Valerie Pavilonis

Dear Reader,

You would think that being a self-proclaimed Yale Daily News satirist would be a hard job. There are only so many jabs you can make at Timothy Dwight (I’ve written about it three separate times), and most of our lives are far too sad to make an appropriate, self-deprecating joke worth 700 words. I found myself trying to think of pitches in my most boring seminars — the best I could come up with was a dating app for kids who took gap years or took the summer abroad and some comedically sterile column about the Yale Course Search.

Yet, in the wake of my discouragement, I always find that Yale students just give you lay-ups from time to time. Last year, it was Yale College Council with those fucking patagonias. This year, the Rumpus decided that treading the offensive line was far too risk-free — instead, they said, let’s just obliterate that line entirely.

After crossing their i’s and dotting their t’s, the Rumpus found something wrong with their annual Freshman edition. And no, it was not their use of the outdated term “freshman.” Instead, only days after publication, the Rumpus found that they had slipped in one or two jokes casually making light of sexual assault. I don’t know which editor-in-chief had a bad hookup in the Sig Nu basement, but fuck do they seem to hate someone over on High Street.

The backlash has been nothing short of extraordinary. To be fair, it’s astounding that the Yale student body, a group of people ranked third in the nation for their intellectual merit, could not predict that a group of people who write about the most toxic campus gossip and objectify the 50 most attractive students (in Sig Ep and FENCE) would inevitably cross a few lines on the way. As last year’s 50 Most wrote in the fine print, “The hottest college, with NINE 50 Mosters, is everyone’s plantation, Davenport.”

I, like you, dear reader, look back fondly on the days when the Rumpus was a cornerstone of campus culture. We all tried to win Hookup Bingo, a key part of every Yale Man™’s Camp Yale. However, whilst last year the “free spot” was “yourself,” a gateway for quite literally any organism with enough consciousness to be considered “a self,” the Rumpus editor-in-chiefs decided it best to encourage first years to find other blackout drunk students. If that’s not poor form, I don’t know what is.

And without a Rumpus to tell you all the good gossip, given the publication’s inevitable road towards obscurity and assured dissolution in the coming months and years, I suppose campus may see new, less offensive tabloids in the coming months. Will WKND start picking up the juicier takes? Will the Yale Politic add a new gossip section? The possibilities, as of now, seem wide, far and endless.

Hopefully, whoever takes over for the Society issue will veto the use of Comic-Sans, the font of a seven-year-old child or an annoying 15-year-old trying to be indie. Furthermore, the only place you should NOT put a protein bar in your ass, and even if you find yourself doing that, please do not circulate it around campus for your “Game Issue.” Harvard only wants to see grade inflation, not your explicit attempt at a nuanced cover photo.

We saw the Rumpus peak when then-Dean Jonathan Holloway was featured in 50 Most, and now, we have effectively seen them hit rock bottom. And with that, I bid the Rumpus a raunchy and gossipy goodbye.

Best Regards,

A YDN writer bitter about missing out on 50 Most

Nick Tabio nick.tabio@yale.edu