Sign That Shit's Bad: Ivy League alum deigning to include the previously excluded, those wannabe-Ivy guttertrash punks! What used to be considered a step above Chico State now makes the cut for scholastic Blue-Blooded's get-togethers. What gives? Introducing Ivy Plus.
As if the name weren't complimentary enough. Naturally, the Sunday Styles is all over this kind of thing, as they're trying to cash in on the breathless outrage that Cintra Wilson's readership will strike back with. Now remember: there are eight Lvy league schools. In fourth grade, when I was a wee Gawker Weekend writer, I created a nice mnemonic device to help me remember: YA BRO! CORNPENN PRINCE HARVARD IN THE BROWN MOUTH BIA (That's Yale, Brown, Cornell, UPenn, Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Columbia). For extra points, guess which four are regularly written off by the other four; there are multiple answers.
These eight schools churn out the most important people in the universe; these are the people who all think Ayn Rand was right and also, the people who think Ayn Rand was completely full of shit. Our titans of industry! Our politicians! Our innovators in science and technology! Our Keith Gessens! Etc. But what happens when you start tainting the pool of connections with their lessers? Washington University? Ughghghhh. I'm feeling peaked. Alastair, I need to sit down. Hang on to your hats:
Washington U? Really? Yes, that's where the "Plus" comes in (but only if you attended medical school there). The Ivy Plus Society has taken the concept of an Ivy League alumni club - promising communion with fellow members of the elite, or even a leveraging of old school ties - and enlarged the magic circle to nearly two dozen other universities and graduate schools.
Fuck. You know some Freemasons are gonna be pissed. First, slavery's abolished. Then, the new Dan Brown book. And now this?! The founder is some real-estate lawyer from California, blah blah blah, she wants to bring people together. Honestly, sometimes I think the people who put together networking events are compensating for not having robust social lives of their own. Or maybe their lives are too social! Either way, you know they think Facebook is the greatest. Well these people remember when Facebook left Cambridge to include them, too. USC, suck a dong:
Ms. Anderson said that the "plus" institutions - including Stanford, Duke, M.I.T. and West Point - are those with a "natural affiliation" with the Ivies, in addition to top business, law and medical schools. "If you wanted to describe these schools, these are all highly selective, academically rigorous institutions," she said, although social reputations also come into play. "The Duke people are so much fun. There's just some schools you want to make sure you include."
Sadly, the aforementioned Chico State didn't make the cut. The Times subtly notes the entire angle here is as a singles thing, and really, who goes to singles events but Jews and Mormons? Ivy Leaguers meet their people at their typical feeding grounds: Dorrians, etc. Finally, they just cut the shit:
To the cynically inclined, Ivy Plus is a meet market for the pedigreed. One young Dartmouth graduate, declining to give his name, said: "It's a singles party masquerading as a networking event. Look around, it's clusters of guys and girls just staring at each other."
But come on, New York Times. It's obviously not just a singles thing, like every other networking event. It's something bigger than that.
"It's an environment where it's easy to talk to new people and you have some shared common background," said Jennifer Wilde Anderson, the founder of Ivy Plus. "You can say: ‘Hi James, you went to Harvard? My brother went there.' Or, ‘You went to Dartmouth? I remember when we used to sail there and the awesome Dartmouth regatta parties.' "
OH BITCH YOU DID NOT JUST GO THERE. We all know they don't really have regatta parties at Dartmouth. That'd be like talking about the football at Duke: sure, it exists, but nobody actually knows about it or gives a shit. Dartmouth's not Yale enough for that, even though Yale would say they're not Princeton enough for that. GOD. The outraged are already beginning to speak:
This is what you get for promoting the assimilation of Ivy blood, New York Times. There will be wars over this kind of thing. Haven't you seen Demolition Man? This is far from over. Meanwhile, while they're not tazing anyone outside of the Ivy Plus who tries to gain entry (yet), they're still being called out:
Michal Albanese, a sales executive for a fashion trade show who graduated from Brown in 1999, confirmed that the list did breed insecurity in some at the group's last party. A couple of guests were called out for not having gone to Ivy Plus universities, she said, and one gentleman began rattling off his other accomplishments.
"The guy went to, like, Illinois," she said, trying to recall the college.
"I don't remember," she added. "But his friend kept saying, ‘You're not even a plus.' "