Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Robert Bacon's Response to no Sloshkosh

Robert Bacon, infamous producer of sloshkosh t-shirts, sent me an email in response to my posting about UWO's attempt to suppress his t-shirt business.   He emphasizes that he sees his site as something fun.

I thought I would part of his comments about the free speech issue with you:

  • On the note of the shirts. After some research I am absolutely sure that if I fought this trademark that the University made, that I would win. You can't trademark a commonly used term and I would only have to prove that Sloshkosh and UW-Zero were commonly used terms before the trademark. Why didn't I fight? It's simple, I don't have the time nor the money to do such a thing, even if I could find a lawyer to help me out. I don't want my studies to be affected by something so silly as some t-shirts. I don't make much money off my shirts because I only charge $1 above cost. My goal with UW College Life is not to make money but to express myself and other UW students in a real light.
Thanks for your response, Robert!  I am glad to hear how you view the whole sloshkosh phenomenon.

Do You Know "Helicopter Parents?"

The Journal Sentinal is running a story about intrusive parents who try to manage their college student's lives.   I have heard of such people, calling professors, deans, or others to try to solve problems that their kids face.  Clearly, kids and parents are more connected than they have been in the past, thanks to cell phones, so it is not completely unexpected.

Personally, I haven't had that happen yet.  I imagine that this might be more of a problem at smaller colleges where they encourage the idea that professors are particularly accessible.   With over 11,000 students, faculty are generally seen as less available than smaller institutions, so it may mitigate this issue.

How about you?  Any "helicopter parents" pressuring you to take care of their kid?  

Friday, January 18, 2008

Northwestern Editorial Rant against Academia

I have to post the editorial from the Northwestern this morning. Mary Hiles, ex-lecturer in the UWO English department, recycles the tired, old charges from David Horowitz and the right-wing American Council of Trustees and Alumni about professors' political views in the classroom (many of which have been disbunked).

Her entry into this is Bill McConkey. He was in the paper a few months ago as the lead plaintiff in a law suit against the anti-civil union amendment to the Wisconsin constitution. Oddly, she gives us detail about a professor in New Jersey about whom people on ratemyprofessor.com say bad things.

I am not even sure McConkey is currently teaching here (or ever even mentioned the constitutional amendment in a class), but Hiles decides to use it as proof that "liberal" professors force their views on students in their classrooms.

Besides being a gratuitous, hollow attack on UWO, it demonstrates once again the failure of 'community columnists' to produce editorials that don't waste your time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy New Year and Women in College

Welcome back everyone! Interim is underway and activity is beginning to pick up on campus. I hope everyone had a good relaxing month since I last posted!

Today, I am posting this story from the Journal-Sentinel about women in college. Enrollment and graduation rates for women are much higher than that for men in Wisconsin, as it is on our own campus. I don't remember the exact figures, but there is clearly a spread between men and women here.

It is part of a theme that has stretched back since the beginning of the blog.

Here I am in 2005, referencing U.S. Today.

Here is the NYTimes in 2006.

Here is a post from 2007.

(Wow, I have been at this for a while!!)

Nothing is really being done about the stagnation of male participation rates in college, although we have been aware of the gap for years. I am still not convinced that it is a problem, but perhaps we should intervene before it does become one. But how?!?