Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Ok, so I haven't posted in a while, but this one just makes me shake my head...
Three lead suspects — Jamal Zougam, Othman Gnaoui and Spaniard Emilio Suarez Trashorras — were convicted of murder and attempted murder and received sentences ranging from 34,000 to 43,000 years in prison, although under Spanish law the most time they can spend in jail is 40 years. Spain has no death penalty or life imprisonment.

Um, how effective is that really? Is the stigma of a 43,000 year sentence supposed to deter this sort of behavior? Amazing...

Then, of course, there is the insanity going on in Delaware, which has been quite well documented by FIRE. I won't go into the main points, as they are articulated elsewhere, but this selection from the "Strategic Change Assessment" (P12) should give any parents of potential students pause:

Rules regarding human subjects Our assessment efforts must fall within the boundaries of University of Delaware human subjects’ policies maintained by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Normally, the types of assessment processes used by Residence Life would qualify for an exception to the full board review. ... When recording verbal responses, it is required the students sign an informed consent form. A framework for the form can be obtained from Jim Tweedy. Any of our tools that are designed to be primarily educational in nature are fully exempt and do not need approval. Our tools designed to examine educational techniques will require advance approval. ... As we become more effective in our pre-planning of assessment, we will be able to establish “series approval” allowing us a more efficient means of navigating the process. We will be engaging in further training on human subject regulations.

Congrats! You are unwitting guinea pigs in this massive social experiment.