Female Drinkers in College, Wikipedia Ban, and Professor-Student Relationships…

These stories are courtesy of Ivy Jungle’s Campus Ministry Update for January 2008.

  • Female Drinkers: A recent report in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research confirms that male college students consistently out drink their female counterparts, with one exception: parties with themes, especially sexual themes or costume parties. Those who play drinking games also drink more than those who do not. The report has special interest to researchers on alcohol consumption as it is not based on self-reporting but researcher observation at more than 60 off-campus college parties. (Inside Higher Education January 4, 2008)
  • Wikipedia Ban: Professors continue to ban Wikipedia as a research tool, citing too many incorrect entries. Designed as a user generated and edited encyclopedia, anyone can contribute to or change a Wikipedia entry. One professor at the University of Brighton has gone even further, banning the use of Google. Calling it “white bread for the mind,” she objects to the easy answers to complex questions with little sorting of shallow ideas from serious referenced work. She states, “Google is filling, but does not necessarily offer nutritional content.” (Inside Higher Education January 14, 2008)
  • Professor – Student Relationships: UCLA is one of a number schools which have restricted or banned relationships between professors and students with whom they have – or may have direct supervision. However, Dr. Paul Abrahmson, a married psychology professor at UCLA has drawn criticism for saying that as places of liberty, universities ought not restrict the behavior of consenting adults. He suggests students and faculty sign waivers, similar to a medical release that would warn of the dangers of power difference and favoritism in such relationships and not hold the university responsible for failed romances. Critics point to limits on dating in many work situations and believe the restrictions are important to protect students who may feel victims of harassment if and when a relationship ends. (Chicago Tribune, January 4, 2008 p. 5)

Thoughts:

  1. Is it surprising then that it seems like every fraternity on campus is constantly hosting costume parties with sexual themes (i.e. toga parties, “pimps and ho’s party”, sexy Halloween costumes, etc.)? This is for another post, but when alcohol consumption is up, well, usually sexual activity is as well in college. It’s also no surprise that many of the situations that we have had to counsel women in college about over the years were about the experiences at parties such as these where they drank too much and things got out of control. I think that’s why I’m sad, and generally grieved when I see some of the photos that pop up on Facebook with my students, especially the female students who look like they have drank too much, and guys are mobbed around them. Enough said.
  2. I love Wikipedia, but I think it should not be used as a serious research tool, cited in studies….but, it is a great launching pad to head in the right direction; to find good resources; and to get some easy, general information. I use it everyday.
  3. Glad to see that the school I work with is debating professor-student relationships. I’m surprised that it’s a psychology professor standing up for them. Yeah, not really. Seems to play into every movie stereotype about psychologists, especially in campus settings.

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