Sunday, March 24, 2013

University Scandals & Tartt's The Secret History

So this one's a bit of a stretch, but it involves a great article and an even better book, so I'm okay with that.

I've previously posted about shenanigans on university faculty boards.  Now here are some shenanigans by the students themselves.  Here's this week's Guardian article "Harvard sees NCAA basketball win overshadowed by quiz team scandal:"
Academic disgrace and sporting glory are unfamiliar terms at Harvard. But on Friday, the university found itself experiencing both. Just as the Crimson were celebrating a surprise victory over New Mexico in the NCAA basketball tournament, news came that the school had been stripped of four national quiz tournament titles. National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) announced that a member of Harvard's quiz bowl team, which competes in intercollegiate trivia competition, had improperly accessed questions used in its tournaments from 2009 to 2011. The Harvard student, Andrew Watkins, had access to the NAQT administrative website as a writer of questions to be used in primary, middle and high school competitions. He is alleged to have seen the first 40 characters of questions presented to Harvard in tournaments they won several years in a row.
Want a novel about university lies, secrets, cover-ups, and immorality? How about -- stay with me on this one -- Donna Tartt's The Secret History:
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

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