With finals here in some classes and on the way in many others,
my brain, like most other people, is somewhat fried. For that
reason, today’s column is a snip-it of a few different topics
instead of one 800-word piece on one thing. All of these snip-its
should inform you in some way about some things that are going
The Faculty Council has rightly agreed to make freshman seminars
These seminars were introduced in an attempt to fulfill many
goals. According to Scott Moore, professor of political science and
undergraduate program coordinator for the department, there were
the publicly given goals and the private goals.
The publicly given goals were to solve the problems of students
not feeling connected to the university and improper socialization
into the university experience and to reduce frustrations that lead
to dissatisfaction with the university.
Before freshman seminars were adopted several voluntary, pilot
programs were tried with great success. Faculty and students
thought they were great, Moore said.
The private reason was that there was a need for CSU’s ranking
in the US World News & Report to go up, according to Moore. One
category that schools are ranked in is how many classes are offered
with 19 or less students. Thus the magic number 19 as the
enrollment in Freshman Seminars.
The theory behind the seminar made sense. The intentions were
good. So why did the freshman seminars not achieve their goals? For
There was no funding for the classes when it had been promised
there would be. The huge amount of undertaking and resources needed
for each department to teach enough classes of 19 students to
accommodate 3,000 incoming freshmen and some transfers was just too
Some students don’t want the close relationship with a teacher
and the roots to the university the freshman seminars want to force
on them. In Moore’s experience, around 20 percent of students come
to a big university so that they can disappear. As a result,
attendance in freshman seminars did not tend to be high.
Feedback from students as a whole was not very positive. Some
seminars were more academic in nature with students taking tests
and writing papers while other classes spent their time finding the
Lory Student Center and making friendship bracelets. This
discrepancy made many students resent the teachers that were making
them work harder than everyone else.
“Students feel a breach of faith has occurred,” Moore said.
Thus, the Faculty Council has realized that their experiment has
failed at achieving the necessary goals and is doing the right
thing by making the classes optional.
I for one am happy that nobody else will have to spend an entire
semester writing good-sized papers about the flood of 1997. It was
interesting, of course, but how much can you learn about one
“Malvo defense alleges Muhammad grudge”
This is the subhead for a Washington Post article about Lee Boyd
Malvo’s capital murder trial. He is charged with killing FBI
analyst Linda Franklin during the sniper slayings in October
According to the article, Malvo’s attorneys are arguing “that
John Allen Muhammed gradually developed a grudge against ‘the
system’ and against white people and subtly converted his young
protege into a killer.” The article goes on to say, “The defense
hopes to convince the jury that Muhammed’s domination of Malvo made
the teenager temporarily insane and not responsible for his role in
OK, I understand that the defense is looking for anything to get
this kid off – and that an insanity plea would be worth trying. But
last time I checked, just because you are upset at the system it
doesn’t mean you are allowed to go out and help kill 10 people.
Lots of people in this world are mad at the system and don’t
like people of other races but they don’t all go out shooting and
killing people with rifles.
I fully believe that if the evidence shows that Malvo did in
fact shoot the gun that killed Franklin then he deserves to go to
For any person who ever wishes to go to graduate schools I have
a tip for you. Don’t bother trying to turn your application in
early in the hopes of getting accepted early so you know where you
are going and what you are going to do with your life.
Schools are in no hurry to accept you. I sent my application out
to schools one and a half months ago in the hopes of getting them
back by now.
All that most of them need to do is have three people look at
the application, give it a grade (essentially) and then compare the
grades. I just don’t understand why it takes six months to figure
Enjoy finals and the holiday break.
Colleen is a senior majoring in technical journalism and
political science. She is the managing editor for The