The real value of a Brown education

Mr. Mackey / South Park

On January 19th, the ProPo arrested 22-year-old Jeffrey Martin, a local Brown alum, for running a “makeshift drug lab” in his South Providence apartment.  According to a ProJo 7 to 7 news blog update published today, Martin told the police that he had learned how to make narcotics in the courses that he took at Brown.  Unfortunately, those same courses didn’t also teach him how to adequately hide a clandestine apartment-based drug operation.  Come on BIOL1210.  Get your shit together.

Read about the full story in the Herald on Thursday.

“Operation Ivy League”

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What a week our fellow Ivy Columbia is having…

Multiple news sources are reporting that the NYPD have arrested 5 Columbia students for dealing drugs as the conclusion of a 5-month long investigation dubbed “Operation Ivy League.”

For complete details and continuing coverage of the situation, be sure to check out Columbia’s student run blog, Blog Daily Columbia BWOG.

Does Adderall mess with your mind?

It’s a well-known semi-secret fact that some students take study drugs to enhance their academic performance. And new articles are pointing out what should have been obvious — that taking prescription ADHD drugs when you do not have the disorder can cause psychological problems.

With more students able to buy the pills or to fake the symptoms to get a prescription, study drug abuse is considered a growing problem.

An ABC article points to a suicide of a Vanderbilt student last May as just one example of someone who used Adderall improperly, and on whom the drug worked in a negative way. Between 2000 and 2005, the FDA recorded about 1,000 cases of psychosis or mania associated with drugs like Aderall, according to ABC. Extended use of the drug has been linked to depressed mood, increased anxiety, and higher rates of aggression, psychosis and suicide, as well as the rare but irreversible onset of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Is getting an A on a midterm really worth the risk?

Georgetown lab wasn’t making meth after all

Since BlogDH’s last post on the Georgetown drug lab drew such heated response, we felt an update was necessary.

New findings show the students were not making methamphetamine in their dorm lab. They were in fact making a hallucinatory drug called dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. The Washington Post calls it an “esoteric LSD-like drug.” It produces similar effects, but for a shorter duration, and is often sprinkled on pot and smoked.

Though it’s not meth, DMT seems pretty dangerous. It’s described as “the terror drug,” and is much too intense for most would-be users, though it’s been around for a while.

Two students, one from Georgetown, one from the University of Richmond, are being held in connection with the DMT lab.

Study drugs: helpful tool or form of cheating?

Ritalin, a form of cheating? — Heather Stone / Chicago Tribune (MCT)

It’s a well-accepted fact that some students use a little more than coffee and hard work to get ahead on their school work. But recent changes to Wesleyan University’s Code of Non-Academic Conduct bring the (im)morality of study drugs to the fore.

This semester, Wesleyan updated its Code of Non-Academic Conduct to prevent “misuse or abuse” of prescription drugs, according to a report from Inside Higher Ed. While many schools have policies against the use of drugs not prescribed to the user, those policies are usually based on health concerns.

But it seems with this move from Wesleyan, the use of study drugs is being raised as a moral issue. The Honor Code at Wesleyan requires that academic work is completed “without improper assistance,” so the implication is that the use of non-prescribed stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin that keep students awake, alert and focused, is ethically wrong.

But the issue is still up for debate. David Leibow, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry in Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, quoted in Inside Higher Ed, called the ethical motivation behind the ban “dubious,” and compared their use with drinking coffee or simply having a better work ethic than other students.

So Blog readers, what do you think? Is using a pill to help you get through a paper or an exam a form of cheating? Or is it using an available resource to do well in school? Tell us in the comments! (And remember, they’re anonymous.)

Guide to Family Weekend 2010: Prepping for parents edition

Fall in Providence — Anne Simons / BlogDailyHerald

C’mon. Let’s face it. You all probably have some illicit materials in your room, things you’d rather your parents didn’t see. Or if not, maybe you just want to keep up the illusion that you’ve got your life together. So here are a few tips for making your room parent-friendly.

Put away the alcohol.
This one will depend on your situation. Maybe you’re 21. Maybe your family doesn’t care that you drink and keep alcohol. Maybe your family frowns upon drinking. Maybe they don’t even know you drink! Just take your own situation into account. If you know you’re not supposed to be drinking, but away the sticky handles of Karkov and the 30 racks for the weekend. Be sure any drinking accessories, like martini shakers, shot glasses, corkscrews and obvious mixers are out of sight too. Nobody actually drinks tonic water unless it has gin or vodka in it.

Follow after the jump for more hints! Continue Reading