Feeling rejected?

U of C first-year pranks Northwestern–and they prank back

By Michael Lipkin

You might have gotten an A if you'd went to Harvard, but you'd also have to have been accepted.

First-year Emily Chen played on college admissions rebuffs last Thursday when she bought uchicagorejects.com and had it redirect to Northwestern's homepage. The site is part of a string of similar redirects for colleges across the country, including harvardrejects.org (Yale) mitrejects.com (California Instittue of Technology) and stanfordrejects.com (UC-Berkeley).

"It was completely spur of the moment," said Chen, who was inspired by the other reject pages.

She at first considered redirecting to the University of Illinois-Chicago or DePaul, but settled on Northwestern because its academic prestige was closer to the University's.

"I don't actually have an opinion about Northwestern. I'm pretty neutral," Chen said. "I was just recognizing a rivalry some U of C kids talk about. Northwestern's just as good as us."

By Monday, Northwestern students had retaliated, sending Chen hate mail. The domain name northwesternrejects.com was also purchased, and redirected to the University's homepage.

"A lot of people on the surface understand it as a joke, but still feel the need to make it know that they are proud Northwestern students, which is great," said Chen, who expected some nasty letters. "School pride is cool. I don't think they're actually bitter about being rejected from the U of C."

Chen's friends spread the link on their facebook and Gmail statuses over the weekend. "The rivalry is cute," first-year Eran Flicker said. "Yale does it to Harvard, Harvard does it to Yale. We're both two sets of good schools in the same areas."

Chen suggested that having ivyleaguerejects.com (already set to the University of Phoenix) redirect to the U of C's homepage would be a more accurate prank. "But it could redirect to any school website in the country," said Chen, who was rejected from Harvard and Columbia, but never applied to Northwestern. "It'd be pretty funny, but I'm not going to spend another $7. It's someone else's turn."