HARVARD: NOT SO SECULAR AFTER ALL Last Wednesday Gadfly received an urgent call from a shrewd, red-haired friend: “UHS is
By Michael M. Grynbaum and Evan R. Johnson


Chaste, polite, well-mannered, clad in a tasteful black gown and pearl necklace,19-year-old Kate Dierker is your ideal Southern belle. A first-year at George Washington University (GW) hailing from the wilds of St. Louis, Mo., Diercker and her sorority sisters were excitedly drinking and chatting at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday night (yeah—that Tuesday night), guests at the Republican National Committee-sponsored Bush “victory party.”

Delicately holding a glass of water – Dierker doesn’t drink, unlike other Alpha Delta Pi ladies in attendance – the young Republican gazed at the projection screens showing Fox News and the 4,000 conservative donors, friends and campaign staffers milling about the star-speckled floor.

“Republicans know how to throw a party!” she said, sticking out her tongue. Being stuck at a liberal mid-Atlantic campus hasn’t been easy for this born-and-bred conservative, who scored tickets to the event through a sorority sister’s family connection. “I miss St. Louis so much,” she lamented. “People are so much more liberal in every respect” in Washington.

But Dubya may not be the Rhett to this Show-Me State Scarlett.

“I’m a pretty extreme conservative,” Dierker said happily. “My ideal presidential candidate would be Pat Buchanan!”

Arden Anlian, a GW sophomore from New Mexico, stood next to Dierker. “Our campus is pretty dang liberal,” she sang in a southwestern drawl. A red, white and blue streamer dangled from her hand. “We’re not a very big athletic school, but when it comes to politics we are hardcore.”

Sophomore Kristen Hall, whose sister works for RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, agreed. “It’s a dirty little secret, being a Republican on campus,” the brunette New Yorker said. “We’re definitely a minority.” The all-white group of girls laughed loudly.

What’s Bush’s appeal? “He’s really cute,” Anlian giggled. “No, I just think he has a vision for our country and I don’t think Kerry has ever shown me what his vision is.”

Gadfly asked if Alpha Delta Pi was a politically active organization. Hall nodded in agreement, but sophomore Caitlyn McNally suggested otherwise. “I signed up for things. They send me e-mails but I don’t do anything,” she laughed. A few inches away, Hall’s face dropped a bit.

With so many young, well-dressed and similarly-minded collegians in attendance, it seemed the perfect night for a flurry of Republican love. But these peppy pachyderms weren’t interested.

Asked if she had spied any eligible Republican bachelors in the audience, GW sophomore Ellie Marble laughed. “That would definitely be a plus. But the president is our number one priority,” said the dirty blonde, clutching a plastic cup of champagne.

“I don’t need a Republican dating service; I do that myself,” said Sarah Gelinas, a stunning blonde senior at Smith College.

As the sisters bided their time watching election returns, a succession of awful pro-Bush country bands came out to entertain the crowd. One had penned a tune for the campaign:

“Some people say we don’t need this war; I say there are some things worth fighting for,” sang “patriotic” singer-songwriter Darryl Worley. “Have you forgotten how it felt that day; to see your homeland under fire and your people blown away?”

Gadfly made a beeline for the bar. It’s gonna be a long four years.

—Michael M. Grynbaum


A birdie tells us Special Assistant to the Dean for Social Programming Zachary A Corker ’04 was spotted—not far from Undergraduate Council Vice President Michael R. Blickstead ’05 and President Matthew W. Mahan ’05—at a UC party in Eliot C-51 last Saturday. Apparently he was doing field research on how much beer will be needed at the Harvard-Yale Game tailgate later this month. If Mahan’s 43-second keg-stand was any indication, the answer is a lot.

—MMG and Zachary M. Seward


The Harvard Independent, a.k.a. My Big Fat Obnoxious Newspaper, asks the tough questions in a Nov. 4 interview with Harvard Republican Club flak Lauren Truesdell ’06:

Independent: Was the election an example of American democracy at work, in your opinion?

Right. Unlike those other elections, which did not exemplify the whole “people voting for their leaders” thing. Did the Indy even pay attention in Gov tutorial?



An American flag outside the Spee’s 76 Mount Auburn Street headquarters stood at half-mast last weekend, presumably mourning George W. Bush’s re-election. Yeah, totally—how could this country vote for such a cokehead? . . . In his new book I Am Charlotte Simmons, Tom Wolfe takes on the contemporary college culture of boozing, sex, hard drugs, and selfish hedonism at a campus that he says resembles “Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Duke and a few other places rolled into one.” Thanks for the shoutout, Tom, but who are we kidding? Harvard belongs on that list like a Jew belongs at a Daughters of the American Revolution convention. . . . A red brick building on Plympton Street is currently awash in a tumultuous sea of institutional politics. An inside source says noses are browner, asses are glistening, and ups are being sucked like nobody’s business. Hava Nagila!

—MMG and ZMS Send your tips, frivolous gossip, and gratuitous rumors to