This begins a weekly[ish] piece presenting recent articles on college and higher education news and issues.
Just in time for the return of ridiculously expensive trips to Broad Street, U.S. PIRG has put out a study revealing the adverse effects of high text book costs on students’ (especially low-income students’) course decisions, and subsequently, their grades. There’s no other way to say it – this is a f****ed up system.
Not that anyone cares, because these things don’t mean anything, and they’re all just so arbitrary, and because rankings do not even matter unless Wesleyan scores high, in which case it’s super-exciting and you can disregard all that other stuff, but…
Unfortunately, it’s just not our year. The U.S. News and World Report—which by the way, has ranked as the #1 most useless publication three years in a row in this list I keep in the top drawer of my desk—had the gall to rank the prestigious Wellesleyan College at #17, down five slots from last year (or really up, does anyone else ever think about that, because 17 is actually a greater number than 12, mathematically speaking?).
Here’s the list, but instead of focusing on why or how we dropped this year (cough overenrollment cough endowment-per-student figure), I thought instead I’d focus instead on what it means to be number 17. I didn’t get very far, so instead I thought about what it might mean to be a liberal arts college (not in like a 21st century-cost-efficient-MRoth sort of way).
Flattering: Huff Post has placed Wesleyan at number seven on its list of the nation’s best dressed colleges, accompanied by a Method Magazine photo from—wait, is that Zelnick? Anyone know the occasion? A “Party on Fountain” outtake still?
Embarrassing: The attached blurb reads like a 60-words-or-less Idiot’s Guide to Wes-in-the-News Clichés. No, Wesleying Is Not Making This Up:
Our friends at Vassar (i.e., that school you’d probably be at right now if you hadn’t chosen Wes) are celebrating the school’s Sesquicent—okay, fine, 150th birthday this week, and the Mads Vassar blog (because “Vassaring” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it) is atwitter with excitement. (Twitter is also atwitter. See what I did there?) In fact, they’re so pumped about this so-called Sesquicentennial, they’re attempting to pronounce it! Check it:
Earlier today we reported on a disturbing shooting on Cornell’s campus, in which, thankfully, no students were harmed. Because it’s good to step outside the Wesleyan bubble every once in a while and remember that ridiculous shit happens at other schools too, here are two eye-raising headlines from our other peers in the Ivy League. Enjoy.
—Five Columbia Students Arrested for Dealing LSD, Coke, Weed: “How not to make up for that gap in financial aid,” quips an anonymous Wesleyan professor who sent us the tip. Five students at the prestigious Manhattan university—Chris Coles, Harrison David, Adam Klein, Jose Stephan Perez (also known as Stephan Vincenzo) and Michael Wymbs—had unknowingly been selling drugs to undercover cops for five months, in a probe cutely dubbed “Operation Ivy League.” Arrested Tuesday, the five remain in custody until they can muster bail. Their excuse? “I just sell it to pay tuition.” Responded Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly: “This is no way to work your way through college.” And, of course, frats are involved:
The police found a list of “10 agenda items” on a wall at Psi U last night, including an eleventh that read “Don’t sell drugs out of the frat house” with a note that read “Adam should have followed this rule.”
Read the full Times article here, or, for a snarkier glimpse at the students’ Facebook profiles, the Gawker take here.
Don’t miss this can’t-possibly-be-real-except-it-is footage of a Cornell professor losing his shit in the middle of a lecture after a rude student interruption—by which I mean, umm, a yawn. Some details, via friends at IvyGate:
A month ago today, Mark Talbert, a senior lecturer in Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, wigged out at a phantom yawner in his 11:40 am HADM 1174: Business Computinglecture. Someone yawned. He was all like “RAWR WHO YAWNED BLAAHGHGGHGHGHHGHG!”and everyone was a little taken aback and confused. And that should have been that.
Unfortunately for Talbert, the Hotel school was recording the lecture for posterity and posted it online. It was only a short step from the Cornell Web site to YouTube.
“If I hear one more of these overly loud yawns . . . Get up and walk the hell out! Yawn outside!” says an irate Talbert. “Stay outta class, whatever it is you need to do to get over it, I wanna know why 220 other people don’t find the need to do that. And you should be asking yourself, why am I the one loser who has to do that?”
Here’s the video, but click past the jump for Talbert’s follow-up, and a classy autotune rendition of the freak-out, courtesy of a Cornell frosh.