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Schools & Program Visits - Oct, 1996 Issue #42 

Visit by: Tom Bratter, President 
The John Dewey Academy 
October 3, 1996 

Carole and I attended Paul B. Ranslow’s presidential inauguration at Ripon College. Ripon is a small liberal arts college with 800 students, wanting to expand to 900 students. Classes are small. Since geographically isolated, professors spend their time interacting with students rather than doing research and serving as consultants. We were impressed by the quality of instruction and caliber of students. While no college campus is drug or alcohol-free, Ripon comes close. 21 year olds can drink in their rooms, but only if the door is closed. They cannot walk around with a glass or beer can. Resident assistants take seriously their mandate not only to ensure there are no alcohol abuses but also to improve the quality of life, so there is respect for the rights of others and property. Dorms are neat and clean. The grounds were well kept. There was a notable lack of pressure to drink, do drugs, and perform other stupid, self-destructive acts. Sororities and fraternities are housed in the dorms, so the Greek System is subdued. Ranslow, who was Dean of Admissions at Pitzer College, is a savvy, good guy who will work with Special Schools. He has a well deserved reputation to be pro student so he will transform a campus which prizes human decency into a kinder and gentler place. In town, there is a A.A. group. If Paul thought there was a need, he would encourage A.A. Ripon College might be an excellent choice for a student who has turned his/her life around, but who might have trouble in a larger, more open university.

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