‘Even and Smith’s study didn’t pinpoint what it is about Greek organizations that might hurt [the grades of] their members … but previous research provides a hint. A 2009 study found that Greek-affiliated students drink more than non-Greek-affiliated ones…’

The study goes on to note that despite a schedule mainly devoted to drinking, hazing, parties, football, basketball, and lacrosse, fraternity guys go on to do pretty well in the world.

***********

And I mean duh.

“Universities don’t get much worse than San Diego State, an epicenter of the drug trade, a money-hemorraghing sports joke, and a school run (though considering what goes down there, is anyone actually running it?) by a president whose greed so outraged the local community that legislators moved toward imposing mandatory salary caps on executive pay there.”

If I may quote myself. San Diego State gives off the same hopeless pointless stew of corruption vibes that University of Louisville does – and what’s most interesting is that these schools probably always will be like this. Whether it’s Piero Anversa or a fraternity just taken off suspension and just put back on suspension for being irremediably violent, nothing gets done because the people in charge are cynical greedy party-school-modelers.

You know – recall what the West Virginia University professor who studies the phenom up close — really up close — wrote:

Many residential universities, such as the so-called party schools … have become so well-known for their super-charged party environments that it would be very difficult to change the culture without negatively impacting enrollments that are now dependent upon the lure of this party scene. Moreover, many of the disruptive behaviors that I document in the book (e.g., burning couches, riots) have become “traditions” for both current students and alumni. As such, traditions are very difficult to change.

**********************************

[People who live in bad neighborhoods] feel terrorized, they change their routines to avoid certain streets, they don’t leave their homes at night. In many college towns, residents are beginning to experience similar problems (albeit less life-threatening) as a result of a minority of extreme partiers who make life uninhabitable [I think Weiss is conflating two phrases here: life unendurable and neighborhoods uninhabitable.] for their neighbors.

***********************************

While it is easy to see why bar and club owners are reluctant to eliminate drink specials or other promotions – after all, they make their profits from student drinking – it is more difficult to understand why university administrators, police and local town officials have not been more effective in reducing some of the problems caused by the party subculture. In the long run, it really boils down to a rather controversial reality: the party school is itself a business, and alcohol is part of the business model. Schools lure students to attend their schools with the promise of sports, other leisure activities and overall fun. Part of this fun, whether schools like it or not, is drinking. Thus, even as university officials want to keep students safe, they also need to keep their consumers happy. This means letting the alcohol industry do what it does best – sell liquor.

That’s why SDSU keeps suspending and suspending and suspending a criminal enterprise: You’re talking about a big chunk of their yearly enrollment!

Let’s just not have any bullshit about it, okay? Administrators get millions and students get maimed. End of story that will never end.

John Beckman, NYU Spokesperson, Writes a Strong and Honest Letter to the Student Newspaper.

Washington Square News has suggested that three recent campus suicides should have been marked more publicly by the school, and that they may reflect NYU’s lack of a community and possibly substandard mental health services. Beckman responds:

[S]uicides, especially among the young in a closed community like a school, are prone to a contagion effect, which is exacerbated by rapidly spread information about the deaths and by honoring the individuals publicly.

… [I]t is a perilous endeavor to speculate about the motives for self-harm. The defining characteristic of suicide is typically deep, unrelenting hopelessness that goes untreated. It is little more than a guessing game to try to ascribe a suicide’s reason to one thing or another. That is why we were so disappointed to see WSN … impute the student’s death to a lack of community at NYU.

… WSN’s characterization of NYU’s health and mental health services doesn’t tell the real story. We routinely conduct patient satisfaction surveys with students, and the overwhelming majority feel their clinician was knowledgeable, that they felt respected, that their appointment was scheduled promptly and that the services helped them stay in school.

… [W]hile some will no doubt continue to disagree with our position [we hope] they will at least come to understand that our decision is guided by the research in the field, our experience and an unwavering focus on doing what is the best interests of students.

It sounds cruel – don’t honor the students publicly, etc. – but NYU is correct about the research and about the enigmatic complexity of the event. Boris Pasternak wrote:

We have no conception of the inner torture which precedes suicide.

… The continuity of his inner life is broken, his personality is at an end. And perhaps what finally makes him kill himself is not the firmness of his resolve but the unbearable quality of this anguish which belongs to no one, of this suffering in the absence of the sufferer, of this waiting which is empty because life has stopped and can no longer fill it.

… What is certain is that they all suffered beyond description, to the point where suffering has become a mental sickness. And as we bow in homage to their gifts and to their bright memory, we should bow compassionately before their suffering.

Student suicide…

… presents agonizing problems for universities. How do you mark it communally without risking contagion? What if the student’s family has begged you to preserve its privacy? Students may want to discuss whether it points to larger problems with campus mental health care, or with quality of life at the school altogether.

Like other large urban universities, New York University has had more than its share of student suicides, including suicide contagions. It has had to retrofit its library to keep students from jumping off its high atrium.

This year, there have been two suicides in the med school, and, at the beginning of this month, an NYU freshman threw himself in front of a subway train. In the med school cases, the school announced each death, expressed sympathy, and reminded students of available counseling. It has very carefully not gone beyond this, even when prompted:

[Journalists asked NYU] if the school was concerned over a trend of suicide among medical professionals and if any larger efforts are being made by the university to prevent future instances, but the Medical school’s response didn’t tackle those questions.

“Because of the sensitive nature of this issue, we will not be commenting further,” the spokesperson said.

The school has been even more subdued about the 18-year-old male freshman who killed himself this month. Asked why, a spokesman said:

“If we believe that refraining from sending a broad communication can reduce the chances of a contagion effect, we are more than willing to absorb any resulting criticism.”

The spokesman cited “the university’s own research and personal experiences with suicide along with consultations with national experts.” Rather than make a large public announcement, the school has acted locally, contacting “anyone the university deems … in close proximity to the student: family, friends, professors, floormates and sometimes even the student’s entire school or degree program.”

*************

The real problem, if you ask me, is that suicide seems to all of us one of the most eloquent things we do. We attach all sorts of broad existential significance to the act, even if most actual suicides are, in the words of A. Alvarez, “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.”

“People here grapple constantly with this place’s legacy of untouchable rich white dudes from prep school.”

On Sunday, [a Yale student] wrote on Twitter that it’s easy to forget, in an “insular” place such as Yale, that, when students who behave badly graduate, “they don’t disappear but instead become part of the fabric of society, & a certain type ascends & ascends.” It’s “been unbearable at times to watch men I know have hurt my friends ascend within clubs to leadership,” she continued, adding, “How will we feel seeing which of them rise in their fields, our fields, invincible & untouchable?”

There’s a reason they call it predatory capitalism, babe.

Read and learn.

*************

You want more on predatory?

Pure. Animal. Kingdom.

I witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to “target” particular girls so they could be taken advantage of; it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy.

*************

Even when they become a global laughingstock, there’s always a faithful retainer to tell them otherwise.

Dartmouth Motto: We fuck ’em ALL up!

State Sen. Martha Hennessey (D) wrote on Facebook Friday that she was sexually assaulted in front of “a dozen” classmates more than 40 years ago as a student at Dartmouth College.

… Fellow New Hampshire lawmaker U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D), thanked Hennessey in a post, telling WMUR that the “Me Too” movement was encouraging women like her and Hennessey to come forward. Kuster, according to the outlet, came forward in 2016 about being sexually assaulted at Dartmouth when she was a student in 1979.

With Temple University’s Beloved Bill Cosby Taking Up All the Attention for Years…

… that school must be pleased that it’s back to familiar high-profile campus stories.

Nicer word than “dry humping”

Rapist ‘Only Wanted Outercourse‘:
Brock Turner Appeals Sexual Assault Conviction

The Right Call

Parents have made a number of attempts to sue the universities where their children commit suicide. These suits usually fail, as they usually should.

[T]hough colleges and universities bear some responsibility in protecting their students from harm, “universities are not responsible for monitoring and controlling all aspects of their students’ lives.” A key factor is whether a school or its employees could reasonably anticipate harm coming to the student from the school failing to take steps to protect him or her.

“[Han Duy] Nguyen never communicated by words or actions to any MIT employee that he had stated plans or intentions to commit suicide, and any prior suicide attempts occurred well over a year before matriculation,” the ruling states. “There was no evidence that [his professors, whom he sued] had actual knowledge of Nguyen’s plans or intentions to commit suicide. Both were academics; neither was a trained clinician.”

They’re dropping like flies at Herriman High.

Utah has long been one of America’s suicide-friendliest states, and now in just a few short months seven students at a high school there have killed themselves.

Says here parents should lock up their guns! I guess the idea is that if you have simple 100% fatal devices all over every countertop in your house, your moody impulsive fourteen year old might just grab one!

But even if you did go to the trouble of locking up your extensive arsenal, there’s the fact that Utah is also one of America’s friendliest open carry states. UD was there not long ago, and was pretty unnerved to see big ol’ guns bouncing off of people’s jeans while they walked through supermarket parking lots. You figure your moody impulsive fourteen year old might get ideas every day, simply by walking around town. I mean, it’s inspiring.

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The statistics are pretty shocking. If there’s ever a Book of Mormon 2, it would need to feature half of the original group of young missionaries going back to Salt Lake City and blowing their heads off.

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Fascinating comment thread here. Most commenters put the blame on religion. But there’s this:

If you have a teenager and a gun in your house, choose one and get rid of the other.

At least they can’t spell.

Five Theta Tau brothers have anonymously filed a lawsuit against Syracuse University after offensive videos surfaced of a fraternity event.

The men accuse SU of “branding them as racist, anti-sematic [sic], sexist and hostile to people with disabilities”…

*************

UD thinks they must have meant aposematic.

Sematic: Chiefly Zoology. Serving as a signal, especially a warning. Compare “aposematic”. Now rare.

You don’t get this kind of …

coverage and keep your job.

UD predicts Howard University’s president will soon resign.

UPDATE: Sit-in at Howard University

“We want to show solidarity and support for their demands and everything they are standing for,” said Eva Raczkowski, a George Washington University student, who came out with a group of others to donate food, water, and blankets.

La lutte continue…

March for their Lives

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

************

Wilfred Owen
1917

‘Of the 28 complaints brought against [University of Illinois] fraternities in the past five years, only one was a torture practice condemned by the Geneva Convention.’

Great news on fraternities!

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