Local Colleges Still Losing War Against Student Drinking

Pity the poor American institution of higher learning. Student drinking on campuses leads to property damage, arrests, injuries and deaths, hazings, and a tsunami of reports of student sexual assaults. (Research shows that 89 percent of those assaults involve drinking.) A recent study declared Pennsylvania colleges sixth in the nation in alcohol arrests of students, led by Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Lehigh, Penn Tech, Penn State and Kutztown — not the sort of high ranking universities crave. So naturally, administrators are doing their damnedest to clamp down on alcohol. At Swarthmore College, for example, new rules — no more hard liquor at school-sponsored parties, no more drinking games like beer pong, no more punch or party bowls — went into effect on campus in the fall of 2014. Students, predictably, were not enthused. “Seriously — can the admin with a straight face — indeed genuinely — defend these rules?” one incredulous undergrad demanded in the student newspaper, the Daily Gazette.

A year and a half later, a new report from Swarthmore’s department of public safety shows that while alcohol incidents at the campus’s three major social events dipped slightly in the first year of the more stringent prohibitions, they’ve since soared to new heights. (Nifty chart here.) Read more »

Temple’s Online MBA Ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report

Temple University's Fox School of Business.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

For the second year in a row, Temple University’s Fox School of Business was named the No. 1 online MBA program in the country by U.S. News & World Report — but this year it won’t have to share the top spot.

In 2015, Temple was tied with with Indiana University and the University of North Carolina. In both years, Temple earned a perfect score of 100. Read more »

Report: Jefferson and Philadelphia University to Merge

Jefferson Philly UThomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University put out a curious press release on Thursday morning, saying the two organizations signed a letter-of-intent “to pursue integration of the two organizations.”

But the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the two organizations will merge.

Representatives from Jefferson and Philadelphia University declined to offer any additional information. A press conference is set for 3 p.m. on Thursday. Read more »

Why Philly’s Dropping Rents Are Great for Retaining Talented Millennials

Although Philadelphia is going through an obvious real estate boom, with cranes in the air throughout downtown and luxury homes sprouting up in previously unlikely neighborhoods, it’s interesting to note that rents have actually fallen over the past year.

That’s according to a new study from Zumper, finding that the median rent for a Philadelphia one-bedroom apartment in November 2015 was $1,240, down 5.3 percent from the previous year. The median rent also fell 4.6 percent from the previous month and the previous quarter.

While landlords might complain about getting less money for their properties, keeping cost of living low is an absolute must for attracting young professionals and fighting brain drain from local colleges and universities. Read more »

Attention Undergrad Startup Founders: Here’s How to Win $15,000

Jirsak/Shutterstock

Jirsak/Shutterstock

If you’re a Philly undergrad with a great business idea listen up — there’s an upcoming competition where you earn $15,000 in prize money.

The Philadelphia Regional Entrepreneurship Education Consortium is hosting College Pitch Philly, a pitch competition for the youngest of local companies. To qualify, the company CEO or leader must be an undergrad in the Philly area, and at least half of the employees (if there are any) must also be undergrads. Read more »

Temple Adjuncts Join Full-Time Faculty Union

shutterstock_temple-flag-940x540

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has tallied secret ballots cast by adjunct faculty at Temple in an election earlier this fall, and those faculty are now represented by the Temple Association of University Professionals, the union that previously represented only full-time faculty. Many adjuncts had protested in favor of such unionization at rallies on the school’s North Broad Street main campus and at City Hall.

The merger between the TAUP and adjuncts, who teach part-time and are not tenured, will add some 1,400 professors to the faculty union. The final count, according to the PLRB, was 609 votes in favor of the merger and 266 votes not to unionize, with 32 ballots disqualified. All schools except for law, dentistry, medicine and podiatric medicine are affected by the change, which will allow TAUP to represent both full- and part-time faculty in negotiations with the university over pay, benefits and work rules. Read more »

WATCH: College Protesters: “We Are #Mizzou”

A crowd of about 300 took to the middle of Broad Street Thursday evening to make a point about student debt and racial inequality.

As part of the Million Student March taking place nationwide, students from Temple, Penn, Community College of Philadelphia, and Drexel began at their own campuses and then converged at City Hall. Their demands are familiar: $15 an hour minimum wage, student debt forgiveness, and free education.

But much of the protest’s focus was on race, especially in light of the recent unrest at the University of Missouri and Yale University. Read more »

How Penn Just Ushered In the Apocalypse

We saw the writing (ha!) on the wall back in May, when Penn announced it would no longer be considering applicants’ scores on the essay portion of the SAT while pondering whom to admit to its hallowed halls. We winced a bit when we saw that the comments beneath a recent Daily Princetonian article on a student’s attempted suicide had devolved into a flame-throwing, name-calling brawl over whether “the person allegedly hanged themselves” was grammatically proper or not. We fell into a fever when we watched a privileged young Yalie scream at a professor to “SHUT UP!,” then fainted dead away when we read another Yale student’s defense of said screaming in the student newspaper, which featured the immortal line, “I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.” Really, we’d like to see that tattooed on every incoming Ivy League frosh.

Read more »

Penn Makes Highly Dubious List of 20 Prettiest Colleges on Earth

The “BuzzFeed community” has ranked the Most Beautiful College Campuses in the World, and the good news is that Penn is on the list, at number 13, represented by photos of a snow-covered Quad and the LOVE statue. The bad news is that the Most Beautiful College in the World is someplace called Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia, where 2,000 lucky students get to wallow in glory that surpasses that of every other college campus on earth. (Berry’s photos show a grandiose quad with a reflecting pool and very bad grass, as well as a Teutonic-looking farm.) Read more »

Teaching College Today Was Downright Eerie

It is one of those things that you didn’t sign up for as an educator, the idea that you might have to wear a bulletproof vest to lecture on how to edit business communications. That doesn’t cross your mind when you’re getting your master’s degree.

But last night, as my college sent out a mass email about the FBI’s warning over some sort of violent action that might take place at a Philadelphia-area college, I seriously thought about canceling class.

Many of my colleagues did just that: Maybe it was fear, or maybe it was the fact that half of their students started emailing them, saying that there was no way they were coming to campus today, so, to be frank, it was more of a logical choice to call it quits before even showing up. In short, what’s the point? Read more »

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