Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses. Particularly this quote:

The col­lege has also charged 27 other mem­bers of SAE, stem­ming from events in the 2011 pledge term. While the other stu­dents all cat­e­gor­i­cally deny doing any­thing ille­gal, the infor­ma­tion that Lohse pro­vided to Dartmouth offi­cials may directly impli­cate him in haz­ing. As a result, Lohse – the only stu­dent to come for­ward vol­un­tar­ily – may be the only stu­dent who is ulti­mately punished.

Also, see “Allegations of haz­ing lev­eled against TKE ini­ti­a­tion prac­tices” and Daniel’s post. I have an idea for an enter­pris­ing reporter: take a deep look at fra­ter­nity abuse reports like this and answer:

  • What per­cent­age are fol­lowed up on by news orga­ni­za­tions, par­tic­u­larly col­lege news­pa­pers, after the ini­tial report?
  • What per­cent­age result in con­crete action under­taken by col­lege administrations?
  • In how many cases is the stu­dent who reported the offense the one who takes the brunt of post-publication attacks?
  • How fre­quently are reports the sec­ond, third, etc. time alle­ga­tions have been made against a spe­cific fraternity?

There are more ques­tions that would be inter­est­ing but the above would be a start.

Note that I dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the print news­pa­per and jour­nal­ism. Journalism is a prac­tice; news­pa­pers are a deliv­ery mechanism.

Colleges ought to be focus­ing on teach­ing jour­nal­ism and doing so in an appro­pri­ate man­ner which will best pre­pare stu­dents for life in the post-university “real world”. Teaching stu­dents how to pro­duce a print news­pa­per is teach­ing them to be obso­lete. Students should be learn­ing elec­tronic dis­tri­b­u­tion through mod­ern con­tent man­age­ment systems.

Aaron Hockley — College Newspapers: Still Teaching Obsolescence.

The frivolous college

Whitman College, my alma mater, sent these out to all grad­u­ates the other week. It’s a mini, lam­i­nated diploma “to put in your wal­let or a very small frame.” This seems about the worst pos­si­ble way to spend funds.

When tuition is increas­ing along with cut­backs in staff why in the world is money being spent on friv­o­lous things like this?

If I choose to go to a small pri­vate col­lege with tuition over $40,000 it’s for the small class sizes, rela­tion­ships with pro­fes­sors, and oppor­tu­ni­ties to get involved in a vari­ety of things. 1 It’s not for a lam­i­nated mini diploma one year after graduation.

Instead of wast­ing money on cre­at­ing, lam­i­nat­ing, cut­ting, and mail­ing hun­dreds of these to grad­u­ates around the world Whitman could have cov­ered the cost of books for a stu­dent who oth­er­wise would have to bor­row for them.

Notes:

  1. Which Whitman does pro­vide and I am thank­ful for and ben­e­fited from.

But not know­ing what pla­gia­rism is isn’t really the prob­lem. It’s unfor­tu­nate that right now the uni­ver­sity is crack­ing down so hard on pla­gia­rism. And the rea­son the uni­ver­sity is crack­ing down so hard on pla­gia­rism is because their prod­uct is less and less valu­able these days. When stu­dents pla­gia­rize, there’s an implicit recog­ni­tion that “I’m just doing this for the grade.” That’s why they do it. And that’s the way that the major­ity of stu­dents look at the uni­ver­sity, and have been for some time now. At my col­lege, the frats had rooms full of file cab­i­nets full of pla­gia­rized papers. Plagiarism is old news. It’s really not just that pla­gia­rism is get­ting eas­ier to do, with the Internet. The prob­lem is now that the grade doesn’t even get you the job.

The New Inquiry — The History of Dialogue: Other People’s Papers. (via Robin Sloan)

Imagine if Honda, in order to com­pete in the American mar­ket, had been required by fed­eral law to adopt the preestab­lished labor prac­tices, man­age­ment struc­ture, dealer net­work, and vehi­cle port­fo­lio of General Motors. Imagine fur­ther that Honda could only sell cars through GM deal­ers. Those are essen­tially the terms that accred­i­ta­tion forces on poten­tial dis­rup­tive inno­va­tors in higher edu­ca­tion today.

College for $99 a Month