Washington Post

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Quote Quotidien “Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college where you figure out two plus two equals ten, or something" - Dennis Rodman

10 Harvard students get “the lesson of their lives” in trip through Middle America.

 Harvard’s Institute of Politics launched a new program – the Main Street Project – aptly named to conquer the challenges of ideological isolation in college. Students “are immersed in small-town America,” and actively stride toward understanding rural America.

•    While not explicitly stated, one of the apparent goals of the program is to better understand the part of America that voted for Trump.

•    Some students admitted being “fed a steady diet of stereotypes about small towns and their folk: ‘backwards,’ ‘no longer useful,’ ‘un- or under-educated,’ ‘angry and filled with a trace of bigotry’ were all phrases that came up,” according to Salena Zito who supervised the program.

 Here’s what students say:

 •    Yale University: Andrew Mangino paints a detailed portrait of Midwestern politics in 2008 – a fascinating “calm before the storm” of the political fire that soaked the region in 2016.

    University of Wisconsin: Aaron Reilly reflects on how “the Democratic Party left middle America in the dust.”

    Stanford University: Stanford’s conservative review makes an impassioned, and stat-driven plea for including “the rural minority” in the political discussion.


As pressure on frats heats up, Florida fraternity faces lawsuit for publishing nude photos


The case has become sufficiently emblematic to warrant the legal services of none other than Michael Avenatti – the brash lawyer representing Stormy Daniels.

•    The case revolves around Kathryn Novak – a student in Arizona – whose nude photos were leaked to her boyfriend’s fraternity Facebook group called “Dog Pound” in October.


Here’s what the students say:


    Yale University: From the Yale Daily News comes “In defense of fraternities.”


    University of Pennsylvania: Lucy Hu implores fraternities to nix pledging: “suffering is not the only way to build friendships.”


    Wash-U: Katy Hutson compiles an impressive catalog of “fraternity-related headlines” found in the school newspaper from 1993-present – exposing the apparent repetitive cycle of damaging behavior sans consequence.


•    The case adds to a laundry list of fraternity malfeasance: Penn State suspended its Kappa Delta Rho chapter for 3 years for similar offenses.

 •    Syracuse “suspended 15 fraternity brothers who participated in videos described by the school’s chancellor as racist and anti-semitic.”

•    And “On Wednesday, Ryan Burke, a former Penn State fraternity member, pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges related to the death of Timothy Piazza, who was 19 when he died after a binge-drinking hazing ritual in February 2017.”



Business Insider: A look inside the weekly costs of a financially dependent college student (infographics included)


•    Alexa isn’t rich, and she’s not poor. She operates in a similar space as many students across the country, who receive financial support from their parents, while still working tirelessly to carve out extra cash for free time and leisure.


Here’s what the students say:

•    University of Florida: Katie Burns follows the (frugal) spending habits of a recent Florida grad who must spend carefully “for fear of falling into debt,” interspersing her account with Pew-generated data.


WSJ: Colleges joining forces in support of universal “report card” to better monitor fraternity behavior

 The effort aims to “keep tabs on Greek organizations in hopes of curbing hazing, sexual assault and alcohol abuse.”

•    The initiative has the support of schools like Penn State, Florida State and LSU to “track things like cumulative GPA, alcohol and hazing violations and chapter suspensions…to hold nationally organizations to account.”


The Atlantic: “The College-Graduation Problem All States Have”


Adam Harris of The Atlantic vigorously underscores the disparity in graduation likelihood across races:

 •    “The share of black adults who hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree – 31% - is roughly two-thirds that of white ones – 47%.”

 •    Further, “Latinos, at about 23%, are just half as likely.”

 •    Harris hints at the idea of bolstering funding for institutions that serve high proportions of minority students: “it could be as simple as diverting more resources to campuses that primarily serve minority students.”


A new movement is surging that vows to “Take Back Higher Education”


Heterodox Academy holds free expression and the pursuit of truth higher than any other value in pedagogy. The movement works against what it perceives to be the “censorious climate of higher education,” according to WSJ.

•    While the academy employs politically diverse leaders, they’re tethered by the common belief that “disturbing [students’] ideological equilibrium from time to time.”

•    The piece points to a potential downward trend in the rate at which students demand speakers to be disinvited because of their ideas – noting that

    Columbia University: Nikita Mary Singareddy wryly pegs the Heterodox Academy as “a network of academics crusading against odious, “leftist monoculture,” and continuing her claim by pointing out the movement’s disproportionate focus on humanities.

    Vanderbilt University: Max Schulman makes a plea for increased political diversity on campus, citing work by the Heterodox Academy in his argument.


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