Editorials & Commentary Archive

Why have liberal arts colleges become a model for successful undergraduate science education? How does liberal learning better prepare graduates for the workforce of today and twenty years from now?

These are but two of the many questions asked and answered in the Editorials & Commentary archive. College News collects opinion pieces, printed transcripts of noteworthy speeches, smaller versions of occasional papers, and reprinted articles from a number of its member colleges and reprints them here to help provide a more subjective view into the world of liberal arts education. The diversity of voices, topics, and opinions found in these editorials and commentaries speak to the continuing vitality and importance of the residential liberal arts college community and its contributions to higher education and society.


What Next for Syria?

More than 40,000 people have died in Syria’s two-year-old conflict. Questioning Authority spoke with Vincent Ferraro, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics, about the escalation of the Syrian conflict, the emerging role of the United States and the global community, and President Bashar al-Assad’s dwindling options.

Originally posted: December 21, 2012

My first boss was a would-be senator

Lucas Meyer ’12 talks about managing Andrew Hosmer’s New Hampshire state Senate campaign.

Originally posted: December 18, 2012

Newscasts Feed on Lottery Frenzy

Now that the second of two Powerball jackpot winners has stepped forward, perhaps TV news producers can finally let go of a story that received far more attention than its news value merited. The sensationalized coverage of the record Powerball jackpot demonstrated again how superficial the broadcast news agenda has become. The hyped-up coverage wasn’t […]

Originally posted: December 16, 2012

12-12-12 “Just a Number” to Prof. Woody Dudley

“Today is 12-12-12, the last major numerical date using the Gregorian or Christian calendar for almost another century,” reports ABC News. “The next time three numbers will align as they did on 9-9-09, 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 will be on Jan. 1, 3001, or 1-1-1.” The story includes comments from Underwood Dudley, professor emeritus of mathematics […]

Originally posted: December 11, 2012

The Sad State of Election Coverage

Post-election research demonstrates the mainstream media presented the presidential campaign through a negative lens. It is little wonder that people get weary of politics and that voter turnout in 2012 was lower than expected. News coverage was certainly not portrayed as a celebration of democracy in action.

Originally posted: December 2, 2012

Open Forum : Views on the Election

The 2012 elections were remarkable in many ways — from issues, to participation, to outcome. The San Francisco Chronicle shares what Ambika Bist ’15, Rachel Grate ’15, Elizabeth McElvein ’14, and Elisabeth Pfeiffer ’15 say the election meant to them as young female voters and future leaders in business and their communities.

Originally posted: November 21, 2012

Would Jefferson Have Opposed Thanksgiving?

“Jefferson adamantly opposed proposals that he issue a proclamation for a day of fasting and prayer during a time of national crisis or any other proposal for an official call to prayer,” says visiting assistant professor of history John Ragosta.

Originally posted: November 19, 2012

“Free Media is Huge” for Presidential Candidates, Prof. Tells LA Times

“Paid media is important to establish candidate legitimacy, but campaign ads become noise at a certain point,” says Jeffrey M. McCall, professor of communication. “Ads keep a candidate’s name in the voters’ short-term memory, but free media in news shows or interview shows can provide dimensions to candidates that ads just can’t.”

Originally posted: October 31, 2012

Penksa Discusses the EU, Its Nobel Prize

Susan Penksa, Westmont political science professor and co-author of the book “The European Union in Global Security: The Politics of Impact” reacts to the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the EU. She says that European integration played an indispensable role in fostering peace and security in Western Europe.

Originally posted: October 29, 2012

Stop the Silly Debate Circus

The presidential debates would better serve the citizenry if they were not presented on television. Television is a terrible place for presidential candidates to demonstrate whether they have the ideas and substance to lead the country in these challenging times.

Originally posted: September 29, 2012

Electoral College Math Unfair

More than half the nation’s eligible voters live in states that are losers in both categories. Their states are not closely contested and have above-average ratios of voters to electors. This is true for people in 14 states with 51 percent of the nation’s eligible voters: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana and Kentucky. Their votes count the least.

Originally posted: September 28, 2012

Partisan politics drives coverage

Campaigns are by their nature confrontational. One guy is trying to keep a job that the other guy is trying to take away from him. The higher the stakes, the greater the tension. And the bigger the media coverage.

Originally posted: September 24, 2012

Hampshire’s Library Director on Digital Preservation at Smaller Institutions

In July, scholars, entrepreneurs and digital preservation practitioners gathered in Arlington, Va., for the annual meeting of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, DigitalPreservation 2012.

Originally posted: September 20, 2012

Militia politics in Libya

Jacob Mundy, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Colgate, called the Septeber 11 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi and the resulting death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens a “rude wake-up call to the coalition of states that was too-quick to say ‘mission accomplished’ following their humanitarian intervention last year.”

Originally posted: September 13, 2012

“Unity is Indispensable” as Nation’s Problems are Addressed, Opines Lee Hamilton ’52

One of my earliest memories of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was elected in a landslide in 1964, is of a president cautioning against partisan chest-thumping. Johnson used to love meeting with freshman members of Congress, and after taking office we Democrats who had been elected that same year had every expectation that he would allow […]

Originally posted: September 4, 2012