Tipsheet: College eds story idea roundup 10/29/2012
No politics, no storms. But lots of other ideas for campus coverage in the weekly roundup:
I cannot improve on Frank LoMonte’s post at the Student Press Law Center blog about steps every college media outlet should take to assess sexual assault and mental health issues. If you somehow aren’t motivated by Frank, read the latest from Amherst and a new victim account from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you missed it, here is the column in The Amherst Student that has brought much-needed attention to these issues.
What’s the single experience every student on campus shares? Going to class. When was the last time you covered how classes are taught? A new survey of faculty says discussion is on the rise, lecture declining, but male profs lecture more than females. And with the nation in need of more STEM (science, technology, engineering, medicine) majors, is it worth considering that the predominance of lecture-style teaching in those fields may drive students away?
This advice column on what to do if you hate your major could lead to good stories: How many students change their majors every year? Is there pressure now not to do anything that might delay graduation? Do students who made big changes regret or celebrate their decisions? (My guess is you could get good discussion going on social media and find students willing to be interviewed.)
Professors are getting more liberal, a new survey says. Do students think professors’ views matter? Do they think political bias inhibits class discussions and/or affects grading?
A nice and probably easy-to-get stat before registration for spring semester: What time slots are most popular, hardest to get? If your registrar thinks this is top secret, point out that @byuregistrar tweeted, “Most popular #BYU class time is MWF at 11am, with 13,711 students enrolled.”
Textbook rentals are driving down student costs and also helping college bookstores, USA Today tells us. (Another smart topic for back-to-school in January.)
If you spend some time covering students with disabilities, you might find some compelling stories. (I’d almost guarantee it.) For instance, The Washington Post reported that impact of gun violence in the District of Columbia can be seen in the number of men in wheelchairs.