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Monday News Overload

Jenna Johnson

iPhone addiction
Last spring a graduate anthropology class at Stanford University surveyed about 200 undergraduates about their personal relationship with their iPhone. They found that almost a third of the undergrads worry about becoming addicted to their iPhones, think they may be using them too much and dread becoming "one of those iPhone people," the San Jose Mercury News reports. None of the nine grad students owned an iPhone when they started the survey, and felt a major generational gap with the undergrads they surveyed, who use their iPhones to manage their second identity that emerges online. The school bought the grad students iPod touches so they could understand how the gadgets work.

Other findings:
* More than a third of students had heard complaints they were using their iPhone too much.
* Nearly three-quarters reported that their iPhones made them happier.
* More than half agreed with the statement "I love it."
* A quarter agreed that their iPhones seemed like an extension of their brain or their being.
* Almost half the users described themselves as early adopters.
* About a third saw themselves as light users.
* Asked if their iPhone made them "feel cool" when they got it, 74 percent said yes.
* Three quarters said they'd fallen asleep in bed with their iPhone.
* Students were asked what they would think if Stanford bought every student an iPhone. Fifty-two percent said they'd be "delighted." Fifty-five percent agreed with the statement: "That's SO Stanford."

Schenectady is finally cool
For years, Union College actively hid the fact that it was located in the crippled manufacturing city of Schenectady from visiting high school seniors, providing driving directions that took visitors along "an indirect, scenic route that avoids the quicker but meaner streets of the aging industrial center," The New York Times reports. They had reason to do so: The No. 1 reason accepted applicants cited for going somewhere else was Schenectady. But in the past five years, the town's downtown has undergone massive redevelopment and change, and the school is suddenly encouraging visitors to visit their beautiful host town and see firsthand the signs of renewal.

State Patty's Day
Saturday was State Patty's Day at Penn State University, and despite efforts by school officials, cops and bar owners to shut the pseudo holiday down, The Daily Collegian reports that the fourth annual early-St-Patrick's-Day celebration (the real one falls over spring break) was likely even bigger than last year. The police agencies that helped patrol the event are still tallying up the number of incidents from the weekend, but as of Sunday night, they had about 430 reports. The tally was about 90 by Saturday afternoon -- last year at the same time, it was around 60.

Saturday evening, hordes of students wearing green Penn State gear crammed their way into open bars, chanting "We are... Penn State." A sophomore told the Daily Collegian that school pride keeps the holiday going: "You will celebrate if you are a Penn Stater." And on Sunday morning, about 90 members of greek houses took to the streets with trash bags to clean up the remnants of the crazy night.

Earthquake in Chile
This weekend college officials across the country scrambled to ensure students studying in Chile were safe after a major earthquake on Saturday. During the 2007-8 academic year, Chile was the 19th most popular destination for study abroad, reports Inside Higher Ed, which has a running list of some of the schools that have all of their students accounted for. The University of Hawaii closed down all of its campuses Saturday for fear of a tsunami created but aftershocks from the quake, but everything has since reopened.

The Badger Herald reports that 15 University of Wisconsin studying in Santiago are safe. So are 21 students from Stanford, The Stanford Daily reports. And the Daily Bruin reports that the University of California has successfully checked in with its 58 students studying there.

Racially charged incidents continue
University of Missouri police are investigating vandalism at the school's black culture center, The Maneater reports. Sometime early Friday morning someone spread cotton balls in front of the center. Police are still trying to determine if it was a hate crime.

A University of California, San Diego, student has admitted to police that she hung a rope noose from a campus library bookcase, an act that triggered more protests at a school already roiled by other recent racially charged incidents, the LA Times reports. Angry students stormed and occupied the chancellor's office for about six hours on Friday, and University of California, Los Angeles, held a sympathy protest.

Campus rape culture
A University of Maryland senate committee has begun to investigate why more students do not formally report sexual assaults on campus, and what university officials can do to change that, The Diamondback reports. In 2008, the university had 17 incidents of forcible sexual offenses reported, but officials worry that many more assaults are occurring and going unreported. Last week the Center for Public Integrity unveiled groundbreaking researchthat found that colleges and universities hardly ever expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault, the U.S. Department of Education has failed to aggressively monitor and regulate campus response to sexual assault, and colleges are ill-equipped to handle cases of sexual assault.

Think your tuition hike is bad?
Georgia's 35 colleges and universities have to let lawmakers know this week how they will cut nearly $600 million from their budgets for next year. The University System of Georgia potentially faces the brunt of the cuts and has been asked to cut $385 million -- or raise tuition by 77 percent, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Country vs city
Nebraska's six community colleges are fighting about how state funding is split up, The Omaha World-Herald reports. Last year the Nebraska Community College Association kicked out Metropolitan Community College, which has seven campuses in the state's biggest city, Omaha, because it refused to pay its full dues. Metro officials say they did so because they were not being treated fairly by the other colleges. The Omaha college has since sued the other community colleges, claiming that it lost about $11 million in state funds because of miscalculations by the state and misrepresentations by the other schools. A trial is set to begin March 15. All of the schools met this weekend for a summit to discuss the situation, but won't say what went down.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  March 1, 2010; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Penn State, Stanford, Union College, University of California, University of Georgia, University of Hawaii, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin  
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