Student Reporters Survey College Social Scene, Campus Issues

Glenn Ricketts

  1. The hazing process of Dartmouth’s Greek organizations has become a national issue in recent weeks and a guest columnist for The Dartmouth offers some advice for reform from within to the sororities and frat houses on campus.  At the same time, the president of one fraternity protests that his organization is getting an undeserved bum rap, and takes issue with the administration’s response to unproven allegations against it. 
  1. A guest columnist for the Stanford Daily thinks that there’s a real problem with “escapist drinking” by undergraduates on his campus, while a colleague in the USC Daily Trojan offers some suggestions for off-campus-partying.  In the meantime, the editors of the Tulane Hullaballoo are really steamed about a proposed city ordinance that would prevent students under 21 from entering local bars.  And speaking of bars, a regular for the University Daily Kansan observes that straight girls can’t regard gay establishments as safe havens any more, since word is apparently out among their straight male counterparts. 
  1. The campus beat reporter for the Auburn Plainsman describes her introduction to the intricacies of dating at a southern school, something of a surprise, it seems.  On the other hand, a regular for the Independent Florida Gator notes that today’s college relationships are fluid and open, so you should really get it straight at the outset as to what the understanding is in yours.  From another perspective, a colleague at the KSU Collegian ponders the pros and cons of undergraduate marriage
  1. Black History Month is observed just about everywhere on American college campuses, but a writer for the Chicago Maroon suggests that the idea needs to be broadened.  At present, it doesn’t really connect to “black” experiences such as her own.  On a related item, a columnist for the Iowa State Daily tries to set some boundaries for what might be considered “racism” on campus. 
  1. At Washington University, St. Louis, a writer for the Student Life thinks that there are lots of ways to make the campus greener and to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.  The same theme was echoed in The Review at the University of Delaware, where another columnist makes a case for eco-friendly dorms  At the same time, a colleague in the Kentucky Kernal urges everyone to eat healthier by going for locally grown produce, which is likely to be much less contaminated by all kinds of impurities, and benefits local farmers  But an exasperated engineering major tells readers of the Cornell Daily Sun that she’s frequently vexed by overlapping and frequently contradictory environmental regulations
  1. The editors of the Columbia Spectator provide their readers with a symposium focused on the university’s undergraduate core curriculum, in place since 1919.  Among other questions, participants consider the issue of where non-western traditions should fit in.  If you’re thinking about what undergraduates should be reading, one respondent argues that a course covering race, gender and privilege is a good place to start.  But on the same subject, a writer in the Cornell Daily Sun thinks that objections to a book currently recommended for enhancing curricular “diversity” at his school are off base by a mile.  In the meantime, if you’re looking for real diversity in political ideology, a guest columnist for the Harvard Crimson suggests that you look off campus – it just doesn’t exist in-house. 
  1. As Passover commences, a writer for the Yale Daily News objects to its being lumped together as simply one of many “multicultural” events on campus, when it’s really about anti-Semitism.  A lively comments thread indicates that readers don’t all agree with him. 
  1. Free speech has become an issue at UCal/Berkeley, where an invitation to Louis Farrakhan has some campus groups incensed and demanding that he be barred from giving an address on campus.  That’s pretty ironic, says a writer for the Daily Californian.  The home of the fabled “free speech” movement of the 1960’s apparently can’t handle free speech.  If you don’t like what Farrakhan has to say, then don’t listen to him.   A colleague and former intern at FIRE agrees, and notes that many universities often use the “hate speech” of people like Farrakhan to introduce broad and unconstitutional speech codes that end up stifling all kinds of remarks that happen to be merely controversial. 
  1. The editors of the Daily Texan ponder the implications of UT/Austin’s recent rating as the most sexually active campus in the US.  Similar to a columnist for the LSU Reveille, they conclude that better sex education and sexual health services are imperative.  On a separate sexual theme, the regular sex columnist for the Chico State Orion describes her experience of coming out as a bisexual
  1. These days, college students are subject to myriad distractions:  for this columnist in the University of Central Michigan Life, it’s the ever-intrusive presence of social media.  And believe it or not, a colleague writing in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian thinks students nowadays often get too many vacations.
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