Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Pitt Trustees Raise Tuition, Roof
- 14% Tuition Blown on Weekend Bender

Last month, the University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees voted to raise in-state tuition by 14% and out-of-state tuition by 10%. The increase, originally intended to help the University cover cuts in state appropriations, was later blown on a weekend party thrown by the trustees in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Events unraveled last Thursday evening in the Chancellor’s office in the Cathedral of Learning. The Board had finished their business and were relaxing to a catered dinner and open bar.

“Well, one martini became two, and two became three and so on…” began University of Pittsburgh Spokesman Robert Hill, throwing down two Extra Strength Tylenol Gelcaps. “Then [board member] C.C. [Tung] got behind the bar and started making drinks for everyone.”

Before long, University Chancellor Mark Nordenberg reportedly pulled out his Pitt Corporate Card, and asked, “booyah, who’s got access to the tuition increase!?” At which point the Trustees simultaneously began to shout “Vegas! Vegas!”

“Next thing we knew, we were on a charter jet to Sin City,” recalled Hill.

Sparing no expense, the Board used the tuition increase to rent out the entire top-floor of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel. What followed was three days of “partying like rock-stars” said Hill. “None of us got a wink of sleep. We were 'on fire' the whole time.”

As night fell Friday evening, word was beginning to get around the Las Vegas strip of the bash being thrown by the Trustees. Aside from the Board themselves, the Trustees’ blowout soon included showgirls from the MGM, high-priced call girls, Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds, and, on Saturday night, Hollywood celebrities, who flew out during the day, after word of the party reached Los Angeles.

“Well, we pretty much hit our peak right after Limp [Bizkit] finished their set with ‘Break Stuff’ from our balcony,” remembered a bleary-eyed, hung over Jay Costa, board member since 2001. “I looked over at Shaq and we just went nuts. We trashed the TV, and then fell straight into the one hot-tub. Hey, I was able to pull (model) Cindy [Margolis] in on the way, so, hell!”

Margolis could not be reached for comment.

As the weekend went on, the damage bill went up and funds from the tuition increase went down. Reports of Nordenberg losing 10 million dollars on one spin of the roulette wheel, and an unidentified board member buying a 2003 HumVee and immediately crashing it into the MGM Grand’s fountain could not be confirmed.

Following a weekend that included paying for various chartered jets and helicopters for guests, a hotel bill that reportedly included extensive damages to the fountain and guest rooms, automobile and motorcycle purchases, and an “ass-kicking of a room-service bill,” the Trustees stumbled back home to Pittsburgh early Monday morning. Somehow, an entire $76.54 remained in the balance of the tuition increase. Seeing nothing to lose however, the board opted to use the remainder of the cash for “Subways and Dr. Peppers.”

Disgruntled Asian Tattoo Artist Inks His Revenge

Symbols on the back of a Pitt Student inked by Sakai (inset) were originally meant to say, Pitt junior Brandon Smith wanted a tattoo that proclaimed his manliness, so he decided to get the Chinese characters for "strength" and "honor" on his chest. After 20 minutes under the needle of local tattoo artist Andy Sakai, he emerged with the symbol for "small penis" embedded in his flesh.

"I had it for months before I knew what it really meant," Smith said.

"Then I went jogging through the Carnegie Mellon campus and a group of Asian kids started laughing and calling me 'Shorty.' That's when I knew something was up."

Sakai, an award-winning tattoo artist, was tired of seeing sacred Japanese words, symbols of his heritage, inked on random white people. So he used their blissful ignorance to make an everlasting statement. Any time a customer came to Sakai's home studio wanting Japanese tattooed on them, he modified it into a profane word or phrase.

"All these preppy sorority girls and suburban rich boys think they're so cool 'cause they have a tattoo with Japanese characters. But it doesn't mean shit to them!" Sakai said. "The dumbasses don't even realize that I've written 'slut' or 'pervert' on their skin!"

In the last month, seven people unknowingly received explicit tattoos from the disgruntled artist. Kerri Baker, a Carlow College freshman, paid $50 to have the symbols for "beautiful goddess" etched above her belly button, but when she went into Szechuan Express Asian Noodle Shop sporting a bare midriff, the giggling employees explained to her that the tattoo really said, "Insert General Tso's Chicken Here!"

"I don't even like General Tso's!" Baker sobbed. "I'm a vegetarian!"

Sakai doesn't feel guilty about using hapless college students as canvases for his graffiti.

"I think I'm helping my fellow man by labeling all the stupid people in the world," he explained. "It's not a crime, it's a public service."

Cyril Wecht Examines PiKA "Wounded Soldier"

Pitt Police called in noted Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht last Thursday night after Tim Rizen, 22, discovered a semi-full beer can that day during the fraternity's annual “Bak II School Blazt.”

“We weren't sure what to make of the discarded Natty Ice 12-ounce can,” admitted Pitt Police Chief Timothy Delaney. “We were torn, half of us thought it was a wounded soldier, while the others thought it was a floater. We knew there was only one man who could solve this debate.”

Delaney referred to the nationally renowned coroner who autopsied the bodies of some of the most famous criminal cases of the 20th century: John F. Kennedy Jr., Jon-Benet Ramsey, and Nicole Brown Simpson.

“Normally, I wouldn’t take a case up on the hill, but I knew this was serious,” recalled Wecht.

National statisticians estimate that as many as 19% of all collegiate beer cans are prematurely taken out of commission and discarded as wounded soldiers.

“I simply can’t turn a blind eye anymore,” Wecht explained.

After complex analysis of the beer in question, Wecht confirmed suspicion and declared the beverage to be legally a wounded soldier at 2:11 am. Officials from the coroner’s officer tagged the can and disposed of it under proper city recycling regulations.

“Fuck,” pined PIKA brother Adam Tillits. “I was hoping to finish that, the keg just kicked. I could have sworn it was a floater.”

Local Band Cites Local Bands as Influences
-"No wonder we suck," says lead singer

In a recent interview outside of The Mousetrap in Bavington, PA, local rock band Do Not Enter cited The Clarks, Crisis Car, the Buzz Poets, Seventh House, and Stone Soup as their influences.

“We totally grew up seeing those guys down at Nick’s [Fat City],” said Do Not Enter lead singer Kim Tartoff. “Man, I remember when Stone Soup broke up. I was devastated. And then their lead singer started such a lame-ass solo career.”

“We were all big fans of Seventh House, too,” explained drummer Robbie Shulkoski. “Remember that kick-ass logo?”

“Yeah, so we formed this really cool band,” continued Tartoff. “We wrote some tunes, but mainly started by doing covers of those guys, with an ‘Ah Leah’ or ‘Homestead’ thrown in, just for some extra flavor. We packed a few places at first, but I guess some of the other local bands must have really stepped up their local touring, because we weren’t getting anyone. So one night, when we didn’t have a gig, we went to see the Buzz Poets down at Nick’s. We didn’t have any money, so we saw that show totally sober. Man, they really blew.”

“And what’s with that dude’s faces,” chimed in Shulkoski.

“Yeah, and after seeing The Clarks in June,” added Tartoff, “All I can think is, ‘No wonder we suck.’”

Do Not Enter credits their name to a sign the band’s bus almost hit one night after a “really shitty gig up in New Castle.”

CMU Combines Drama, Robotics Program

In an effort to both challenge students and cut back on the rising costs of running a private university, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) announced this week that it will combine two of its most well known curricula, Drama and Robotics.

The announcement comes “as the next logical step in the evolution of our university, and of two of our most well-respected course programs here,” said CMU president Jared Cohon. “While our financial situation did weigh heavily on our decision to combine the two programs, it did help to create a fantastically exciting opportunity.”

Cohon hopes CMU will gain recognition world-wide for being the first to take “the natural step of combining the incredibly precise and scientific world of robotics with the heavy emotion and artistry of theatre.”

“We are very excited about the possibilities of our combined drama and robotics programs,” said newly appointed Drama/Robotics faculty chair Janet Washington. “Not only does it provide new opportunities and challenges for our current drama and robotics students, but it offers the University a chance, once again, to be at the forefront of a new and fascinating field.”

“I can’t wait!” exclaimed Herbert Newland, the head designer of one of the program’s thespian robots, Burbage-6, who will portray Hamlet in this fall’s first production of the new Drama / Robotics curricula.

“Well, sure, I’m disappointed,” said Bradley Albertson, who was originally cast to play the title role, “but I’m happy for Burbage-6. It will be interesting to see how this mostly inanimate piece of machinery will be able to handle the depth of one of theatre’s most complex characters ever.” Although all main characters will be played by robots, there are still parts available for “traditional” human actors like Albertson.

“It looks like I’m stuck as Rosencrantz.”

Tips for Getting Along with Your Roommate

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Pitt Freshman to Begin Study Abroad Program in Titusville

Philadelphia native and Pitt Freshman Mark Johnson received a letter telling him he’d been invited to participate in the university's study abroad program. The program, according to the letter, would last from Fall semester of 2002 until the Spring semester of 2004 and would take place in lovely Titusville, PA.

Johnson, who always dreamed of going abroad and studying in a foreign culture, was very pleased with the opportunity.

“I couldn’t believe I’d be studying abroad right away, you know?” remarked Johnson. “Like, I always just figured you had to be a junior or a senior to get to do that.”

Johnson, who has grown up in the city of Philadelphia and lived there his whole life, is anxious, and a little nervous, to begin his college career in a rural setting.

“I was reading about Titusville online. Did you know that it's known as ‘The Birthplace of the Oil Industry?’ And check this out, I’m totally psyched to be so close to Canada. The drinking age there is like 19 or something.”

Souf Oaklin Mixologist

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Freshman Girl Gets Nose, Eyebrow, Septum, Tongue, Bellybutton, Nipples, Clitoris, Ear Lobes, Lip, and Left Cheek Pierced, Tattooed

In what is being called one of the biggest acts of rebellion this century, Pitt freshman Tracey Milan yesterday got just about everything pierceable on her body pierced, as well as a slew of tattoos.

“I always wanted my tongue pierced, but my mother wouldn’t let me,” explained Milan. “So I went down to Hot Rod on Atwood Street, you know, and just said I wanted my tongue done. But then, I saw so many cool pictures of other things done, that I knew I just had to get a few more.”

And she got a few more, plus some tattoos.

“I got this totally cool butterfly on my back, but I can’t really see it. Plus, check out this tiger I got on my left tit – isn’t it cool? Then I was like, I definitely need like a half-moon or a sun done on my big toe, right? So I got a sun on one [big] toe and a moon on the other – they really express who I am, you know?”

“And she got a stud in her tongue, a barbell through her septum, a stud in her left nostril, a stud in her left cheek, hoops in her upper earlobes and inner ear lobes, a hoop in her bellybutton, a hoop in her lip, rings through both nipples, and a barbell through her clitoris,” continued piercing artist Tony Bhalla. “It took about seven fucking hours for the whole job.”

Milan couldn’t wait to tell her friends back home, and called them periodically from the tattoo parlor to keep them abreast.

“You’ve got a stud in your tongue?” remarked old friend Jared Clarke.

“Yeah, helps with fellatio.”

Who's Who in the South Oakland Community?

Pete Burns
Bouncer, Bootleggers

Listen you little freshman asswipe, don’t even try to get into the bar with that shitty fake I.D. You think just cause it’s laminated I’ll be duped into believing it's real? See freshfuck, there’s this little book I got called the I.D. Checking Guide which displays every valid driver’s license format for all 50 fucking states plus 10 of those Canadian providences you think you're so clever for using. You have a better chance of getting through U.S. Customs with a goddamn grenade launcher than ever setting foot in here. Do us all a favor, moron, and stay at the fucking frat house until you're 21.

Ted Perkins
Drugdealer, Corner of Dawsom and Atwood

Hey, man. Wanna get high? I got the best selection in fuckin’ town. I’m talking Ditch Weed, Inner City Schwag, Mexican Flatbud, Chronic, Purple Haze, Northern Lights, Super Skunk, White Widow, I even got that government shit that my grandma uses for her glaucoma, man ... it’s stale and you have to smoke a couple big, fat blunts to get a good buzz goin’, but hey, man, it gets the job done. And since you’re new in town I’ll give you the “Freshman Special,” a Dime bag for the price of a Nickel. Man, just call me the hooka-with-a-heart-of-gold.

Angelina Dixon
Total Cum Dumpster™, Towers Lobby

Welcome to South Oakland, handsome. Since you’re probably a virgin, the first thing you’ll be looking for is a nice piece of ass. Now before you start pacing outside of the sorority suites, let me warn you that those bitches are nothing but big prick-teases! You’ll have to go to all their stupid date parties, formals, and hayrides plus buy them flowers and candy (the sugar-free kind or else they won’t eat it) and you probably won’t get laid for at least a month. I don’t bother with any of that shit. If you want no-frills, anonymous sex, I’m you're girl. Lesbians welcome.

Bill Martin
Guy who will buy you beer, 217 Semple Street

I remember what it’s like being a freshman: sitting in your dorm room, sipping on cheap, warm beer that you boosted from a frat party the night before. It sucks. I mean, if you’re old enough to go to war and die for your country, you should be able to buy a six-pack of brew, right? Anyways, now that I'm “of legal age,” it’s my mission to help freshmen score some cold beverages for a Panther tailgate or apartment party. I only charge a $5 service fee, $10 if you want a keg. That’s a pretty good deal considering the legal risks involved. But, hey, when I see an underager get totally trashed and pass-out in a pool of his own vomit, I smile and say to myself “it was all worth it.”

Bret Vincent
Fraternity Recruiter, Pi Kappa Alpha House

Have you considered rushing a fraternity? You should. It’s the best way to prepare yourself for the “real world.” You’ll meet tons of new people, learn how to network, and get involved in the University community. I know what you’re thinking, “Frats are all about drinking beer and fucking goats,” but that’s not entirely true. Yeah we have our share of fun drinking with barnyard animals, but this is a BROTHERHOOD; a national organization built on strong values. We’re dedicated to the success and happiness of each member. We also help out the less fortunate through philanthropy work (that’s Greek Speak for “charity”). Last year we donated to Make-A-Wish, Meals-On-Wheels, Toys-For-Tots, Dicks-For-Chicks ... heh, heh, just kidding about that last one. Although you do get to meet tons of hot women. It just so happens that I met my girlfriend, Angelina, at a fraternity party. RUSH PIKES!

Lloyd Hamilton
Sombrero Man, No Fixed Address

Have annnnnny change?

"I Can't Find Anonymity Anywhere!"

By Ted C. Clarke
- 50m Backstroke Big East Champion

You know, being a part of a successful athletic program is great. It’s what we athletes work hard and train for our whole lives. We put every ounce of our heart into workouts, trainings, and meets. And then one day you reach the pinnacle –– taking the 50m Big East Championship. It’s amazing! You feel like you’re on top of the world; and you know, maybe for a brief second or two, you actually are. It’s like a dream come true.

But you know what? There’s a part of that success that you don’t read about in the Pitt News. With all that glory comes a price tag. And unfortunately ever since I achieved notoriety, my personal life hasn't been the same. I get recognized everywhere. By everybody. Old, young, black, white. They all feel like I owe them something just because they cheered for me.

But now it seems like all my personal privacy is gone. I can’t even walk out my front door without hearing the chants, “TEDDY,” “PITT SWIMMING ROCKS,” “TED, YOU THE MAN,” “I WANT YOU TO HAVE MY CHILD.” It’s nice to receive encouragement, but all the time? I can’t handle it. Everyone wants you to be their friend. I like having friends as much as the next guy, but I’m sorry I just don’t have enough time for 13,000 of them. I can’t be all things to all people. So I can’t trust people like I used to. Do girls want to spend the night with me because they like me, or so they can tell their friends they were with the 50m Big East Champ? I have to question everyone’s motives and requests.

It’s gotten so bad now I don’t even want to leave my house anymore. I don’t even want to answer my phone. It rings off the hook. I cling to the one shred of privacy I have left in my life. I can’t go out and party like other students, because Monday morning it will be all over campus. If I have a couple beers, I’m an alcoholic; a couple puffs of marijuana, I’m a pot head. If I leave the party with a girl, I’m a womanizer. Everyone’s got some claim on me and knows who I am, or so they say. I hear people talking behind my back, and sometimes even to my face.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade in my 50m championship for anything, but sometimes I just wish I had known the price tag that came with that title.