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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Porco and Party Schools

Party Schools and Porco news: I know that I'm the last person on earth to blog today about Joan Porco's letter to the TU and UAlbany's party school status - for god's sake Albanyeye was on it hours before I woke up, here and here. And I think everyone gets the main jist of what's going on - a lot of what needs to be said has already been printed. But I still have my two cents to throw into each story. We'll start with UAlbany's party school status, which fell from #1 to #6 in the rankings:

Point #1: That top-ranked status was always bullshit anyway, and everyone knew it. It's still bullshit that they are even on the list. You can't be the top party school with local grouper laws that prevent real frat houses from existing. You also can't be the top party school with the Lamp Post as your signature bar. That's just absurd. I mean, has the Princeton Review ever been to Arizona State? Or Colgate for that matter? Albany's not even the top SUNY party-school in my mind - unless things have radically changed in the last 5 years, Oswego or Oneonta has to be king. And face it: no one goes on spring break from the University of Kentucky and comes back saying, "Wow, I just can't get over how attractive those guys/girls from SUNY Albany were!" That happens all the time in reverse. Part of being the top party school is having the runway models and hunks that Florida State, Arizona State, and UK can provide. No one in Albany is even tan. Look - I've been to Fountain day. UAlbany is not a top party school. Nevertheless...

Point #2: Could the SUNY administration be more out of touch with college life? Here's the relevent text:
Typically, schools dismiss the survey as lousy science UAlbany officials took that tack last year -- but this time around, officials acknowledged that even if the survey is flawed, they could learn things from it.

For example, students complain professors aren't available (UAlbany's rank: 1). And students say they rarely study (rank: 5).

Hall said the consistent message is that "students wish they had greater access to faculty." Part of that could be achieved by adding professors, he said.

Steven Messner, the incoming chairman of the University Senate and a distinguished sociology professor, agreed that the results could be a useful window into students' thoughts.

"Administrators and faculty have an obligation to continually monitor quality of education," said Messner, who added that most faculty he's met really like students and like to be around them.

Memo to SUNY: you're not going to change a party school by adding more faculty. The students giving SUNY its reputation are not the ones who wish they had more access. And if the faculty wants to be "around students" they should head down to the corner of Western and Quail some night, we'll see how long that lasts. I'm pretty sure you have to change the type of student coming to the school, not just their experience at the school, if you want to alter your school's social image.

On to the Porco letter:

Point #1: Who else had an "OJ" moment when they read Joan Porco's "search for the real killers" line at the end of her letter? I almost spit out my breakfast. Whatever lawyer vetted that letter should be fired - you can't use the most famous "I'm guilty but there's nothing you can do about it" line in recent history as part of your statement. You just can't. P.S. I can certainly sympathize with anyone who was almost murdered, had her husband murdered, and thinks her lead-supsect son is innocent, I can. It's horrific. But I can't buy the "although I have no memory whatsoever of the attack...I am positive that my son was no way involved." It just defies logic.

Point #2: How's that first year going, David Soares! Last week, he's on national TV arguing with an anonymous internet blogger about media responsibility, and now he's got the victim of his other major case - and the only hope for a witness against his prime suspect - telling him to take it somewhere else! Any sympathy for Paul Clyne yet, Dave? P.S. When is the grand jury going to meet again on this one? Or the Geisel case for that matter? P.P.S. - Is the whole world watching this case, too?
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At 10:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Princeton Review ranking lists are based on its surveys of students at the schools in its book, Best 361 Colleges. Students rate their schools & report on their experiences at them. Party school list based on students answers to surv ques re use of alcohol & drugs on campus, popularity of Greek scene on campus and # of hrs they study outside of class. Go to www.PrincetonReview.com, read the release. (You can also search the lists there).    



At 12:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Blobbers is a better suited name for people like you! I can't believe people actually read/care about your ramblings!    



At 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

You know very little regarding this case , and should be shouldn't comment on things you are lacking such knowledge on. The police have made several major bunders and more to come out in the public soon.    



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