Do Not Mess with the Harvard Spikeball Team

Image credit: Mass. Office of Travel and Toursim via Flickr

Welcome to our weekly round-up of notable news from Boston’s college campuses, brought to you by the greatest four years of someone else’s life. Each week, we post a collection of quirky tales from our many fine institutions of higher learning. In our third installment, we learn NOT to compare spikeball to Quidditch, Harvard’s Voice blog has a bit of a racism scandal, and Northeastern’s dorms are simply too loud for one very sensitive resident.

Move over Muggle Quidditch: We occasionally tire of mocking college Quidditch players, so we’re always on the lookout for new, bizarre sports being taken up by the co-eds. This week we learn that the Harvard kids are going crazy over “spikeball,” thanks to Crimson columnist Zach Osborn. Osborn writes that spikeball is “the quasi-athletic trend,” in which “two teams of two stand on opposing sides of a hula hoop containing a taut, trampoline-like fishing net and awkwardly bounce a child-sized volleyball back and forth.” Osborn is no fan of this game, which is apparently a position that inspires great passion among the Cantabs, based on the volume of comments on Osborn’s column. We will definitely not join him in mocking spikeball after reading the lukewarm responses to his column, which range from “Looks like someone is sad that they suck at the game …” to “how are you a senior staff writer?” to “THIS IS MORE OUTRAGEOUS THAN THE RACIST ARTICLE PUBLISHED LAST WEEK ABOUT ASIAN INTERVIEWEES!!!” Which brings us to …

… that racist article published last week about Asian interviewees. The Voice, another Harvard on-campus publication ran an anonymous blog post this week about “5 People You’ll See at Pre-Interview Receptions,” referring to the interview circuit for competitive positions at consulting firms and investment banks that heavily recruit at Harvard. Among the “people you’ll see” was “the Asian.” Though The Voice quickly removed the offending commentary, The Crimson republished the original paragraph, which featured charming stereotypes about Asian students at interviews like “They … talk in the same sort-of gushy, sort-of whiny manner, and have the same concentrations and sky-high GPAs.” The Voice’s editors have since apologized but not before the mysterious original poster wrote his own scathing reply to the criticism on the post. “Clearly, I’ve been censored, which in itself is an interesting reflection on free speech in America,” the author wrote, in an update that was later deleted (but again, archived by the Crimson.) Why aren’t we surprised that the author of this post is also the type of person who thinks the First Amendment protects his or her freedom to publish racist drivel in a campus blog?  We’re not seeing law school in this undergrad’s future.

Tracy Flick heads to Northeastern: Northeastern’s Huntington News publishes a crime log which never fails to provide an entertaining glimpse into the goings on of a major university. Our favorite entry of the week:

A student who wished to remain anonymous reported loud noise on the fourth floor of International Village … The officers spoke to an RA who stated the student is overzealous regarding other people living on the floor and often complains of people opening and shutting doors. Officers reported that there was no noise coming from the room the student called about.

If this student  (who reminds us of Reese Witherspoon’s character at the end of “Election”)  can’t handle doors being shut, a college dorm really must be some kind of personal torture.

Our runner up for favorite entry is: “A student reported that someone stole her iPhone from the women’s restroom on the ground floor of Ell Hall, where it had been left unattended for three hours,” because you can just hear the police’s total lack of sympathy. [h/t Universal Hub]

And in case you missed it … Elsewhere on Boston Daily this week, we find that the end of college draws ever nigh as edX works toward its goal of enrolling 1 billion people in its online courses. Offline education, on the other hand, remains alive and well in Minnesota. Also B.U. girls and B.C. guys get high marks from Boston’s singles in a survey. MIT grads … don’t.