college

How ‘Pitch Perfect’ Helped A Cappella Hit a High Note in the Mainstream

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If there is one thing you learn at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), it’s that there are a lot of ways to wear a vest. The vest, you see, is part of the changing uniform of the a cappella group. While perfectly matching (and perfectly dorky) bow ties, khaki pants, and suit jackets were once the preferred aesthetic of a cappella and its innumerable male groups from across the Ivy League, the sound’s “cool” new look involves coordinating trends across a singular color palette and a renewed sense of individuality. There were more pleather skirts on stage at this past April’s ICCA Finals than there are at a Forever 21. And don’t even get me started on the University of Michigan G-Men, who wear numbered soccer jerseys while covering Alt-J and employing mouth percussionists so frighteningly guttural, you’ll swear there’s some sort of woodland mammal among their ranks.
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The Craziest and Most Disturbing True Stories of Fraternity Scandals

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This was a bad week for fraternities: after a racist video from the University of Oklahoma’s now-shuttered Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity went viral, it created a controversy both on campus and nationally. The two men in the video were expelled, and the University of Oklahoma has been filled with protests. The controversy over what is a pretty clear-cut case has moved into the absurd world of punditry, wherein rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s cancellation of his upcoming show apparently demonstrated that the fraternity’s chants about lynching were somehow the fault of Flame and hip hop as a whole.

The fact is that fraternity culture is toxic, and has been for decades. There have been many examples of excellent reporting on this subject over the years, so here are five stories that explore the ways in which fraternity culture veers from its ethos — a brotherly good time — into tales that are gross and disturbing.
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Vintage Photos of Spring Breakers

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Spring break season is upon us — a time when students everywhere step away from the books to decompress and indulge. Films like Spring Breakers paint a colorful picture of the MTV generation binging on drink, drugs, and sex once the temperature starts to rise and their weeklong break from the stresses of school affords them the freedom to sow their wild oats. Were the students in past a tamer bunch? Celebrations seem wilder these days, but some things never change — as evidenced by these vintage photos of spring breakers ready to get their party on.
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Illustrations of Disney Icons as Collegiate Characters

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Deviant Artist Hyung plucked Disney characters out of the movies and set them on university campuses across America. These animated icons have been given a stylish and youthful makeover à la Monsters University. Hyung has even conceived of an updated storyline for each character — like Snow White, who sings in the school choir with Sleeping Beauty‘s Aurora and volunteers at the Animal Welfare Association on campus with Kenai and Pocahontas on weekends. You can explore the narratives on Hyung’s Deviant Art page, which we learned about from Design You Trust, but we enjoy the artist’s collegiate illustrations on their own. Take a closer look, below.
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Vintage Photos of Stylish College Students to Inspire Your Back-to-School Shopping

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Inspired by this Curbed post collecting great photos of college dorms from decades past, we got to thinking about how colleges students from the last century (and even earlier) set a lot of the timeless fashions that remain in style today. Whether it’s that skirt you bought at J. Crew, the shirt you picked up from Band of Outsiders, or that bespoke suit you paid a whole lot of money for, know that collegiate types from various American universities wore it all long before you did.
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Stop Lecturing College-Aged Women About Our Love Lives

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Fifteen years ago, the very first question Carrie Bradshaw “couldn’t help but wonder” was simple, provocative, and in its own way, progressive: Can women have sex like men? That query was questionably relevant even a decade and a half ago, when Sex and the City sought to answer it for 30-something urban professionals. Unbelievably enough, we’re still having that conversation, except writers have turned their sights from themselves and their peers to a different group entirely: college-aged women. “Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too,” Kate Taylor’s lengthy study of Penn undergrads for The New York Times’ Styles section, isn’t the first subtly judgmental, distressingly inaccurate portrait of the supposedly post-feminist, post-relationship college dating scene. Sadly, it probably won’t be the last. But the practice of telling college-aged women how we should lead our romantic lives is patronizing, condescending, and — above all — needs to stop.
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