The Ivy Covered Walls of Higher Education

I don’t remember if my College had ivy covered walls and I’ll assert that in the larger scheme of things, whether it did or not really would not have impacted my time spent learning.  There has

English: Melbourne Campus in Melbourne, , . Ph...

English: Melbourne Campus in Melbourne, , . Photograph taken from North Wickham Road facing east, showing the west side of the campus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

been plenty of talk about college students and teachers in the current political discourse, and just how does that all fit into our daily lives.

President Obama has been here in Colorado several times over the past months speaking at one or another of the institutions of higher learning.  This week will find the President at the University of Denver for the first of the Presidential Campaign debates with Mitt Romney.  Earlier this month, Obama spoke at two separate campaign rallies, one in Golden, Colorado and another at the University of Colorado.

Pell Grants are a favorite topic in the current political conversation.  Obama has claimed that his administration has doubled Pell Grant funding for college students. The funding for Pell Grants was cut by $11 billion by Obama.

Obama campaign material also claims that the Romney/Ryan budget plan cuts Pell grant funding as well.  However this is not accurate.  The Romney/Ryan budget keeps the current level of Pell Grant funding instead of increasing the programs funding on its current unsustainable path.  The Romney/Ryan budget plan looks to make the Pell Grant program focus on its core, which are identifiable low-income students.

Now, upon getting to those hallowed halls of higher education you run into all sorts of issues.  Students at Brevard Community College ran into a problem in a mathematics class taught by Assistant Professor Sharon Sweet.  Assistant Professor Sweet, handed out a bookmark pledge card, from the Obama-Biden campaign requesting that the students in her class sign the pledge card.

Assistant Professor Sweet may have violated the College’s harassment policy by handing out the pledge card to her students. The Brevard Community College policy on harassment states;

“Any employee or student of this institution, who is found to have harassed another employee or student … will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, suspension and or expulsion, within the provisions of applicable current College Procedures and Board rules.”

Now in a current Obama campaign ad, the President says;

Third, we insure that we maintain the best workforce in the world by preparing 100,000 additional math and science teachers. Training 2 million Americans with the job skills they need at our community colleges. Cutting the growth of tuition in half and expanding student aid so more Americans can afford it.

Are the additional 100,000 teachers talked about going to be just like Assistant Professor Sweet?  Is this type of treatment of your college student what you envisioned when you went through all of the paperwork filling out Pell Grants?


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