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More Mission Vandalism

From WSO:

And now, just last night, people came by and stole our Batman poster, flipped over a couch, and sprayed some sort of brown liquid (great) all over one of the corners, including a couch, our wall, and some clothes.

Obviously some people on this campus need to GROW UP a little. We’re in college. Flipping couches is a harmless prank. Stealing our stuff is NOT. Making us clean up disgusting liquids is not. So seriously, please stop. And if you have some sort of dignity left, we’d really appreciate having our quote board and Batman poster back.

Yeah, we’re missing our quote board too. 4 random guys (none of which I recognized) came stumbling through our common room at like 2 AM last night. They probably would have trashed stuff if we had not been in the common room

And I do believe that at least one of them was on the hockey team. So if anybody knows who actually did this, please make them own up and at least return the quoteboards

Students on the hockey team behaving badly. Inconceivable!

1) What are the odds that the perpetrators of this vandalism are the same as the ones from last month? It will not take long for security to cross-check card swipes . . .

2) Was the hockey team in town last night? What about Thanksgiving weekend?

3) Since there was no (?) homophobia associated with this vandalism, the College is likely to take it much less seriously. No letters from incoming President Falk for you! But I suspect that the students affected by this act are just as annoyed . . .

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#1 Comment By frank uible On January 31, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

Bring back….

#2 Comment By Dick Swart On January 31, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

Without regard to the deplorable behavior, I find the premise of posting it on EphBlog creepy and voyeuristic.

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from Saatchi OnLine

#3 Comment By David On January 31, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

Will you feel the same when the Record reports the exact same facts next week, perhaps even quoting the same WSO posts?

I report the news. I suspect that our news coverage (by me and others) explains a large portion of EphBlog’s readership. We read WSO so that they don’t have to!

#4 Comment By JeffZ On January 31, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

Yes, it is commonly understood across college campuses that the answer to drunken vandalism is more (or any) fraternities … I have NEVER heard of a frat contributing to problematic behavior on a campus.

#5 Comment By Parent ’12 On January 31, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

@Dick Swart:

That’s a complex sentiment. I hope everyone who reads it appreciates what you’re saying.

Your reproduction reminds me of a famous work by Duchamp, the name of which escapes me.

#6 Comment By JeffZ On January 31, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

#7 Comment By Parent ’12 On January 31, 2010 @ 8:41 pm


I’ll be a better researcher. Here’s a link. Read the description of Etant donnes… And, don’t forget the slides.


#8 Comment By Dick Swart On January 31, 2010 @ 8:48 pm


I will feel exactly the same way!

WSO and The Record are primary sources done by students. EphBlog is neither. This type of ‘journalism’ is unbecoming on a page six with celebrities or those who have forced public attention on themselves. The life of students on campus, particularly at a school for whom we have the greatest respect should not be fair game for adult voyeurs.

This is through the keyhole peeping on student activities passed on to an audience of adults. This is not the first post of this type and I am sure not the last. This is second-hand titillation for the campus-deprived. It is really unattractive when you beg for more details.

Since the thumbs-up/thumbs-down indicator has been gone, one can only take the opportunity of expressing their feelings in the comments. At one point you wanted to know why you, Dave, in particular, would get so many ‘downs’. These are my reasons for clicking the down.

You are not reporting ‘news’. You are KaneBlogging. As we used to say in the Army Artillery “Fire one round for effect’.

#9 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 31, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

Could this be likened to a human effort at “web scraping”?

#10 Comment By Ronit On January 31, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

@David: Why is there no link to the WSO post?

@Dick Swart: Your reaction seems out of hand. This may or may not be a major incident, but it seems well within the bounds of EphBlog to report on campus vandalism.

@Jr. Mom: A human effort at web scraping? I’m not sure what that means, but finding things on the web and quoting and linking to them is pretty much (or at least a pretty big part of) what blogs do. Web scraping is an automated process to pull content from different sources. Eph Planet (on the sidebar) is an example of a web scraper. However, Eph Planet is structured so as to give attribution and credit, not display full articles, and not steal any search engine rank from the originating sources. Malicious web scrapers don’t provide attribution, links or credit, they steal 100% of articles without permission, and they try to enhance their own search engine rank at the expense of the source.

#11 Comment By Ronit On January 31, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

#12 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 31, 2010 @ 9:24 pm


It was an effort at humor. Ken gave a thorough description of “web scraping”, no need to repeat it.


#13 Comment By Ronit On January 31, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

@Jr. Mom: didn’t see it. Thought you were making an analogy.

#14 Comment By frank uible On January 31, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

Jeff: Almost no such “problematic” behaviour in the era of fraternities. The students respected the property of other students and the College under social pressure, primarily coming from their fraternity and the members of other fraternities.

#15 Comment By Brandi ’07 On February 1, 2010 @ 5:42 am

@Dick Swart

But maybe we can crowdsource this WSO investigation and people not on campus can figure out who did it. Then we can get Ephblog a write-up in Wired or one of those fancy tech blogs and Ephblog will be hailed as the greatest thing ever to happen to campus security.

/Kidding. Let’s not do this.


This isn’t even the best thing I’ve seen come up related to WSO in the sidebar. I’m not going to tell you what it is because if you snooze, you lose!

There was one thread that was mentioned before where someone (Jeffz or Andrew) explicitly did not link diectly to the hilarious posting of a student. Is this not standard WSO on Ephblog policy?

#16 Comment By Jeffz On February 1, 2010 @ 7:30 am

Frank, it ain’t the fifties anymore. Perhaps you should read up on the rampant problems associated with frats at other colleges. In all events, I’m not sure we should be targetting hockey players as prime suspects. I’d check first for any evidence of jokers, penguins, catwomen, or riddlers.

#17 Comment By David On February 1, 2010 @ 8:18 am

Ronit: I forgot the link but have now added it. Thanks for the reminder.


1) Although I agree with Ronit on the reasonableness of reporting/linking from WSO, you may note that I am now less likely to mention a student’s name in conjunction with a WSO post. I am torn about whether this is a good idea. (Comments welcome!) On the one hand, to the extent that one is concerned with voyeurism, then leaving names out seems like a good idea. On the other hand, not giving appropriate credit seems unfair.

2) Wouldn’t creepiness or voyeurism be in the eyes of the viewed? If you are correct that these sorts of posts are “creepy and voyeuristic,” then wouldn’t you predict that lots of students would find them, well, “”creepy and voyeuristic” and might, therefore, request that I/we delete them? I would.

In seven years of quoting from WSO, not a single student has ever asked me to not quote her at EphBlog.

a) Now, it is possible that I have forgotten one or two such requests from several years ago. Corrections welcome. But I honestly can’t think of any.

b) Several students over the years have asked to have their names (or just their last names) removed from such posts, mainly for Googability reasons. But, interestingly, they have had no objection to the quotations themselves.

c) Most people who write on a public place on the Internet want to be read/quoted. Kids these days!

Brandi: There is no standard WSO-on-EphBlog policy. When I don’t forget, I always link.

#18 Comment By rory On February 1, 2010 @ 9:45 am

“But I suspect that the students affected by this act are just as annoyed . . .”

yes, just as annoyed. unfortunately, “annoyance” ISN’T THE PROBLEM WITH HOMOPHOBIA!


#19 Comment By frank uible On February 1, 2010 @ 10:02 am

Jeff: If the presence or absence of fraternities is not a factor in Williams campus vandalism, then does that mean Williams is now receiving an inferior class of students than it did in the 50s?

#20 Comment By JeffZ On February 1, 2010 @ 10:25 am

Frank, the world has changed, in many ways, for better or for worse, since the 1950’s. The students are not remotely comparable on a variety of levels, none of which have anything to do with frats. It’s like me saying, Frats are responsible for Williams having virtually no black, gay, latino, women, asian, or international students on campus. Hey, we eliminated frats, and now we have all these different types of students, so frats must have been racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic, right? I assume you’d object to that. YOu can’t just point to frats s the cause of any change to the detriment on campus SIXTY YEARS later, just as I can’t point to the absence of frats for the opposite proposition. I shouldn’t need to explain all of this. Your claims that the absense of fraternities is a contributing factor to alcohol-related problems on campus is so frivolous as to border on the ridiculous, and flies in the face of all conventional wisdom and RECENT experience about the type of students attracted to college with a dominant fraternity presence on campus, not to mention how they behave once in those fraternities. Again, I encourage you to read up on the MANY problems related to fraternity life experienced on campuses all across the country. Unless there was something unique that made Williams’ frats superior in this regard to EVERY OTHER frat across the country, the far more likely explanation is that behavior of teenagers, generally, has changed in many ways, some for the better and some for the worse, over the course of sixty years, and that the presene of frats at Williams would only exacerbate any problems that otherwise might exist related to alcohol consumption, vandalism, sexual assault, etc. on Williams or virtually any other college campus.

#21 Comment By frank uible On February 1, 2010 @ 11:16 am

So, your orotundity means that we agree that today’s Williams student is significantly inferior to Williams students of the 50s in terms of leadership, maturity, self discipline and community responsibility?

#22 Comment By JeffZ On February 1, 2010 @ 11:26 am

If your arguments on this thread are representative, I’d posit that they are superior in terms of logic and rhetorical abilities. See, I can be a curmudgeon too!

And that’s not what I said. In some ways they are probably inferior, in others they are probably superior. Really, they are just different, the composition of campus (double the population, kids from all over the country and vastly different environments, international students, women, minorities) is radically different, and the types of experiences they have heading into campus are radically different. The world has changed, maybe you haven’t noticed. For one thing, there were no blogs in the 1950’s for people to post non-sensical theories believe by 60 years of experience on campuses across the country. But fine, I’ll accept your premise, if you admit that fraternities were racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic institutions, the elimination of which were directly responsible for Williams becoming the far more diverse place it is today. IF you don’t accept that (and you shouldn’t), then you shouldn’t draw any negative correlations from the removal of frats, either.

#23 Comment By JeffZ On February 1, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Meant “belied” not “believe” above …