Rumpus is a tabloid publication produced six times a year by students at Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. Visually resembling the New York Post, Rumpus is a controversial, humorous publication with content ranging from campus gossip to investigative reporting.
Rumpus was first published in fall 1992 by a half-dozen associates from the Yale Political Union and Calhoun College, one of Yale's twelve residential colleges. Rumpus claims to be the "Oldest College Tabloid", a play on the Yale Daily News "Oldest College Daily." (Source: Rumpus 10th -anniversary issue.)
The founders of Rumpus aimed to write "to be read" by fellow students; its motto is "The only magazine at Yale about Stuff at Yale."
Rumpus' annual "Yale's Fifty Most Beautiful People" list features glamour shots and profiles of the 25 most attractive male students and the 25 most attractive female students of Yale College. "Rumpus Rumpus" is a column devoted to rumors and embarrassing campus hijinks. "Remedial Media" critiques other campus publications including the Yale Daily News and the Yale Herald. Rumpus also closely follows the doings of Yale's secret societies, including Skull and Bones, to which both Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush belonged when they were seniors at Yale. The magazine regularly exposes membership lists and once even infiltrated the Skull and Bones retreat at Deer Iland (sic) in Canada.
In spring 2001, Rumpus closely followed First Daughter and Yale student Barbara Bush. One article, cited by the Washington Post and other publications around the globe, detailed an incident where Bush and her friends escaped from the assigned Secret Service detail by stranding them at a tollbooth. (Bush was on her way to see a wrestling match at Madison Square Garden.) Barbara's driver had an E-ZPass and the Secret Service did not, which put the Secret Service agents in a position where they had to race at a high speed to catch up with the First Daughter. The Barbara article received attention at the highest levels in the Secret Service and the White House, prompting the Yale administration to request that Rumpus pull the issue from their website for security concerns. Sources: Washington Post, January 7, 2004. excerpt from "The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush," by Post reporter Ann Gerhart; Wired, April 21, 2001.
In April 2006, Rumpus was accused of insensitivity by the Asian American Students Association (AASA) and other cultural organizations on campus when the magazine published two articles about racial stereotyping. Rumpus claimed that the articles were intended to ridicule racial stereotyping, not endorse the practice. AASA requested that both Rumpus and the Yale Herald (accused of the same insensitivity) be defunded by the Yale College administration. This request was not granted. Source:Yale Daily News, April 21, 2006.