Campus News Chum

Sometime, lunchtime news chum themes just jell. Today’s is a good example: we have a collection of lunchtime stories related to college:

  • Automating Your Room. A UC Berkeley freshman has completely automated his dorm room in Unit 2 at UCB (presumably, in the high-rise tower; I can’t see this in a mini-suite). There’s an even more detailed article in the Daily Cal. Features of the room include a strobe light, a black light, a laser light and a disco ball, all of which can be turned on with buttons throughout the room, as well as with voice recognition software on his computer or an i-Phone app. The voice commands also activate different modes such as a party mode, which syncs dance music to green lasers that begin to flash at the press of a emergency red button. Did he get in trouble? According to the Daily Cal article,the residence hall policy states “misuse or tampering with fire safety equipment including, but not limited to, removal of doors, door closures, and unapproved posting is prohibited.” Because the student had various extension cords and light fixtures affixed throughout the room, a UCB electrician was sent Wednesday afternoon to assess the space, but nothing deserving of a violation was found.Despite the creative measures he took, residence hall officials have asked the student to appear at a judicial hearing this week because he is allegedly in violation of housing policies, and the room is a potential fire hazard.
  • Commencement Speeches. An interesting article in the WSJ looks at things they won’t tell you in your college commencement speech. Examples: #1 “Your time in fraternity basements was well spent”; #2 “Some of your worst days lie ahead”; #7 “Your parents don’t want what is best for you” (they want what is good for you, which is a different thing); and #8 “Don’t model your life after a circus animal”. Well worth reading for the explanations.
  • Community College Transfers. A common tactic here in California is for students to go to community colleges and then transfer to a UC. This saves a lot of money. But… it may not always work. UCSD has joined UCB and UCLA in no longer guaranteeing acceptance to community college transfers.
  • Loan Hostages. Lastly, student loans have been in the news of late. Here’s an interesting aspect that hasn’t been covered as much: Colleges often hold transcripts hostage when loans are unpaid. This can be a big deal if you need that transcript to get a job or apply to graduate school. Colleges don’t even need to do this, as they have already gotten the money.

Colleges have been on my mind of late as we prepare Erin for UC Berkeley. I don’t know if she’s excited to go; right now, she’s pissed that she didn’t get into her first choice schools (in particular, Reed in Portland OR). I do think Berkeley will be the best place for her given her quirkyness and variety of interests, but she doesn’t see that yet. I’m not sure when she will get excited about the school; I’m hoping it will be as we visit it a few times over the summer and after orientation.

Music: Rock & Roll With It (Billy Burnette): Keep On Keeping On