GU Falls in Annual Sexual Health Report Card

Georgetown dropped nine places in Trojan Condoms’ 2008 Sexual Health Report Card, ranking in the 124th spot out of 139 total surveyed schools.

The Sexual Health Report Card annually ranks colleges and universities based on the available sexual health resources and education efforts on campus, according to its survey report.

In its third annual survey, the research criteria was expanded to include analyzing students’ personal anecdotes regarding campus health services, exploring school Web sites and surveying university health centers.

Trojan assigned a grade point average across 13 separate categories, including student opinion of the health center, the center’s hours of operation and whether drop-ins are allowed.

Georgetown scored a 1.97 out of a 4.00 standard GPA scale. Also considered in the evaluation is whether there is a separate sexual awareness program on campus, contraceptive availability and cost, HIV and STD testing availability and cost, lecture and outreach programs, student peer groups, sexual assault programs, Web site usability and the availability of anonymous advice.

According to Bert Sperling, developer of Sperling’s BestPlaces, the independent research firm who conducted the study this year, students’ poor responses on the quality of the on-campus health center facility contributed significantly to Georgetown’s low grade.

“Students at Georgetown had a very low opinion of their student health center,” he said. “That’s part of the reason for the poor grade.”

Sperling reported that 52 students responded to an online advertisement placed on Facebook to participate in the study.

Stanford University, Columbia University and Cornell University took the top three spots in the report card, while the University of Notre Dame, Providence College, St. John’s University in New York and DePaul University, all Catholic institutions, took the bottom four slots.

– Connie Parham

College Dems, Republicans Square off in Campus Debate

As the presidential election approaches, student organizations are urging students to become more informed and involved. In this spirit, the College Democrats and College Republicans partnered together to host a debate on Wednesday night at the Intercultural Center.

The debate featured representatives from both organizations focusing on issues like the economy, foreign policy, national security, energy and the environment.

Representing Senator Barack Obama were Parimal Garg (COL ’11), Caitie Boland (MSB ’09) and Ryan Guptill (COL ’10). Representing Senator John McCain were J.D. Allman (COL ’09), Dustin Walker (SFS ’11) and Donald Cohn (COL ’11).

Both sides argued their points through a series of questions and rebuttals moderated by Eric Langenbacher, visiting assistant professor and director of the honors program in the government department.

Obama representatives blamed the current economic crisis on past Republican policies, which are tied closely to McCain. McCain representatives said that a bailout is not the solution to the economy, but that ideological differences must be put aside in favor of finding a practical solution. College Democrats argued that changes needed to be implemented to help the average American.

Democrats said that the next administration must constructively engage with foreign powers like Iran, North Korea, Russia and China and that something in the American way of life needs to change regarding the environment. Republicans commented on U.S. foreign policy by mentioning the tremendous progress in Iraq and McCain’s aggressive stance in dealing with potentially threatening foreign powers.

“The debate proved that the democrats are right,” Heather Brock (COL ’10), an Obama supporter, said.

“The debate helped me gain a greater awareness of the issues and the history of each candidate. It also inspired me to do more research in order to clarify my support,” Kat Koser (SFS ’12), an undecided voter, said.

The Democratic and Republican representatives were happy with the outcome of the debate.

“It is important for young voters to come to forums like this to discuss issues,” Walker said.

“The debate went well. The audience got to see that there are clear differences,” Garg said. “We want to emphasize the importance of voting in this election.”

– Laura Engshuber

DeGioia Awarded Honorary Degree

Delegates from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland presented University President John J. DeGioia with an honorary Doctorate of Laws last Friday for his contributions to higher education.

The ceremony took place in New York City at the Mutual of America Building after a four-day visit to plan increased research and educational collaboration between the United States and Northern Ireland.

“Queen’s chose to honor President DeGioia for his role in strengthening the connections between the two institutions and their respective nations,” Queen’s University President and Vice Chancellor Peter Gregson said in a press release. “In honoring him this week, Queen’s is recognizing an eminent and visionary educationalist.”

Katherine Martha, a representative from Georgetown’s Office of Public Affairs, said DeGioia believes the honor as a indicator to continue to build the relationship he has helped to start.

“President DeGioia was deeply moved by the recognition and looks forward to continuing the unique relationship between Georgetown and Queen’s University,” she said.

Last May, Georgetown partnered with Queen’s to organize the Mitchell Conference, which is focused on learning from the devastating conflicts in Northern Ireland.

“Our relationship with Georgetown University is particularly special. During the last two years, academics from both universities have been crossing the Atlantic to collaborate on joint research projects in areas ranging from cancer research to law, politics, history and creative writing,” Gregson said.

– Leah Strelsin

“Dumbest Generation” Author Addresses Students

For Mark Bauerlein, author of “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future,” the advent of technology may actually hurt young Americans more than it helps them.

Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University, gave a lecture, followed by a question and answer session in the McShain Lounge yesterday on his perceived lack of intelligence in younger generations.

According to Bauerlein, he did not label American young people as “the dumbest generation” based on IQ or raw intelligence but on verbal intelligence and cultural and historical knowledge.

“In all surveys about current events knowledge, young people show abysmally,” he said.

Bauerlein evidenced the 2004 National Election Study, which showed one out of four 18- to 24-year-olds could not identify Dick Cheney as well as various statistics that showed a decline in literacy in the past 10 years.

“Anti-intellectualism can show up even in youths who are very bright,” Bauerlein said. “Cultural and historical knowledge are essential toward a mature adult citizen.”

During his speech, Bauerlein contrasted the limits of social lives and peer-to-peer contact of young people years ago to the current unprecedented social formation made possible by technology.

“[Digital technology] gives social life armament never seen before,” Bauerlein said.

Bauerlein believes that technology allows young people to constantly be in close proximity to social life, which in turn forces peer pressure to remain in private spaces. A survey conducted last year by the National School Board Association, showed that students between the ages of 9 and 17 spent an average of nine hours a week texting, chatting, blogging and visiting social networking sites.

“Every hour [of social networking] is an hour not spent reading or practicing an instrument,” Bauerlein said. “Reading and writing socially do not translate into academic reading and writing . or into the workplace.”

– Daniel Mueller

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