Tag Archives: usa today

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

The recent news that a Wesleyan student is suing Psi  U due to rape allegations has sparked debate over the role of fraternities in sexual assault, and their presence on college campuses. Zach Schonfeld ’13 has written two in-depth articles on the matter. The first explores the history of various universities that have decided to get rid of their fraternities, and the follow-up wondering if Wesleyan will be the next to do the same.

A recent piece in The Nation explores the worrying fate of publically engaged academic intellectuals in the university system, reflecting on the recent firings of two Columbia professors.

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

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.

Whatever Happened to that Need-Blind Thing?

Zach Schonfeld ’13 is bringing it back, baby.  The topic, I mean. Not the actual thing. The topic.

Pictured: Roth answers student questions regarding need-blind at a forum in September.

Pictured: President Roth answers student questions regarding need-blind at a forum in September. Photo by Rachel Pincus ’13.

Remember way back when the campus was all talking about need-blind and stuff? Man, when was that? Oh oh, only three months ago?! Are you sure? What happened?!

Need-blind has been conspicuously absent from campus discussion lately. (I would have put a link in that last sentence but really, nobody’s talked about it much in months.) Many of need-blind’s most fervent and vocal advocates have burned out, have moved on, have grown hoarse from what seems to be a stagnant discussion. (Have forgotten?)

Fortunately, Our Most Glorious and Dear Leader Zach is having none of that. His recent article in USA Today College focuses on recent activism taking place among alumni rather than students, describing a “poignant patchwork of alumni perspectives” manifesting themselves in a plethora of petitions recently circulating amongst alumni. First there was one asking alums to withhold donations (for reasons involving sexual assault as well as need-blind), then came Lana Wilson ’05s more recent Change.org petition. Zach’s bit discusses the general alumni response, covering both sides of the donation argument and everything in between. There is also a quote from President Roth, responding to the alumni voices:

USA Today on Wes Bands, Eclectic, Elmo Costumes

User comment of the year: “AWE SWEEETTTT! Music mucho bien. TRolOlOlololol”

Guys. We’re famous. Again.

Remember that time Wesleyan became the “epicenter of surrealist Brooklyn pop”? The Village Voice cast an approving eye on Wesleyan’s music scene in August 2009—the dawn of my freshman year—back when MGMT was a fresh success story and Das Racist, Boy Crisis, and Bear Hands were all up-and-coming reference points. That article bears mention for a number of reason: it replaced the Hollywood “Wesleyan Mafia” with a slightly more bearded Brooklyn contingent; it brought VanWyngarden and friends to the mainstream of Wesleyan’s admissions information sessions and applicant pool (remember this?); and it contained this extraordinary sentence:

Thus did the young scholar soon find himself at a nearby co-ed fraternity called the Eclectic Society, rocking indeed with one Will Berman, now the drummer for Wesleyan-bred, quasi-hippie, semi-famous electro-rockers MGMT.

It’s been two-and-a-half years, so we’re well overdue for another gushing Wesleyan music feature in a mainstream news source.

This time it’s USA Today’s College page; headlined “Student and alumni musicians bring ‘Wesleyan Wave’ to the national scene, the article comes complete with a “Wesleyan Playlist” of Soundcloud embeds that runs the gamut from Das Racist and and Santigold to C¥BERGIGA and Lioness. Anyone smell hype? I smell hype.

What I like about this article—at least compared with the 2009 Voice piece—is that it extends its scope well beyond a few high-profile alumni. So yeah, it begins by pointing out that “MGMT, Das Racist, Santigold, Amazing Baby, Bear Hands and Fort Lean all boast [Wesleyan] diplomas” (no dice, Amanda Palmer ’98, who both performed this fall and has written music about Wesleyan), but soon refocuses on current student activity, which includes both concert-booking (a smorgasbord of examples from the last three semesters) and student bands (Peace Museum, Lioness, and Awesomefest all get shout-outs).