Speculating On The Lost Semester At Indiana University

College first-year Donk’s brief stint at Big Ten Indiana University in Bloomington is shrouded in mystery. It’s one-half of the RBD holy grail – the other half being the “IT Girls” pilot for the series Bravo chose not to pick up, particularly after test audiences deemed our burro “thoroughly unlikable.”

What went down at Indiana? A commenter writes:

I know some girls who lived in the same dorm as her the same year as her. It’s a large dorm, but it’s co-ed, and certain floors were reserved for certain programs–making it somewhat easy to narrow down which floor she might have lived on. The group of girls I know (who were split between two floors) don’t remember her at all. I have (embarrassingly) asked. One girl was like “She looks vaguely familiar and if it’s the person I’m thinking of, she never left her room.”

As an IU alum, I can see Julia not fitting in there at all. It’s a big school and easy for anyone (especially freshmen) to feel lost or invisible. Also there’s just no way her schtick would fly there. IU is definitely a place where substance is valued and cultivated over façade, all the way down to shallow-ish party people.

I have followed our dear donk since the [redacted] days, and I am inclined to believe that she wasn’t fawned over or immediately given special treatment, so she hid away in her dorm room feeling lonesome and saying “this place sucks / everyone here sucks.” I wonder if her Georgetown persona was an extreme overcorrection in reaction to her IU experience?

Of course this is all pure speculation. I wish I knew more.

Veeeeery interesting. Indeed, Donk’s exhibitionist routine never would have flown at a Big Ten school. Nor would Indiana have held her hand while tracking her academic progress, or lack thereof. It’s highly doubtful our burro would have graduated from a state school.

However, Georgetown has the lowest attrition rate in the nation and the administration bends over backwards to ensure students leave with a diploma.

If only Donk could be admitted to Georgetown as a transfer student, but how to compensate for that mediocre high school resume and dud college semester … ?

82 COMMENTS

    • Nope. We read the proposal and have it on good authority that no book was turned in to St. Martin’s.

      • But it is still posssible that somewhere there does exist a work in progress that was never submitted

        • That would have involved her doing work, so I’m not betting on it being more than a few pages of idiot doodles.

          • This. She received extension after extension and still couldn’t deliver, so I highly doubt a rough draft even exists. Just a few pages of notes. In colors (bright).

  1. She’s blogged that she was spending all of her time there pining away over Dan. He’d be the one to know what went on with her during that semester. Not sure if he is still reading RBD but maybe we can bat signal him somehow.

    • He hasn’t responded to any of her FB or IG posts in some time. Not even a thumbs up on Dodi. It’s worrisome!

  2. Was it a whole year or just one semester? I thought someone recently claimed it was just a semester when here we were thinking it was a year all along.

    At many good state schools, they’ll let you withdraw from classes one time past drop/add in order to keep the grades off your transcript. After that one gimme, you gotta take the bad grades, which can kill your GPA if you’re new. They won’t let you withdraw again. Then, if you can’t withdraw and take the bad grades, a low GPA will keep you from advancing with your class until you pull it up. You’ll get academic probation which can only be lifted if you take classes during the summer and pull your GPA up. State schools are really strict about not making exceptions. They don’t care about your reasons, of which Judy has been known to have many.

    • “Julia briefly attended Indiana University after high school, a detail airbrushed out of her public bio. She quit after a semester. Her parents landed her a job working as a legislative aide for family friend, Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk. That fall, she was accepted as a transfer at Georgetown University majoring in political science.”

      • So, just one semester at IU, then one semester at Mark Kirk’s office and onto Georgetown in the fall? So she applied to GT while working for MK that spring? So, her high school transcript and SAT were still in play? She had no college transcript to replace them with in order to show she could hack it? Strings look pulled, no? Maybe even donations made? Why would GT take a middling dropout from IU?

        To use the terminology of the recent scandal, if she didn’t come in the front door on merit, didn’t come through the back door as her folks didn’t donate enough to buy a building, then which door did she come through? And if sidedoor folks are leaving in the wake of the scandal are those schools going to reach back to others let in before them? The lawsuits are going to be interesting. One was filed day after the story broke. Did they just have a federal complaint to match the scandal just lying around the office? One’s for 5 million. One’s for 500 million. Dear Greg. I feel bad for the actual water polo players not recruited by USC because the spots were full.

        • If I recall from what she posted, she took a whole year off. I don’t know if that adds up, but looking at graduating dates for hs and college would help.

          • She matriculated at Georgetown in the fall of 2000, graduating in spring 2004. Donk would have been 23 years old when she walked across the stage to pick up that diploma, but rumors had circulated for years that she was in her late twenties. Blame it on the lack of sleep and troweled-on makeup. On bad days she looked like a circus clown on Thorazine.

          • I’m confused. She graduated HS in June 1999, and Kirk was first elected in 2000, taking office in Jan 2001.

          • She graduated New Trier in 1999 according to Wikipedia. So she did one semester at IU and was at Georgetown by the following fall. It is hard to believe she got in without some serious string pulling.

          • Wait. So, Mark Kirk took office in Jan 2001, and she started Georgetown fall 2000? So, when did she intern for him? Not in between IU and GU, right? He wasn’t in office yet, and there’s not a full year in between. Did Petey make a donation to his campaign, and Kirk made some calls? It’s not like licking envelopes, knocking on doors, answering phones or whatever an intern does was beneficial enough to warrant calling in a favor at Georgetown. Did they photoshop her face onto a campaign promo and send it to GU all what’s his face Singer style? So many questions. Too much time overlap.

            Also, do you think she was banging on about HBS because she thought daddy could make magic twice?

          • Donkey worked in his campaign and was maid of honor at his wedding. When she was 19, she worked as a legislative correspondent.

            I’m wondering if her work for him between IU and Gtown was for his campaign.

          • Also, “Kirk graduated from Cornell University, the London School of Economics, and Georgetown University Law Center.

          • I would assume Kirk used whatever connections he had as an alum to get her in the sidedoor. It wouldn’t be the first time or the last time a family connection facilitated undeserved access, e.g., the Tribune Media Services gig.

        • Definite side door action. Donkey has ALWAYS been a conniver and trying to cut corners, etc.

          • I would wager Peter was the one actually cutting corners here. He must have known she’d only graduate from a school that tracked its students diligently and so planned accordingly after the UI fiasco.

          • Yuppers. Where do you think she learned how to be a cheesy, low-brow chiseler?

          • And they almost certainly could not have afforded the amount it would’ve taken to get her into one of her parents’ alma maters

      • “She also worked as a legislative correspondent for Illinois Republican congressman Mark Kirk in the 107th Congress, later, during the 2004 election, contributing political commentary for Comcast TV.” She didn’t work as a congressional intern before GU because the 107th Congress took office in 2001.

        “Julia briefly attended Indiana University after high school, a detail airbrushed out of her public bio. She quit after a semester. Her parents landed her a job working as a legislative aide for family friend, Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk. That fall, she was accepted as a transfer at Georgetown University majoring in political science.” They put the part about Mark Kirk in the middle, but it didn’t happen in the middle of those two events. It happened after her second semester at Georgetown as GU 1st semester was fall ’00, 2nd semester was spring ’01 and Kirk took office in ’01. Anyone see donk racing back and forth between classes and Congress anyhow? And what the devil is a “legislative correspondent”? For whom? What outlet was babeh donk working for while running around Georgetown? It wasn’t the WP. And “legislative correspondent” does not equal “Congressional intern”. My 2L fiancee was a Congressional intern. It’s a real job with real work. Anyone see donk in the 107th Congressional intern class photo? Sounds all made up. She makes it sound like she dropped out of IU, went to work for Kirk and then went to GU. Not so. He wasn’t even in office and the election hadn’t even occurred until after she was at Georgetown. This is all bunk this time line. It’s “legalese” which actual lawyers call misrepresenting. She dropped out, daddy got her into Georgetown and later got her a job as a “legislative correspondent” at Greg only knows where (sounds like Kirk agreed to be interviewed by donkey for her campus paper or some such). I mean, when did she even write for the campus paper? Not freshman year? Sophomore? Junior? That Mark Kirk hubbub sounds like major backdating to make up for donk’s move home in failure. Someone find a congressional photo of this “legislative correspondent” class or any congressional photo with her in it. Strings, I say. Strings!!

        • JFA to add even that wikipedia quote is BS. This one: “She also worked as a legislative correspondent for Illinois Republican congressman Mark Kirk in the 107th Congress, later, during the 2004 election, contributing political commentary for Comcast TV.” The 107th Congress “met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2001 to January 3, 2003, during the final weeks of the Clinton presidency and the first two years of the George W. Bush presidency.” So, is it all just a big lie? Did she ever work anywhere near or in Congress or just about it like crashing a party? Jesus. Has no one ever factchecked her?

          • Julia reminds me of my batshit crazy sil. On paper you’d think you were meeting the greatest great to ever great. The reality? She’s 57 yrs. old, lives with her parents trying to scam them out of their life’s fortune, has only had steady employment one time in her miserable life (working for Daddy), while her 89 yr. old father financially supports her. She’s also a perpetual victim.

        • “Legislative correspondent” means “sending form letters to constituents,” that part I know.

        • *…which actual lawyers call misrepresention.

          Unfortunately for donk, misrepresention is the same as lying in the eyes of the law. It’s how your misrepresention is perceived by a reasonable person that it is judged, not how well the actual lie is cloaked. With all the focus on “presentation and perception”, the importance of truth and authenticity and substance is lost. It’s not how your initial, superficial charm is perceived. It’s who and what you are behind closed doors that counts. How such a privileged upbringing can fail to instill those values is baffling. Everything else fades. Who you are and how you treat people remains.

  3. She said that one of the things she bonded with Meghan and Mary over was that they were members of the same sorority BUT there was no Greek system when she went to Georgetown (it started there in 2013). So she must have pledged at IU and there’s no way you can stay in your room while pledging so what’s up? I’m sure there’s a lie in there somewhere.

    • I find it hard to believe that she was ever accepted by a sorority

    • I was not a Greek life person at IU, but one of my v good friends was (a DG, ironically).

      Here is how I vaguely remember it working back then: Rushing took place sometime late in the fall semester of freshman year, either the week of fall break or Thanksgiving break. Not sure when the sorting hat business happened, but by spring my friend def knew she was a DG (while continuing to live in the dorms). She probably went to the house for meetings and rituals or something, and then she moved over there her sophomore year.

      If Julia was only at IU for the fall semester, it’s possible that she rushed and was selected for DG and, knowing her style, she decided that was enough to legitimize her as a real DG.

      • But if A Donkey rushed and was accepted, wouldn’t the DGs remember her, at least vaguely? I’m calling BS on the sorority.

        • Hmm. I am two years younger than Donk, so IDK. I will ask my DG friend. She will know more. I think their pledge classes were pretty big. I went to their house a handful of times and I remember thinking it was so strange that my friend didn’t know a lot of her sisters’ names.

          In any case, I call BS too. My hunch is that JA **may** have gone through recruitment and **may** have even received a bid in the fall semester but she would not have been around in the spring to be formally initiated. (I don’t know the jargon that describes the membership process so hopefully this is close enough.) I really don’t think they would have done initiation in the fall bc I really remember rush week being tied to Thanksgiving break, and that wouldn’t have allowed enough time for that whole process to shake out, especially at a big school with a big Greek system.

          If Fat Rat is right and JA had planned to use IU as a respectable non-gap-year-gap-year (or semester) in order to transfer, she may have been worried that the Georgetown deal would fall through and decided to rush as a fail-safe (since she hadn’t built any friendships at IU and might be stuck).

          Or, more likely, she made the whole thing up. I don’t think she would have sacrificed her Thanksgiving break to rush if she had missed Dan so much.

          I could also see her having a random conversation w someone in the journalism building who was like, You should rush DG and she would much later in life say to her OMGsisters “I was totally a DG too!” (especially when we all know DonkLogic shifts so quickly from it could have happened to it almost happened to it definitely did happen).

          If I hear from my DG friend I will report back. 🙂

          • Texting with my DG @ IU friend (same age as me, two years younger than Donk). She says:

            “I’m pretty sure we came back early from winter break [to rush]. Then we pledged for a few days and found out at the end of those few days. I can check with some of my sisters. They will be able to confirm how it worked.”

            Also, in response to me asking if initiation was in the spring:

            “I think so? I know we did stuff with them spring of freshman year and then moved in sophomore year, but the details are really fuzzy. I will also ask about that.”

            So yes, Gilly, you are right in smelling that rat. If there is more to know, I will know it tomorrow.

          • JFAing myself, again. There is no memory of a Julia Baugher among the DG girls @ IU who would have been in and around her pledge class. At that time recruitment started sometime around Thanksgiving, then there was another round before the end of winter break, and new member education & initiation would have been in the spring.

            I mean, real shocking that she lied, right? Maybe she had her magazine subscriptions rerouted to the DG house, and that counts as membership.

          • Thanks for the intrepid detective work!

          • Yes, thanks for doing your best Hercule Poirot. I just found it so odd that folks who do seem to vaguely remember A Donkey at UI remember a young woman not leaving her dorm room, which is a persona at odds with a first-year who’s rushing a sorority.

        • Of course it’s a lie. Can you imagine any (normal/mainstream/legitimate) sorority wanting her?

          • Nope, the sorority thing was always suspect to me. They have rules and expectations for their members that Julia would be incapable of following.

          • She’s also thoroughly unlikable and a cringe-inducing machine

  4. So here’s my theory, having come from a relatively similar cultural upbringing to Julia (intensely competitive, college-bound, all about name-brand schools). Julia and her parents never planned to have her stay at IU for very long, and she intentionally flew under the radar and didn’t make friends in order to stay anonymous and eventually write this chapter out of her life. I know a handful of people from growing up who spent a semester or even a year at a local state school while they applied out to OMGIVY universities. Assuming they were able to transfer successfully, they never mention those starter schools.

    I can imagine that as Stanford and Princeton/Yale alumni, the Baughers probably weren’t thrilled when Julia didn’t get into any top-choice colleges, and figured that their best option would be for her to go *somewhere* while they started dialing in favors with Mark Kirk for an internship. Some parents nowadays would encourage their kids to take a gap year and reapply, but back then that was far less common and I could also see the Baughers being concerned that Julia wouldn’t do anything useful with her life that would make her more appealing to top colleges. I believe that depending on the school it can also be easier to get in as a transfer student, so… anyway. That’s my theory. IU remains a mystery because Julia and House Baugher intended for it to be forgotten from the start.

    • But colleges look at HS transcripts and SATs still until one is a junior transfer. She was a sophomore transfer, or freshman really as one semester credits doesn’t a sophomore make. She wasn’t the typical transfer either. She was basically a start over, yet with no college track record to merit start over at a more prestigious school. It doesn’t appear planned at all because it doesn’t follow college transfer schedules.

      • They may look at them, but they don’t need to report them to US News. Semi prestigious schools appreciate parental donations, they don’t have the endowments of HYPSM. And transfers are a way to guaranteed full price tuition payers, donations, and yet not need to include the transfer stats in the US News stats.

        NYU Law, GULC, and GW Law are great examples of this at the LS level. They take huge numbers of transfers who had low LSATs (compared to a schools 75/25 %tiles), but proceed their drive and marketability and likelihood of passing the bar the first time. So why not take them in and get the full price tuition? Student gets access to better 2L OCI and clerkship pipeline (get a prestigious feeder judge like Kavanaugh), school gets full price tuition. Very profitable.

        Colleges do the same thing, especially outside the top 10.

        • Yup. All that. US News and its ilk just get the freshman acceptance numbers. I speculate that Julia’s parents knew this and were figuring out backup options once she didn’t get in anywhere the first time around.

          UPenn also takes a ton of underqualified transfers with rich parents (I believe at least one Trump kid? As well as Trump himself?) via the same loophole.

          • I tend to believe Ma & Pa Baugher started scrambling when it became clear Snookums wasn’t going to make it at UI. They must have realized she’d need the constant supervision that Georgetown would provide if she were actually going to receive a diploma.

    • That’s sounds like a pretty good theory… The only thing being that donkey tends to dig her hooves in and refuse to do what is expected of her, so it’s hard to imagine that what happened was planned.

      LIU = Lie (about) Indiana University

  5. US news stats (the one admissions people care about) don’t count transfers, only freshman applicants. Lots of somewhat-prestigious schools have significant back doors in this regard. Georgetown, Northwestern (a big 10 she may have fit in at), GW, Cornell has it’s state school majors, Penn and Columbia have shady night schools, Columbia Engineering has transfer guarantees with mediocre schools, Harvard has Extension School (doesn’t give you access to on campus job recruiting the same as HUG). Even Yale and Princeton will (rarely) take a transfer. Yale’s lacrosse FOGO guy transferred in from a SUNY of all places (although he had a stellar GPA and is the best in the country at his position). West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs have prep schools for dumbs to see if they’re ready for academy work (T Rex McCain went to NAPS in Newport before being allowed into Annapolis and still finished at the bottom of his class).

    • You can’t get into the Harvard undergraduate programs via the Extension School, as a general rule (I suppose there might be a handful of students who have done it,but it’s not a Thing).

      • Obviously you’re going to have to lie and work angles, but I’ve heard of people doing it. Not being able to do OCR as a real HUG moots the value obviously. H also has so many great programs and is much larger than its closest peers so there’s bound to be more people working angles.

        • There isn’t an established pathway, but people can always apply and I suppose some of them might get in. But they probably would have gotten in with their prior coursework anyway in that case, idk.

    • McCain finished fifth from the bottom, not because of his grades but because of conduct demerits. Just wanted to set that record straight.

      • You can’t fall that low simply from conduct. Conduct is like 10-15% of the ranking formula.

        He was way too dumb and low ranking to have gotten an Aviation billet without DoD people intervening. Gross. People work hard for 22 years to have some asshole take advantage.

        • You still misrepresented (lied) that he was at the bottom, and subtracting the maximum demerits, which he got, would put him ever further from fifth from the bottom.

        • Are we insulting John McCain now?

          Wow, I guess someone is paying waaay too much attention to the Twitterer in Chief.

          • Yeah. Some of us come here to get away from all that.

          • Afghani has an even bigger hardon for denigrating the late McCain than does Agent Orange.

          • He should keep it on forums where it’s more appropriate

          • He said Kavanaugh was a “prestigious” judge.

            I guess in certain circles (functioning alcoholics, rapists who got away with it, Trumpeteers) he is….

          • I am not sure NAPS even existed whenever John McCain was young. In any case, TRex used that back door which is intended for recruited athletes and students from areas where they might not have every had strong math or science instruction (rural areas, poor urban kids, esp minorities). TRex also got an aviation billing despite being ranked too low in the Whole Person ranking formula.

            Julia dated Jack. Jack used back doors. People really think it’s out of line to mention that?

    • Kirk had been chief of staff for John Porter (Kirk’s predecessor as congressman) at one point. He also did something for the State Department.

    • Possibly a Booger donation in addition to full tuition. Dadsers was loathed at Georgetown for trying to throw his weight around, and I’ve often wondered if Judy would have graduated had he not been making noises in the background.

  6. I work as an admissions officer for an OMGIVY! and I will say that it’s easier to get in as a transfer student than as a high school applicant. People do transfer out, and while there aren’t a lot of seats to fill, there are some. In addition, top schools are more likely to be lenient with transfers because their stats (SATs, GPA, etc.) don’t count in our reports and rankings. Here’s how I’ve always rationalized how her transfer happened:
    1) New Trier is a strong public school/well-known entity for any admissions office, and while I doubt Donk was the Valedictorian there, she probably had decent grades and rigor. While not the shiniest, her high school record likely checked out.
    2) The lost semester at IU is the mystery to me. No clue of what grades she got here, but if they were middling or bad, they likely hurt her case. Transfers should have a decent balance of strength between high school and college; if one is substantially weaker than the other, it doesn’t help matters. My guess is she eked out a semester with mainly Bs (maybe an A or two) and that was sufficient.
    3) I imagine that her DC internship might have made her look a little more interesting as well; though, I don’t work for Gtown, where I imagine those things are more common, esp in the transfer pool.
    4) I’d bet my last dollar that Donk was a full pay student, i.e. didn’t require any financial aid, which makes any student infinitely more attractive. While Gtown is need blind now for domestic students (i.e. a family’s financial need doesn’t factor into admissions decisions), it likely wasn’t back then and a full pay student like Julia may have allowed them to balance the books and spread their financial aid dollars more generously to others.
    5) I know the world is pretty hype re: Varsity Blues and donations in admissions, but I seriously doubt Kirk or Dadsers had any pull here, financially or name-wise. If I had a dollar for every recommendation letter I read from a congressman/celebrity/VIP, I’d be a millionaire. (Their letters usually suck, BTW, and add nothing – don’t bother.) As mentioned above, a rec from a congressman at Gtown is probably even more dime-a-dozen. Unless Kirk or Dadsers was a close personal friend of Gtown’s dean (who’s super old school), Donk was just your average transfer applicant who was “perfectly fine; meh, we’ll take her”. Sorry to disappoint, bunnies, I know this is the prevailing popular theory here 🙁

    • Interesting insight – thanks!

    • But, she didn’t intern between Indiana and Georgetown. Kirk wasn’t even in office until her second semester at Georgetown. Can we take that out of the mix? It’s a lie she perpetuated.

      • My apologies – in 3, I meant the DC internship (as confirmed above, the not!Kirk one). For 5, I thought we were speculating that Kirk (via Dadsers) had some pull in her admission.

        • As Shirley noted above, thanks for the insight. Donk seems like a weak candidate, even for a transfer, but I can see the prospect of paying full tuition putting her over the top. “Meh, we’ll take her.”

          Love the screen name. Baugher’s tagline?

    • Her “DC internship” = her Kirk “legislative correspondent” gig, no? Kirk was her congressional contact. The details are so unclear because she made them that way to appear differently than they were. There was just one semester between Indiana and Georgetown, and Kirk wasn’t in office yet, nor had the election occurred.

      • She worked on his election though, and has pictures and poses with his future wife. Donkey was maid of honor at their wedding in 2001. I don’t know how much or how diligently she worked on the campaign. But the timing fits for that. He divorced the wife in 2008 or 9.

    • Why does anyone give a shit about this addled Tiffany Trump lookalike?

      • She’s a nasty piece of work but has been discussed in here several times, mostly because RBDers see a resemblance between A Cat and A Donkey.

  7. I’m too lazy to keep searching for it after I didn’t find it on my first second or third try, but some where online there is a record of donkey’s salary as an intern from MK and it will give the dates.

    • From OMG The Atlantic Donk’s fave mention when Erudite Donk arrives- “The argument that Senate offices, and employees nationwide for that matter, make is that the internship is exclusively for the benefit of the intern through educational experience. New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich’s website summarizes the sentiments of many offices when it states that “internships are available expressly for the purpose of furthering educational objectives.” Others, like Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, are blunter, noting that the internship “provides invaluable resume-building experience.” No matter how it’s phrased, these senators echo the private-sector mantra that interns are gaining instead of giving during their employ. Even though each senator details the litany of services interns are expected to perform, it is somehow understood that a full-time internship is a gift to the student, not the other way around.”

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