In this week's New Yorker, Alice Gregory puzzles over the future of tiny Bard College, from which (as she discloses in an oddly coy aside) she graduated five years ago. If you want to learn about the college, which is basically a precious hipster Marxist summer camp where 60 to 80 percent of the student body is high all the time, by all means, read the article. But you won't find any of the interesting stuff about the school's students. Instead, you'll find a propaganda piece about the school's eclectic president, Leon Botstein.
Three Bard students—two freshmen and a sophomore!—were arrested when police found them in possession of "nearly 1 pound of marijuana, half a kilogram of a partially refined but yet-unidentified hallucinogenic drug, hashish, hashish oil and a portable drug-processing lab similar to the kind used to manufacture methamphetamines" just two months into the school year. "If there's any message that comes through from this ... [it's] that we are here to provide an education and a safe and healthy atmosphere for students here at Bard," said a college spokesman. Okay! Either that or: Bard is a school where you can totally brew up a batch of rave drugs. [Daily Freeman]
It's time to cast your vote! Yesterday we proposed an initial list of America's most annoying liberal arts colleges. After perusing all your comments and emails, we've come up with a much-refined initial group of contenders for you to vote on. We've also selected the best description of each college from the voluminous correspondence we received on this endlessly fascinating subject. No more write-ins please—sorry, Skidmore!—this is our list and we're sticking to it. To get you started, we turn to the immortal words of commenter LOLCait, who helpfully defined liberal arts colleges for us: "In the form it's being used here, it's a four-year liberal leaning, usually in a small town, college with no grad programs, that rich kids go to feel free and take peyote and wander around campus barefoot and shrieking into the night "I'm a real person!" and then graduate and abandon it all for a good job, only to relive it on screened in porches years later when they find an old joint pressed into a copy of the Stranger, so they toke it even though it's stale and they remember a little bit but then go to bed and wake up just the same as they were the day before." All right then! To the colleges!
After much discussion, we have come to the conclusion that it might be possible that Oberlin is not, in fact, the most annoying liberal arts college in the world. (Though there's some pretty strong evidence in its favor.) So we've come up with a list of contenders. We acknowledge that most people probably don't have first-hand experience with each of these schools, but we'd like you to think long and hard about your experiences with their graduates, which should be enough to allow you to make blanket generalizations about the nature of the colleges. Also, consider this your introduction; there will be a poll, and later a crowning of the Most Annoying Liberal Arts College In The World. Maybe they'll get a diploma from us! Write-in candidates will also be considered.