[In the News]

MHC Students Take Issue with New York Times Sophomores Taryn Eckstein and Kristina Emminger took exception to a December 6 New York Times front-page article ("American Colleges Begin to Ask, Where Have All the Men Gone?") on the trend that women increasingly outnumber men at colleges and universities. Not ones to sit still, they responded with a letter they wrote during a College Democrats meeting (with the help of Blaire Eveland '01 and Wendy Quinn '99), which appeared in the Times December 8 under the headline "A Question of Prestige."

"It took decades for disparities to be recognized between men's and women's educations," Eckstein and Emminger noted. "Now there is an uproar over a few more women than men going to college. Shouldn't we be more concerned that men do not seem to have to go to college to 'make it,' while women know they need a college education just to get ahead?" The students went on to write, "The article contrasts Vassar, a former women's college, which has 'a bit of a mindset that may be more generous to men' in its admissions policy, with Harvard, Yale and Princeton, which 'still have a male edge.' This illustrates the notion that a female majority lessens prestige by acknowledging that former male colleges did not lower admissions standards to admit women, but former women's colleges are lowering standards to admit men."

NSF lauds MHC's science education A mid-December Chronicle of Higher Education article noted that Mount Holyoke was one of seventeen colleges and universities honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for "improving the quality of undergraduate education in the sciences, mathematics, and technology." Each institution receives $200,000. Our share, with biological sciences professor Stan Rachootin as principal investigator, is being used, according to the Chronicle, by "twenty science faculty members [who] are revising laboratories in most introductory and core science courses that will not only teach techniques but also attempt to develop students' ability to ask interesting, insightful, testable questions, and enhance their use of formal reasoning, mathematics, and statistics."

A Capitol speaking engagement When Rabbi Donna Berman met the Rev. Al Sharpton at a South Bronx church service in early December, it was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. When they discussed the possibility that Clinton might be impeached, Sharpton invited Berman to be one of the few speakers at a December 17 rally against impeachment on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. The rally was organized by Sharpton, a group of labor leaders, and by the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition. According to an article in the Springfield Union-News, Berman "stood on the Capitol steps, leading a few thousand people in prayer" at the rally. "Oh God, help these people realize that partisanship is not the stuff of justice ... and that to ignore the will of the American people is not democracy," Berman implored. Despite the protest, the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment several days later.