Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Update From Orwellian Hell, LSE edition

The new Puritanism at the LSE. Given how US universities bend over backwards to court and provide information for "prospies," this is hard to understand, but apparently they are a mite testy about Erik Ringmar's blogging about his institution:

An LSE student just emailed me with this story:
I have an interesting detail to add to the free speech discussion at LSE: There’s a volunteering programme called “email-a-student”: It allows prospective students to send a mail to the LSE with questions about student life etc. which are then answered by a current student. So being a current student I went to the introduction meeting for this thing today, and I found something odd about the programme: All incoming AND (!) outgoing mails have to be sent via a LSE admissions official and will be screened. So I guess I can’t really write about everything I want to. I mean, this programme is no use if I just tell prospective students what they already know from the website!

It is very clear that the LSE undergraduate administration wants to make sure that no staff members talk to prospective undergraduates either. I got this email the other day:

subject: Prospective applicant requests for meetings with academics
I am writing to you regarding a number of requests from prospective applicants to meet with academics, received recently by the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Selectors and Departmental Managers and Administrators.

I would like to remind all staff that the School Policy states that contact details for academic staff should not be released to prospective applicants/students. In addition to this, all requests for meetings with academic staff should be forwarded to the undergraduate mail-box so that the UG team may deal with any queries that applicants may have.
Let me re-assure you that in the vast majority of cases, the undergraduate Admissions staff are able to answer any questions applicants may have. In cases where they are unable to do so, they will be happy to contact the relevant academic and liaise with the enquirer appropriately.
I am sure you understand that these measure are put in place so that academic colleagues are not placed in a difficult position where conflict of interest may become an issue. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.

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