Today in academia: commencement buzz, a finals season library protest, the skinny jeans ban, the latest ROTC on-campus arrival and mixing fake drinks for credit.
- New Occupy-style battle cry: Reclaim the library! Yes, it's currently finals season right now. And all those undergrads nationwide who put off studying until far after Thanksgiving break are now becoming masses swarming in/around their campus libraries. As we saw with the apparent crowding at the College of William & Mary earlier this week, jockeying for ideal library seating conditions can get testy. At Socal's UCSD it got more so: the main library apparently got so crammed that students held a protest to reopen another library that had been closed since last summer. They even held a vote over whether or not they'd break into the closed library so they could study, The San Diego Union-Tribune informs. They're currently "reclaiming" the library (and presumably studying?). Eventually, the University ceded to finals madness of students taking over the library and let them study without deciding to "punish anyone for the break-in," the newspaper wrote. [San Diego Union-Tribune via Inside Higher Ed]
- Commencie Watch: Will Katie Couric give Fareed Zakaria and Steve Carell a run for their money? We approach commencement speeches kinda like the Oscars at The Atlantic Wire (see our best of 2010 Commencie winners). And, like early awards buzz, we've been keeping track of the potential nominees as schools announce them: so far, Fareed Zakaria, was named as Harvard's speaker and Yale went with Steve Carell. Today, we learn that ABC News anchor Katie Couric was picked by the University of Virginia to give the headline speech at graduation. How does she stack up against the Time editor and The Office star? Well, she was a UVA alum, which is a good bet for all those nostalgic inside-jokes/stories about campus life. Stephen Colbert, for one, hit a home run at his alma mater, Northwestern University, last year on that same note. [UVA via HuffPost]
- Columbia's Navy ROTC returns. It's amazing how the fretting about military recruiters on campus went from being such a big issue to less of one so quickly. (A Don't Ask, Don't Tell appeal may have had something to do with that. And maybe the increased attention on banking industry recruiters.) But even though Columbia's Naval ROTC appeared to receive a warm reception after returning for the first time in 40 plus years, it doesn't look like it's initial meeting was well attended,The Columbia Spectator reported. "[O]nly a handful of students stopped by the information session to speak with Naval representatives," even though the representatives stayed optimistic: "If we get one great candidate, we call that a successful day." [The Columbia Spectator]
- Skinny jeans ban only latest dress code casualty at Mormon College in Idaho. First off, the school is a Brigham Young University affiliate, which helps explain why suddenly a student-run publication,The Student Review, reported a new sign "that read simply, 'No skinny jeans.'" Internet curiosity, naturally, then ensued. What prompted the ban? Gawker's Maureen O'Connor followed up with officials who said in an email that "We have not identified 'skinny jeans' as a specific violation of the dress and grooming standard." The key test, it seems from the officials email, is whether "skinny jeans" can be lumped into its requirement that students not wear "immodest clothing." Whatever the resolution, it seems that students could already see the ban coming, said one to the Review: "We already aren’t allowed to wear shorts or flip-flops, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they banned skinny jeans as well." [The Student Review, Gawker]
- Ultra-cool waterfront culinary school has one caveat for aspiring students looking forward to martini mixing classes. The New York Times lifestyle article sets the scene at Johnson & Wales as idyllic as possible for readers: we're treated to notions of students mixing "martinis (and other drinks) for credit" at the "state-of-the-art beverage laboratory" on its "waterfront campus" with a winking hey, this could've been you--instead you chose an engineering major and spent all your time in the library. Luckily, a few paragraphs down, we find the caveat--school still seems pretty nice though: "drinks that most of these students create are hardly drinkable, because the hundreds of brand-name bottles that line the lab are filled with colored water." Good liquor is too expensive for classroom use, The Times informs, bursting the fanciful scenario. [The New York Times]