Notes in the Margins: Debating at Mac, Netflix, the working class and insurance

Trying to revive policy debate at Mac Some students and alumni lamented what they saw as the destruction of the college's 100-year debating tradition after the administration effectively eliminated the subsection on policy debate. Now some students are forming a policy debate club and looking for financial backers in the hope of getting back into the arena. (

Academic Libraries Add Netflix Subscriptions A Netflix subscription seems like a no-brainer for an academic library with a demand for audiovisual materials. But Netflix says library distribution of rented DVD's or streaming video violates its terms of use. (

St. Kate’s bans tobacco, no sign of St. Thomas following Two hundred and fifty-four colleges and universities nationwide are completely tobacco-free, including 16 in Minnesota. But all Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools beside St. Kate’s and Bethel University allow tobacco use on campus (

Insurance Options for College Students and Their Parents Many risks that college students face — from property and identity theft to liability cases — can be reduced through proper insurance. The problem is that many parents are as uninterested in talking about these things as their college-age children. (The New York Times)

Digital-Textbooks Formula Proves Elusive Digital devices have so far failed in the area of pedagogic reading. Education is awaiting the right hardware — the so-called form factor. (The New York Times)

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.

Working-Class Students Band Together at the U. of Wisconsin On a campus where the median family income was considerably higher than in the rest of the state, student Chynna C. Haas said, "there was so much stigma attached" to being working class or poor that many such students tried to pass themselves off as affluent. (

A Prescription for Diversifying Medical-School Faculties Medical-school physicians and research scientists are leaving academic medicine at unsustainably high rates, and dissatisfaction is especially high among women. The current culture suppresses divergent intellectual perspectives and discourages the openness and trust that are necessary for innovation and collaboration in research, education, and care for a diverse nation. (

The Perils of Being Too Cute in Your Application Some colleges invite some playfulness on their application supplements. But they do it in a serious context, and they are mainly interested in how the student’s mind works when they let themselves use their imagination rather than in their being odd or quirky for its sake. (

University of Texas home to library without books The on-site collection at the University of Texas at San Antonio's Applied Engineering and Technology Library is only available electronically. (USA Today)

College Grads Expand Lead in Job Security It's not only that the college educated earn more, but that they are far more likely to keep their jobs when times get tough. (Wall Street Journal)