The National Popular Vote Twice out of the last five elections, and five times total, the candidate who won the majority of the popular vote lost the election for president. In the last election, almost all of the campaigning for president happened in just 12 "swing" states. If you are not in one of those states, your vote for president doesn't matter very much. This is because of the way that states send their electors to the electoral college, where (except in Maine and Nebraska), all of the electors of a state are allocated "winner take all". But it doesn't have to be that way. The Constitution (and Supreme Court) has left it up to the states to decide how to choose their electors, as long as they do not discriminate. They can do it any way that they want. Ten states (CA, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA), plus DC, with 165 electoral votes have signed onto the National Popular Vote. If states with 105 more electoral votes sign on it takes effect. It essentially does away with the power of the electoral college and moves to the winner of the popular vote becoming president. [more inside]
How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process. Buzzfeed News covers allegations of grade faking (and more) at Northwestern Polytechnic University.
"On or about December, 2014, student character changed” The New Yorker looks at millennial politics. Nathan Heller talks to many students.
"To be young, brown, and woke...THIS is our future, they are the ones who will pave the way." Latina Rebels founder Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is collecting photos of beautiful and inspirational graduation caps under the hashtag #LatinxGradCaps on Twitter and Instagram.
University Title Generator. Includes estimated salaries.
This morning, Harvard University announced that beginning with the Class of 2021, members of single-gender private clubs and Greek organizations will be banned from holding athletic team captaincies or leadership positions in all student groups, and will be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. [more inside]
"Students who are new to America or lack college-educated parents often don't know how important college is. They don't know their options. They don't know that the sticker price isn't necessarily their price. They don't know how to choose schools and apply for college and financial aid. They also lack the support structure that can keep them on track." Guiding a First Generation to College [NYT] [more inside]
"It’s college admissions season, which means it’s time once again for the annual flood of stories that badly misrepresent what higher education looks like for most American students — and skew the public debate over everything from student debt to the purpose of college in the process." FiveThirtyEight would like to remind us all that, despite what media and cultural representations of college would make you think, most American students are not 18-22-year-olds attending selective four-year institutions. [more inside]
Price of Admission
Howard University has admitted its troubles. Can it thrive again?
Howard University has admitted its troubles. Can it thrive again?
A tournament bracket of sad songs from 1980-2001. Vote for matchups and let's argue about sad music instead of politics. [more inside]
Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
Given that it's no longer widely taught in even the most prestigious high schools in the US and UK, and given the current economic climate, Why should Millennials Study the Classics?
Abigail Fisher, the white student who is challenging the use of race in admissions at the university which rejected her application in 2008, was back at the Supreme Court again, as she was for the first round of arguments in her case in October 2012. [more inside]
Kanye gave a lecture at the Oxford Guild earlier this year, and it's now available on YouTube for everyone's viewing pleasure. [more inside]
Playing in the Red: College athletic departments are taking in more money than ever – and spending it just as fast — a Washington Post report on how perennial NCAA powerhouses and aspiring contenders alike are using student fees to pay for exploding athletic department budgets. [more inside]
"[F]or a while now, think pieces have been fretting over the increased fragility of American college students, and blaming it on … well, whatever the writer thinks is wrong with kids and/or society today." What if it's just not true? [more inside]
As the first semester of the school year reaches the halfway mark, countless college freshmen are becoming aware that their clothes are feeling rather snug. While the so-called freshman 15 may be hyperbole, studies confirm that many students do put on five to 10 pounds during that first year away from home. Now new research suggests that an underlying cause for the weight gain may be the students’ widely vacillating patterns of sleep.
"In a closed-door meeting Thursday night, Yale University’s apologized to a large group of minority students for the school’s failure to make them feel safe on campus." [more inside]
And yet, for all there is to worry about — and we old folks love nothing more than worrying about the sex lives of young people — campuses are still filled with college kids excited about one another and the thrill of a night that’s just beginning. To them, college sex isn’t a headline but something real. In an attempt to get past the existing media narratives, and the moralizing that comes with them, New York asked college students what they think about the campus-sex climate. Or, rather, how they experience it.[more inside]
To Revoke or Not: Colleges That Gave Cosby Honors Face a Tough Question by Sydney Ember and Colin Moynihan [New York Times]
Few people in American history have been recognized by universities as often as Mr. Cosby, whose publicist once estimated that the entertainer had collected more than 100 honorary degrees. The New York Times, in a quick search, found nearly 60. But now, as dozens of women have come forward to accuse Mr. Cosby of sexual assault, colleges across the country are confronting the question of what to do when someone who has been honored falls from grace.[more inside]
The Capital Times of Madison, WI follows city and university police minute by minute through a college football Saturday: out-of-control house parties, unexpected fire alarms, the game of "who lives here," BAC .273, and of course a little Big 10 football.
A survey of 150,000 college students across 27 high-profile universities supports previous studies that sexual assault and misconduct is widely prevalent on college campuses. Discussion of sexual assault within. [more inside]
Anytime fraternities come up on Metafilter a lot of people express confusion as to why anybody would join. This essay, in addition to be well written and insightful in general, does a really good job of answering that question.
"The academy is no longer an investment of time worth making... I was a priest who had lost his faith, performing the sacraments without any sense of their importance." Yet another sad piece on academia, woe.
Touring abandoned college campuses, Second-Life style. What happened to the virtual-world dreams of a decade ago? Patrick Hogan of Fusion investigates, and finds a pirate ship, Test Questios [sic], and defunct certification programs. Get comfy. [via ArsTechnica]
As the demand for tech labor grows, ambitious teenagers are flooding into San Francisco. There’s no official tally of the number of teens who work in tech, but Fontenot estimates that there are as many as a hundred recent high school dropouts working on startups in the city. Some were too distracted by programming projects and weekend hackathons to go to class. Others couldn’t pay for college and questioned why they should go into debt when there is easy money to be made. Still others had already launched successful apps or businesses and didn’t see why they should wait at home for their lives to start. In Facebook groups for young technologists, they saw an alternative: teens lounging in sunny Dolores Park (dolo, as they call it), teens leasing expansive South of Market office space, teens throwing parties whenever they want. And so they moved to San Francisco, many of them landing in houses like Mission Control. -- The Real Teens of Silicon Valley: Inside the almost-adult lives of the industry’s newest recruits
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday that the White House will take advantage of a loophole in the 1994 law that banned incarcerated Americans from using Pell Grants to pay for college, "developing experimental sites that will make Pell grants available" to prisoners. [more inside]
“Tim Cook is fighting the sky-high cost of a college education by constructing his own school here without expensive buildings or well-paid deans. Classes are taught in local coffee shops. The administrative staff of two works in a church basement. The Saxifrage School, Mr. Cook's two-year old experiment, is seeking to upend the traditional notion that college students need a sequestered, ivy-covered campus—and will endure the price tag that comes with it. He is gambling that for a nominal tuition—$395 a class—they will use the public library, the neighborhood YMCA and existing apartment buildings to study, play and live in.” [more inside]
New York Times:
Mr. Duncan also said the department planned to develop a process to allow any student — whether from Corinthian or elsewhere — to be forgiven their loans if they had been defrauded by their colleges. A special master would be appointed within three weeks, department officials said, to create procedures to apply for relief that are “durable, not just for Corinthian but beyond.”Previously, previouslier. [more inside]
I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me. Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones. Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.
via NYT: "Each year, we put out a call for college application essays about money, work and social class. This year, we picked seven -- about pizza, parental sacrifice, prep school students, discrimination and deprivation."
"The administration of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, in rejecting Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment without demonstrating cause, and in doing so only after the appointment had been approved and courses had been assigned to him, acted in violation of the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the university’s own stated policies on the subject." The American Association of University Professors has issued its report on the Salaita case. [more inside]
Dr. Cassie Smith-Christmas writes about her brother, Ian, and the epidemic of suicides (trigger warning) at William and Mary College. The College of William and Mary hosted an open conversation on suicide prevention and mental health April 22 in response to criticisms about mental health on campus. [more inside]
Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the 'right to be comfortable' in British Universities. The New York Times chimes in on this side of the Atlantic. Popehat offers a possible explanation.
Stewardship and Legacy: Sweet Briar and the Future of Women-Only Higher Education (Previously) [more inside]
"Alumnae like to describe Sweet Briar College as a magical place ... That sense of magic evaporated in early March, after the board of directors decided that Sweet Briar’s failure to increase its revenue in recent decades had driven it to the brink of financial collapse. The board had voted unanimously on February 28 to close the 700-student college at the end of the current academic year."
An oral history of the 2009-10 Kentucky basketball season. Before those guys, the narrative on "one-and-done" basketball players was almost always the same. The kids were selfish and egotistical, using college only as a place to pad their stats before inevitably departing for the NBA. They didn't care about their team or their school, or class at all; heck, the commonly held belief was that most kids stopped attending classes after the first semester (if they went at all). As it turned out, one-and-done players could come to a school, play hard, work as a team, go to class and win big.
When a female student sued the University of Oregon over their manipulation of the punishment of three basketball players for gangraping her in order to allow them to compete in the NCAA Tournament, the university came up with a novel defense strategy: they released her records from the campus health center from when she sought therapy after the rape to their legal team. Without either consent from the student or a legal order opening the records to discovery. The scariest part: they may very well be in the legal clear. [more inside]
‘Gresham College has provided free public talks within the City of London for over 400 years.’ ‘Since 2001, the college has been recording its lectures and releasing them online in what is now an archive of over 1,000’ of them. Some examples: Snails in Art and the Art of Snails; The History of the Bowler Hat; “Speaking Scars” - The Tattoo; Mother Green Tree Frog and her Children: How Folktales Contributed to the Confucianisation of Korea; The Psychology of Doing Nothing; Möbius and his Band; Harmony in the Lowest Home: The Guitar and the Labouring Poor. [more inside]
How will strengthened Title IX enforcement at colleges handle the "hard cases"? Janet Halley, Professor at the Harvard School of law, relates some interesting anecdotes as potentially recurring situations to which there is no straightforward solution. There is the "young man who was subjected by administrators at his small liberal arts university in Oregon to a month-long investigation into all his campus relationships, seeking information about his possible sexual misconduct in them (an immense invasion of his and his friends’ privacy), and who was ordered to stay away from a fellow student (cutting him off from his housing, his campus job, and educational opportunity) — all because he reminded her of the man who had raped her months before and thousands of miles away. He was found to be completely innocent of any sexual misconduct and was informed of the basis of the complaint against him only by accident and off-hand. But the stay-away order remained in place, and was so broadly drawn up that he was at constant risk of violating it and coming under discipline for that."
In 1967, Ronald Reagan began a revolution in education by altering the scope and purpose of California's public universities: A higher education should prepare students for jobs. Full stop.
Rape on the Campus by Zoë Heller [New York Review of Books]
"Few would disagree that the systems for preventing and prosecuting sexual assault on US campuses are in need of change. But the efficacy and fairness of recent reforms that focus on making college grievance procedures more favorable to complainants and on codifying strict new definitions of sexual consent remain highly questionable."
In the Basement of the Ivory Tower. A 2008 article about a place where the dream of sending every American to college has an ugly encounter with reality.
President Obama posted a Facebook video today, and will formally announce tomorrow in Tennessee a plan to provide any American student with good grades two years of community college, for free. Tennessee is the president's last stop on his pre-State of the Union tour. [more inside]