Top 10 College Scandals of the Last Five Years

For as long as there have been colleges and universities, there have been salacious stories, sexual scandals and carnivorous controversies. In surveying the landscape of college scandals, it seems there is not enough space in this article to even graze the surface before dipping into the triple digits.

While colleges in general are always prone to controversy (such as UCLA’s former director of the Willed Body Program being sentenced to four years in prison for selling body parts on the black market), I decided to relegate this survey to the tawdry antics of the students themselves. And, to insure I kept this entry to a reasonable length, I looked only at college student scandals that occurred in the last five years (2006 to 2011). So, gentle reader, now that the heavy lifting is complete, I implore you to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Here are the top 10 college scandals of the last five years.

10) USC Rooftop Sex (2011)

We start this list with the most recent college student scandal (as of this writing, at least), which involved a pair of USC students having sex on the roof of Waite Phillips Hall in March of 2011.

The couple seems oblivious to the photos taken of their escapade, which makes the scandal all the more interesting as, by all appearances, their goal wasn’t to get caught. But caught they were and so followed the scandal.

9) ASU’s Racy Cheerleaders (2008)

In February of 2008, the Arizona State University cheerleading team got into trouble when some sexy pictures leaked out on to the Internet. This story became all the more interesting when ASU eliminated the cheer program following the scandal.

While ASU Assistant Athletic Director, Steve Hank, made no connection between the tawdry pictures and the elimination of the cheer squad, the timing is still curious—not only cementing the scandal, but adding the delicious element of conspiracy.

8) BYU Bans Brandon Davies (2011)

As sex scandals go, few, if any, students have gotten more attention for doing less than Brandon Davies. The 19-year-old sophomore was kicked off of Brigham Young University’s basketball team for having premarital-sex with his girlfriend.

Based on the number 10 story on this list, Davies might want to consider playing basketball for USC.


7) Halloween at Duke (2010)

In November of 2010, the Sigma Nu fraternity at Duke University sent out an email to 300 Duke women inviting them to their Halloween party. It wasn’t the party or, necessarily, anything that happened there, that was scandalous, but rather the invitation itself.

The invitation asks female invitees to “just [be] a total slut” and to “show off the costumes you put more thought into than your major.” The emails outraged many students and school officials, adding one more black eye to a school whose scandalous past will be well represented on this list.

6) Yale Sex Tape (2007)

In September of 2007, Casper Desfeux, a 20-year-old Danish student from Yale, was arrested for filming himself having sex with his girlfriend—she, of course, had no idea.

According to Desfeux, he wasn’t able to email the video out as it was too lengthy at 45 minutes. He did, however, show the video to his four roommates—one of whom decided it best to tell Desfeux’s unwitting co-star about the video.

I’m not sure if this story is more interesting because it happened at an Ivy League school or because that dude looks like a total douche bag.

5) Northwestern Sex Demo (2011)

In February of 2011, Northwestern University found itself knee-deep in controversy when more than 100 students watched as a naked 25-year-old woman, Faith Kroll, was penetrated by a sex toy by her 45-year-old finance, Jim Marcus.

The controversy, beyond the live sex act performed on campus, was that it was organized by John Michael Bailey, a psychology professor at Northwestern, as an educational demonstration.

On the bright side, this scandal introduced a new word to my vocabulary: Fucksaw.

4) Karen Owen Sex List (2010)

In September of 2010, Duke graduate Karen Owen turned the world of college sex scandals on its ear. While it is usually male students objectifying female students in some form or fashion, Owen put the shoe on the other foot when she wrote her unofficial senior thesis titled: An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics.

The thesis, which she showed to a couple of friends, featured ratings and analysis of all the men she had sex with while a student at Duke, gauging everything from performance to penis size.

From all the dudes she was “researching,” I’m impressed she had time to master PowerPoint. Of course, probably more impressive than that, her scandal inspired a ripped-from-the-headlines episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

3) Yale Frat Chant (2010)

In October of 2010, Yale fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (founded in 1844) had their pledges reciting a chant that featured the refrain, “No means yes. Yes means anal.”

Aside from the inflammatory chant, what further stoked the fire of this scandal was the initiation took place on Old Campus, which houses not only the oldest building on the Yale campus, but also the majority of its freshman women.

Note: The above picture actually stems from a separate Yale scandal, which occurred in January of 2008. At least America can take comfort in knowing Yale is doing its part to produce well-educated douche bags.

2) Duke Lacrosse Sex Scandal (2006)

Fifteen months later, the students were cleared of the sexual assault charges, but not without lasting damage to both their personal reputations and that of Duke University. Five years removed from the incident, the accused lacrosse players have been given permission the sue the prosecutor who brought the case against them.

I wonder if, in the event they win the case, they’ll throw another lacrosse-style party? You know, for ol’ times sake.

1) Compton Cookout (2010)

The invitation promised a taste of “life in the ghetto” and implored women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” As for food, the party promised to provide chicken and watermelon.

I have to imagine that as soon as this story hit the headlines, both Yale and Duke started writing thank you letters to UC San Diego for doing something shitty enough to make us forget about them for a little while.

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