More Homework

Apparently administrators at Ithaca College asked professors if they could assign some extra homework to prevent students from drinking too much during an important social weekend.

According to an article by Taylor Long in The Ithacan:

The Office of Health Promotions has suggested that students be given a heavier workload over Cortaca weekend to curb excessive drinking. In an email sent out to faculty members two weeks ago through a private faculty listserv, Nancy Reynolds, Health Promotion Center program director, encouraged faculty to alter assignment due dates so that they fall on or around Nov. 14, the Monday after Cortaca Jug, the historic rival football game between SUNY-Cortland and Ithaca College.

“If your students have important assignments due on Monday the 14th, some of them will be less likely to engage in high risk drinking the weekend beforehand,” Reynolds said in the email. “While I respect the fact that many course syllabi are set well in advance, I encourage you to try to incorporate this prevention strategy by scheduling important assignments during this critical time period.”

And we wonder college students drink recklessly. This might have something to do with the way colleges treat them like irresponsible children.

This isn’t third grade here. It seems pretty cynical to assign busy work to students purely to determine their behavior on the weekends.

The “weigh them down with homework so they’ll be too stressed out to party” plan apparently originated with the school’s health department. According to Long:

Reynolds said research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supports increasing academic rigor as a means for reducing excessive drinking — especially during what are considered “high risk weekend events.” She said it was never her intention to manipulate students or influence how professors dole out class assignments.

Um, however well intentioned, that seems to be exactly what you were trying to do.

View the email here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer