Peter Struck of the School of Arts & Sciences is pictured in front of a green screen as he records a MOOC on Greek mythology.
Penn Daily News Service | Jul 28, 2014
Penn in the News
Philippe Bourgois of the School of Arts & Sciences and the Perelman School of Medicine comments on young people using injectable heroin.
Go ahead, laugh at them. Call them thin-skinned, lily-livered, self-righteous. They always find a way to take offense. That’s just how—as you’ve surely heard—today’s college students roll. Consider the evidence. Recently students have expressed many concerns that their elders describe as hypersensitivity gone haywire. In March, The New York Times reported on campus discussions of "microaggressions," subtle slights of one’s race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. This spring, commencement speakers at several prominent institutions withdrew amid students’ opposition to their views or affiliations. By then the nation had heard all about "trigger warnings": Students on various campuses have called for alerts about assigned texts (yes, old sport, even The Great Gatsby) that might upset or traumatize them.
The School of Design’s Penn Praxis is cited for helping with Philadelphia city planning and development issues.
Lance Becker of the Perelman School of Medicine talks about the possibility of long-term cryogenic preservation.
William Burke-White of the Law School says that if the plane was brought down by weapons fire, “This would, in some ways, break new ground in the definition of a war crime.”
Noteworthy in Higher Education
Christine Donnelly used to knock on students' doors when they stopped showing up at school. The counselor at Academy at Palumbo, a South Philadelphia magnet school, sat with seniors to make sure they were choosing colleges that were a good fit. She helped them puzzle through financial-aid forms. Philadelphia School District budget cuts made those things often impossible this last school year. And, for the first time in recent memory, 10 Palumbo students failed to graduate, Donnelly said. And fewer planned to go to four-year colleges. In urban public schools, there are always cracks to slip through, but this year, "the cracks became craters," Donnelly said.
Ask anyone professing the humanities today and you come to understand that a medieval dimness looms. If this is the end-times for the ice sheets at our poles — and it is — many of us also understand that the melt can be found closer to home, in the elimination of language and classics departments, for instance, and in the philistinism represented by governors such as Rick Scott of Florida and Patrick McCrory of North Carolina, who apparently see in the humanities a waste of time and taxpayer subsidies. In the name of efficiency and job creation, according to their logic, taxpayers can no longer afford to support bleary-eyed poets, Latin history radicals, and brie-nibbling Francophiles.
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