The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

As winter break is beginning for colleges across the country, students are journeying to different parts of the world to explore the various options available to the college population today. The most popular vacation option is likely a beach trip with friends. See here for a brief overview of five sandy destinations, including Cancun and Panama City Beach. [Article Click]

Although the beach is a popular choice, other options include camping, taking a road trip, and heading to Vegas. See here for various ideas for a great school vacation. [USA Today] [Backpack Asia]

If you’re more into hitting the slopes than hitting the beach, companies exist for the sole purpose of providing college students with access to affordable ski packages. [College Ski Trips]

Alternative Spring Break, or doing community service instead of a traditional vacation over college breaks, is a new movement that has spread across campuses over the past two decades. [NextGen]

While it is fun to go on vacation with your friends, family vacations are also a way in which to spend breaks. See here for ideas on where to travel as a family with college-age children. [USA Today]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

As the college age population, including those who take online college classes, enters into the final exam period of the semester across the country,many students feel the stress that accompanies excessive numbers of papers and exams. See here for a list of the schools that feel it the most. [Daily Beast]

There are countless causes of stress in college. See here for a brief overview of some reasons and methods for dealing with it. [Fox News]

As a way of coping with long nights of studying, many college students are turning to prescription medication to help retain their focus. Duke University recently changed its honor code to include unauthorized use of these drugs as cheating. See here for the effects of these drugs on college students, as well as an article on Duke’s newest policy. [OregonRXSummit] [Daily Tarheel]

We have often heard that people are either visual or auditory learners. It appears, however, that there is little evidence to support any real differences in an individual’s ability to learn using either technique. [NPR] [APS]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

While it seems colleges across the country should maintain consistent grading systems from year to year, over the past several decades grade inflation has skyrocketed. [NYTimes]

Studies have shown that private colleges award higher grades on average than public schools. [NYTimes]

Some schools have recognized grade inflation at other institutions and in turn decided to formally inflate their own grading systems. For example, Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in the Spring of 2010 announced it would be raising all students’ GPAs by .333 and altering its grading methods as well. See here for articles on the implementation, as well as the pros and cons of such a move by the administration. [The Chronicle] [NYTimes]

Princeton University has received both praise and critique for restricting the number of A’s awarded to its students to combat grade inflation. This move, rather than spreading to many colleges across the country, has had little success in gaining traction and the Princeton students themselves have expressed intense dislike for the grading system in place. [NYTimes]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

School spirit varies from college to college, but several across the country are known for the intense devotion of the student body to their schools. [Online Colleges]

In front of every roaring college crowd, there is a mascot in the school’s traditional costume. See here for a list of the best college mascots. [Bleacher Report]

While some college mascots are a symbol around which the entire student body can rally, others do not serve the same inspirational role. Whether it’s an anteater, a “geoduck,” or an artichoke, these mascots do not always effectively intimidate the competition.  [TopTenz]

While some schools show their spirit through athletics, others do it through long standing traditions. Many of these traditions, however, are more than a little unusual. [Online Universities]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

College football has an indisputable influence on citizens across America, both while in college and long after graduation. Recently, many questions have been raised about just how big these programs are becoming. In fact, collegiate presidents are beginning to speak out against the large emphasis that has been placed on football programs by university administrations. See here for an account on these issues from former San Diego State University President, Stephen Weber. [Washington Post]

It has become widely known that athletes are afforded opportunities to attend universities that otherwise would not be options for them. With regard to football, reports from the NCAA show that this trend spreads across all conferences in the country, giving football recruits up to ten times better chances of admittance than students in the general population. [ESPN]

In his controversial (and extensive) article, Taylor Branch discusses the case for pay-for-play college athletics, in which student athletes would be compensated for their time on the field. See here for the article as well as an interview with the author. [The Atlantic] [PBS]

The enormity of the college football sector has resulted in extremely high expenses and revenues across Division I schools. See here for information on how these figures have changed dramatically since the turn of the century. [Matlab Geeks]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

Collegiate athletics have an enormous presence on many college campuses across the country, and the effect continues to grow annually. See here for a list of the “Elite 50” schools, or those that rank the highest when considering both US News’  Ranking and the number of Top-15 Ranked Sports. [Stack]

College football remains a point of avid interest for many citizens across the country. Which team can claim it has the biggest fan base? Where do they live? How does that make sense? [NYTimes]

Despite the great strides that have been made for women in college athletics, there has been extensive maneuvering around equality laws. One is example is Title IX, which made discrimination against women in any aspect of education illegal. Some colleges have attempted to meet the bare minimum laid out by this law, while really maintaining their focus on male athletes. [NYTimes]

The differences between men and women’s college athletics is staggering, primarily as a result of men’s football and basketball teams. In particular, large disparities are seen between both men’s athletic expenses and revenues and women’s. [Matlab Geeks]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

Since 1992, women have outnumbered men in college enrollment statistics. See here for an account of how the pattern has developed overtime, as well differences between male and female valuation of college. [Pew Research Center]

Not only are more women enrolled in college, but now there are more employed women than employed men above 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree. [Smart Planet]

One ramification of the imbalance between men and women in college has been an alteration to the typical dating scene. As females outnumber males, girls are forced to accept a situation in which they “compete” for a small group of eligible bachelors while guys find themselves in a world with increased flexibility. [NY Times]

When looking at colleges, women have the option of enrolling in all-girl schools. There are about sixty of these in the country today and they provide a distinct learning environment for their students. See here for a short account of the advantages of a single sex school and a list of female colleges in the United States [College View] [College Scholarships]

Although overall more women are enrolled in college, in engineering schools female enrollment is actually decreasing. See here for the statistics, as well as an explanation for some causes of this disparity. [FINS]

Sandra Moon: In Defense of My Alma Mater, Vanderbilt

As an alumna of Vanderbilt University, I get defensive when my school is wrongly criticized.  In recent months, Vandy has gotten some bad press from certain news sources.  Usually when Vandy gets bad press, it has something to do with the football team.  This fall, however, the controversy has been centered on the university’s decision to enforce its nondescrimination policy. To Chancellor Zeppos, the Rev. Gretchen Person, and to everyone else involved with the enforcement of the university’s policy–I applaud and commend you.

Back story: The constitution of the Christian Legal Society, a student organization of Vanderbilt’s Law School, included a requirement that officers adhere to certain religious beliefs.  CLS, along with a handful of other, primarily religious, student groups, were placed on “provisional status” after a university review found the groups’ constitutions to be in noncompliance with the univeristy-wide nondescrimination policy.  The response from conservative news sources has been hostile.  In an article published in the Daily Caller, Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President of Fire wrote “Pity the modern college administrator — it must be painful to be so politically correct that you’re forced to make embarrassing and nonsensical decisions.”  Comments such as these have greatly angered me, mainly because they are unfounded.  And before anyone accuses me of being a militant secularist set out to destroy religion, I want to make clear that I am a person of deep faith convictions.  I was involved with a variety of student religious organizations during my undergraduate experience at Vanderbilt, and those experiences helped shape my journey that led me to seminary and to seek a vocation in ministry.  That being said, let’s move on…

Read the rest of…
Sandra Moon: In Defense of My Alma Mater, Vanderbilt

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

College admissions rates have consistently decreased over the past several years, often with dramatic annual drops. See here for the Top 100 Lowest Acceptance Rates in Fall 2010. [US News]

The Common Application is an online, standardized first-year application form and is currently used by 456 colleges across the the United States and internationally. Its widespread implementation has had palpable effects on college admissions trends, such as students applying to many more schools that they ordinarily would have. See here for the Common Application website, as well as an account of the effects the University of Michigan saw immediately following the form’s implementation in its admissions process. [Common Application] [Ann Arbor]

While the number of applications at many universities is continuing to increase, colleges are going to be seeing a smaller number of applicants as high school graduation rates are projected to decrease over the next four years from the 2009 record high. In fact, the number of schools seeing decreasing numbers of applications is growing alongside those seeing more. As more students consider two-year or only public colleges, the economy will perhaps take its toll on college admissions. [The Chronicle]

Social media is changing college admissions processes for both the applicants and admissions counselors. For the applicants, information about colleges is now more widely available through Facebook pages and blogs, and means of contacting current students have become much more accessible. For the admissions counselors, a new means of screening applicants is visiting a student’s Facebook page. See here for an article commenting on both of these phenomena, as well as a report conducted in 2008 by KAPLAN on the number of admission officers utilizing social media to evaluate applicants. [Politics Daily] [KAPLAN]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of College

One of the biggest questions during the transition from high school to college is something very basic… What to wear! This starts in the classroom when students must decide where to place themselves on the spectrum from pajamas to elaborate outfits. See here for one opinion on why looking presentable in the classroom is an important way to spend your college years.  [College Fashion]

As college students, many men and women like to proudly display their school name across their clothing. This does not mean, however, that one must don sweats every time he or she want to show their spirit. See here for some recommendations on how to support your school with a more updated, stylish look. [Next Gen]

Upon leaving for college, many young men are subjected to lectures from their mothers about doing their laundry and brushing their hair. Unfortunately, many of them appear to forget it as soon as mom and dad drive away. Here is a quick outline of easy things all college men should consider when starting out their day. [College Tips]

Southern schools are notorious for their distinctive, put together looks for both males and females, and students often place pride in this stereotype. See here for a funny, if slightly critical commentary of some traditional trends seen today south of the Mason Dixon line. [Thought Catalog]

One of the most distinctive features seen within the female population at Southern schools is game day attire. Across the SEC (Southeastern Conference) campuses, female students opt for combinations of sundresses, pearls, heels, or cowboy boots for the football games, rather than more traditional American ways. See here for an account from the University of Georgia, as well as a link to the website for a new book devoted entirely to this unique tradition. [Holy Turf] [Gridiron Belles]

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