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A thick envelope means you got in, a thin one means you didn't

In all the ruckus concerning someone at the Princeton admissions office accessing a dozen or so admission notices off of Yale's computer server, what's been lost is: what in the world could the Princeton admissions officer have gained by learning a few of Yale's admitting decisions?

One hypothetical proposed by a reporter at the Yale Daily News is that the information could have been used to help tailor better recruiting packages to attract these students. Perhaps, but I doubt it. Princeton had all they needed to know already; everything that the applicants listed as interests on their Yale application, one can assume, they also listed on the Princeton application. Some people have (somewhat jokingly) proposed that Princeton did it to help better recruit basketball players, and, while they have a point, if my school lost a playoff game to Yale in the past year, I'd want to fix the team, too, but I doubt this is the case.

I just don't see why anyone would do this, other than to check the security on the site (as has been claimed) or just because he was curious. Neither, of course, excuse what he did, but it does not seem to be all that sinister.

I have two more questions, though.

First, if the two schools would not have been Yale and Princeton, but had been the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, would the press be covering it so much? The same incident, the same everything. I doubt it, even though it's the same story.

Second, in addition to admissiongate, the Yale Daily News is fronting a story that Yale's unions may go on strike on the first day of classes. This appears to be a much bigger story, but addmissiongate is what's causing the buzz.

[David: Boy, this has been an embarrassing few months for me. First we get Cornel West foisted off on us again, and now this scandal. Plus, Paul Krugman keeps shaming the school with his New York Times columns.]


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