This year, like every year since 1998, a couple of profs at Beloit College have released a “Mindset List” describing the world that the new crop of incoming first-years grew up in. Here’s a few things they left out:
The average first-year college student in the United States this fall was born in 1993. For them…
College presidents have never been expected to stay in their positions for long, and have always had onerous fundraising responsibilities.
Pell Grant funding has always been under attack.
Colleges have always been required to keep public statistics on campus crime, and have always evaded those requirements with impunity.
Grad students have always been boosting enrollment with jokey-sounding course names.
Conservative commentators have always been appalled.
The presence of significant numbers of students of color on campus has always been treated as a new development.
NCAA rules violations have always been a headline-grabbing crisis.
College athletes at high-ranking Division 1 schools have always been pampered and cynically exploited.
The connection between the above two realities has always been the subject of hand-wringing op-eds.
Which have never translated into serious reform.
Tenured professors who came of age in the late sixties have always been exaggerating their own activist exploits, and deriding contemporary student organizing.
The drinking age has always been 21.
Binge drinking by under-21s has always been epidemic.
Returning students have always been a growing campus demographic.
And have always been ignored in lists like this.
Remediation has always been a handy cudgel for enemies of open enrollment.
Middle-aged people who spent their youth desperate for sexual gratification have always been decrying the rise of hook-up culture.
The proportion of state budgets devoted to higher education has always been plummeting.
The extent of rape in the dorms and at frat parties has always been the subject of whispered rumor.
Adjunct hiring has always been growing.
Adjunct pay has always been unsustainable.
Free public higher education has always been a distant memory.
Faculty and administrators have always been inexplicably surprised to discover that the new incoming class is roughly a year younger than the previous one.