Inner peace is a little harder to come by than usual these days, given the economic collapse and all. That's true even in California, where the state's political and budget troubles have compelled major cutbacks at public colleges and universities and turned up the stress levels on campuses in what is arguably the country's most Zen state.
Instead of relying on a stuffy code of conduct to police its students – like Hinds Community College officials who received flak last week for punishing a student who cursed at a professor – officials at Onondaga Community College hope students will be able to keep their smoking, swearing, spitting, parking rage and littering in check with the help of good old-fashioned peer pressure.
One ritual of the start of the academic year is the release of Beloit College's annual "mindset list," which aims to help professors understand what their new freshmen experienced (and didn't) growing up. While some items on the list are, of course, related to technology, many reflect the cultural and political world views of today's 18-year-olds. The list was created by Tom McBride, the Keefer Professor of the Humanities at Beloit, and Ron Nief, the former public affairs director.