Saturday, May 27, 2006

Smoke Me Out? Do Without.

Of course I know the school can do this, but the question is, should they?

I'm conflicted on this. I thought universities stopped acting in loco parentis back in the 1960's, but it seems that at least at Chico State the good ole days are here again.

There's no debating it -- the Chico State forensics team will not argue this fall.

School officials announced Friday they are canceling the season because about seven or eight members of the 30-student squad have been using marijuana and cocaine on team road trips and at off-campus parties.

How many classes do you think they'd have to cancel if they had a similar rule for professors--who are also adults, just like the vast majority of these students are?

"If you're a member of a student organization like this, and you're travelling and representing the university, there are responsibilities," said Phyllis Fernlund, dean of the College of Communication and Education at California State University, Chico. "We're really disappointed."

I understand the "representing the school" argument, but unless they're coming to competition stoned, I don't see why the university needs to get involved at all. Are they going to cancel seasons for those teams in which students--gasp!--have sex without benefit of clergy? What about those that use foul language? What about those who drive above the speed limit on the way to competitions?

What if students have conservative viewpoints, and post them online? I'm sure many such posts would not support university policies--maybe we should just ban those students from competition as well.

Some might say this seems like a good idea, but I think it's unreasonable:

Last year, the university implemented a requirement that all freshman complete an online alcohol abuse prevention course.

I don't support smoking pot or underage drinking, but this sounds a bit too much like indoctrination for my taste.


Anonymous said...

Darren, I've only done this for a few short weeks, but you are the most prolific blogger I've seen. I'll make a comment on one of your posts, and I'll look next day and that post will be about six down on your list. You are the Stephen King of educational bloggers. Have YOU ever thought about writing a book?

Darren said...

Actually, yes I have. It's on my "List of things I want to do before I die." Right up there with "learn to fly"--and I have an airline pilot friend who will teach me for free (minus airplane costs, of course).

I started the book a couple years ago but let it die. It's yet another Things New Teachers Need To Know That They Won't Learn In Ed School book, and it even has a chapter specifically targeted at former military types who want to teach. You'd be surprised at how much overlap there is between the military and education fields, although the lefties scream bloody murder when I say that.

Anyway, I take your comment as a compliment. Thank you. Glad you're entertained!

Anonymous said...

Whoa, wait a minute. The forensics team is using drugs? Huh? Is this some kind of alternate universe? Even at the moonbattiest campuses I'm familiar with, forensics students are going into forensics because they're pro-law and order.

Darren said...

This isn't CSI or SVU.

Different kind of forensics.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused then, because I know only one definition of forensics, and that includes departments on university campuses.

Darren said...

Debate team.

Anonymous said...

They suspend the debate team for using weed but they would turn a blind eye to a footballer using steriods? I guess football is a far more thing for a school to be known for than debate. Honestly i don't support the use of drugs but on a scale of things to deal with, this seems rather low. Still I'm sure the members of the debate team are well equiped to challenge the ruling

Anonymous said...

My husband and I, both Chico State grads, were discussing this very issue the other day. Chico had quite a reputation back in the '70's and early '80's. We attended CSUC in the late '80's and early '90's and they were on a mission then to clean up their reputation. They started with fraternities and sororities and have tightened the reins in other ways over the years. Bottom line is this: you have a small community with a large number of 18-24 year olds. This age group is not known for making the most mature and rational decisions. Alcohol and drugs do not always play a role in poor decision making. A fraternity in Chico just last year had a pledge die when part of his initiation required that he drink gallons of water. Katherine B. commented on universities turning a blind eye to athletes. I don't doubt that's true. However, Chico's girls softball team lost about half of their season this year because of a party it held where a high school recruitee was served alcohol. My view on the debate team situation is that these students should not be punished for what they do on their own time. If they had shown up to the meet drunk and/or high then that would be grounds for punishment because at that point they are representing the school. What they do in the car on the way over or in their hotel room is their own business, and they would have to deal with the law if they were caught.