Tipsheet: College eds story idea roundup 09/17/2012
Rounding up a week of tweets: yes, student media really can help prevent suicide and sexual assault; evaluating Newsweek’s knock on the value of college; and smoking, thinking and reading on campus.
Don’t believe you can prevent suicide? Consider this: “I’ve talked to probably hundreds of young people who have attempted suicide, and not a single one of them wanted to die. What they wanted was for the pain to stop.” Read more from USA Today’s story last week after Surgeon General Regina Benjamin introduced the government’s first major suicide prevention plan since 2001, aiming to save 20,000 lives in five years. And the Red and Black (the independent newspaper serving the University of Georgia) elaborates on the new method for Facebook users to act when they see trouble signs online.
The Justice Department says college students are most vulnerable to rape in the first few weeks of their freshman and sophomore years. As I said in an earlier post, I think that gives you an opportunity to do a valuable public service while it’s still early in the semester.
The Huffington Post is offering $10,000 grants to people under 30 who have ideas to make the world better through service projects. There are people on your campus leading service projects. What would they do with 10 grand?
Newsweek saw fit to splash across its cover: “Is College a Lousy Investment?” The story (or maybe it’s a column?) by Megan McArdle doesn’t waste time providing an answer:
“Maybe it’s time to ask a question that seems almost sacrilegious: is all this investment in college education really worth it? The answer, I fear, is that it’s not.”
But later, McArdle concedes that “experts tend to agree that for the average student, college is still worth it today.” I wasn’t the only one who found McArdle’s piece unconvincing. But it does present an opportunity for you to ask your readers if they still think it was smart to enroll.
If you’re at a public college, are more of your peers from out of state lately? I was surprised to see (in this very cool graphic from The Crimson White) that 51 percent of last year’s freshman class at my alma mater, the University of Alabama, came from out of state. But the same day brought a possible explanation from The Huffington Post. It seems public colleges wrestling with state budget cuts find those out-of-state tuition payments very appealing.
If your college isn’t among the 17 percent which have banned smoking everywhere, I guarantee you can get your readers talking with a story about the federal government’s push for campus bans.
Where can a person just sit and think on your campus? John N. Gardner, a leading thinker on what helps students succeed in college, thinks modern campuses need more places for thinking. He says dorms, student unions and even libraries have cut back on quiet spaces for solitary reflection.
What are the “must read” novels for the literary set on your campus? How many students read for pleasure anyway?