Quick Takes: Too Hot for Brooklyn, Kean to Open in China, Colleges as Drug Producers, Bush Endorses Technology Within Limits, Lawmakers Fight NCAA on Mascot Names, Final (Swim) Test

May 8, 2006
  • An exhibit of art by graduate students at Brooklyn College was deemed not appropriate for family viewing by the Brooklyn parks department, and so officials shut down the show, which has now moved back onto the campus, The New York Times reported. Park officials told the newspaper that the college had pledged that art displayed in a building on park grounds would be suitable for families. College officials moved quickly to find space for the show on the campus, part of the City University of New York. Students are outraged, and are criticizing city officials for censoring them. Among the artworks that bothered parks officials were pieces involving a live rat and watercolors of a penis.
  • New Jersey's Kean University is planning to open a full campus in Wenzhou, China -- south of Shanghai -- to enroll up to 4,000 Chinese students taking a full range of academic programs from American professors, The Star-Ledger reported. A formal agreement with the Chinese government will be signed this week, clearing the way for the campus to open in fall 2007.
  • A small but growing number of colleges are producing their own drugs -- so that they can advance medical research in areas where the private sector may not produce. An article in The Philadelphia Inquirer explores the trend.
  • Today's college graduates should embrace science technology, but not let advances control them, President Bush told graduates of Oklahoma State University in a commencement address on Saturday. After his usual jokes about college ("There is life after English comp"), Bush focused on technology, noting its values and dangers. "Science offers the prospects of eventual cures for terrible diseases, and temptations to manipulate life and violate human dignity," the president said. "With the Internet, you can communicate instantly with someone halfway across the world -- and isolate yourself from your family and neighbors."
  • Some members of Congress are pushing legislation that would limit the ability of the National Collegiate Athletic Association to pressure universities to eliminate the use of Native American mascots and team names. The legislation would give colleges the right to seek court orders to block such a change. Two Illinois lawmakers -- one of whom happens to be the speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert -- introduced the bill. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is among the institutions fighting to preserve a mascot (Chief Illiniwek), and the NCAA recently denied the university's appeal in the case.
  • Two looks at swimming tests as a graduation requirement: This year's graduates at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the last there who must pass a swim test to graduate, the Associated Press reported. AP noted that such tests (at Chapel Hill, the students must swim 50 yards and tread water for 5 minutes) were once common, but have been abandoned by most institutions, just as Chapel Hill is doing now. But at some institutions with the test, it remains a real hurdle for some students, The Boston Globe reported. The Globe looked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which still has a test. It tends to be especially difficult for students from countries where childhood doesn't necessarily include swimming lessons.
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