Ursinus Isn’t the Only College With Hundreds of Sick Kids

Norovirus. Image | NIH

Norovirus. Image | NIH

We thought kids these days only communicated over their iPhones and existed curled on their beds in miserable isolation, but we must be wrong, since the nation’s college campuses are being swept by contagious disease. An article in Inside Higher Ed reflects on the current wave of epidemics, which include 200 sick with norovirus — which was the culprit at Ursinus College locally back in February — at Miami University of Ohio, 150 downed at the University of Michigan, 120 at Boston U. in December (they’d all been to Chipotle) and dozens at UC Berkeley.

There’s some cool stuff about how plucky Ursinus soldiered through its ordeal (“They came in waves,” says campus medical director Paul Dogramji), by closing the dining hall and drenching the campus in hand sanitizers while students hashtagged #ursinusplague and armed themselves with samurai swords. Dogramji notes, interestingly, that none of the school’s medical staff came down with the bug (“If you exercise good prevention methods, even if you have close contact, you won’t necessarily get it”), and that a campus is a lot like a cruise ship, another closed environment that’s seen massive outbreaks of contagious disease. Read more »

Two Philly Colleges Among Best at Bridging Gap Between Humans and Computers

Drexel -Phila U

While technology is made to advance, it’s also made to be accessible. UX Design, an emerging field of computer science and engineering, is closing the gap between humans and computers, allowing new innovations to be comprehensible, constructive and coherent. These platforms include User Interface (UI), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Human-Centered Computing.

Graduate schools across the country are working hard to improve human-computer interaction — and Philadelphia colleges are no different. Now two schools in Philly have been ranked in the Top 50 Best Value UX Design Graduate Programs of 2016 by Value Colleges. Read more »

Survey: Today’s College Freshmen Are Leftist, Altruistic, Money-Hungry and Very Likely to Protest

 

15 Now protesters - Broad Street - $15 minimum wage

Protesters march up Broad Street on their way to Temple president Neil Theobold’s office. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

If it seems like every time you look, those crazy kids at Penn and Princeton and Swarthmore and Temple are protesting something … they are. (Not the kids at Ursinus, though; they’re not feeling well.) A newly released survey of college freshpersons by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA (see the full results below) shows nearly nine percent say the chances are “very good” that they’ll take part in a protest during their college years. That’s a leap over the 5.6 percent who said so in the 2014 survey, and the highest percentage since the annual survey began in 1967. That’s right: More kids are up in arms now than at the height of the Vietnam War. Read more »

96 Ursinus College Students Now Reporting Stomach Infection Symptoms

Ursinus

About 96 students have reported having symptoms of a stomach infection at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., and at least 22 of those students had to be treated at area hospitals, according to the Montgomery County Health Department, but Ursinus says it is unclear what caused the outbreak.

“On Tuesday evening a number of Ursinus students were taken ill with a stomach infection,” the school said in a statement on its website Wednesday. “Symptoms included prolonged vomiting, and a number of students went to the hospital or to urgent care centers for treatment. As of Wednesday morning, there have been reports of approximately 40 students who have become ill.” Read more »

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 »

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