All Around the Liberal Arts

By Shannon Mills

Another ranking: America’s fittest colleges
Men’s Fitness magazine has published a ranking of the “25 Fittest Colleges in America.” Dickinson College in Pennsylvania garnered the number one spot, followed by Colgate University (N.Y.), Boston College and Wheaton College (Ill.). Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota came in at number six. Macalester, sadly, did not make the top 25. The magazine based its ratings on student responses to questionnaires on fast food and alcohol consumption, frequency of physical activity, and college promotion of nutrition and fitness.
In 2005, Men’s Fitness ranked the nation’s 20 “fattest” colleges, with University of Louisiana, Lafayette coming in on top. Others on the list included Mississippi State University, Portland State University, Seton Hall University (N.J.) and Winona State University in Minnesota.

Salman Rushdie to teach at Emory University
Salman Rushdie has accepted a position as an English professor at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, according to The Emory Wheel.
Rushdie, author of the controversial novel “The Satanic Verses,” is a British-Indian writer who specializes in magical realism, a literary device that blends elements of fantasy and realism. “The Satanic Verses,” published in 1988, was opposed by many Muslims who felt it contained blasphemous references. Iran’s leader at the time, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwah calling for Rushdie’s death.
Rushdie is not the first public intellectual to join Emory’s faculty. Former President Jimmy Carter has been a professor at the 12,000-student university since 1982.
Joyce Carol Oates takes heat for story based on actual death of a student
A spokesman for The College of New Jersey has criticized author Joyce Carol Oates over her most recent short story, the plot of which was influenced by the death of a student at the college, according to The International Herald Tribune. The spokesman said that the story has caused pain to people close to the student.
The story, published in the Oct. 9 issue of The New Yorker magazine, is about a young man who disappears from a fraternity party and is found dead in a landfill a month later, details that correspond to the death of the actual student.
Oates is the author of many books, including “Them” and “We Were The Mulvaneys.” She responded to the criticism saying that her work has been met with “astonishing hostility on the part of people who do not ‘read’ fiction as symbolic or representational, but literal.” Oates likened the criticism to that leveled against — whom else — Salman Rushdie for “The Satanic Verses.” However, Oates said that, in hindsight, she wishes the details of her story had not had not resembled the student’s death so closely.