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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 83, Number 1 (Nov. 1981)

Murphy, Tom
Short course,   pp. 16-17


Page 16


Short Course
By Tom Murphy
College for Kids
That's the name of the summer program,
and that's exactly what it is. It's for gifted
children, and we're the first in the nation to
offer it. They arrived in third-through-six-
grade sizes this first year, 250 of them, all
from Dane County. They delved lasers,
ecology, theater, nuclear reactors, ge-
netics, math and a lot more. They viewed a
cadaver up close for anatomy. They asked
bright questions and nodded at the an-
swers. Some of them are physically handi-
capped; 4.8 percent are minorities. All
were chosen by their schools. You see,
things can get tough for gifted children.
They're often bored or left out. Their
teachers might feel threatened. They can
cause disciplinary problems. Their high
school dropout rate is three times that of
the rest of us. So singular are they that the
U.S. Office of Education rates them "hand-
icapped." So our School of Education set
up this program not only to give them three
weeks of companionship and intellectual
stimulation, but because "we want them to
know that it's wonderful to be bright and
have a fine mind,"said outreach coordina-
tor Ellen Elms Notar MS'78.
Case in Point
On page 18, Law Prof. Ted Finman, who
chairs a committee writing campus laws on
sexual harassment, talks about the built-in
conflicts that virtually all liws produce. Not
the least arises from the need to preserve
basic freedoms, with Academic and Per-
sonal being uppermost around here. An
October meeting of the Faculty Senate il-
lustrated Finman's point. Last spring, the
art department "routinely" exhibited the
work of a grad student-his illustrated
book-in a glass case. After it had been up
a while, various groups labeled it too sexu-
ally explicit and demeaning to women.
Somebody broke into the case and cut into
the book. Spring Vacation was upon us,
and the then-chairman of the department
wasn't around town. So, for a lot of rea-
sons-excluding censorship, he says, but
including fear of further vandalism-
Education Dean John Palmer had the ex-
hibit removed until classes would start and
the art faculty could do whatever it saw fit.
It saw fit to say that the exhibit had been up
long enough anyway, but that Palmer had
infringed on its academic freedom. In Octo-
ber, the senate accepted a committee's find-
ings that Palmer had indeed done some in-
fringing, but that the art faculty could have
been smarter about choosing a less-
trafficked area for the exhibit, so that those
who might be offended would have the
freedom of not having to look at it.
Rite of Passage?
She admits there are national problems
with teen-age drinking, but Prof. Joan Ro-
bertson thinks most of us are mistaken in
our assumptions on them. She's in social
work and is the principal investigator of our
Adolescent Alcohol Research Project. She
told a national conference in October that
while about 81 percent of the country's thir-
teen-to-eighteen-year-olds probably have a
nip now and then, only a fourth of them get
into trouble with it. "It's amazing the num-
ber of them who exercise responsible judg-
ments," she says after she and her col-
leagues interviewed "hundreds" of kids.
The youthful restlessness that leads to
drinking "tends to tail off as they get older.
... Nor does drug dependency take
over. "And while national figures claim that
20 percent of the group are alcoholic, Prof.
Robertson would correct that figure way
down to about 2 percent; "The others are
counted because their parents or someone
thinks they're alcoholic."
Stats
It's interesting to know that: you're one of
186,554 living alumni on record .... The
campus, including Eagle Heights and Pic-
nic Point, covers 903 acres; the Arboretum
adds another 2,360, and experimental
farms and branch stations give us 5,915
more... The book value of the buildings
on campus is just under $417,000,000 .
.. Last year, campus buses carried
1,477,483 passengers; UW Hospitals made
17,418 admissions and treated 217,875 out-
patients. . . There were 2,302 on the fac-
ulty last academic year teaching 3,752
classes and supported by 11,559 staff
... Enrollment totaled 41,349, of which
30,970 were state residents, 22,579 were
male, 18,770 were female, 9,095 were in
grad school, 1,575 were in the professional
schools, and 2,934 were "Specials"-
usually adults back to audit a course.
Out of Control
Elroy lost this one. He appeared before the
City Council to have vendors banned from
the sidewalks around Camp Randall. They
block the way, Hirsch said, and sometimes
move onto University property (where they
must have a contract to sell), and a few ped-
dle some fairly gross stuff which "we
wouldn't condone if we had control." But
the vendors had reps at the meeting, too,
and the council voted in their favor, 17-4.
Thank You
For fifteen years, our Alumni Clubs have
been awarding scholarships to their local
students, the money being raised by each
club through such projects as Wisconsin
Singers concerts, the West Bend Club's art
show, or the cheese-and-brat sales in Bos-
ton and Columbus, Ohio. When such an ac-
tivity is involved, the UW Foundation
matches what's earned. Put it all together
and you have 1,500 kids who've come here
on nearly $625,000 in scholarships. If
you've had something to do with it, it's time
to feel good.
Constitution Haul
For a decade the University collected docu-
ments on the Constitution; more than
100,000 of them. Then, about two years
ago, campus historians John Kaminski and
Gaspare Saladino were appointed to edit
the material. So far-about as far as they
can go until government or private sources
come through with a necessary $800,000-
they've put together nineteen volumes and
16 / THE WISCONSIN ALUMNUS


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