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College roadtrip: Boston

Jenna Johnson

CampusMedia.jpgI'm in Boston today -- and the weather is cold, rainy, windy and gross. But I am excited to meet with staff members from a bunch of college newspapers in the area. And in honor of my great northern field trip, I figured I would share some of the interesting college news that's happening here.

The Daily Free Press at Boston University
More than 50 students attended a "blog party" Thursday to network with fellow Web scribes, share writing tips and promote their work. Who knew BU had so many bloggers? Sophomore Ivellisse Morales edits a blog called BU Latino, a collection of announcements about events on campus, interesting news, and minority enrollment trends and issues. BU Dean of Students Kenn Elmore blogs his thoughts about campus happenings and higher education news. And students Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Neal Moawed edit the blog BU Culture Shock, a record of campus art, fashion and culture.

The Tech at MIT
Last week, the chancellor responded to a list of recommendations for cutting the university budget. Some of the soonest cuts he plans to implement: Reducing the number of dorms available for summer housing, adjusting financial aid guidelines and eliminating shuttle routes that are redundant. The number of undergraduates will remain the same until more housing can be built on campus. And some budget cutting ideas that could happen in the future: Eliminating computer labs, limiting printing in labs, developing additional summer courses so freshmen can start classes early (alleviating crowding in general classes and raising money through summer housing), and "right-sizing" the graduate student body, among other things.

The Harvard Crimson
Last week, a Harvard Law School second year student filed a class action lawsuit against Google on behalf of Gmail users, alleging that Google Buzz discloses personal information without consent and constitutes a breach of privacy. Buzz allows users to track updates posted by their e-mail contacts. Though Google has issued apologies and made changes to the program, which launched in early February, the application continues to be an "opt-out" program, meaning that Gmail's 31.2 million users are automatically signed up until they choose to deactivate Buzz.

The Tufts Daily
Tufts University plans to move its course evaluations online in the next two years, which would help streamline the process. Last semester the Tufts Community Union Senate did a survey that found that 56 percent of students thought their course evaluations had little to no impact, and about 90 percent would be more likely to read them if they were online.

The Heights at Boston College
Boston College is on spring break this week, so campus is pretty quiet. Students are venturing all over the place: Cancun, Washington D.C., sports spring training and home. And many students are jumping on the college trend of doing an Alternative Spring Break. Instead of sunning on a beach, flying down slopes or lounging at home, students travel to locations all over the world and volunteer to paint houses, teach English, pick up trash and a host of other service opportunities. A sophomore told The Heights he usually goes skiing in Idaho over spring break, but this year he decided to abandon the "BC Bubble" and volunteer in Central America.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  March 1, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Campus Media  | Tags: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Tufts  
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