At the annual 1975 bladderball competition, where residential colleges and student groups fought to be the first to gain control of an inflated, six-foot diameter canvas ball, Jonathan Edwards students hatched an ingenious plan to claim victory for mother JE. From the top of McClellan Hall, the students planned to grab the ball using a complex grappling hook contraption and sweep it away from other students’ outstretched arms. But the grappling hook backfired and instead of snatching the ball, the hook popped it and sent it to sporting-goods heaven.
Later that day, students from Yale’s eleven other residential colleges made their displeasure known at the Dartmouth football game, repeatedly chanting “JE sucks!” JE students fought back in the only logical way possible, co-opting the insult for their own use. They modified it slightly for copyright and marketing purposes and made it their battle cry. “JE SUX” can now be heard on intramural fields, at football games and anywhere JE students need to make their presence known.
Jonathan Edwards College, however, has much more to offer than just self-deprecating cheers and a disreputable history. JE boasts a beautiful courtyard, ample facilities and several interesting traditions. JE also has two hammocks.
JE is one of the smaller colleges at Yale, and freshman not only become friendly with other freshman but also get to know nearly everyone in JE, from upperclassmen to resident faculty. Seasoned Jello-wrestler and JE Master Gary Haller opens his home to students on a regular basis for Master’s Teas, art exhibits and study breaks featuring the best in gourmet food.
Exclusive JE traditions include the Spider Ball, an annual arachnidan gala dance and Wet Monday, a twenty-four hour water battle royale that degenerates into a melee of fighting and property damage.
Jonathan Edwards also boasts Temptations, a weekly gossip rag which can run up to 16 pages and has been ranked by Yale tabloid Rumpus as Yale’s funniest magazine.
By day, JE students can be found loitering in JE’s beautiful courtyard. A typical day in the courtyard finds some students studying, some throwing a ball or a frisbee around, and some relaxing in each of the two hammocks.
By night, students can take a break from studying in the college’s majestic William Howard Taft library by enjoying a snack in the Buttery, a student-run JE restaurant which serves the cheapest and best-tasting greasy food in New Haven.
Finally, JE may be a perennial loser in intramurals, but certainly not a quitter. Even when a team doesn’t excel on the field, they’re sure to excel off it at one of many IM team parties, because, well “JE SUX!”
Joel Flaxman and Eric Kolovson are juniors in Jonathan Edwards College.