TIME society

These Are the Top 10 Ranked Party Schools in America

TIME.com stock photos Drinking Fraternity Frat Solo Cups
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

The University of Illinois is number 1 on the Princeton Review list

Princeton Review announced the top 10 party schools in America on Monday, one of more than 60 rankings in the 2016 version of its The Best 380 Colleges guide.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign leads this year’s list. Some online reviews give the school an A+ for party scene, touting “Tuesday wine nights,” while the area has been known for letting anyone age 19 and older in bars.

Here is the full list:

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2. University of Iowa
3. University of Wisconsin-Madison
4. Bucknell University
5. Syracuse University
6. University of California-Santa Barbara
7. West Virginia University
8. University of Georgia
9. Tulane University
10. Colgate University

West Virginia University, the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Syracuse are no strangers to this list, while Tulane graduates might be relieved to see the school is also ranked in the top 10 of Princeton Review’s newest list, “Students Most Engaged in Community Service.”

TIME society

Taking Aim at Student Debt

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We need a long-term solution that tackles both education and wealth inequality in today's society

When the class of 2015 graduated in May, they took more than a diploma and happy memories away from campus. They also left with an average student debt of $35,000 for a bachelor’s degree—earning the distinction of being the most indebted graduating class in history. Unfortunately, it’s a title they will probably concede to the class of 2016 next spring.

With numbers like these, it is becoming clear that innovative approaches are desperately needed. With their new book, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream, University of Kansas professors William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis offer one such paradigm shift. They argue that we’re missing the bigger picture when it comes to student debt. The skyrocketing rates of student indebtedness are, in their estimation, a symptom of an even more serious problem: that the reluctant acceptance of debt as a de facto method for paying for college reinforces social and financial inequality by saddling borrowers with excessive financial burdens at the beginning of their careers and hurting their chances to achieve economic mobility post-graduation.

“If we begin to think of education as a part of the economic mobility system, then we can begin to think of education’s implications for children long after school,” Elliott, who also serves as the founding director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI), explained at a recent New America event. Along with his co-author, Elliott was joined by Demos Senior Policy Analyst Mark Huelsman and New America Education Policy Program Director Kevin Carey for a discussion on the importance of developing new college financing models that could reduce inequity between students of varying income levels.

“We fundamentally believe that education is really important, but because of the weight of [student] debt, experts are starting to question whether or not the return on investment is really there,” Elliott said.

The panelists’ conversation comes at a moment of heightened attention on the burdens student debt often places on young borrowers and their families. Last year, exit polling of Millennial voters intimated that student debt was a point of concern during the midterm elections, prompting politicians to jump on an increasingly crowded “student debt is a serious issue” bandwagon during the preliminary rounds of the 2016 presidential campaign. And in March, President Obama announced the creation of a Student Aid Bill of Rights that seeks to change how federal agencies interact with students that take out federal loans to finance the cost of higher education.

Unfortunately, according to the panelists, political discussions of the student debt crisis often fail to acknowledge how student debt can have disparate and lifelong effects on the asset building capacity of young borrowers from different racial and economic backgrounds. It is often the students who stand to benefit the most from attending college who struggle with debt after graduation or drop out before receiving a degree, creating what Huelsman referred to as a “Debt Divide”—a phenomenon wherein those with the highest need for student loans are the most susceptible to negative outcomes before and after graduation.

“There is a fundamental difference in student debt that’s taken on by someone from a low-income background and debt that’s taken on by someone from a middle or upper class background,” Huelsman said. “There are people for whom every dollar matters so much more, and they don’t have the extended family resources that can leverage assets to take on debt.”

When speaking about the increase in the number of students taking out loans, Huelsman pointed out that the higher education system was never meant to trade debt for diplomas, but because of a series of policy changes that reduced institutional funding and increased costs, “we now have an almost entirely debt-funded higher education system.” And while media outlets and pundits are quick to highlight how this debt-funded system is wreaking havoc on the economy, Huelsman also noted that looking at the problem as being one of borrowers breaching some invisible threshold of acceptable debt obscures a far more pressing question: why is debt even necessary to afford higher education in the first place?

Huelsman’s comments resonated with a key argument Elliott and Lewis make in The Real College Debt Crisis—that despite the seemingly good intentions of policy wonks and reporters there is a disconnect between the aspects of the student debt “crisis” that are being addressed publicly and the challenges that are actually impacting the ability of borrowers to build assets and attain mobility. “One of the problems that we get into when we aren’t correctly diagnosing or defining the problems created by student debt is that the solutions we propose are not aimed at the right target,” Lewis explained.

In their book, Elliott and Lewis advocate moving college financing away from a “debt-dependency” model (and the short-term solutions that it encourages) and towards an asset-building model that enables anyone willing to put in the effort to grow their wealth over time. One concrete mechanism they recommend is the increased use of Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs), as a tool for leveraging assets accumulated from birth as a form of financial aid. “There is everything right with a centralized, portable financial product that will get more people to and through college,” Huelsman noted when speaking of the CSA concept. “But it has to mean something in the terms of college cost.”

Carey agreed college cost is unlikely to decrease with the institutions themselves in the driver’s seat, serving—as he put it—as both the benefactor and the perpetuator of the student debt crisis. “It’s pretty good to be in a business where your customers say to themselves ‘Well if I gotta borrow, I gotta borrow,’” Carey said. “Not many businesses have that luxury, but colleges and universities do.” Carey also lamented the Obama administration’s recent announcement that it would abandon its plan to implement a college rating system, which he felt had potential to help colleges take an active role in preventing their graduates from defaulting on their student loans.

Elliott acknowledged value in Carey’s accountability-centric approach, but suggested that without an overhaul in how college educations are financed, the larger problem of student debt would remain.

“We are afraid to re-envision and re-think how financial aid can be done,” Elliott said. “We need a long-term solution that not only changes education, but [also addresses] the great wealth inequality that we see in our society.”

This piece was originally published in New America’s digital magazine, The Weekly Wonk. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox each Thursday here, and follow @New America on Twitter

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME society

You Can Make a Teen Cancer Patient’s Birthday Wish Come True by Doing One Simple Thing

The North Carolina 16-year-old has done many selfless acts for other kids

A 16-year-old cancer patient has a simple birthday wish: lots and lots of birthday cards.

North Carolina native Chris West has had three bouts of cancer since he was first diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011. Over the years, he has done many selfless acts, such as raising money for other kids. This year, for his birthday on Aug. 19, he’s asking strangers to send him birthday cards to cheer him up. His address is: Chris West PO Box 5244 Concord NC 28027.

Read more at People.com.

TIME society

A Police Officer Who Stopped to Fix a Boy’s Bike Is Going Viral

"It's so small to me, I was just helping a kid out, but it's big to everybody else"

Connecticut police officer Michael Castillo’s small gesture to “serve and protect” his community has gone viral on social media.

The 27-year-old officer received a call about a fight happening outside a Target in Ansonia, Connecticut, on Monday, but when he arrived, he saw a group of young neighborhood kids just hanging out, he told ABC News.

Castillo, who has been an officer for three years, then noticed that one of the boy’s bikes was broken, so he grabbed some tools out of his SUV cruiser and set to work, fixing the bike chain and tightening up the tire.

“I told them, ‘All right, guys, go play somewhere else besides the Target parking lot,’ ” Castillo told the news outlet. “They’re good kids.”

Little did he know that Faith Taylor, a passerby, had snapped a photo of the sweet moment and posted it to the Ansonia Police Department Facebook Page.

“…it’s nice to see an officer in a good and kind way… Give this guy some kudos!” she wrote.

The photo has received almost 1,000 likes and over 300 shares since it was posted on Monday.

“It feels great. It really does,” Castillo told News 8. “There is so much negativity in police work everywhere, just to get this one thing, it’s so small to me, I was just helping a kid out, but it’s big to everybody else. I think this shows a positive outlook on police work.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME society

Why an Almost 110-Year-Old Used to Swear by Beers and a Shot a Day

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Miller High Life and Johnnie Walker Blue, to be exact

Agnes Fenton, who turns 110 Saturday, admitted that she has had to give up Miller High Life and Johnnie Walker Blue in the walk-up to her birthday, she told The Record.

In 2010, she said that, since 1943, she has been drinking “three cans of Miller High Life a day and a shot of good booze at 5 p.m.” What kind of good booze? Johnnie Walker Blue. In what sounds like a joke or a tall tale, she has told journalists that a doctor said she could drink three beers a day after a tumor she once developed ended up being benign.

Nowadays, the paper reports that she can’t drink that much anymore since her appetite has decreased, so that means we should take shot of Johnnie Walker Blue for her (but drink responsibly, of course).

Read next: Meet the New World’s Oldest Person

 

TIME women

How Indian Women Are Reclaiming Their Right to Public Space in Delhi

A flash mob performs during a candlelit vigil protesting violence against women as they mark the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape occurred in New Delhi on Dec. 16, 2014.
Saurabh Das—AP A flash mob performs during a candlelit vigil protesting violence against women as they mark the second anniversary of the deadly gang rape occurred in New Delhi on Dec. 16, 2014.

Women are stretching the existing boundaries of cultural rules that attempt to demarcate a woman’s place in an unequal city

Urban redevelopment in India over recent decades has had particular implications for women. While the economic deregulation of the 1990s opened up new possibilities for work, leisure and relationships, it has also led to new stresses. Cities such as New Delhi have become sites for experimentation, autonomy and aspiration for women. Yet against these images of emancipation can be juxtaposed everyday risks and vulnerabilities.

Contradictions abound in a space that values the woman’s body as a liberalized commodity. Women are under constant scrutiny: for what they wear, how they behave, where they are going, who they are with, at what time of day or night. They are under pressure to conform to familiar boundaries of tradition and class. Challenging these boundaries carries the risk of psycho-social dissonance and assault of various kinds.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the increasing number of women working in the IT industry – or socializing in bars and restaurants – arose in tandem with the rise of cultural nationalist politics in India. Following the rape and murder of young student Jyoti Singh in New Delhi in December 2012, some held that responsibility for violence against women should be attributed to “western lifestyles”. Public debates have also focused on other forms of the “outsider” as a source of fear and hostility on Delhi’s streets, naming rural migrants a “menace in society”.

Bearer of tradition

Clearly, violence against women in Delhi is not a new phenomenon that has arisen out of economic liberalization and urban redevelopment. Yet the intense focus on the death of Jyoti Singh and subsequent cases is indicative of a cultural shift. This young woman, from a provincial background but “aspirational”, represented what “world class” Delhi was supposed to afford women: safe access to public space and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

Such attacks highlight the contradictions held within the body of the woman. She must embody the progressive city but also remain the bearer of tradition measured by skirt lengths. The presence of young professional women in Delhi’s public spaces may be desirable to legitimate claims of “global city” status. However, in reality, this access is conditional and based on maintaining a cultural order inflected by a moral discourse of respectability.

As writers such as Shilpa Phadke argue, women must manufacture purpose in order to access the city, they cannot just “loiter”. Much of this purpose is non-sexualised conduct such as engaging in family activities or shopping in the new mega-malls.

Women navigate the city “giving back” through aggressive language, evading stares, reclaiming spaces such as rooftops and parks. They seek safety in numbers, knowing when to wrap a scarf more tightly around their head or cover their knees when sitting. These appear to be everyday skills to cope with the city and to manage its discomfort.

While in these actions women may appear fragile, they are in fact asserting a place in Delhi, especially when reassured by anonymity or the protection afforded by socio-economic capacity such as owning a car. This is an understanding of Delhi opposed to the computer-generated images of independent, happy women in new condominiums that look down from advertising hoardings throughout the city.

Clearly, women are not necessarily timid or immobile in the face of Delhi’s aggression. They are taking part in producing space and seeking out pleasure. There are limits, but these limits can be stretched. Roaming may be curtailed for some who have to remain in the line of sight of home, and choices restricted at times by the pressures of respectability. Yet, women have the capacity to generate ambiguity through their presence, disrupting cultural rules that attempt to demarcate a woman’s place in an unequal city.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME society

The Number of Ways You Can Put Together 6 LEGO Bricks Will Astound You

The math professor who created this computer program appears in the documentary A Lego Brickumentary, out July 31

With the Danish documentary on LEGO, A LEGO Brickumentary, premiering in U.S. theaters, iTunes, and OnDemand Friday, the gaming news website Kotaku posted a clip from the film profiling the math professor who became famous for calculating that there are 915,103,765 ways to combine six, eight-stud LEGO bricks.

Inspired by a LEGOLAND display that seemed to lowball the number at 103 million, Søren Eilers from the University of Copenhagen created a computer program that now drums up that figure in 5 minutes. Why was LEGO’s estimate off? Eilers says it’s because it only counted the ways bricks could be stacked on top of each other in tower formations, not accounting how low, wide structures can be put together.

To figure out how many ways seven bricks can be combined, it took Eilers two hours. Eight bricks? Nearly 21 days (20.83 to be exact). Nine? Ten? That would take years, hundreds of years, he says, so something to think about if you have some free time this summer.

 

TIME society

Man Stops Robbery Mid-Proposal, Woman Obviously Says Yes

Hero husband-to-be

NBC Charlotte reports a man proposing to his girlfriend at the restaurant Salsarita’s Monday was interrupted by a man who broke in and attempted to rob the place.

Nicholas Anderson told the news station that he put the robber in a chokehold when he tried to flee, knocking him out. Then he went back to the original task at hand, taking her to Winkler Park — which was supposed to be the plan B venue — to pop the question. His girlfriend, Deanna Deal, said yes.

As Anderson told the news station, “After all of that happened, asking her to marry me wasn’t near as bad.”

TIME society

The Debate Over Cecil the Lion Should Be About Conservation

Trophy hunting may drive species' populations to the brink of extinction

Much of the attention generated by the demise of Cecil the lion appears related to the fact that he was a member of a charismatic species, that his species is threatened and the nature of his death. But now that Cecil, a resident of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, is gone how do we ensure that such events are not repeated? It is not as simple as banning hunting.

Trophy hunting, or the selective removal of animals from a population based on a desirable trait, is a deeply polarising issue. Ethical standpoints against the deliberate killing of animals for sport are what drive the public response that we now see.

Biologists have concerns about undesirable evolutionary outcomes that may arise from the killing of ‘prime individual animals. These animals are typically males that exhibit a desirable trait, like a large mane. Conservationists, have concerns that hunting may cause inbreeding, or drive rare species’ populations in isolated protected areas to the brink of extinction.

Hunting brings in money

Despite the controversy, trophy hunting remains a legally sanctioned activity in most African countries. That is because hunting generates income. Sportsmen and women visiting Africa contribute as much as USD 201 million a year directly through hunting. This is excluding economic multipliers. And safari operators are custodians of at least 1.4 million km2 of land in sub-Saharan Africa, exceeding the area encompassed by national parks in those countries where hunting is permitted by over 20%.

Conservationists recognise that trophy hunting contributes to the protection of land from other uses such as pastoralism, where ecotourism is unviable. Bans on trophy hunting in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia have been associated with an accelerated loss of wildlife, not the other way around.

The halving of Africa’s lion population over the past 20 years is not the result of trophy hunting. African lions have declined through the classic drivers of extinction, namely habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and disease.

What’s different about Cecil

Cecil was no ordinary lion. Reportedly aged 13 years old, he was well past the normal breeding age for males of his species, what we term senescent. Male lions only gain opportunities to mate after taking over pride ownership after at least five years of age. They may hold tenure for between two and four years before being displaced by younger males. Cecil should thus have completed the genetic contribution that he could be expected to make before he was shot, and could not have been expected to live much past 15 years.

Why then had Cecil remained a breeding pride male for so long? One reason may be that the younger males that would have contested pride ownership, had been removed by hunters operating in lands neighbouring the Hwange National Park. Indeed, the Oxford University researchers who had been following Cecil’s life performance reported that 72% of the males they collared within the national park had been killed by trophy hunters, and 30% of those males shot were under four years old.

In this way, hunting taking place legitimately on land outside the formally protected area is prejudicing not only scientific research, but also the role of a flagship national park in protecting viable populations of large carnivores.

How should this conflict be resolved?

If the professional hunter and his client broke the law, then let the Zimbabwean legal system take care of that. More generally, how do conservationists trade off the money generated by trophy hunters against the huge costs of maintaining protected areas? What restrictions should be placed on where hunting takes place so that opportunities to draw candidates for hunting out of protected areas using baits placed outside their borders are prevented?

The traditional boundaries drawn on maps from parks and zones where these animals are need to be re-assessed. They need softening and buffer regions where hunting is not allowed. Alternatively, areas effectively protected within the park should have non-poaching activities that people can enjoy. Perhaps the activities in the buffer zone could be foot safaris, providing the excitement of encounters with wild animals without the destructive outcome associated with hunting.

The worldwide emotional response to the killing of this eminent animal could potentially lead to more effective reconciliation between the legitimate contributions that hunting can make to conservation, and the efforts to set aside sufficient land in protected areas to ensure the long-term persistence of the species these areas are supposed to protect.

Whatever the outcome following the death of Cecil, an emotive, uncompromising standpoint around the ethics of trophy hunting alone will not assist the conservation effort in Africa. In fact, it may well have the unintended consequence of undermining it.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Culture

A Letter to Millennials: Give Yourself the Gift of Stillness

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Take one day a week to turn away from your screens

For my 68th birthday I gave myself the gift of stillness. Inspired by a little book by Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness, I went for three days to a Benedictine Retreat in Big Sur, California. The New Camadoli Hermitage perches 2000 feet above the Pacific and is void of cellular service, wi-fi or any other electronic convenience. That of course is the point. Aside from the chanting of the monks in the chapel, no words are spoken at the Hermitage. You are alone with your thoughts and your books in a spartan room with a porch looking out over the Pacific.

I write all of this to you, my students, because I worry that you have no appreciation of the art of stillness.

And in a way, I am just as guilty as you trying to watch TV, check my email and talk on the phone at the same time. Now that I have finished teaching I can say a few things without fear that the Rate My Professor mob won’t mark me as a “Mean Teacher.” First, I don’t believe in multi-tasking in class. I remember when for one semester I demanded that everyone shut their laptops and put away their phones during lectures, I was generally dissed and attendance fell dramatically. And I know most of you were not using your open laptops to take notes on the lectures. You were using them to check your Facebook wall.

Second, when you come in for my office hours, you seem so time stressed. Now often this is because you are asking for an extra day to turn in an assignment, but it still feels to me as if you had scheduled your life down to the last waking minute. Not to get all nostalgic on you, but I remember countless hours spent at Princeton in the late 1960’s discussing the meaning of Antonioni’s Blow Up or Bob Dylan’s Blond on Blond. Of course the beer and the pot may have erased our sense of time or urgency, but isn’t that what college is for? Not everything you do in school has to go on your resume.

Finally, I think we all have to take vacations from our devices. I know when I ask in class how many of you feel you could go for a week without your smartphone or computer, not more than a couple of hands go up. The traumatic tales I have heard from you of being off the grid for just a few hours, lead me to believe that our collective screen addiction is worse than we think.

I learned from the monks that the Benedictines believe that life revolves around five practices.

Prayer-This can be any daily silent practice or meditation.

Work-This becomes part of a balanced life. It cannot be the whole focus.

Study-Reading the wisdom of those who came before us.

Hospitality-This just means treating those around you with kindness.

Renewal-Taking one day a week to turn away from the screens and appreciate the natural beauty around us.

I am not a Catholic and yet I find the monks prescriptions to be helpful to how I want to live in the world. In the same way that I find Pope Francis a rather courageous moral voice in a world full of politicians pontificating with poll tested sound bites. I know to talk about spiritual practice at a university makes some people uncomfortable. But when I was at the monastery I kept thinking of the events of the last few weeks that took place in Charleston, South Carolina. When you think of the ability of the families of the slain church goers to forgive the shooter Dylann Roof, you can only marvel at the power of faith. I’m not sure my faith would afford me that amount of grace in the face of such evil, but I am awed to see it exist in this hateful political climate we inhabit.

And what about Leroy Smith, the black State Trooper who helped the KKK member with the Nazi T-shirt as he was fainting in the hot sun protesting the removal of the confederate flag? “Asked why he thinks the photo has had such resonance, he gave a simple answer: Love.” Our willingness to look out for each other is our greatest strength.

The great biologist E.O. Wilson makes the argument in “The Social Conquest of Earth” that evolution favored those humans who learned how to cooperate.

Some went out to hunt, while others stayed and kept the fire going. If everyone went out to hunt for their own food, they were screwed if they came back and there was no fire. This of course is why I have no truck with the arguments of Peter Theil and his Ayn Rand acolytes. Rand said, “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.” You are inundated with Silicon Valley propaganda of “The Shark Tank” — the take no prisoners entrepreneur who will stop at nothing to build his company. Case Study: Uber. My Dean thinks we should teach empathy and cultural competence to these future masters of the universe.

This notion that we are alone in the world in a dog eat dog survival leads me to the final deep question I have for you as students. Why have 1000 of your brothers and sisters in college in America committed suicide this year? The New York Times reports the number of severe psychological problems reported on campus has risen 13% in the last two years. I wonder if the epidemic overuse of Adderall on campus, which we all observe, has any connection to the suicide epidemic? Needless to say, the constant consumption of speed is not going to help you slow down.

In my position running the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab I get to meet a lot of top corporate executives. I promise you they were not all straight A students in college. Some of them dropped out (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg) but many of them, like our most recent four Presidents, were B students who spent more time on campus, then they would like to admit, just having fun.

In my first of these open letters to you I talked about four skills.

I know these four elements — courage, intelligence, vulnerability, and compassion — may seem like they are working at cross-purposes, but we will need all four qualities if we are to take on the two tasks before us.

I don’t worry about your intelligence or even your courage. But I want you to know that vulnerability and compassion are just as important. We live in a time when being snarky seems to be the default setting online. But try not to give in to that. Shun the put-down artists. Look out for the lonely ones around you. Believe in the power of love.

This article originally appeared on Medium.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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