Tuesday, May 22, 2007

College, cemetery, prison

Two stories from the US:

Story 1:

For a few thousand dollars, the University of Richmond and a half-dozen other universities are giving alumni and faculty the opportunity to have their ashes maintained on campus in perpetuity.

This news perturbed the NYTimes editors so much that they wrote an editorial deploring the crassness of this practice:

... [S]everal universities, including Notre Dame, the University of Virginia and Hendrix College, have been hard at work building memorial walls. The technical name is a columbarium, where the ashes of alumni and professors can spend eternity on the collegiate grounds where they once found happiness. [...] If, as we suspect, the collegiate columbarium is just another fund-raising pitch, its crassness makes us shudder.

* * *

Story 2:

As the costs for fixing the state's troubled corrections system rocket higher, California is headed for a dubious milestone -- for the first time the state will spend more on incarcerating inmates than on educating students in its public universities.