. It may be purely coincidence that you all decided to sport black ripped jeans and a blue denim jacket, but in reality you just look like a group of glorified girl scouts, and it’s not cute. 

H&M Padded Bomber Jacket, $34.99

This bomber is a great addition to give your look a more relaxed vibe. Its lining provides a bit of extra protection from windchill, and the best part is you can dress it up or down. Also, if you manage not to lose or forget your bomber jacket at the party, it can make you look like you actually put in effort for your 8am as opposed to your usual bed-rat-chic aesthetic. It’s a win-win! 

Forever 21 Faux Leather Moto Combo Jacket, $27.99

Whether you’re dressing up as a slutty biker chick (how original) for Kappa Sig’s infamous Halloween party or you were invited to a winter frat formal and can’t sacrifice not wearing that minidress just because it’s -16 degrees outside, a classic black (faux) leather jacket is the way to go.

Don’t waste your money (or lack thereof) on an expensive leather jacket. Trust me, no one in college or in a dingy frat basement will give a f*ck or ask about the $500 vintage leather jacket you got from the leather market in Italy when you were abroad.

SHEIN Dual Pocket Faux Fur Teddy Jacket, $32.00

Another basic bitch staple is the teddy coat. While the majority of these coats don’t provide any actual warmth, this SHEIN teddy coat is lined with fuzzy fabric on the inside, making it the perfect addition to your look for the winter months. You may think you can live by Cardi B’s “a hoe never gets cold” philosophy, but trust me, the second the winter air smacks your bare skin, you’ll be bitching the entire way to the party about how much you wish you had a jacket. 

Investing in any of these jackets (or anything similar) will literally be one of the smartest decisions you make in college. For those of you who are concerned about losing your fracket, getting it stolen, or looking like a mom in Disney World by having it tied around your waist, not to worry, we’ve got a few tips that even your drunk self will be able to follow. 

As soon as you get to the party, try putting your jacket in the oven (after you’ve checked it hasn’t been used recently). There’s a zero percent chance anyone in the frat or at the party will get the urge to bake cupcakes in the middle of the action, so your jacket should make it through the night. If you know someone who lives in the frat house, you should first of all, reevaluate the company you keep, and secondly just throw your jacket in their room. Try to make it a little hidden because people are allllways stealing sh*t from frats, but this is probably your best option because you can at least blame it on them if something were to happen to your fracket. 

Basically, as long as you never leave your jacket lying around in the open or “hidden” somewhere outside the house, you should be fine. Let this be your formal warning that the girls who go to frat parties are ruthless; they’re just as cold and drunk as you are, and will sniff out your fracket and steal it without a second thought. 

*As always, please drink responsibly, betches. Your roommate doesn’t want to have to call your mom to tell her you had to get your stomach pumped because you were trying to keep up with Brad and Chad on the shotski. 

Images: Jesus Desanto / Unsplash; H&M; Forever 21 (2); Nasty Gal; SHEIN

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5 College Stereotypes To Avoid Becoming

As you embark on the sh*tshow adventure that is college, you have the ability to be whoever you want. Whether you join the yoga club and turn into a Birkenstock-wearing queen or get tapped into a secret society and fall off the face of the earth, there’s no wrong identity, and college is the perfect time to experiment. However, while you’re going through your waves of being a hipster stoner to a frat bro enthusiast, try your best to avoid falling into the following stereotypes, otherwise your academic and social status will suffer.

The One Who Never Goes To Class

Congratulations on getting into college, you deserve a break! Too bad that break was summer and college is NOT the time to sleep through the day. Trying to pass off “staying in bed all day” as a personality trait is such a cop-out because it’s actually just you being f*cking lazy. Don’t waste the literal tens of thousands of dollars you or your parents are dropping on tuition, because there are some people who would risk going to jail (#fighton) to be sitting where you should be—in class!! Go learn something, we love a smart betch. 

 

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The One Who’s Stuck In High School

This person spends all their free time FaceTiming their high school boyfriend and searching for a new “cliquey” girl squad to replace the one they left behind. You swear you were super popular back home, but sadly no one gives a f*ck about who you were in high school. College is time for a fresh start, so ditch your home life dependence and join us adults in the present. 

Sad how some adults are still stuck in the bitchy high school phase, grow up bbs xo

— M A D Z ? (@madison_16xox) September 6, 2019

The One Who Lives For Her Srat

Joining a sorority is great—fabulous, actually—but if the second you get a bid you can’t be caught dead not wearing your letters, we have a problem. Your identity and self-worth should not be defined by a four-year hierarchical social construct, and quite frankly, it’s pretty embarrassing if it is. Explore your university, talk to some non-Greek people, and stop spending time researching every item you can possibly print your letters on!

The One Who’s “One Of The Bros”

You like to chill at home and watch TV, you shotgun beer, and you “haaaate drama” (aka you’re a fraternity groupie). I don’t care how much time you spend sitting around the bong coffee table littered with empty bottles and unidentifiable substances, at the end of the day you don’t have a d*ck and you’re not part of the “brotherhood.” Swooning over the boys by picking up their Chipotle and watching them play Fortnite is not a basis for lifelong friendship. Ultimately, all your efforts going toward the boys means you’ll probably miss out on the impressive solitude of female friends. Sad. 

the girls who say “they hate drama” are usually the ones starting it all?

— bean ?? (@analyssemayraa) November 10, 2016

The One Who Already Added You On LinkedIn

All of your special skills on LinkedIn have been exclusively endorsed by your best friend and your mom, and you posted allllll about your “life-changing” summer internship on every social media platform (so glad your parents found time to make that phone call for you, sweetie). You joined seven clubs your first weekend on campus, and followed half the freshman class on Instagram before classes even started. While there’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence, no one likes a show-off. Let’s cool it on the public persona and desperation to “connect.” Put the f*cking phone down and try making real friends offline. 

Everyone says college is the best four years of your life, and they’re not wrong. However, in the midst of going to darties, making bad decisions about texting the guy who ghosted you last week, and shoveling pizza into your mouth at 1am, you need to make a conscious effort to keep your priorities (which should be academics) in check and stay true to yourself. 

Speaking from experience, you’ll definitely become your truest self in college, so don’t waste your time and efforts being an obnoxious fake bitch because spoiler alert: NO ONE likes that behavior in college and they’ll hate it even more in the real world.

Images: Tim Gouw/Unsplash; Betches/Instagram; madison_16xox/Twitter; Lien Caputo/GIPHY; TeamCoco/GIPHY; Analyssemayraa/Twitter

Swarthmore College Fraternities Suspended Amid Horrifying Allegations

Two fraternities at Swarthmore College — the only two frats on campus — have been disbanded following intense student protests and allegations of racism, homophobia, misogyny, and sexual violence. The accusations are supported by documents brought to light by two of the school’s publications, The Phoenix and Voices, which include damning leaked “meeting minutes” from the Phi Psi fraternity that span over six years and also reference activities of Delta Upsilon.

The contents of 116-page documents were redacted, as is the trend these days. But, the phrases “rape tunnel” and “rape attic” were mentioned with regard to Delta Upsilon, the idea of which is equal parts disgusting and horrifying. Moreover, there were multiple instances in which Phi Psi made derogatory statements — which they appear to deliver as humor — about minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women. Frats: Can you all just stop making everyone’s lives a living hell hole and just stick to chugging Coors Light while listening to Post Malone?

Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon met this well-earned fate thanks to Swarthmore students in a group called the Coalition to End Fraternity Violence. The organization planned sit-ins and demonstrations that lasted over four days and garnered national attention. As a result of their efforts, it seems school administrators finally realized: wait, maybe we should listen to people when they say they’re being marginalized and sexually assaulted and take the existence of “rape attics” more seriously. What a novel approach!

Valerie Smith, the university’s president, announced the suspension on Tuesday. “I absolutely condemn the language and actions described in the documents from 2013-16. What is contained within those pages is vulgar and deeply offensive to all of us,” she wrote in a statement. “The racism, misogyny, and homophobia described within them is antithetical to the values of the College and violates the student code of conduct as well as basic decency.”

The suspension also comes after an ex-member of Phi Psi published an op-ed in the school newspaper supporting these claims of abuse and insisting the school rid itself of the two fraternities.

The official statements from both of these fraternities are below, and now maybe these guys can use all their new free time to learn how to respect people or you know, be held accountable for their actions.