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 »
Last week, Lehigh University rescinded an honorary degree it had given to Bill Cosby in 1987. It decided to nix the honor because of the overwhelming number of women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault. (Cosby has never been criminally charged — though he currently faces several civil lawsuits —and has denied the accusations.)
“Pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Trustees, Lehigh University has rescinded the honorary degree bestowed upon William H. Cosby, Jr. by the University in 1987,” the University said in a statement. “In sworn deposition testimony, Mr. Cosby admitted under oath to behavior that is antithetical to the values of Lehigh University and inconsistent with the character and high standards that honorary degree recipients are expected to exemplify.”
Lehigh is not the only local university to have awarded Cosby an honorary degree. Seven other schools in the Philadelphia area — Delaware State, Drexel, Haverford, Swarthmore, Temple, Penn and West Chester — have awarded Cosby honorary diplomas. Philadelphia magazine reached out to all seven schools to ask if they were considering stripping him of his honorary diplomas. Here’s what we found out. Read more »
Here in America, there are more and more questions every day, it seems, about the value of a liberal arts education. But Patrick Gyimah Awuah enjoyed his years at Swarthmore College. No–he really enjoyed them. That’s why he used money he made working at Microsoft to start his own college in his homeland of Ghana. And his reward? He’s just been announced as the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant.”Read more »
It’s that time of year again — when college students go back to school, see old friends and probably hit the year’s first party. It’s also the time of year when U.S. News & World Report publishes its annual ranking of colleges.
The University of Pennsylvania is always a top contender, but this year had a slip in the rankings. In fact, it was the only school from last year’s top 10 to shift at all, dropping from a tie at No. 8 to No. 9. Read more »
Hot Diggity’s Saigon Fusion: Topped with fresh Cucumber, Cilantro, Spicy Mayo, Pickled Daikon and Carrot, Jalapeno, and crushed Peanuts.
Hot Diggity is popping up at Hobbs Coffee (1 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, PA) this Friday, April 3rd at 6:30 p.m. for the shop’s annual Hot Dog Jamboree. And even if Hot Diggity’s Keith Garabedian wasn’t making his first hot dog appearance since the closure of his South Street restaurant, this would be a can’t miss event for hot dog fans. Also appearing at the event:
Joey Baldino, Zeppoli
Scott Schroeder, South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar
Marcos Espinoza, Side Project Jerky
GitJo, Culinary collaboration of Craig Parahus (Amis) and Michael Strauss (Taprom on 19)
As the epidemic of campus rape continues to flare up — see fraternity, University of Virginia — so do lawsuits from male college students expelled for sexual assault. One such case, which I wrote about in my May feature on rape at Swarthmore College, dealt with a “John Doe” who had been found responsible for assault, then expelled, in May 2013. In January of the following year, while residing in North Carolina and attending a different college, he sued Swarthmore, claiming his punishment had not been merited. Here, from the piece, is a description of the incident in question:
Three things are set to happen once construction ends on the new development Swarthmore College has commissioned: First, more books will be available; second, the borough will get its first liquor license; third, Route 320 (Chester Road) will see a shift in traffic flow. Two of these are unwelcome changes for some Swarthmore residents.
As the Inquirer’s Laura McCrystal reports, an inn, bookstore, and roundabout are going to to be constructed in the area, the latter development starting this week. Hopes for the roundabout, which is planned for the intersection of Chester Road and Rutgers Avenue, include it “improv[ing] a dangerous intersection and connect[ing] the college to its community.”
However, opponents of the roundabout see it a different way: Read more »
Applications to Swarthmore College dropped 16 percent this year, and the school has a culprit: The extra supplemental 500-word essay the school required in this year’s app. By contrast, applications at Penn — which dropped an essay this time — saw applications to the school rise 15 percent.
“Twice as many essays at twice the length was too much,” one prospective student who chose not to apply told the Inquirer. To be fair to Swarthmore kids, lots of people go there for math and whatever. But also it’s an extra 500-word essay for a liberal arts school. You’ll be writing much longer papers if you decide to attend the school!