While it may be logical to view the “research university” as a hijacking of higher education, universities could, nonetheless, learn a thing or two from their research wing.
Some universities have become so unintentionally comical that they are beyond satire. Nevertheless, those same universities are capable of churning out solid research. Consider Columbia.
“Columbia University and Barnard College students filmed a feminist pornographic film in Columbia’s Butler Library to fight what they see as ‘gender tension’ at the school,” Katherine Timpf reported on Campus Reform, a Leadership Institute web site. “The NSFW film, titled ‘Initiatiøn,’ was filmed as a feminist statement exploring ‘the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire,’ according to an article published on Gawker.”
“‘Butler is an extremely charged space — the names emblazoned on the stone facade are, for me, a stimulant for resistance.’It begins with a group of girls sitting around a library table taking their shirts off. As the film progresses, the girls engage in activities including kissing, rubbing eggs on their bodies and twerking around chicken carcass.”
“One of the film’s creators, Columbia art and history major Coco Young, told the IvyGate blog that the library itself represented sexism at the school because only male authors’ names are on the facade of the building.”
Ironically, also at Columbia, the school of public health released a study that the denizens of Morningside Heights are sure to find, well, inconvenient. “The legalization of marijuana is an idea that is gaining momentum in the United States, but there may be a dark side to pot becoming more commonplace, a new study suggests,” Dennis Thompson of HealthDay reported. “Fatal crashes involving marijuana use tripled during the previous decade, fueling some of the overall increase in drugged-driving traffic deaths, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health report.”
“Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” co-author Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury, Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia stated. “If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”
“The researchers found that the increase in marijuana use occurred across all age groups and in both sexes,” Thompson reported.