Well Spoken: Bike-Friendly Schools

Kentucky.com: “The University of Kentucky was named the most bike-friendly college in America by the non-profit group League of American Bicyclists, which uses results from an annual survey. Schools are evaluated based on the Five E’s: engineering a safe bike network, education by incorporating bikes into the class room, encouragement in motivating students to bike, enforcement in protecting riders and evaluation in forming committees to improve campus cycling.”

The other top schools “are University of Maryland, College Park; Harvard University, Dickinson College, University of Utah, University of Vermont and University of Washington.”

“Amelia Neptune, program director of the bicycle league, said UK stood out due to its incentives for students and faculty members. Those include a free bike-share membership or $200 to spend at a local bike shop, as well as offering students who don’t bring cars to school free access to bike rentals. UK also hired a full-time coordinator to oversee its support for cycling, the league said.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

What Is Campus Life *Really* Like?

Her Campus: “It might seem silly, but a meme page can tell you more about a college than you’d think … Inside jokes between students can be about anything—fights with rival schools, the gross dining hall food and super strict professors. If you can learn about the things students usually make fun of or complain about on campus, you’ll have a much better idea of what student life is like. Just don’t take everything at face value—it’s a meme page, after all.”

“Instagram is a great way to find out about student lifestyle at a university. You can look through public pictures and comments posted by students there, and even reach out to someone if you’re interested. Most likely, they’d be willing to speak with you. Just make sure it’s not the school’s official Instagram—it probably won’t be any more insightful than a brochure … college newspapers can hold a treasure trove of information for you. From opinion pieces to campus news, you’ll find all the details on student ideologies and the latest changes on campus.”

“Believe it or not, reading student responses on a site like Rate My Professors can tell you a lot about student life. Whether they’re angry or happy with their professors, you’ll be able to see if students are petty about their grades or have actual, intelligible responses.” And, finally: “Make sure you check your school’s College Confidential forum for anything you want to find out about student life—from academics to intramural sports. It’s a great resource that you should check out at least once.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Town & Gown: Colleges Develop Communities

The New York Times: “Many colleges and universities are taking a leading role in revitalizing local communities, recognizing that development not only can enhance the often fraught town-and-gown relationship but also make their institutions more attractive to students and faculty … Officials at the University of Maryland are working closely with local governments to create a zone called the Discovery District in College Park … The zone will include research firms, start-ups and shops and restaurants. A new hotel on university-owned land opened recently.”

“Other large universities are also working to strengthen partnerships with local governments and developers. During the past decade, officials at Yale have bought and redeveloped several commercial properties, leading to the creation of more than 110 new stores and restaurants in New Haven.”

“Drexel University in Philadelphia has completed about $500 million in real estate development since 2010 … In 2017, Drexel and the developer Brandywine Realty Trust broke ground on the Schuylkill Yards project, a $3.5 billion, 14-acre development that will include commercial laboratories as well as residential, retail, office and academic space … The development boom near campuses is not happening just in big cities. Smaller development has been spurred by the University of Toledo in Ohio, the Brownsville campus of the University of Texas and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Delaware to Demolish Christiana Towers

Delaware Online: “The University of Delaware has announced it will be closing both 17-story Christiana Towers residence halls at the end of the 2018-19 school year, several years earlier than expected. The plan had been to shutter the nearly 50-year-old Towers in 2023-24, after building a new residence hall. While the Towers were considered fairly innovative when they first opened in 1972, they are now a drain on resources and require heavy maintenance, university officials have said.”

“Closing them now may save money, but also creates a housing shortage. The Towers were still an option when students filled out their applications for 2019-20 housing, and many indicated a preference for apartment-style living. Students that can no longer be accommodated in remaining on-campus apartments have been notified they will have to live elsewhere, according to an announcement on UDaily, the university’s online news service.”

“The university plans on eventually demolishing the Towers, putting an end to an era and destroying one of UD’s most recognizable landmarks. On Facebook, hundreds of students and alumni shared stories about living there, as well of pictures of their apartments.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Lehigh vs. Lafayette: A Rivalry for the Ages

WFMZ: “The annual Lafayette-Lehigh college football game took place Saturday afternoon in Easton. Better known as The Rivalry, it is the most-played football rivalry in the nation … The Leopards and Mountain Hawks own the most-played football rivalry in the nation. Prior to Saturday’s game, the two had played 153 times since 1884 with Lehigh taking the last three but Lafayette owning the all-time series record.”

“This is the only game that matters. None of the other games really matter,” Lafayette senior Magee said. “As I say to my buddies every year, it’s always a one-game season,” 1989 Lehigh grad Jeff Gendel said. “If you beat Lafayette it’s a good year. If you don’t beat Lafayette it wasn’t the best year.” But just having “The Rivalry” continue on is enough for some. “No matter how good or bad the teams are every year, there’s always something to play for and that’s to beat your arch rival on Lehigh-Lafayette football day.”

Lehigh won, 34-3.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Villanova Student Creates ‘Campus-Commerce’ App

The Villanovan: “Chris Maguire, a junior in the Villanova School of Business, is launching an app exclusive to the University community this month. The app, NovaMark, is a marketplace for students to buy and sell anything from textbooks to old sneakers to furniture. Maguire’s goal with NovaMark is to reduce students’ waste and save them time and money.”

“With NovaMark, students will be able to post the things they don’t want to bring home for low prices so someone else can enjoy them … a University email must be used to create an account within the app, so it will only be University students buying and selling goods. This dramatically reduces the radius for picking up items which allows students to avoid shipping fees or paying for transportation to and from an off campus store.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Animal House: Pet-Friendly Dorm @ PA School

Penn Live: “Going off to college brings a lot of unfamiliarity, and it can be even worse when you have to leave your beloved family pet behind. Starting this spring, students at Lock Haven University … can bring their pets to school. The university will be the first in the Pennsylvania’s State System to introduce a pet-friendly residence hall, the school said in a news release.”

“Students will be allowed to bring a ‘long-term pet,’ which is defined as ‘under the primary care of the resident or their family for at least three months,’ to live in North Hall. Pets must also be at least 6 months old, and the university created a policy with ‘strict guidelines concerning the species, breeds and sizes of animals permitted.’ Allowed pets include cats, dogs under 40 pounds with breed restrictions, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and fish.”

Lock Haven President Robert Pignatello comments: “Introducing a pet-friendly residence hall is about increasing opportunities for our students. The Haven is a great place to live and learn — and allowing students to bring a beloved pet to campus will only enhance their residential experience. We look forward to welcoming students and their animal companions to campus in January.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

ESports Gaining Ground @ UMN

Star Tribune: “The University of Minnesota is home to a nationally-ranked team that doesn’t practice on a court or field, but instead on the virtual battlefield of popular computer game Overwatch. The university’s Overwatch team is currently in its preseason, competing against other schools such as Arizona State University and Texas Tech University … Players competed for over $120,000 in scholarships last year. The championship tournament won’t be held until spring, but more than 300 colleges enter teams to compete.”

“During preseason, members of the team play two matches every Sunday and practice between two and five hours each week. Practices might include playing the game solo or with friends, watching professionals online or reviewing tape from previous matches. The video game is gaining popularity at the University of Minnesota, which now has five other university squads in addition to the main team competing in the national tournament.”

“Colin Agur, a journalism professor who teaches the course ‘Digital Games and Society,’ said competitive video game companies seem to be targeting college campuses … Agur added that, if done right, esports can be a relatively cheap and worthwhile addition to the University’s collegiate sports.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail