Each week Fiat Lux takes a look at the happenings on the campuses of other universities and brings them to readers free of charge. This week’s edition focuses on diversity, theft, and other matters of importance to students not at Stanford. Or anywhere. Here goes nothing:
Each week we shall begin our satire with a serious post covering important, non-trivial news on other campuses: As the Review noted in its print edition, Stanford RA training placed a particular emphasis on diversity this past summer. Diversity has also become a larger theme on campus nationwide, as articles from the Brown Daily Herald and The Daily Princetonian can confirm. In particular, the Brown Bears of 2014 now boat the largest enrollment of Black students ever: 144 students. Efforts contributing to this spike in at Brown University include increased cooperation with the QuestBridge consortium and programs on campus. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a recent poll found that over 37.3% of the Princeton Class of 2014 “self-identify as American minorities,” indicating that collegiate efforts to increase diversity at national universities have been extremely successful.
Now to the comic section of our post. How many people have actually stuck around after football wins to sing “Hail Stanford, Hail?” Between five dollies, the Tree, the fourteen members of the Band actually playing instruments, naïve freshmen, Axe Committee, and Dean Julie, my calculations estimate approximately 84 (+/- .3, repeating of course). Regardless, the situation on the farm is less dire than that in Providence, where The Daily Herald interviewed Brown Band historian, Wendy Kwartin, who estimated that “5 percent of the school knows [Brown’s fight song].” Reading that quote makes me want to stop questioning the deeper meaning behind not knowing a school song and read Ms. Kwartin’s job description.Stupidity hit a new low on Manhattan’s Upper West Side this weekend, as more details emerged following an attempted theft of the **Columbia University** bookstore. Those of us who followed this story in the **[Columbia Spectator](http://spectrum.columbiaspectator.com/spectrum/cu-bookstore-robbed)** as it developed (Read: Student “reporters” Shamm Petros and Arvin Ahmadi) were shocked to learn that the perpetrator was the presciently named Kenneth Swindell. Swindell has 13 prior offenses consisting mostly of drug and shoplifting crimes. Perhaps more surprising than the attempted theft by Swindell, who is not affiliated with Columbia University in any way, was Spectator reporter Adrienne Penaloza’s reaction to new details of the crime that emerged on Monday: “No word yet on…how [Swindell] managed to fit nearly $1000 worth of stuff in a duffel bag.” I truly hope, for her own sake, that Ms. Penaloza’s shock is not sincere. Have you ever bought textbooks in your life?
Finally, while we are on the topic of books, no bibliophile could have missed the last week’s news that** Kent State University** will reduce its library collection by 50 percent. Kent Wired, the home of Kent State Student Media, reported on September 22 that Library Dean Bracken is spearheading a campaign to reduce the 2.9 million-volume collection by 5% each decade. I can’t decide what’s more ridiculous, the fact that this is a century-long commitment or that the motivation for the project is that “The average book in an academic research library is only checked out once every 50 years.” Rest assured, however, the “unnecessary” books will not be burned but, instead, donated to Better World Books, which distributes them to universities in Africa. Does nobody else see the humor in this plan?
That’s all for College Round-Up. Tune in next Monday for more reassurance that, despite the quality of our own daily newspaper, we certainly are lucky to be students at Stanford University.