Campus Watch

Death by Voucher

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nov. 7—Banking his campaign on a $1 billion school voucher/tax credit program was political suicide for Republican New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler, according to a Times analysis by Michael Winerip. Designed primarily to help inner-city families by allowing them to receive vouchers for tax dollars that could be applied to pay tuition at private and parochial schools, the program had little appeal in New Jersey, “the most suburban state, with the nation's highest annual income, $54,226 per household,” writes Winerip. “Only 10% of New Jersey people live in its six biggest cities—compared to New York State, where 60% percent live in cities.”

Somber Classrooms

NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION, Nov. 8—Increased church attendance is not the only positive effect from the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. The number of New York City public high-school students suspended for bad behavior has dropped by almost 80% this school year, a change school administrators attribute to the somber mood in classrooms since the attack.

Suspension Stands for Profane Professor

THE DETROIT FREE PRESS, Nov. 2—The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a federal appeals-court decision that allowed Macomb Community College in Michigan to suspend English professor John Bonnell, who used crude language in the classroom, including a derogatory sexual reference to nuns.

Pro-Life Clothing OK'd

THE THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER, Nov. 5—By citing recent court cases and U.S. Department of Education guidelines, the Catholic law center obtained written assurances from school personnel that a student can wear pro-life sweatshirts to her public high school in Malone, N.Y. The student had been prevented from wearing sweatshirts that contained such messages as: “You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation. Rock for Life.”

The federal guidelines allow students to display religious messages on clothing to the same extent that students are permitted to display other comparable messages.

No Good Deed …

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, Nov. 9—Deborah Adelman, a nursing professor at St. John's College in Springfield, Ill., has been fired after leaving her job for three weeks to assist victims of the terrorist attacks in New York. She had arranged for other instructors to handle her responsibilities, but was dismissed for “job abandonment.”

Adelman acknowledges that she took the time without authorization but plans to file a grievance.

Evolutionary Warning

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 6—The Alabama State Board of Education voted without dissent Nov. 5 to place a warning on 40,000 new biology textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools, that refer to evolution as “a controversial theory” that they are free to question.

The statement—the only one of its kind in the country—advises: “Instructional material associated with controversy should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.