Sophia Smith Grows a Pair

It’s a sign of our depraved times that when the Smith College board of trustees announced a new admissions policy, the change was not heralded with a bang, not even with a whimper. Although “bang” and “wimp” are both concepts relevant to the policy as it now stands. Smith College, founded by an 1870 bequest […]

Reasons 36 and 37 to Love Collegetown, USA: Michael Brown and a Race-Baiting Racial “Healer”

 Every year, at this time of year, the following sequence of events occur, usually in the same order: grocery store aisles are rendered impassable by sky-high displays of Ramen Noodle 10-packs. Walmart, Target, and Home Depot debut acres of plastic storage boxes and bins. Bed, Bath, and Beyond, HomeGoods, and Marshalls are overloaded with “bed-in-a-bag,” […]

Professor Fah’s Hair-Raising Classroom Antics

Breanne Fahs, associate professor of women and gender studies at Arizona State University, is a wunderkind. She breezed through her undergraduate and graduate studies in near-record time (B.A., Women’s Studies/Gender Studies and Psychology, Occidental College, 2001; M.S., Psychology, University of Michigan, 2002; Ph.D., Women’s Studies and Clinical Psychology, University of Michigan, 2006), and a mere […]

Another Victory in the War on Women

Breaking news! International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who was to deliver the Commencement address at Smith College, has withdrawn from the May 18 ceremony.  According to the AP story, Ms. Lagarde said it was clear that many did not want her on campus and that she did not want to distract from […]

Don’t Go All Microaggressive on Me or I’ll Sue!

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed and turned, haunted by guilt. I could not stop replaying the moment, earlier in the day, when I committed the unforgivable against a person of color. It happened as I was reaching into my knapsack of white privilege for my wallet while simultaneously opening a door. On the […]

HOORAY for Harvard President Drew Faust!

Yesterday Drew Faust, president of Harvard University, became one of my personal heroes.  She spoke the truth, and spoke it plainly, as she explained the university’s wise and courageous decision to refrain from divesting in fossil fuel-related businesses. She pointed out the troubling inconsistency in the notion that, as an investor, [Harvard] should boycott a […]

Guilt Fatigue: Why the Zimmerman-Martin Case is a Man-Bites-Dog Story

If it weren’t summer, college campuses across this great land of ours would be chockablock with “Justice for Trayvon”™ teach-ins, vigils, bake sales and the like. Leave it to the denizens of Collegetown, USA, though, to ignore the triple-digit heat index and fan the flames of racial discord by organizing “Social Justice and Trayvon Martin™: […]

A Campus Combats its Whiteness: The University of Kentucky’s Search for a Diversified Provost

Question: What upcoming contest has Lexington turf accountants working overtime? If you answered “the Run for the Roses”: no mint juleps for you.  The match-up that has fans of diversity rushing to place their bets is a barn-burner at the University of Kentucky, where three diverse finalists are running neck and neck in the Provost’s […]

Carbon Footprints in the Snow: Unity College Takes on the Oil Companies. Sorta.

January in Collegetown, USA is bleak: if it’s not bone-chillingly cold, it’s overcast and foggy.  The days are short and the nights are long, and last week I spent $750 for one hundred or so gallons of oil to heat my home. So I read with interest in this morning’s update from the Chronicle of […]

Hampshire College Professor Margaret Cerullo Assures Students, “You Don’t Have to Read It to Know What’s in It”

I haven’t been so excited about alternating narrators since first reading Faulkner as an undergraduate.  I am counting the days till Boxing Day, when I can repair to my aerie high atop Copley Square and settle in with Christine Benvenuto’s Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On and Joy Ladin’s Through the […]