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Topic:  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025

Topic:  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 1:03:32 PM 
Andrew Ruck wrote:
BLSS - I walk nothing back. I found them referencing only the recession laughable, and I think declining religion is far and away the #1 reason for the declining birth rate so I brought it up, knowing we are already in Siberia. Of course it is multiple causes, it goes without saying. Many components are circular causes as well (a factor can result in low birthrate that also result in lower church participation). My argument couldn't be more coherent. It has been true in countless societies and generations...religion creates children at a much higher rate than secularism.

Swank - Clown at OSU? Do you mean Butker at Benedectine College, an explicitly Catholic organization? I continue to see nothing wrong with his comments when considering context and audience. It amazes me the outrage and energy spent over a guy who loves his wife, who loves to be a Mother while we barely even reflect on absent fathers, abusers and so on.

I can proclaim the value in parenthood without attacking those that do not join in it. Especially on a micro-level, I of course acknowledge many reasons why people would choose to not have kids. I enjoy analyzing macro-level factors on a number of topics.


Sorry, wrong graduation. His audience? Are you implying that 100% of the people that attend that school share the same "family values?" And what about the order of nuns affiliated with the college who denounced his comments? That's a rather lame excuse that I've heard oft repeated by a very loud segment and supposedly religious segment of our society.

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Andrew Ruck
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 1:26:29 PM 
So now we need to give speeches that 100% of the audience fully agrees with? But yes I would say the vast majority appreciated the speech. Much of his gleanings were consistent with the masses, vigils, and code of conduct that they willingly signed up for when they enrolled. There was like 20-30 seconds of applause following the most controversial part of his speech. I had not heard about the Nuns, though I suppose that makes logical sense they may be upset given they have opted out of motherhood. But his statement - That he would guess the majority are most excited about their marriage and children - Was absolutely accurate in that room.


Andrew Ruck
B.B.A. 2003

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 2:12:42 PM 
Andrew Ruck wrote:
BLSS - I walk nothing back. I found them referencing only the recession laughable, and I think declining religion is far and away the #1 reason for the declining birth rate so I brought it up, knowing we are already in Siberia.


The decline in birth rate is sharp starting in 2008. Until that point, it had remained relatively stable for three decades. What happened in 2008 specifically that's explained by declining religion?

You think it's far and away the #1 cause, so surely it can explain far and away the biggest sharp drop?

Andrew Ruck wrote:

Of course it is multiple causes, it goes without saying. Many components are circular causes as well (a factor can result in low birthrate that also result in lower church participation). My argument couldn't be more coherent.


Just a quick note, if you're trying to make the case that your argument couldn't be more coherent, I'd suggest avoiding pointing out that your argument relies on circular reasoning.

Andrew Ruck wrote:

It has been true in countless societies and generations...religion creates children at a much higher rate than secularism.


I don't think anybody is doubting that. But I think there are a whole lot of very valid reasons to think that there are other factors that contribute more.
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Deciduous Forest Cat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 2:48:36 PM 
Andrew Ruck wrote:
Deciduous Forest Cat wrote:

"Family values produce a sense of identity and purpose, leading to decisions made in joy and certainty not obligation."

Hmmm...I'm going to need you to quantify this somehow. Saying that this is due to religion or God or somehow means it's wrong to not have ALL THE BABIES ALL THE TIME is completely absurd. You do you, but don't tell me what I get out of my family is somehow less because we don't share the same belief system. And on top of that, you are also assuming that the more religious among us don't stress or certainly face tough decisions about their family planning. I know Atheists with more kids and I know devout families with fewer. It's a personal decision. "familyvalues" is a political buzzword. As meaningless as "decent hardworking Americans" around election time.


What a staggering amount of reaches and mischaracterizations in just one paragraph. I literally said I would not boil it down to one factor. I never said anything of the sort that it is WRONG to not have all the babies. I never told you what you get out of your family is less, nor did I say you don't stress over family planning. Like not even a little bit. Your distaste of Christians is so strong you seem incapable of even having a legitimate conversation on any topic related to Christianity.

You talk in anecdotes of families you know, but this is a discussion on nationwide large scale statistics. Religious people get married and have more kids than non-religious people, fact check true.

Family values can have a lot of meanings, for sure, including a political buzzword. My usage here was about the literal value and importance placed on family. It has been diminished if not attacked for years. It is obvious in the culture, you bring up Butker and I hate to set you off on another tirade but the reaction to his speech is a perfect example of my point. The suggestion that women will find their greatest purpose in being a Mom would not have been a controversial statement 20 years ago, certainly not when being said to a devout catholic college that proclaims it in their daily teachings.

Just the suggestion to find true purpose and identity in the family gets you vilified. I do believe that in a macro-sense, people should seek to procreate as it will lead to a purpose and identity that they simply can not find anywhere else. Billions of people have found this to be true over the course of humanity, and have passed this learned wisdom on to future generations. That mainstay has been greatly halted in recent years and replaced with an entirely different message of individual fulfilment. I am 100% certain this has played a huge part in the declining birth rate.


Come on Andrew, you're again making assumptions about me as a person, which are completely wrong and this is the second time in a few weeks. I know that we share a love for the Bobcats and for Baseball, but beyond that what you actually know about me couldn't fill a tweet. I could go on and on for hours about personal beliefs and how I eventually arrived at my agnostic state, but I'll leave it at that.

You are absolutely right that religion is a (important but one of several) factor in the declining birth rate. If you had ended it there it would still be true even if the underlying meaning might have been not as obvious. But you said "declining family values" and blew the whole thing up. Now you're trying to walk it back, but we all know what you meant, that the choice to have a family or a bigger family or not have a family or not get married is some sort of morality barometer. If you wanted to actually say "the value that people place on starting a family has changed", then that's cool too, but I think if you surveyed the entire board, I don't think anyone read it that way. Now, if that is TRULY HONESTLY what you meant, then may I be the first to apologize and humbly so.
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 5:33:03 PM 
Andrew Ruck wrote:
So now we need to give speeches that 100% of the audience fully agrees with? But yes I would say the vast majority appreciated the speech. Much of his gleanings were consistent with the masses, vigils, and code of conduct that they willingly signed up for when they enrolled. There was like 20-30 seconds of applause following the most controversial part of his speech. I had not heard about the Nuns, though I suppose that makes logical sense they may be upset given they have opted out of motherhood. But his statement - That he would guess the majority are most excited about their marriage and children - Was absolutely accurate in that room.


I would say the vast majority grimaced but we'll never really know, will we? Willingly signed up for or tolerated because of the classroom education they desired to get? Again, we'll never know. How many posters on this board willingly agreed to the code of conduct that OU had when they enrolled only to drink under age, tip over trash cans and take liberties when they could? It's not that they opted out of motherhood it's that they heard in their minds and hearts and different calling.
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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 5:52:04 PM 
Alan Swank wrote:
It's not that they opted out of motherhood it's that they heard in their minds and hearts and different calling.


Opting out of motherhood is an option in America. --> For now <--

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/10041073/amy-con...

Last Edited: 6/19/2024 6:15:03 PM by greencat

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giacomo
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 6:33:19 PM 
I spend a lot of time in Steubenville and the University of Steubenville is a charismatic group. The street my mother in law lives on has many families associated with the school. They all have 4 to 8 children. On Sunday when I go to the grocery store, the women and girls all wear dresses and the men and boys wear suits and ties. People who want to be part of this group move there from all over the country. I’ve met some very nice people.
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 7:09:46 PM 
An interesting thought. In what religions are women subjugated to subservient roles?

It would be the ones that have the highest birth rates.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/12/ch... /#
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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/19/2024 7:38:01 PM 
Andrew Ruck wrote:
But his statement - That he would guess the majority are most excited about their marriage and children - Was absolutely accurate in that room.


There's nothing controversial about the part of Butker's speech your quoting. But you're leaving out context, specificall the sentence prior, in which he said that "it's the women who have had the most vile lies told to them."

What's the lie he's referring to, exactly?

"I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?"

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giacomo
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 9:18:23 AM 
What would you say if someone gave a commencement speech and advocated for men to become house husbands?
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cc-cat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 2:52:58 PM 
Are we really seeing a decline in family values and religious engagement? The latter yes, the former….?

One can point to any number of metrics, but...over the last 30-40 years. The divorce rate is declining, teen pregnancy is declining, abortion rate is declining, violent crime is declining, and if you talk to most youths and young adults, inclusivity and empathy is rising. Yes, the average age of those being married is rising. But many studies point to the fact that those who were raised in broken families often wait to get married because they appreciate the pain and disruption divorce causes on a family (that would argue an appreciation of family values, not a dismissal or decline of them). Yes, family size is also declining, but as everyone has stated, there are many reasons for that. To point to the decline in religious involvement or departure from brick and mortar (or now virtual) places of worship is simply that….a place to point.

Yes, fewer and fewer people are engaging with a church and religion. But all appreciate that is not because there is someone on the other side of the street telling folks to “come to the dark side of family values” or “come over here young man and you can wear a dress”. Rather, study after study points to folks leaving the church because of the church itself. Because of a sense they or friends don’t belong / aren’t welcome and the overall hypocrisy of formal and informal leaders in the church. Women are often not allowed/or felt to be able to be leaders/ in control of the church (or their families) and gays, are fighting for inclusion and acceptance in places that preach inclusion and acceptance. And all this while if you can write a big enough check or are politically able to advance the interests of the religion you will be given a “we are all sinners” break regardless of how many marriages, affairs, scams, steals, or other you continue to be part of.

My personal view is, as someone else said, “you do you. “ If religion and/or your church makes you feel comfortable and a place you wish to hold as central to your personal and family life? Great. If it doesn’t – that’s fine. If leaning on your faith helps you make decisions based on joy and certainty and not on obligation…. More power to you. My wife and I have made many decisions…. many life changing decisions by discussing with each other, respecting each other, listening to each other and never bring faith into the equation. I had a business associate who gave notice and moved to a new job after he and his wife “prayed on it every night” – Whatever works for you… I wish you the best

Where there is concern is when the religious views begin to define our political world – hence the concern as women and gay rights are altered /re-oriented to reflect the views of a religion not a country (a specific concern of our forefathers)

Bottom line for me – if you live by the Golden Rule (however that is stated by your religion - for my Buddhist sister – “All tremble at punishment. Life is dear to all. Put yourself in the place of others and harm none nor have them harmed”) – you’re cool.

At least we can all take solace in knowing that the next generation of Louisianians will be on the right track now that the 10 commandments are by law in their public classrooms.

Full disclosure. I left the Catholic Church as a teen after I was told by its leaders that delivering food to the poor was not an acceptable replacement for attending Confirmation classes even though I was already confirmed WWJD. Of course it is the same church that had a predatory priest who I later ran into in NYC where he was living with a 17 year-old boy. NYC is also where I met and was friends with Marla Maples who pitched for my softball team while then going out and getting humped by a married man while his wife and three children were at home. A practice he apparently continued in his 3rd marriage....but we are all sinners.

Final point - my wife and I have one child - a son. The reason and decision behind that is absolutely no one else's business. And if anyone looks as us as not being part of or contributing to the decline of the values they hold dear (and trust me I live in the Bible Belt so I'm referencing them now)... then I want nothing to do with their values. And yes, me and my wife (especially my wife) heard plenty of "oh just the one..." accompanied by judgmental glances.

Last Edited: 6/21/2024 3:28:55 PM by cc-cat

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giacomo
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 4:35:51 PM 
Great post. Thank you and I couldn't agree more.
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 4:57:25 PM 
Solid statement from start to finish. When people have real conversations and listen, these sort of things come out.
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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 5:51:31 PM 
cc-cat wrote:

Louisianians


Louisiana is already the bible belt and dominated by far-right politicians.

Yet, has that prevented Baton Rouge from having a violent crime rate that is more than DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/baton_rouge

Or Shreveport with a property crime rate DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/shreveport

Or Alexandria with both property and violent crime TRIPLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/alexandria

Louisiana has proudly executed 660 people. Must not be the deterrent they hoped for.


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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/21/2024 8:52:41 PM 
nm

Last Edited: 6/22/2024 8:18:08 AM by greencat

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Andrew Ruck
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/23/2024 8:05:21 PM 
Deciduous Forest Cat wrote:
You are absolutely right that religion is a (important but one of several) factor in the declining birth rate. If you had ended it there it would still be true even if the underlying meaning might have been not as obvious. But you said "declining family values" and blew the whole thing up. Now you're trying to walk it back, but we all know what you meant, that the choice to have a family or a bigger family or not have a family or not get married is some sort of morality barometer. If you wanted to actually say "the value that people place on starting a family has changed", then that's cool too, but I think if you surveyed the entire board, I don't think anyone read it that way. Now, if that is TRULY HONESTLY what you meant, then may I be the first to apologize and humbly so.


You don't need to apologize for anything, but my initial message was in the lens of birth rates and statistical ramifications. Yes part of that is the culture promoting raising a family as a good path to choose. How this discussion (and Butker) has went is indicative of how culture has really played into this, in my opinion. Someone encouraging procreation can be taken as judgment, shame, morality barometer as you put it. As a result, you see less of it...which then results in less people making that choice. I've already stated I don't view promoting a choice as a judgment against those who don't make it. Regardless, this feeds into a declining birth rate and may or may not even be tied to religion on a case by case basis.


Andrew Ruck
B.B.A. 2003

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Andrew Ruck
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/23/2024 8:13:27 PM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
Andrew Ruck wrote:
BLSS - I walk nothing back. I found them referencing only the recession laughable, and I think declining religion is far and away the #1 reason for the declining birth rate so I brought it up, knowing we are already in Siberia.


The decline in birth rate is sharp starting in 2008. Until that point, it had remained relatively stable for three decades. What happened in 2008 specifically that's explained by declining religion?

You think it's far and away the #1 cause, so surely it can explain far and away the biggest sharp drop?

Andrew Ruck wrote:

Of course it is multiple causes, it goes without saying. Many components are circular causes as well (a factor can result in low birthrate that also result in lower church participation). My argument couldn't be more coherent.


Just a quick note, if you're trying to make the case that your argument couldn't be more coherent, I'd suggest avoiding pointing out that your argument relies on circular reasoning.

Andrew Ruck wrote:

It has been true in countless societies and generations...religion creates children at a much higher rate than secularism.


I don't think anybody is doubting that. But I think there are a whole lot of very valid reasons to think that there are other factors that contribute more.


Church membership also had it's sharpest decline around the same time, so yeah it is related. If you want me to expand into other reasons in 2008, I would say the widespread adoption of the smart phone and advent of constant online connectivity. At the risk of spurring the 47th different rabbit trail of this discussion, the simple presence of that device in your hand whenever you want can absolutely cover up or replace your internal desire to connect with people thru church and family.

And that goes to the point I was making about certain components affect both of the items we are discussing. That isn't circular reasoning in my argument, it is the inherent nature of macro-level statistical analysis.


Andrew Ruck
B.B.A. 2003

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Andrew Ruck
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/23/2024 8:46:23 PM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
Andrew Ruck wrote:
But his statement - That he would guess the majority are most excited about their marriage and children - Was absolutely accurate in that room.


There's nothing controversial about the part of Butker's speech your quoting. But you're leaving out context, specificall the sentence prior, in which he said that "it's the women who have had the most vile lies told to them."

What's the lie he's referring to, exactly?

"I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?"


This also goes as a response to JSF disagreeing the value of raising a family is under attack. It was obvious to me he was referring to a cultural shift on how motherhood is depicted. Children are more often painted as obstacles to a woman's career success. Homemaking more often painted as unfulfilling and demoralizing. Or as one of our very own just put it - "Subjugated to subservient roles." What a ridiculous characterization of women prioritizing raising their family.

CC mentioned the judgment he has felt from being a single child parent, that's absolutely not OK. But don't think for a second the same thing isn't happening on the other end of the spectrum. After you have 2 kids, people stop congratulating you. By the time you get to 4, the most common response is "OK but seriously you're done now right?!" This spectrum of inappropriate judgments has shifted more towards the latter in my observations.

There are obvious pro-choice tie-ins here as well.

And to giacomo's question, I believe he was also referring to the refusal to acknowledge inherent and biological differences between men and women. We are no longer allowed to acknowledge that women often have ingrained abilities and interests in nurturing care at a rate much higher than men.

Was "diabolical lies" a bit strong...probably. But the outrage his comments brought remains silly to me.


Andrew Ruck
B.B.A. 2003

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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/24/2024 12:19:56 PM 
greencat wrote:
cc-cat wrote:

Louisianians


Louisiana is already the bible belt and dominated by far-right politicians.

Yet, has that prevented Baton Rouge from having a violent crime rate that is more than DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/baton_rouge

Or Shreveport with a property crime rate DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/shreveport

Or Alexandria with both property and violent crime TRIPLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/alexandria

Louisiana has proudly executed 660 people. Must not be the deterrent they hoped for.




The commandments will reduce said crimes! So it shall be.
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greencat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/24/2024 10:52:50 PM 
BillyTheCat wrote:


The commandments will reduce said crimes! So it shall be.


Because a spooky invisible boogie-man floating around up in the sky said so?
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OUPride
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/25/2024 10:56:25 AM 
BillyTheCat wrote:
greencat wrote:
cc-cat wrote:

Louisianians


Louisiana is already the bible belt and dominated by far-right politicians.

Yet, has that prevented Baton Rouge from having a violent crime rate that is more than DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/baton_rouge

Or Shreveport with a property crime rate DOUBLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/shreveport

Or Alexandria with both property and violent crime TRIPLE the national average?
https://www.bestplaces.net/crime/city/louisiana/alexandria

Louisiana has proudly executed 660 people. Must not be the deterrent they hoped for.




The commandments will reduce said crimes! So it shall be.


They can post the commandments in as large a font as the government demands in a high school classroom, but it won't prevent plenty of kids from coveting their neighbor's ass.

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/25/2024 9:12:55 PM 
Haven't actually listened yet, but this episode just came out: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6F3O7xFsu1tFljPGpPvtQY?s...

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SBH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/26/2024 10:11:33 AM 
Only a matter of time until we revert to the original higher education model for the state - one public university in each corner and one in the middle.

Last Edited: 6/26/2024 10:12:34 AM by SBH

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OUPride
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 6/26/2024 10:31:35 AM 
SBH wrote:
Only a matter of time until we revert to the original higher education model for the state - one public university in each corner and one in the middle.



Careful what you wish for. That original model also stipulated that only the one in the middle could have professional, doctoral or research programs. There were also two funding models: one for the school in the middle and another one for the four in the corners.

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IceCat76
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  Message Not Read  RE: Colleges Face Enrollment Cliff in 2025
   Posted: 7/10/2024 11:48:07 AM 
Here is an article from our local paper here in Newburyport. Since UMass is back in the MAC thought some may be interested. Enrollment stats are referring to the UMass system, not just the main campus in Amherst. UMass-Boston, UMass-Lowell and UMass-Dartmouth are part of the system. Lowell is a D-I school by itself.

Demographic changes fuel enrollment fears at UMass

By Colin A. Young

» State House News Service

BOSTON — University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan has been closely watching the spate of higher education closures, and said in an interview over the weekend that UMass has a strategy he hopes will spare it from the same concerning demographic shift driving those shutdowns.

Consolidation or closure has been a trend among higher education institutions over the last five to 10 years. Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy announced in June that it plans to close as a result of “significant financial headwinds,” the latest in a list of Bay State schools that have either shuttered outright or merged into another institution that includes Bay State College, Boston Conservatory, Mount Ida College, Newbury College, Pine Manor College and Wheelock College. Meehan said he expects to see more closures.

“There’s a demographic issue — not just in Massachusetts and New England, [the] northeastern part of the country — in that the number of students that are graduating high school is coming down, it’s going to come down at a faster pace. That’s one of the reasons why you see so many colleges in New England that have closed. The nonelite privates are in trouble ... eventually, it’s going to affect the public universities,” Meehan said on WCVB’s “On The Record” in an interview that aired Sunday.

He added, “And I can tell you, we’re focused like a laser beam at UMass on making sure we keep our national rankings up, make sure our reputation is up, so we won’t have the problem of enrollment going down.”

Meehan has been warning since at least last spring that UMass is starting to contend with “very strong headwinds” of enrollment pressures fueled by lower birth rates, more competition for students, and people questioning the return on investment from a college degree. UMass enrollment was projected to decrease by 0.3 percent in fiscal year 2024, part of a three-year downward trend.

In 2019, UMass touted itself as “one of the fastest- growing institutions in the nation, with student enrollment rising more than 20 percent during the past decade” and pointing to combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 74,572 in fall 2017. The same university webpage now lists a fall 2023 combined enrollment of 73,593 students.

And the “points of pride” section of the webpage that in 2019 trumpeted UMass’s swift growth now focuses instead on the system’s standing in national rankings in keeping with Meehan’s strategy.

“UMass is now ranked 43rd among all U.S. institutions and 22nd among all U.S. public universities in the 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings,” the system wrote. “UMass remains the top public university in New England, a position it has held in the Times Higher Education rankings since 2014.”

The trend of declining enrollment and the threat it could pose to UMass caught the attention of Sen. Marc Pacheco of Taunton, who successfully pushed for an amendment to the Senate’s fiscal year 2025 state budget to create a special commission to study enrollment issues at all five UMass campuses. The group — which would include campus leaders, UMass board representatives, labor officials, and state government leaders — would be charged with producing recommendations “for short- and long-term solutions aimed at reversing these trends, if possible,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco used undergraduate enrollment figures and said the UMass system has seen a decline from 57,199 undergrads in 2019 to 53,854 in 2023. And he said the UMass system’s student retention rate has dropped from 94 percent in 2016 to 90 percent as of 2021.

“UMass produces 20,000 graduates each year and has 330,000 alums living and working in Massachusetts. Seventy-five percent of the graduates live and work in Massachusetts five years after graduation, showing that investments in the system not only produce higher-skilled and educated workers, but also highly-skilled and educated workers that stay in our commonwealth,” the senator said during budget debate in May. “That is extremely important for our economy. UMass is a crucial job creator as the state’s third largest employer, with 26,000 employees, while also supporting around 40,000 external jobs across the state.”

Pacheco added, “This system is too important to our state’s economy for us to let fall to the wayside.”

Pacheco’s amendment was adopted on a 39-0 roll call vote, but will have to survive ongoing negotiations with the House if it is going to make it into the final budget bill that will be delivered to Gov. Maura Healey.
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