All Around the Liberal Arts

By Anna Waugh

Bowdoin CollegeEleven students at this wintry Brunswick, Maine college may face piracy suits this semester for uploading or downloading music illegally through peer-to-peer sites like Kazaa and Limewire. The Recording Industry Association of America served the students with pre-litigation letters and a spokesperson from the RIAA told The Orient, Bowdoin’s student newspaper, that students who decide to settle will likely be fined between $3,000 and $5,000. Those who decide not to settle may face a minimum $750 fine per illegal download.

Bowdoin students aren’t the first to be affected by this crackdown either. The RIAA has served students at 18 colleges across the country with pre-litigation papers for illegal uploading and downloading. In one suit last October, a woman in Deluth, MN was fined $220,000 for sharing music through a p2p network. Before 2003 the recording industry would work with colleges to prevent students from illegally downloading music, but the move toward litigation is relatively new. Going after the little guys may just be a scare tactic, but the stakes in music sharing have definitely been raised. Bad news for Britney fans: her photos may be free, but the music still has a fee.

College of Holy Cross

As more schools across the country opt to replace loans with grants, this college in Worcester, Mass. will offer free tuition to low-income city residents. Students whose families make less than $50,000 a year will no longer be responsible for any tuition. The college estimates that the plan will cost $1.4 million. The new policy will not apply to students who are already enrolled but will apply to freshmen enrolling next fall. Students will still have to be admitted to the school, but this will make it a little bit easier to attend. Nice!

Saint Lawrence University

Think pulling all-nighters improves your grades? Think again. The result of a new study conducted by Pamela Thatcher, an associate director of psychology at St. Lawrence University, showed that students who are regularly up all night burning the midnight oil have lower GPAs, on average. Thatcher examined 111 students and the relationship between sleep and grade point average. The study also found no correlation between all-nighters and procrastination, although both were independently found to be tied to lower grades. While similar studies have shown that regular sleep patterns improve health, this study positively showed the correlation between sleep and grades. Moral of the story: start studying for exams now, and go to bed early. Hey, you’ll save some electricity while you’re at it.