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August 19, 2009

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I confess I only took at quick glance at the site you linked. My question is whether citizenship and personal adult responsibility is incorporated into the seminar?

Living right next door to a student rental, I feel it should be emphasized that college is a very expensive investment and not to be taken lightly as an escape from parental supervision for partying and drinking.

I wanted to state that more delicately but for the sake of brevity...

Too many times focus is placed on getting academics that are required to get "the paper". Lesser on the fact character growth, ethic responsibility and morals. These are an important part of building a well educated and responsible society to outpace international competition.

Witness our current state on 'Wall Street' and the banking executives' personal and business practices.

Hi LVCI, the seminar does incorporate personal adult responsibility, but because all freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus and the seminar is only for freshmen at the very beginning of their time at Lehigh, it doesn't specifically discuss being a good neighbor to Bethlehem residents. (I'll make sure to mention it to my group, though! Thanks for the suggestion!)

The Student Senate has been trying to help in that respect by sponsoring a seminar called "The Real World: Bethlehem" (see this Express-Times article from last February http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1233810378158600.xml&coll=3 ) but the article says only 25 students attended.

Some students do "enjoy life a lot" after being pushed very hard by their parents to get into college. This issue arises in all universities. Such students are hopefully only a minority, but those are the ones who attract the most outside attention and, shall we say, leave a lasting impression on their neighbors.

It seems that universities are more and more often expected to raise teenagers, in part because the college admission process has become so intense that some students don't have time to grow up in high school - they are so busy taking AP courses and doing extracurricular activities to boost their chances to get into a good college that they can't be normal teenagers.

Some of those students feel robbed of their high school years and use their college years to make up for that. (Which seems innocent enough freshman year, but then they fall behind in their courses so it becomes a lot easier to continue in their partying ways, and a lot harder to improve their GPA.) That is obviously unhealthy.

I am happy to do my part and volunteer for the evoLUtion seminar to help their transition, but it is true that a few students probably need more guidance on how to be an adult than what the four-session seminar provides. It is a step in the right direction, though.

According to the info at the first link, there are four areas of student development, mostly focusing on "self" but there is a "community development" area, which involves volunteer work. There is a mom/PTA Board member friend of mine who is an education prof. at Muhlenberg College. When we have events for the kids at my son's elementary school, her students volunteer to help, and I can't begin to tell you what a HUGE help these college students are to both the kids and parents. I think there should be more programs that encourage college students to volunteer at local public schools, it's a good way for students to develop inter-personal skills. It also exposes them to people of different socio-economic or cultural backgrounds, builds social capital for the community.

Hi, Mrs Dottie! During the evoLUtion training session, we were told that Lehigh students log in 50,000 hours of community service a year. Isn't that amazing? I think some students really do try to give back to the community. It's too bad a few others give the whole student population a bad name.

The evoLUtion seminar itself, which runs until early October, doesn't explicitly discuss community service - the students have just arrived on campus and often are still a bit overwhelmed - but OFYE (their website is the first link) is indeed passionate about students becoming more involved in the greater community during the school year.

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