Talk:Brown University

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If there's no citation for the info about Brown and the slave trade, the information should be removed.--Murray 13:49, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

I agree, it looks like gossip against Brown and doesn't help Conservapedia's goal of no gossip. ColinRtalk 13:51, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
Maybe it would just be easier to keep the information, and get rid of the "no gossip" goal. --Huey gunna getcha 16:06, 26 March 2007 (EDT)
Maybe it'd be easiest to keep conservapedia, and get rid of all the people who read it? --Mittromney 16:10, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Sayles Hall

Sayles Hall is neither one of the oldest buildings on campus, nor was it built for religious purposes; it was (and is) a lecture hall, bult in 1881. A chapel, known as the "Little Chapel", was added in a side-room in 1945, and indeed is still there -- but it would be misleading to imply that the building's primary use was ever for the holding of religious services.

see the entry on the Hall in the Encyclopedia Brunoniana Boethius

Sayles was used for mandatory chapel services from 1906 to 1969, so the previous description as "where required religious services was once held" is accurate. See the Encyclopedia Brunoniana entry on "Chapel". I'll include a better description of the hall. ColemanFrancis 16:16, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

The sentence "where required religious services was once held" does not seem to me to be relevant to this story (if indeed the story is relevant). It paints a deceptive picture of the Queer Alliance partying where once solemn chaplains condcted somber services, whereas at the time Sayles handn't been used, nor had attendance been required, for 30 years or more at the time of the party. Boethius

If this page is going to be a list of criticisms of Brown, it might as well contain some valid ones. Scriabin 17:03, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

A coatrack article

Let's see: Conservapedia has a very short but factual stub on Harvard University; nothing at all on Yale University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, or Cornell University. How odd, then, that there should be an article on Brown, ten times as long as the article on Harvard, and that by an amazing coincidence it should appear shortly after an allegation that someone on the Brown campus vandalized Conservapedia... and that three of the article's four paragraphs just happen to be unflattering:

  • a drunken party that sent some students to the hospital (a regrettable but routine event at every college; it doesn't even rise to the level of notability unless someone dies of alcohol poison, as happened at MIT);
  • someone vandalizing Conservapedia (and if that gets you on Conservapedia's front page I'm sure all the other colleges will soon be having contests to see who else can achieve this);
  • a story about the origins of the Brown fortune in the slave trade. (Yes, and the cod hanging in the Massachusetts State House commemorates the role of Massachusetts in providing cost-effective slave chow for Caribbean sugar plantations).

This is what has been called a "coatrack article." The usual defense is "but it's factual." Yes, but the only purpose of the article is to be a coatrack onto which to selectively hang facts that support a tendentious thesis: in this case, I suppose, something profound like "Brown sux! Conservapedia rulz!"

This all seems rather like the "gossip" that, Conservapedia charges, "pervades" Wikipedia. Dpbsmith 21:11, 26 March 2007 (EDT)

Dpbsmith, I'd agree with you on the first two items. But Brown actually has expressed a great desire to publicize its self-study of its relations with slavery and the slave trade -- that should be at least mentioned. The other material since added would place it in context. Boethius

Boethius, Dpbsmith - Thanks for turning this into a reputable article. While its, by no means, a perfect school, the hack job that was being done to it was a complete travesty.--Dave3172 09:39, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

Academic boosterism

I'm snipping:

and was rated as the 15th best U.S. college in 2007 by U.S. News and World Report [1]

If we must have this, it shouldn't go in the lead paragraph.

On Wikipedia, there is a degree of academic boosterism that in my opinion can only be explained on the assumption that many editors of articles about colleges are either high school seniors, immersed in a competitive culture of admissions insanity, or freshman, who believe that having gotten admitted to a college is an achievement in itself and feel that their personal identity is strongly tied to the prestige of the college they attend.

"Real" encyclopedias are not obsessed with rankings.

If the community shouts me down on this, OK, but let's at least keep this stuff out of the lead paragraph... have a section somewhere in the article with a heading like "Ranking and reputation." But for now, let's see if we can just do without it.

"Member of the Ivy League" really tells you everything important about Brown's standing. The fact that it ranks fifteenth is of far less interest than the fact that it has no law or business schools, which is presently not in the article. Dpbsmith 05:55, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

I agree -- these ratings are generally worthless, and how we came to a world where a single newsmagazine's ratings of colleges are worth regarding as "truth" is a puzzle. Let's just be consistent and not give such information for any school. Some, like Bob Jones University, might thank us! ;-> (just kidding, infact BJU, for whom I've worked in the past as a homsechool tester, is not rated because it is not accredited). Boethius
I’m no fan of these rankings, but they are motivating factors in both what school many students choose to attend and what decisions are made by the administrations of many schools. Since they are a reality, and a reality that motivates how people actually behave, shouldn’t they be included in the article? That is not to say that the ranking that is assigned to any given school actually reflects that school’s quality (though I suspect it is an adequate rough guide) – but that the rankings are not accurate representations does not mean they are not used and that they are not important. I would, therefore, argue in favor of including them.--Reginod 13:43, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
Well, I'd like to ask you this: can you find any well-known encyclopedia except Wikipedia that includes them? Dpbsmith 14:17, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
I have no idea if I can or not, but I’m going to assume I can’t and that’s why you phrased the question as you did. But that isn’t the point—I doubt I could find an encyclopedia (other than Wikipedia) that has entries on Anne Coulter (let alone a whole entry dedicated to her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism), the Homosexual agenda, and Pastafarians, but not on Liberia, the UAW, or Baptists. Someone thought all of the former were important articles to write, but no one has, yet, seen fit to compose articles for the latter—Conservipedia is not just like an encyclopedia, so whether an encyclopedia (with limited numbers of researchers and limited room) would include this information or not is the wrong question to ask. The question we should ask is whether or not the information is true and whether or not the information could help a reader understand why the world is the way it is or how the world is. Here, the explanitory power of the information is high (people apply to colleges based on their rankings) and the information is (I assume) true, so it belongs in the article—probably not in the heading, but somewhere in the article.--Reginod 15:00, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
I'm the one who put the ranking in there. I think it's probably okay either way though agree it doesn't belong in the lead. At the time I was quickly editing the original version which slammed Brown - the sentence initially read something like "Brown is an Ivy League school but is consistently rated as the worst of them.". While that may be true it's horribly misleading. Murray 13:46, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
Agree completely. (Just think, they could have said "literally nobody goes to Brown's law school.") Dpbsmith 14:17, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

Pink Floyd? Sheesh!

I cleaned up the part about the poem a student contributed. When I first read it, I was amazed that the the little preview provided in the article was verbatim the closing lyrics of a Pink Floyd song (Time, specifically). I checked the reference cited and, lo and behold, that is NOT what is in the original poem. I cleaned it up insofar as I deleted the lyrics from Pink Floyd, while leaving everything else about the poem and the reference provided. Jros83 20:25, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

Why was Todd Haynes deleted?

I added Todd Haynes, the director of Far From Heaven and I'm Not There, to the list of alumni and it was deleted. Why? Haynes has been nominated for an Oscar and -- in Far from Heaven -- directed one of the most highly praised films of the past decade. How on earth can he be described as "not notable"? George Harrison's SON is included, for Pete's sake. I will reinstate Todd as there is no possible reason for him to be excluded. KeithJoseph 21:30, 20 April 2008 (GMT)

We are looking for famous Brown alumni. I don't know anything about George Harrison's son, but I would say in the history of Brown that Todd doesn't even crack the top thousand. If his name was Speilberg, then ok. Learn together 17:31, 20 April 2008 (EDT)
Is this a joke? Haynes is one of the most distinguished directors of his generation. He recently received the Robert Altman Award. Far From Heaven and I'm Not There both received Oscar nomination (and are, as it happens, excellent films). This is totally crazy. Some anchor from ESPN and an obscure author called Joe Paterno remain in. What, on earth, do you have against Haynes? I can't believe you deleted it again. This is pathetic. KeithJoseph 22:56, 20 April 2008 (GMT)
Joe Paterno is a famous football coach and Chris Berman is well known as well. If you have people you don't feel belong then discuss it with the other editors. I'm not saying everyone needs to stay in if they aren't notable. But you set the bar too low with Haynes and I happened to be around at that time to notice. Learn together 18:27, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

Do you know ANYTHING about film? How can an Oscar nominated director -- one of the most highly praised of his generation -- not be eligible for entry? Oh what's the point! (as Kenneth Wiliams said before he died) KeithJoseph 00:28, 21 April 2008 (GMT)