College Guidebook Notes PC Proclivities: Offers `Whole Truth' on Top 100 Schools

Article excerpt

A conservative educational foundation has put together a new college guidebook aimed at helping parents and students find a quality education while avoiding political correctness on campus.

"Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America's Top 100 Schools," written by staffers at the Wilmington, Del.-based Intercollegiate Studies Institute, tells in 672 pages what it believes is good, bad and sleazy at some of the country's most elite institutions, according to William J. Bennett, who wrote the introduction.

"This is a very worthwhile guide, the best I've seen," the Reagan administration education secretary said at a book party last week in Washington. "[Former Supreme Court Justice] Louis Brandeis once said that `sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.' I think you've brought the sunlight to bear in this book."

The guide joins several other special-interest college guides already on the market, including the "Complete Book of Catholic Colleges"; the "Hillel Guide to Jewish Life on Campus"; a bilingual guide to the "Top 25 Colleges for Hispanics"; and a 119-page pocket guide published by Ebony magazine and Chevrolet on historically black colleges and universities.

The new guide tells where conservative students face prejudice on campus (Harvard, among many others) and which school boasts a Fetish Student Union whose "Fetish and Bondage Ball" might include a whipping room, Jell-O pit and various take-home inflatables (Reed College).

At Oberlin College in Ohio, the guide reports, smoking marijuana does not normally result in campus judicial proceedings, while "ideological transgressions" do.

At Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., administrators have a history of caving in to demands of student activists "with a strange propensity toward violent or nonviolent takeovers of campus buildings," according to the guide.

The guide reviews all of the Ivy League schools, large state universities, highly selective liberal arts colleges and schools with strong ties to religious communities, highlighting what the editors call "small, innovative institutions that offer opportunities that aren't available elsewhere."

Schools reviewed by the guide in the Washington region include Catholic University, George Mason University, Hampden-Sydney College, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Richmond, St. John's College, the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University and the College of William and Mary.

The guide is not meant to be exhaustive, according to the editors, but is a representation of those schools considered to be among the best of their kind. The 100 institutions are not necessarily recommended, either.

"We don't mean to put our imprimatur on a school by including it," said Senior Editor Winfield Myers. …