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Tuesday News Overload

Jenna Johnson

U Tube
Want to know what other students did for their admissions essay to Tufts University? Just go to YouTube. This year Tufts allowed applicants to create a one-minute video essay and received more than 1,000 videos, The Boston Globe reports. One applicant performed a series of dorky dance moves named after math terms like the scatter plot and the bar graph. Another played a song made solely from the sounds of a piece of paper ripping, crumpling and waving in the wind. And one student used a remote control to to fly a Styrofoam elephant - with his name on it - through a clearing in the woods. Many of these videos have been posted to YouTube, and in a strange melding of the once-private college applications process with the openness of the Internet, the videos have generated a surprise following among Tufts students and alumni, who are campaigning for their favorites.

College satire or blatant racism?
The University of California San Diego student government has suspended funding to 33 student media outlets after the Koala, an alternative campus television show, satirically ridiculed campus outrage over an off-campus party that mocked Black History Month, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The Thursday broadcast called black students ungrateful and used a derogatory term. This isn't the first time the Koala has pushed the limits; several years ago it aired student sex videos. The student body president pulled the plug on the station the same day and temporarily froze funding to all student media, pending a new policy to control what student-funded media can do. The editor-in-chief of a conservative publication on campus told the Union-Tribune the student government overreacted and is using the incident to squelch free speech on campus.

The assistant opinion editor at The Daily Aztec student newspaper wrote in a column that "the issue comes down to those select organizations that publish distasteful, offensive content and often inspires feelings of fear, alienation and degradation to those individuals or groups discussed. The really difficult part about all of this is distinguishing the fine line between lighthearted, well-intentioned humor and racist, sexist or vulgar content that offends readers or viewers. I understand that the goal of these organizations is not to please the university community or act as a traditional journalism platform, but I also hope their intentions are not to inspire fear and despair in the groups they choose to ridicule." The writer tried to interview The Koala's editor, but he declined to comment unless offered beer.

Campus-style Hitchcock
A fierce murder of crows has claimed a parking lot at St. Louis University, terrifying students and painting cars with their droppings, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Ohhhh say can you see...
For more than a century, a small Indiana Christian college with ties to the Mennonite Church has not allowed the "The Star-Spangled Banner" to be played at sporting events because the song's military themes conflict with the church's pacifist beliefs. Now the president of Goshen College has decided to reverse the rule and allow an instrumental version of the anthem at events to make students and visitors outside the faith feel more welcome. But many of the college's 1,000 students are unhappy about the change: More than 900 people have joined the Facebook group "Against Goshen College Playing National Anthem," hundreds have signed an online petition, and dozens have written letters to administrators and the campus newspaper, The Indianapolis Star reports.

Killer PB&J
The number of people under 18 with food allergies is steadily increasing in the U.S., creating a headache for college dining halls that aren't used to the problem, Inside Higher Ed reports. A few years ago, a student with allergies might have had to take chances, pester cooks about ingredients or just skip eating anything made in a public kitchen altogether. But as allergies seem to have become more common - and as allergy sufferers and advocates have become more vocal - dining services officials are beginning to act. Many dining halls have adopted signs that point out common allergens, while others offer frozen meals and special items like gluten-free bread. A few others, including Brown University, College of the Holy Cross, and Franklin and Marshall College, have gone even further, opening allergy-free kitchens and offering made-to-order meals prepared by specially-trained cooks.


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By Jenna Johnson  |  February 23, 2010; 9:01 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  
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