Ivy League Insults: A Fall Weekend visiting guide

Fall Weekend is approaching, and it seems like just about everyone’s got plans. Some will be cramming for exams, some will be heading home, and still others will be visiting friends at other universities. Finding myself in the third category, I began to ponder how I might, as a Brown first-year, assert my newfound school pride at rival universities. As it turns out, the solution is obvious.

In order to express my love for Brown and cultivate our school’s reputation as an open, tolerant place, I’ve cultivated a list of ruthless insults for use on any rival Ivy League school and its students. Be a good ambassador for Brown and mercilessly mock your Yale, Cornell, or Dartmouth friends on this beautiful Fall Weekend.


You didn’t have to encounter the terribly pretentious Harvard cheering squad at the Harvard-Brown game two weekends ago to realize that Harvard students are literally all, without exceptions, a bunch of raging douchebags. Behind enemy lines in Cambridge, your only choice is to fight fire with fire. Establish academic dominance by telling those fools that Harvard’s undergraduate reputation “is mixed at best,” while you trump them socially by noting that you didn’t want to go to school “with a bunch of losers and lightweights,” anyway. Alternatively, pull a Will Hunting.


A hub of creativity and brilliance nestled in the heart of the Big Apple? Spot on, if you count Morningside Heights as the “heart of the Big Apple” and “creativity and brilliance” as traits of Columbia students. Columbians pride themselves on their school’s cosmopolitan air, so why not hit them where it hurts? Ask them what it’s like to go to a rural school and whether or not they ever visit the city. Throw in a few “you country types” and “Columbia bumpkins” for good measure, and it’s game over.


As a general rule, Yale students are markedly less snobby than Harvard students, so don’t head into Connecticut with guns blazing. Still, Bulldogs usually need to be taken down a notch or two. Use one of my old tactics and substitute “New Haven Community College” for Yale when you’re speaking. Correct yourself, and act very slightly sorry when your friends get angry with you.


Just laugh. Laugh, and glory in the fact that you go anywhere but here.


An isolated spot in the woods; frat bros with psychopathic tendencies; and staggering amounts of cheap alcohol. No, it’s not the premise for Hanover Machete Massacre IV; it’s Dartmouth! If you’re heading up here for the weekend, bring your survival instincts and an emergency kit containing medical supplies, flares, and extra ping-pong balls. For once, curb your insults and proceed with caution: the subterranean lairs up in New Hampshire make the Wriston frat basements look like Versailles, and insulting the Neanderthals that inhabit them is a very bad idea. Stay calm, quote some Dr. Seuss, offer to stick your hand down the throat of the nearest frat member, and you’re in.


As if visiting the cesspool that is New Jersey weren’t bad enough, now you have to deal with the wannabe English aristocrats that populate Princeton University. Like at Harvard, it’s time to beat them at their own game. Going to a football game? Too bad; you usually prefer to watch varsity quail hunting. They’re serving chicken in the dining hall? Yikes… you only eat pheasant. Someone hands you a Natty? “You’re welcome to drink watery urine from a can, but I’ll stick to my Bordeaux.”

University of Pennsylvania

Ben Franklin, lightning rods, bifocals, etc. UPenn’s pride is rooted in the legacy of its founder Ben Franklin, so your best bet is to rip apart poor old Ben’s memory as much as humanly possible. So what if he’s remembered as a brilliant inventor and social pioneer? Recent “revisionist theories” have uncovered startling new evidence that he was in fact a British turncoat, a meth addict, and a racist. Check and mate, UPenn.


Those visiting Brown from elsewhere this weekend are in luck; we are perhaps the most easily mockable Ivy League school of all, mostly due to stereotypes of Brown students as insanely liberal potheads. You can call us names: “stoners” and “hippies.” You can mock Providence’s lousy weather and the fact that our school color looks like feces. You can snort condescendingly that you “heard Brown lets you take classes pass/fail.” You can use one or all of these insults.

But then, of course, you will sound like a dick.

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