On the Ground: Gossip Girl, frat boys and the close of Camp Yale

A party at SAE was the hot topic in the courtyard outside Lanman-Wright Hall on Monday evening — to go, or not to go?

“I sort of want to see ‘Gossip Girl,’” admitted one freshman, who would give his name only as Matt. When asked what college he was in, he paused.

Freshmen toss a football on Old Campus as Camp Yale winds down, among a whirlwind of activities marking their first days at Yale.
Han Xu
Freshmen toss a football on Old Campus as Camp Yale winds down, among a whirlwind of activities marking their first days at Yale.

Then, finally: “JE.”

Not because he didn’t want to reveal his identity, but because he had actually forgotten for a moment.

For most of the upperclassmen on campus, Camp Yale means days of sunny debauchery, reunions with friends and a little unpacking on the side. But the inaugural Camp Yale experience is a different beast: Over the last five days, the class of 2012 has attended frat parties for the first time, gotten lost attempting to make the trip from Branford to Timothy Dwight College and attempted to Blue Book (“What’s that?”) for their inaugural semester.

But while SAE was on the minds of many freshmen Monday night, Elias Quijano ’12 had other concerns: Would taking five credits this semester — including introductory Chinese, English, calculus and chemistry with a lab — overwhelm him?

So Quijano turned to Pierson College freshman counselor Emma Kurose ’09, who broke it down for him.

“So every week you’ll have a lab report, an essay, a problem set and your Chinese homework and tests, in addition to your regular reading,” Kurose said. “That’s a difficult course load, very time-consuming.”

Kurose suggested that Quijano — a prospective biomedical-engineering major with a love for poetry — sign up for everything and then drop a course if he felt he was struggling. Quijano shared Kurose’s reservations, despite his eagerness to take every class on his list.

“I was superman in high school,” he quipped. “But I know I’m not superman anymore here at Yale.”

Other freshmen were getting an introduction to the joys of suite life. Cynthia Jin ’12 described the common room of her Bingham Hall sextet as a work in progress. Every night, she said, she and her suitemates have moved the brightly colored furniture around, but have been too tired to move it back in the wee hours of the morning. The microwave sat, abandoned, in the far corner.

The girls were also adjusting to their conflicting lifestyles, Jin said.

“Three of us party a lot, and three of us don’t,” Jin explained. “But so far, we’re getting along really well.”

In the Bingham courtyard, some entrepreneurial Calhoun College freshmen were already planning a business venture that could, in their words, “potentially rock the world”: a fashion line, to be dubbed “K Panchevre.”

Andrew Kraszewski ’12, who hails from Glasgow, Scotland, explained that his attire — a kilt — would serve as a model for the new line, which would also include a lingerie component.

As the group broke from a huddle in which they prayed for the venture’s success, Ian Panchevre ’12 hastened to allay a reporter’s doubts about the longevity of their undertaking.

“We are totally serious,” he said.

Contact Caitlin Roman at caitlin.roman@yale.edu

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