Re: [M & B] What about our "integral agencies"!
- In a message dated 7/9/2005 9:00:13 AM US Eastern Standard Time,
As Arthur Levine and Jeanette Cureton noted in 1998, "students are
coming to college overwhelmed and more damaged than in the past." More
than half of the campuses Levine and Cureton surveyed reported
difficulties with student eating disorders; 44 percent reported campus
disruptions, 42 percent drug abuse, 35 percent alcohol abuse, 25 percent
gambling, and 23 percent suicide attempts. Nearly one-third of all
freshmen grew up in single-parent households; and they are driven to
college, not by a passion for learning, much less truth, but by terror
that without a college degree they have nothing to look forward to but
lives on minimum wage.
There have always been problem students; but the numbers who bring
problems with them to college have grown, as have the intractability of
the problems (histories of sexual abuse as children, single-parent and
dysfunctional homes, chronic psychological traumas and illnesses). The
less selective a college can afford to be, the more likely it will see
mounting numbers of the damaged among its student population.
I was following the article pretty well until I hit these two paragraphs,
where I promptly recoiled in disgust. The criterion for university admission
should be evidence of the academic ability to fulfill learning requirements, not
an absence of any problems in the students' lives. All universities of which
I am aware have certain behaviors which will merit expulsion or suspension:
things like cheating, plagiarizing, criminal conduct, etc. But to refuse to
accept a student because they have been depressed or have been raised by a single
parent or even abused is preposterous. By all means, let's condemn those
who have already been mistreated to complete societal abandonment.
By the way, this little edict would have successfully weeded out any number
of scientific and literary geniuses.
A universitiy's mandate is to educate. How will society be bettered if these
"problem students" are not educated? And what is most appalling of all is
the supposition that Christianity is best spread to those already well - an idea
the Great Physicial himself dismissed two thousand years ago.
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