Going trayless during lunch yesterday saved 150 gallons of water in the Jonathan Edwards College dining hall, STEP Director Jessica Bolhack ’11 said. But there were downsides, too: “My plate was really hot,” said Whitney Barlow ’11.

Post-construction woes are not yet finished for JE. The elevator in the college’s Entryway L broke yesterday, and some JE students have vowed to take the stairs to their fourth-floor suites from now on. In the words of one student: “I’m scared of that elevator.”

“It’s never too late to give” — at least according to a YouTube video that encourages viewers to provide generously to the senior class gift. The proof? You may end up like the poor sod who spent all his money on his date and forgot to save enough to contribute to the communal pot, causing him to lose the girl. Yale College Dean Mary Miller and theater studies professor Murray Biggs make cameo appearances in the five-minute film.

Iron Chef Yale’s top three teams yesterday received 3-by-2-foot prop checks worth $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively, with the first-place Berkeley team also receiving a bronze trophy. The winning dish of ginger and lime steamed halibut will be featured in Yale’s residential dining halls this Friday.

Not to be outdone by Berkeley, Trumbull College’s dining hall had a chocolate fountain at dinner last night, complete with strawberries, marshmallows and graham crackers.

Want to go on a date with a Yale basketball player, a DKE brother or a News columnist? Try your luck at the Relay for Life charity date auction tonight from 9 to 11 p.m. at Keys to the City @ Caffe Bottega. Over 30 Yalies will be featured, and if you aren’t the highest bidder, an open bar will be available to help you forget your loss.

Turns out Ivy League universities are not alone in facing endowment woes. Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the wealthiest prep schools in the nation with (at one point) a $1 billion endowment, announced says that its endowment plummeted 21.8 percent in 2008.

Apparently President’s Day is not enough time to honor Honest Abe for Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who, in an official proclamation yesterday, pronounced Feb. 12 “Abraham Lincoln Day.”

This day in Yale history

1980 Yale’s five undergraduate minority groups presented a plan to combat racism to University President A. Bartlett Giamatti. Their demands came after a grievance board’s reinstatement of Natalie Podryhula, a police officer dismissed amid charges of racism. The groups declared that Podryhula’s reinstatement “has put the quality of our lives in jeopardy.”

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