Notes in the Roundup: Social activism, the job outlook and Hamburger University

Greer Feick: Wall Street or Social Activism? When I mentioned to a college friend that I was considering careers with organizations that focus on poverty reduction, she rolled her eyes and said, "You know, being a Wall Street banker is just as socially useful as being a social activist." What struck me about the conversation was that I was talking with a liberal Democrat. It jolted me -- does our generation really put such a low value on social activism? (Huffington Post)

College students on break fix others' lives About 72,000 students went on "alternative" break trips in 2009, most of them spring break. But of 1,430 winter, spring, summer and weekend alternative breaks, about 140 were during winter break, says Samantha Giacobozzi, programs director for Break Away, an alternative-break resource that represents more than 140 participating colleges. (USA Today)

Help Wanted. Well, Maybe Not. Improving, but still unsettled: The Wall Street Journal's Joe Light writes on the state of the job market facing this year's graduating seniors: Thirty-six percent of companies that hired new graduates last year are either uncertain that they will hire or won’t hire this year, according to a survey by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. Among employers who didn’t hire new graduates last year, 76% said they won’t hire or aren’t sure. (Speakeasy - Wall Street Journal)

Court Keeps Ban On Alcohol Ads In Va. College Newspapers The Supreme Court is leaving in place a ban on alcohol advertising in Virginia's college newspapers. (

Eating disorders common on college campuses According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 20 percent of college students have anorexia, bulimia or a binge-eating disorder. Most are women. Some studies have shown that 50 percent to 60 percent of college students have disordered eating patterns which are loosely defined as irregular or unusual, sometimes obsessive habits. (Los Angeles Times)

Drug Maker Wrote Book by Doctors, Papers Say The 269-page book, “Recognition and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Psychopharmacology Handbook for Primary Care,” by the chairmen of the University of Miami and Stanford University medical schools, is so far the first book among publications that have been criticized in recent years for hidden drug industry influence, colloquially known as ghostwriting. (The New York Times)

Editorial: Bipartisan support for the Dream Act is heartening The DREAM Act offers a path to citizenship for the estimated 800,000 children who were brought here illegally but succeed in school and go to college or enlist in the military. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined conservative leaders, including former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, to urge passage of the law long stymied by gridlock over broad immigration reform. (The San Jose Mercury News)

Yes, McDegrees Are Worth Taking Seriously Today, McDonald’s boasts that students in Hamburger U.’s restaurant-management classes can earn college credits – with the blessing of the American Council on Education, no less. In a fast-food counterpart to academic globalization, Hamburger U. even has branch campuses around the world, including a newly opened facility in China and outposts in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and Australia. (

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