In Mind, 19 November 2002, Palm Beach


We heard an NPR news report this morning about how a second California college going to adopt the policy of asking for documentation of extra-curricular activities from their applicants. The story claimed that UCSD had adopted this procedure on an experimental basis last year and had randomly selected 300 applicants from whom documentation was requested. What makes this story interesting is the reported result of UCSD’s experiment. Every one of the 300 students asked to provide documentation did so!

We find it hard to believe that nobody even changed their photography club office from secretary to vice president. In fact, the result is ridiculous. Even those who were 100% truthful would have some difficulty getting the documentation together.

Possible explanations:

– The young have always been good liars. Perhaps this experiment shows that they are evolving to become good forgers too.

– Left-leaning NPR’s editorial staff believes that the practice is an infringement on privacy rights and fudged the result to infer that the policy is unnecessary.

– UCSD announced the policy and sent the requests for documentation. When the documentation arrived, it was opened and the paper clips and staples were removed. What remained was loaded into the recycling bin. They announced that everybody was honest to next years flock of liars and forgers.

– Real top honors high school students are threatening to bring a class action suit against the colleges for not verifying extra-cullicular activities. In response, the colleges are pretending to do something.

If you know anything about this or have ideas, email me

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