I talk about things going on at Michigan State because of my experiences there. However, MSU is not unique in any sense. As Murray Sperber wrote about voluminously in Beer and Circus, similar stuff has been going on at college campuses allover the country. Michigan State, while not exactly the virtuous sister in this (it is cited in the book), it’s not necessarily the worst either. Not only that, but it’s squarely in the mainstream of university decay, according to Sperber.
What the universities need is some changes:
- Do you really need football? Basketball? Lose the sports, you lose the idiot alumni PLUS a major source of your troubles.
- If you’re going to let anybody into your halls, have some classes that separate the men from the boys (and the women from the girls). Many colleges used to do this; the idea being to let in people who may not have done well in High School and see how many of THEM belonged in the University.
- Return the drinking age back to 19. That would remove the obvious difficulty in keeping alcohol away from the High Schools (students hell-bent on drinking will do so; families hell-bent on feeding students alcohol will do so regardless) while reducing the power of drinking on the campuses (since relatively few students will be “illegal,” with the number dropping near zero by the end of the school year)
(yeah, fat chance I know, but it’s a shot. Have heard many intelligent people suggest this, figured it belonged here.).
- How much Public money is flowing to the universities, anyway? Some schools might want to think about taking themselves private; as monies from the public sector become scarcer that might be a way to take total control of their future.
- Otherwise, more funding from States and Federal. Stop using schooling costs as a bar keeping poorer students from education.
I wouldn’t mind seeing MSU dismantle it’s Football and Basketball programs and create classes to weed out the posers from those who belonged in college (one of MSU’s strengths has always been welcoming others, no need to stop that). I’d also like more “In Loco Parentis,” including a barring from school for anyone identified as being in one of those riots they seem determined to start every year. Students seeing their friends barred from school for “tearing shit up” would go a long way towards a calmer, more fitting celebration next time around.