Today in academia: the fake Penn student, a victory for on campus gun advocates, the simple way to explain tuition hikes and, yes, the enduring appeal of Quidditch. 

  • For right now, concealed weapons are just fine at Oregon's universities. Yesterday, the state's Court of Appeals overturned a long standing gun ban, meaning "students and faculty with permits will be allowed to carry concealed guns on Oregon's seven public university campuses," The Oregonian reported. Firearm advocates are overjoyed right now. The spokesperson for the university system isn't: "anyone brandishing a gun on campus would be approached immediately by security," the paper described. Nothing could go wrong there. [The Oregonian
  • Con artist and fake Penn student even pretended to write papers for class to fool roommates.  There is a fascinating, incredibly odd, story in UPenn's student newspaper today about Eugene Tinsley: a guy who apparently lurks around campus conning real students out of their money. "After going to court in late June, Tinsley pled guilty this year to two counts each of theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and securing execution of documents by deception," the paper wrote. But before that he became a pledgemaster at the pre-med fraternity and, according to a former roommate, would "come home and write papers" for fictional classes. [The Daily Pennsylvanian via The Huffington Post College]
  • Students with iPads are embarrassed to own iPads, observes professor. A University of Kansas professor blogs: "The students, all in their mid- to late 20s, became self-conscious about carrying iPads. They refused to use them in public. They felt elitist. In their eyes, the iPad represented snobbery, a technological tool that no one needed and whose utility was far from apparent." Yes, we also hear that they've all already pre-ordered the more plebeian Kindle Fire too. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Dorky Harry Potter-themed sport still alive and well on campus.  Will undergrads ever stop playing Quidditch? It doesn't look like it. USA Today College did all the heavy-sifting through campus newspapers for a trend column on the sport and finds that it's just as "currently en vogue" as it was during the heyday when all those easy-to-read-but-huge-looking Potter books were being churned out. "Will matches be shown one day on ESPN or held in gigantic stadiums?" the paper asks. Well, will they? [USA Today College]
  • A simple explanation for why college tuition keeps getting hiked even higher. Over at our sister site's College Admissions special report, The Atlantic's Derek Thompson interviews Edward B. Fiske, the author of the Fiske Guide To Colleges. He gets right to the point about astronomical tuitions: "They charge a higher tuition because they can. There is literature showing that colleges behave like any nonprofit institution. They raise as much as they can, and spend as much to improve offerings." [The Atlantic]