Listen in: Defending Higher Ed

The Herald’s editorial page editor Tyler Rosenbaum will be on Boston’s NPR channel, WBUR (90.9 FM), at 3:00 pm today!  He will be debating the authors of the controversial book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, which the Herald responded to in its January 31 editorial “Does college actually teach us anything?”  Be sure to tune in!  You can stream the  station’s live feed here.

Female swim hours at GWU rock the boat

How would you feel if Brown instituted a female-only swim hour? — Photo courtesy of Nicholas Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald

In response to a request from its Muslim Students Association, George Washington University has designated one hour a week for female-only swimming. Female students who observe Islam might otherwise feel uncomfortable using the school’s pool, because they could be seen by men without their hajibs and in immodest clothing. The female swim hour, called Sisters’ Splash, takes just 1/20 of the total recreational swimming hours at the facility.

But apparently some people have been getting pissy about that.

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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.)

They found a what?!?!?

Apparently, some students at Georgetown love the critically acclaimed show Breaking Bad a little too much…

At around six o’clock this morning, police discovered a suspected “methamphetamine lab” inside a Georgetown freshman’s dorm room.  The building was subsequently evacuated and two students were taken into custody.

We here at BlogDailyHerald sincerely apologize for not adding “disassembling your meth lab” to our list of things to do to prep for Parents Weekend, and for any subsequent awkwardness this omission may have caused you with the rents.  Our bad.

It ain’t cheap

Brown has once again made CampusGrotto’s list of the top 100 most expensive colleges.  The list maxes out at $56,420–the cost of living, eating, and going to classes at (drum roll please)…our friend to the South, Sarah Lawrence College.  Brown rolls in at a reasonable #74, with the total cost of tuition, room, and board for the 2010-2011 school year set at $50,468.

Read the full list here.

When partying hard gets pricey

Earlier in the year, off-campus students were warned to keep parties legal and to keep the noise and the number of people down after the ProPo saw a rise in the number of noise complaints and consequently had to break up more parties.

Too bad the same advice wasn’t given to three students of University of Wisconsin-Madison who were fined $86,000 for throwing quite the wild party. Apparently, the students, who hosted the party at their off-campus house last month, had over 200 people in their basement (a serious fire hazard). And, to no one’s surprise, they were also selling alcohol. The housemates racked up an impressive 130 citations, which led to the hefty fine. One of the fined students, Kevin Tracy, said he thought the fine was  “a joke — $30,000 for having one party, each? That’s obnoxious. I have less than $100 in my bank account. We’re college kids.” Now they are still college kids — with a lot of debt and some (hopefully) good party memories.