The Columbia Chronicle

Surviving the big pay off

By Maria Castellucci & Matt McCall Opinions Editor & Features Editor

October 27, 2014

Russell Harrison might never have paid off his student loans if he hadn’t had his debt consolidated.Upon graduating in 2008 from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, after receiving a bachelor’s of arts in music composition, he owed $40,000–50,000 in private and federal student loans. At the time, he was working at 7-Eleven and a Millworks furniture construction factory, operating heavy machinery. He worked mornings an...

Eden Unluata (right), adjunct faculty in the Interactive Arts & Media and Interdisciplinary Arts departments, teaches “Squishy Circuits and Little Bits” and uses kits that teach students basic circuitry at Donald L. Morrill Math & Science School.

Faculty fellows work on convergence academies

October 20, 2014

The Center for Community Arts Partnerships has named 13 faculty fellows to receive $52,000 in grant money to work on community engagement  projects for CCAP’s Convergence Academy program throughout the year. The program is partnering with two Chicago Public Schools to bring digit...

Akira’s Fashion Show 2014 “The Last Dimension” | The Columbia Chronicle

October 13, 2014

The Chronicle got a chance to attend Akira's 12th Annual Fashion Show at the Grossinger City Autoplex on Sept 5. Along with the fall trends from Akira we were able to speak with the CEO of Social Enjoym...

Students and artists wait patiently for the 2BarTuesday event to start, which features rappers, singers and poets from Columbia and surrounding colleges.

Loop TV looks to establish presence with students, artists

October 13, 2014

Loop TV, a student-produced YouTube channel that uploads new content weekly, focuses on bringing students from different disciplines  together to showcase their art. Evan Bell, a junior journalism m...

Liquid bandage

Researchers develop ‘smart’ bandage

October 13, 2014

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have created a new bandage that has the ability to estimate how fast a wound is healing.Conor Evans, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said the resear...

Mayor Emanuel announced new legislation in effort to reform sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses in Chicago at a press conference on Sept. 24.

Mayor disagrees with challenger on Marijuana Legalization

October 6, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on the state legislature to reform sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses, which received an unexpected response from Karen Lewis, a possible mayoral candidate, saying she wanted...

Head over heels: Your couch may be ruining your fashion game and your dating life

By Managing Editor

September 29, 2014

The couch: A perfect place to crash for a nap between classes, a casual movie night with your boo ‘thang or Saturdays spent in your sweats or leggings catching up on all things Netflix. But what if I told you the couch is about to become public enemy No. 1 when it comes to dating and fashion?Society has gotten too comfortable and lazy, not only with what we are wearing, but also in how we are dating. Leggings have replaced...

Beloved professor Sheldon Patinkin dies at 79

Beloved professor Sheldon Patinkin dies at 79

September 29, 2014

Sheldon Patinkin, an influential figure in Chicago’s theater community and former chair of Columbia’s Theatre Department, died Sept. 21 at the age of 79. Patinkin was an original member of the Playwrights Theatre Club, which helped found the Second City Theater Company, 161...

Chicago clinic removing radiation tattoos for free

Chicago clinic removing radiation tattoos for free

September 22, 2014

Sempurna Restoration Clinic has implemented a new tattoo removal treatment that focuses solely on removing radiation ink marks from breast cancer patients for free.The clinic, 220 W. Huron St., focuses...

Faith-based organizations unite on campus

Faith-based organizations unite on campus

September 22, 2014

The college’s six faith-based organizations on campus plan to collaborate to establish a larger presence on campus this semester, and with the creation of the newest organization, the Muslim Student Association, the college now has groups that focus on the three major gl...

Colleges overemphasize rankings

By Editorial Board

September 15, 2014

U.S. News and World Report released its annual college rankings list Sept. 9, resulting in a string of news organizations and commentators questioning the rankings’ credibility and usefulness.On the same day, the New York Times entered the ratings game by releasing its own rankings, joining U.S. News and other institutions that judge colleges on factors such as graduation rates, retention and programs. However, the lists contradict one another. While some schools are ranked similarly, there are instances in which the discrepancies in ratings that a college receives are so great that the integrity of these systems is in doubt. A major problem in ranking non-cooperating institutions was exposed when St. John’s College in Maryland skyrocketed from its 123rd ranking in 2013 among U.S. liberal arts colleges to No. 56 after the college submitted information for the first time, The Washington Post reported in a Sept. 9 article.This year, U.S. News ranked Princeton University the No. 1 university in the nation while College Factual, a college ranking site, named the University of Pennsylvania the top college.The rankings are meaningless if one does not first scrutinize the factors used to appraise colleges. U.S. News’ report analyzes student retention, graduation rates, faculty, resources and selectivity, but does not consider location, cost, availability of financial aid or more subjective factors, such as quality of campus life and recreational activities. You would have to read the fine print on College Factual’s FAQ to learn that its system emphasizes outcomes such as student loan default rates and early and mid-career earnings of each colleges’ graduates. Unfortunately, the casual reader will just look at the top ten or 20 and not inquire what the ratings stand for.Excessive reliance on these lists—which too often highlight the wealthiest, most elite institutions—is indicative of a culture that regards a college degree as an accessory rather than a certificate indicating the ability to think at an advanced intellectual level.The rankings are not the most important factor influencing student choice, though; according to the 2013 annual survey “The American Freshman” by the University of California–Los Angeles, students take a college’s academic reputation into account more than anything else. Only 21 percent of students considered rank important compared to 66 percent of students who considered academic reputation on which college rankings undoubtedly have an effect.The real danger of college rankings is that institutions are labeled the best when the relevant question is “best for whom,” as noted by the National Association for College Admission Counsel in a 2011 report. While they matter most to a highly selective group of students, they have consequences for students outside the charmed circle in terms of the quality of their education.The lists attempt to make the decision of choosing a college easier by combining different institutions, with dissimilar strengths and weaknesses, into one comprehensive list. But in reality, all of the colleges on the list offer different educational experiences based on the professors, location and other immeasurable factors.U.S. News’ top college, Princeton University, accepted only 7.28 percent of its 26,641 applicants for the graduating class of 2018, according to a March 27 press release from the institution. By this logic, only a small percentage of students can experience the nation’s best college.These lists are merely helpful guides, and the merit institutions and future employers falsely place on them does a disservice to students. By overemphasizing ranking lists, other factors much more germane to student choice can be overlooked. Higher education institutions exist to serve students, and when institutions gloat over rankings, that message can become clouded. Colleges should advertise their rankings less and instead focus on the services they provide.

Boston-based indie-pop band Air Traffic Controller debuted in 2009 and released their latest record NORDO in June 2012, funded it through a Kickstarter campaign.

Air Traffic Controller lands listeners

September 2, 2014

Boston-based indie-rockband Air Traffic Controller is gaining notoriety as its songs rapidly draw the attention of Spotify users. Within weeks, their single, “You Know Me,” has racked up hundreds ...

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