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:: By Jenny Fisher, ’07

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Chicago Journal ::

On the quads

In his annual speech to incoming first-years, College admissions dean Ted O’Neill, AM’70, rates them the best class ever. He’ll likely say it again when the 1,284 members of the Class of 2010 arrive September 16. Eighty percent were in the top ten percent of their high-school classes, compared to 78 percent of the Class of 2009. Meanwhile, the Admissions Office is already hard at work recruiting the class of 2011. At an August 4 student panel, Emily Rowe, ‘08, told prospective students “it’s the people” that made her choose the U of C. “You don’t care if the person next to you is getting an A or a C, you just want to talk to them.”...

Second- and third-years return this fall after summers studying Greek, Latin, and French abroad or doing community service and scientific research in Hyde Park, with money they received from 2006 grants and awards. One of the 350-plus award winners was Alison Nemirow, ‘07, who attended an Arizona conference with her Morris K. Udall prize, a national scholarship given to students pursuing environmental careers. Said Nemirow, “My hope for the future is to work on making cities as green as possible.”...

The College Council, Student Government’s undergraduate legislative body, completed its first yearlong initiative to improve campus life. In October 2005 the council identified financial aid, diversity, meal plans, downtown transportation, and security as the five issues undergrads cared about most. The dining initiative, the council stated in its year-end report, made the most progress. In response to the data collected, Campus Dining Services instituted more “specials” in Bartlett and improved cleanliness in Pierce....

Undergrads responding to a College Web poll shared their summer reading plans. One student wrote, “I’m trying to get a sense of the epic. Something describing men and women caught in things greater than they are.” “Bridget Jones’s Diary I and II,” posted another. “Why can’t you people have a break?” In fact, most students were doing just that, with the Harry Potter series by far the most popular. Next came One Hundred Years of Solitude, Atlas Shrugged, Anna Karenina, and Crime and Punishment.