Bryn Mawr College is a small women's liberal arts college located in a tony Philadelphia suburb. It prides itself on creating smart, empowered female leaders. It also creates HORRIBLE, WILD MONSTERS, as detailed in an amazing memo, sent to us by a tipster.

Yesterday, the school's Undergraduate Dean sent out a blistering email describing a series of infractions recently committed by the residents of one campus dormitory, and outlining the corresponding punishments. Here is the list of—"violations" seems too small a word, so we'll just go ahead and call them "war crimes"—cited by the dean in her email:

  • "Requiring first-year students to swear alliance to Radnor over a keg"
  • "Shouting at first-year students with and without bullhorn."
  • "Throwing items in common room (toilet paper, cardboard). Some items thrown into audience (may have been at first-year students)."
  • "Creating potential for injury by playing wiffle beer (essentially baseball with beer cans and a wiffle bat)."
  • "Requiring first-year students to go outside for a "class photo" but in reality dumping water on them. (Unclear if a photo was really taken.)"
  • "Telling first-year students to stand outside, wet and some without shoes, and forcing them to listen to the Radnor goddess speech." [A/N: According to our tipster, the "Radnor goddess" is a fictional deity who represents the spirit of the dorm's awesomeness]
  • "Smoking indoors"
  • "Being on the roof"
  • Violating the party policy by holding an unregistered party"
  • "Underage drinking (most sophomores and juniors are not 21) and excessive drinking during trials." [A/N: "Trials" are a part of "Hell Week" — see below for explanation]

The controversy centers around an optional, school-sanctioned Bryn Mawr tradition called "Hell Week," in which participating freshman are lightly teased by participating sophomores and then thrown a party by participating juniors. An example of a typical Hell Week activity is "dorm breakfast," in which a dorm's freshmen must wear a silly costume to breakfast (if they want to). It truly is designed by Satan.

This year, on Valentine's Day (or, as it is almost certainly known at Bryn Mawr, "Anna Howard Shaw Day"), the residents of the school's smallest dorm-Radnor—took hell too far.

Pause for a minute and imagine this hellscape. A normally pristine common room, strewn with two varieties of items. Sophomores shouting at freshmen with bull horns and without bullhorns, creating a multidimensional cacophony of shouts. Freshman being sent outside for a class-photo, and then having water dumped on them—UNCLEAR IF PHOTO WAS TAKEN. College students listening to a speech about their dorm, then drinking fermented beverages—to excess.

Fortunately, the madmen(/women/womyns) behind these acts will soon be brought to justice. Every single upperclassmen resident of Radnor has been ordered to write a letter of apology to the dorm's freshmen, due by 5 p.m. March 18. ("Put ‘Radnor Apology' in subject line.") Parties with alcohol have been banned from the dorm for the rest of the year. The dorm presidents have resigned. The dorm "customs people" (sophomores who volunteer to help freshmen with the college transition because they love college) have been fired. The seniors who helped organize the activities will face a Dean's Panel.

Imagine what would happen if the dean knew the sophomores had murdered a girl as a sacrifice to Pallas Athena, slit her skin from nose to navel, rouged their cheeks with smears of her blood, cut out her tongue to symbolize the secrets of sisterhood, used her brain to play wiffle brain (essentially baseball with someone's brain and a wiffle bat), and then smoked indoors.

Sounds like a fun place.

Here's the full letter from the dean:

[Photo by Perosha/flickr]