In 2010, a new decade began and college students across the country continued about their business as if it was 2009. College loans requests spiked, students acted ridiculous and some even turned into the year’s biggest villains.
Below is a list of the top ten news stories that shook college campuses to their core. Some of them are funny, many are scandalous and more than a few made people realize that America needs to change.
We’re sure 2011 will an interesting year…
10. Declan Sullivan
Social networking could have saved Sullivan’s life if the University of Notre Dame had read his tweets. As the junior student stood 30 feet above the ground on a high platform, from where he filmed the Fighting Irish practice, he tweeted “Guests of wind up to 60 mph… I guess I’ve lived long enough.” Less than an hour later, his last tweet was filled with panic, “Holly Shit, Holy Shit. This is terrifying.” The tower he stood on collapsed soon after, and while investigators have yet to officially release its report, many speculate the high winds caused the crash. Sullivan died at a nearby hospital from the injuries sustained by the fall.
9. “The Fuck List”
In one of the college’s greatest social experiments ever created, a Duke student wrote about her sexual escapades, turned it into a power point presentation and sent it around to her friends. It included photos of the men who slept with, transcripts of their conversations, and vibrant observations about the guy’s physique and their prowess. You should glance at the report here, it’s easily the best read of 2010.
8. Fatal Attraction
In a horrifying turn of events, a University of Virginia lacrosse player was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend. Yeardley Love was found on an early May morning by police who originally believed she had died of alcohol poisoning. Later that day, however, allegations spread that George Huguely, Love’s ex-boyfriend, had killed her. Huguely has been in jail for seven months and awaits a trial in January. UVA, however, was left to reel over the loss of a friend and athletic star.
7. “Blackout in a Can”
We never tried Four Loko… it’s not that we never got the chance. Apparently containing as much alcohol as five beers and the same amount of caffeine as six cups of coffee, Four Loko was nicknamed “blackout in a can.” It wasn’t until October, when nine students from Washington State University were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning that people began to realize the stuff wasn’t so good for you.
“Everything was going fine, the music was playing, people were having fun – and then all of a sudden all the girls were puking everywhere,” said one student. “Girls were outside on their backs.” Apparently some of the people found unconscious had a BAC of .35, states the New York Daily News! That’s crazy! Needless to say, Four Loko has since been banned from most college campuses and states across the USA have taken the beverage off the shelf.
6. Fraternities prove their worth
A party allegedly organized by Pi Kappa Alpha at University of California San Diego called the “Compton Cookout” drew ire when the event turned into a blatantly racist affectation of the ghetto. A Facebook invitation used slang and uncouth remarks that led to an uproar in the African-American student community. Soon after, a student television show called the Black Student Union a bunch of “n******,” creating more tensions.
The last straw, however, came when one UCSD student found a piece of cardboard in the TV station with the words “Compton lynching” on it. Students marched in protest and demanded more funding for minority recruitment and safe spaces for African-American members of the school community. A forum was held so students could talk about the problems they faced as black members of the UCSD community.
So what happened after that? Not much. A noose was found hanging in the performing arts center of UCSD in July, further sparking racial tensions and police investigations into acts against African Americans. The school’s black population makes up 2 percent of its entirety, according to the San Diego News Network. So much for affirmative action. No reports have suggested anything has changed… except for the fact that people are just now apparently realizing this is 2010 and not 1964.
5. We ‘Like’ “The Social Network”
Arguably one of the best films of the year, The Social Network was a fine look into the politics of how social media is changing our generation. Great acting, witty dialogue and legal action made this film enthralling and entertaining. Our favorite part? Just Timberlake’s portrayal of our ex-enabler Sean Parker. Yup! One of our writers actually knew the hard-time partyer… and according to him, the real Parker was much worse. JT, however, played the role perfectly.
4. I’m sorry… you said how much?
College costs rose to an all-time high this year. Students everywhere needed loans and many academics were forced to drop out of school and attend community college. According to Business Insider, the Project on Student Debt claims that 206,000 Americans or more graduated college in 2008 with $40,000 in student loans. Another shocking fact? “Total student loan debt in the United States is now increasing at a rate of approximately $2,853.88 per second,” says the Insider. Well, gee, ain’t that swell?
Things got worse when students graduated too – more students than ever moved back home, many got jobs they were overqualified for, and others simply couldn’t find a job at all. With the economy on the rebound, it looks like job spots may begin to open, but debts will surely continue to rise.
3. Columbia University apparently supplies Manhattan’s drug habits
Not even four weeks ago, frat bros from three different organizations were arrested for selling cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, Adderall and LSD, according to the Columbia Spectator. Wha? After a five-month sting called “Operation Ivy League,” authorities arrested five Columbia students and three drug suppliers. One of the suppliers was allegedly planning to kidnap a rival trafficker! These guys were obviously intense. While everyone knows a college dealer or two, these guys seem to have been either really stupid or too good for their own safety. Either way, aren’t you glad you don’t go there?
2. The Boy Who Beat Harvard 2.0
While Mark Zuckerberg gave Harvard the middle finger multiple times, Adam Wheeler certainly flipped the bird, too. In May, Wheeler pled guilty to perjury, identity fraud and other allegations after professors at Harvard discovered he wasn’t the man he claimed to be. For years, Wheeler pretended to be a straight-A student from Phillips Exeter Academy with perfect SAT scores. After he applied for a Rhodes scholarship, his lies became clear and he was thrown out of the university. The phony got 10 years probation and Harvard felt duped for the first time ever, reported The Associated Press.
1. Death of Tyler Clemente
One of the most tragic stories of the year was the death of Tyler Clemente. As a gay student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Clemente felt isolated, scared and depressed. When his body was found in the Hudson River, authorities knew almost immediately what had happened. Clemente’s roommate (winner for villain of the year) had videotaped the student’s hook-up with someone he could finally relate with.
As if that’s not disgusting enough, the roommate and another accomplice posted the video online. Ashamed and feeling more alone than ever, Clemente committed suicide. The story ignited a passion in the LGBT community unseen since the Stonewall Riots and led to projects such as the “It Gets Better” campaign which encouraged gay youth to seek help if they felt bullied, alone or just wanted someone to talk to.
Despite the somber overtones of the number one story in college campuses across America, 2010 was a year, mostly, of identity amidst crisis. Tensions flared, money evaporated and students left this world in a flash. Trying to understand these events, however, is what makes a college community such a close-knit group.
So in conclusion, ask yourself: what did you do this year to make your campus a better place? Who knows, maybe next year you could be the one to make this list be more positive and uplifting!