{College Nation}

Tech-savvy generation tempted to cheat

Brigham Young University

National surveys have shown that as many as 70 percent of college students in the United States say they have cheated on at least one assignment or test.

The Testing Center currently asks students to leave their cell phones and music players off and to only use scratch paper that has been stamped by a Testing Center employee. Among the new changes that will be implemented are security cameras, which will most likely be installed by Sept. 1, 2006.

Arguably, the age of the “electronic cheater” started with the graphing calculator, because of the ability the device gave students to install and run custom programs.

Then cell phones came into the picture on nearly every college campus across the nation, which gave students the ability to stay in contact with each other through text messaging.

With cameras installed on many new phones, cheaters can make copies of entire tests, which could eventually be posted online or sold.

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Even iPods are entering the picture as viable options for students to store recorded notes.

The tools students use to cheat are almost as varied as their reasons.

-Courtesy of the Daily Universe



USC rethinks Israel study trips

University of Southern California

With recent violence in Israel and Lebanon resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths, University of Southern California students and administrators have an important decision to make regarding traveling abroad: Are USC-sponsored trips to Israel safe, feasible and desirable options?

Provost C. L. Max Nikias announced in an e-mail earlier this week that he will wait until October to decide whether Israel is an appropriate destination for USC students to study.

Months after an administrative decision to reopen the possibility of studying abroad in Israel after the program was shuttered midsummer 2001, the prospect of a second cancellation to the coveted and very popular travel-abroad destination again looms, pending a much-desired improvement within the warring Jewish nation, said Tony Tambascia, director of USC Academic Recognition Programs.

“As of right now, the program is currently active for the spring of 2007, but I will say that the current Israel situation remains under review,” Tambascia said. “There is definitely no guarantee, and we are strongly advising students to come up with a backup plan.”

He said his organization will continue sending Jewish students through Birthright Israel, a program that pays for young Jewish adults aged 18 to 26 to go to Israel.

-Courtesy of the Daily Trojan



Four in five college students drink

Stanford University

Four in five college students drink and roughly 40 percent drink heavily, according to an article released Aug. 7 by the American Psychiatry Association.

However, campus officials at Stanford said alcoholism is not as prevalent at the University.

According to the Counseling and Psychological Services website, 75 percent of Stanford students either do not drink or drink lightly.

Alcohol and Drug Educator Ralph Castro, who serves as chair of the Alcohol Advisory Board and manager of Vaden’s Substance Abuse Prevention Services, also emphasized, though, that “Stanford is not immune to the negative effects of alcohol abuse,” such as having students hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.

-Courtesy of the Stanford Daily



Princeton top university in U.S. News’ ranks

The Associated Press

Princeton takes the top spot in the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings, breaking a three-year tie for No. 1 with Ivy League rival Harvard.

Yale again took the No. 3 spot in the controversial but closely watched rankings, followed by the California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford, all of which tied for fourth. The University of Pennsylvania dropped from fourth to seventh, and Duke from fifth to eighth.

The guide to “America’s Best Colleges,” hitting newsstands Monday, again names Williams the top liberal arts college. The University of California, Berkeley, is the top-rated public university, tied for No. 21 overall.

The formula for the rankings includes variables such as graduation and retention rates, faculty and financial resources, and the percentage of alumni donating money to their alma mater. The biggest single variable is a reputation assessment by peer institutions.

Many colleges criticize the rankings, but they still take them seriously. The University of Chicago, facing complaints from alumni about its ranking, says this year it re-examined figures it was submitting in categories such as financial resources and concluded it was underreporting. The school’s ranking shot up from 15th to No. 9.

The top national universities were:

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University

3. Yale University

4. California Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stanford University (tie)

7. University of Pennsylvania

8. Duke University

9. Columbia University

Dartmouth University

University of Chicago (tie)

-Courtesy of the Associated Press