Talk:Bard College

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Bard's Location[edit]

Bard was on the list of schools in NYC. It most definitely is not in NYC. Unless of course Vassar and Marist are in NYC too, but I certainly thought Dutchess County was a bit more north.

Actually, Bard's Globalization and International Affairs Program and High School Early College are both based in NYC. As far as I know, Vassar and Marist don't have any such programs in the city. Toscaesque 16:22, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Description of Newspapers[edit]

Surgo, I think you might have interpreted my description of the Free Press as "generally more radical than" as pejorative, but it was not. Unless things have changed a ton in the time I left Bard, you'll find very few people making the claim that the Free Press isn't more radical than the Observer, including most of the Free Press staff. The reporting and editorial content consistently brings to light less established left-wing voices, Palestinian rights, and far more protest coverage than the Observer, and they rely far more heavily on organizations like to fill out their news.

If others disagree, I'll withdraw my claim, but either way I think it's worth inserting a descriptive word or two distinguishing the two papers. -Toscaesque 05:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Depends on when you left Bard, I suppose. I interpreted the statement as POV, which is why I removed it. If you feel that it isn't POV, feel free to add it back. Surgo 00:41, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Deletion of US News & World Report?[edit]

I'm reverting the deletion of the info about the US News & World Report ranking, as it seems to be a relevant piece of information. If there is some reason why it should be deleted, please say so in the edit summary. wilhelm 14:52, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree, but don't you think it's worth mentioning in the first graph like it did orginally? --Toscaesque 16:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Could be. I wasn't sure what the protocol was for that, so I thought maybe it would be good to put it in "Bard in Media". However, it doesn't make much difference to the integrity of the article either way. wilhelm 16:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Botstein on annual publication: "It is the most successful journalistic scam I have seen in my entire adult lifetime -- corrupt, intellectually bankrupt and revolting."
What if we push the ranking down somewhere below (like under Bard in media), but include that quote? Do you have a citation? Toscaesque 20:19, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Bard Debate Team[edit]

I don't want to offend any debate team members, but is it really a prominent enough club to devote this much space? If no one objects, I'd like to remove or at least seriously edit down that part of the section. -Toscaesque 19:28, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, it is a very accomplished club, and does phenomenonally well in debates... 01:35, 10 August 2006 (UTC)Emili


Good photos able to be found here:,21.

Are they fair use? Also, why did you delete the information in the intro of the article? wilhelm 15:59, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Drug Use[edit]

Among the student population, drug abuse (particularly use of marijuana) was not long ago ranked by Princeton review as among the highest in the country. Though it is still comparitively accepted by the student community, use of illicit substances is considered unacceptable by the administration of the college. In 2006, this resulted in a crackdown (spearheaded by Erin Canaan and former Director of Residence Life, Fred Barnes) characterized by a series of highly suspect interrogations, and a purge of the student drug-culture, in which a number of students were expelled, and there arose a stricter enforcement of the official policy of proscription.

There's a lot in here that's very POV. Please tone it down. Toscaesque 16:24, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Tried to fix towards more NPOV (though I'm sympathetic to the POV previously expressed). Should we maybe split Student Life into more sections? --OliverTraldi 09:32, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Bob Dylan[edit]

I moved the following section here until it can be verified by a reliable source--some links to a message board doesn't cut it, unfortunately. Toscaesque 05:40, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Bard also features in several songs on Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home, which was written during the time in which he was a frequent visitor to the campus. One line (from "Subterranean Homesick Blues") that likely refers to Bard is "The pump don't work 'cause the vandals stole the handle". [1] Another line refers to the drug bust in 1969 in which future Steely Dan members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were arrested ("Must bust in early May/Orders from the DA"). [2]
Dylan/Bard connection is pretty well-established in the local area. Dylan lived in Woodstock at the time. Allen Ginsburg read poetry at the college occasionally. Both are featured in the video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Ann Lauterbach, writer and teacher on Bard's MFA faculty, knows Bob and can attest to his presence at the college in the early-mid 60s.
I just removed a second claim about the about the handle--please offer a citation from a reliable source. Toscaesque (talk) 18:09, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Lyrics in a 1965 song predicting events four years later? Really. To the point, Dylan has been everywhere and his presence anywhere doesn't mean anything, absent something that had a significant and lasting effect on either him or the place. Speaking of unsubstantiated rumors, want a better story? See The Masked Marauders in Wikipedia.Allreet (talk) 18:28, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
This might more precisely be noted as "Bard lore". I'm sure every college has such carefully nurtured myths. Yes, there was a pump - outside Sacks House - without a handle, but good luck proving that that was what prompted Dylan's line. Otherwise, it was a college filled with rich young beauties, so the fact that a few horndog musicians made their way through (especially with Woodstock just across the way) is hardly a surprise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


A lot of college pages have descriptions of student housing. I'm not sure what everyone's views are on the necessity of such descriptions, but I know that, for example, Vassar gives descriptions of all of its dorms, and I think could conceivably be of interest. Perhaps someone who knows a bit about the dorms (I'm not scheduled to move in until the 12th; class of '10 here) could do a write-up? Or are we of the opinion that such things aren't encyclopedic? Burndownthedisco talk 20:39, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Honestly I'm not sure that would be a good use of space. There are a lot of dorms, some very small, and they're all pretty unique. Maybe a description of the main dorm complexes (e.g. toasters, Cruger Village) could be informative... See you on the 12th (or if not, once the semester starts). --OliverTraldi 00:53, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia, not a tour guide.

Simon's Rock and BHSEC[edit]

Shouldn't there be more of a description of the links between Bard and Simon's Rock College of Bard and between Bard and Bard High School Early College/ the role Bard played in "whatever"ing them, because it is not clear. I have already included external links at the bottom of the pages.

"Ranked among the nation's top colleges"[edit]

Sorry, this is not a statement of fact, and does not belong in an encyclopedia article.

This is simply because the word "top" is not well-defined and entirely subjective. just the facts, please.Daqu 06:42, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

This could be remedied by referring to the ranking source (i.e. USN/PR)
The question isn’t what “top” means, but what “rank” means. In this case, a number of bodies “rank” colleges. Usually they are for-profit publications (like USN and PR). Whether they are accurate or good is anyone’s, guess, but it still constitutes a “rank.” In the case of Bard, for the past 10 years or so, USN has placed Bard in the top 50 liberal arts colleges, and this assertion *is* sourced elsewhere in the article. Moreover, because schools rarely jump or slide more than 5 or 10 places per year, this situation is unlikely to change. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 18:59, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Cite a source supporting your assertion, please. I see no such citation. Am I missing something? --ElKevbo (talk) 19:23, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Drop Outs[edit]

citations needed, or this could be libelous. Also, who is Hannah Schneider?? raining girl 18:49, 18 November 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone have a better picture for the inset? The one I put there is beyond awful. I wasn't expecting it would stay there for so long. Toscaesque 16:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Hooray. Thanks. Toscaesque 05:07, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Ann Coulter's Criticism[edit]

I don't think that section is really necessary, considering Ann Coulter's obvious (and self-declared) extreme right-leaning point of view. Her argument seems pretty much unbalanced and pointless. Hellgi 17:14, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. Just because her argument may be unbalanced and pointless doesn't mean it's not part of the public record. I personally believe the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth were unbalanced and unfair in their attack on Kerry, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be discussed. Mentioning Anne Coulter's views on Bard is not the same as endorsing them.Toscaesque 13:35, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that when you have a commentator who says the same thing about everything, it isn't really actual a critique.
First of all, as extreme and right-wing as Coulter is, it's completely hyperbolic to say that she "says the same thing about everything." You and I might think her critique is completely absurd, but it's still a critique. If she was some raving lunatic on a street corner it would be one thing, but she's a raving lunatic with a widely read column. The fact that she targeted Bard is notable. Toscaesque 19:09, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Okay, if there's no more argument, I'm going to add the paragraph back. Toscaesque 16:27, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe Wikipedia articles should mention "raving lunatics" at all, be it from widely read sources or not. The fact that Coulter targeted Bard is not notable, considering how many individual and institutions she blatlantely target all the time. Wikipedia articles should mention reliable and factual information, not gossip or unbalanced pov. That goes of course for other unbalanced pov as well (not necessarily only from the right side of the political spectrum) Hellgi 19:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, her statement ("Bard [has] become a Safe Street program for traitors and lunatics.") is completely pov and frankly diffamatory. I really don't see the point of mentioning it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hellgi (talkcontribs) 20:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC).
If I'm following your logic correctly, then we should go through Wikipedia and remove every mention of holocaust denial, since (I would argue) holocaust deniers are completely POV and defamatory. I don't know how much simpler this could get: quoting a POV statement isn't the same as having a POV Wikipedia article. If you think the way the quote was presented was POV, then please edit it. But removing it simply because you disagree with it is just silly. Toscaesque 14:10, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Hellgi, I wonder if your point boils down to something I also essentially agree with: we need to stop giving the inflammatory people all the attention and start having real conversations in the news again -- stop treating these people like legitimate sources. But this is merely stating a public figure's point of view, and given the context of the quotation, that point of view is portrayed as completely absurd. It's therefore not legitimizing Ann Coulter to state her POV in this instance: if anything, it's simply hilarious (albeit in that depressing way, that makes you cry a little inside for America. But Bard students aren't usually so opposed to the sensation.)
I would argue: she's a major public figure for better or worse, it's factual she said these things about the professor and the school, it's interesting, keep it in. Adriannelacy 14:46, 18 April 2007 (UTC)Adriannelacy
Holocaust Negationists are by definition pov as they support a political/historical agenda. However, one of the only reason why Holocaust denial arguments have been at least listened too is because there are some developed points (albeit unproved to this day). If their only argument was that people who claimed that the Holocaust existed were "traitors and lunatics", I believe nobody would even give them the slightest interest. My point is, making a paragraph about someone criticizing someone else for being a "traitor and a lunatic" without any factual reference, argumentation is not really interesting and, yes, diffamatory. Hellgi 18:40, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Here's the paragraph in question. It's funny, when I wrote it, I thought I would get slammed for having a left wing POV:

In 2003, Bard Professor Joel Kovel drew criticism from controversial conservative columnist Ann Coulter for his book, Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism and the Making of America, in which he compared anti-communism to a psychiatric disorder. Coulter, who has described Senator Joseph McCarthy as the deceased person she admires the most, accused Kovel of holding a "lunatic psychological theory" and counted Bard among the colleges and universities that "have become a Safe Streets program for traitors and lunatics."[3]
I did not say the person who wrote the paragraph had a right-wing POV; I said I believed the paragraph in itself didn't bring much to learning about Bard College, and that Coulter's arguments were not relevant as completely baseless. Hellgi 18:40, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Baseless or not, I think it's interesting that such a prominent figure specifically mentioned Bard, and I think a lot of people would agree. There is no wikipedia policy forbidding the mention of spurious arguments, as long as it's presented in a NPOV way. It doesn't matter if her argument amounts to defamation, it's part of the public record. The only question then, is "is it notable?" I think it is. We can put it to a vote if you like.Toscaesque 22:28, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
To me the point is whether Ann Whatsherface's comments are important enough to be included in a encyclopaedic article. Strident and hysterical people get noticed by way of their volume of garbage rather than the importance or quality of their work. What about other reviews of this book? It seems to me the only reason why her's has been included and no others is precisely because it is strident and bellicose and for no other reason. I'm not sure that that's a reason for inclusion in an encyclopedia unless the article (or section) is about criticism in general and includes other critics. To present an analogy: Is the National Enquirer socially significant? Of course it is and moreso than Ann for it has been around longer and will still be here long after Ann is no more than a footnote in the history of blonde stereotypes. But is that a reason to include National Enquirer "revelations" in encyclopedic articles about the people they write about? Mike Hayes 18:31, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, other reviews of the book were not included, because this is an article about Bard, not the book, and Coulter specifically mentioned Bard. I would agree with the National Enquirer analogy, except this is an unusual circumstance we're talking about. It would be one thing to include every quote from the Enquirer in the Ben Affleck article, or Ann Coulter's opinion in the Bill Clinton article, but this is smaller institution that doesn't normally receive the attention of the Ann Coulters of the world. If the National Enquirer mentioned something about Bard, it would likely be of interest to people wanting to know more about the school. In any case, the point of this sentence is, deserved or not, Bard has a reputation for being a very liberal school, and the quote from Coulter illustrates this nicely. Toscaesque 14:48, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I have a suggestion: Why don’t people start a separate section with “criticisms” from media types. That, or put the Coulter quote into the pop-culture section. After all, it isn’t as if Coulter’s critique really relates to anything serious, but she is (or was) widely watched.


Graduates: Though Fiona Quirk-Goldblatt did recently graduate from Bard, she is not a popular song writer and did not compose "The Lady in Red" or "Tonight's the Night." I don't know if her inclusion in the list is something she is aware of or if she's part of the joke. 17:08, 1 June 2007 (UTC) LWS

Notable Alumni/Dropouts/Faculty[edit]

I think any red wikilinks without bracketed clarification (eg the guy from The Walkmen) should be deleted. I guess Im not feeling bold on a page for such a large university. Anyone object? Metao 01:18, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

i agree. just did it. -A

The bit about William and Mary is in specific referance to former Bard faculty not William and Mary College so I removed that missinformation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


why do you crappy liberal arts schools aways insist on putting the word "selective" all over your college's wiki? it's just embarrassing. i could delete it, but why should i do you morons any favors? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

While the term can be somewhat ambiguous, at a minimum, Bard has a "most selective" rating from US News. Here is the profile page from US News. . Otherwise, your use of the term "crappy" indicates that you might be a troll.

"selectivity" again[edit]

could we remove "selectivity" once and for all. Obviously it's subjective. It just makes the entry look like an advertisement from the admissions office. It should be with the US News ranking crap at the bottom of the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

The USNews ranking and attributes of a school are, for better or worse, relevant and something that all schools care about. Therefore, it should stay, so long as it has a citation. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 02:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Do you actually think "all schools care about" selectivity? I really feel sorry for you then. Do you work in the Bard admissions office? Or were you just rejected by more "selective" schools? (talk) 19:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I am trying to see your point here. Yes. While almost all schools care about who they admit, they "all" have different strategies in terms of who they recruit. US News (which ranks schools, and "all" schools claim not to care about, but really do), has determined that Bard is amongst the most selective of schools. This is an attribute which people researching this school likely care about. I am unclear also why you suspect that I was rejected by any school, or even why that matters. Maybe your problems with Bard would be better directed to a specific "criticism" rather than just a rant about selectivity. Have a nice day. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 12:33, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm taking "selective" out of the lead since it is a subjective and imprecise term. See WP:PEACOCK and WP:WEASEL. Madcoverboy (talk) 15:11, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I've reverted your edit and added an impeccable source. --ElKevbo (talk) 16:48, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the highly selective phrase again from the lead. The phrase has no place in the article, least of all in the opening sentence of the lead, which is why I have removed it. It is a weasel phrase and peacock term that conveys no actual meaning than to serve as boosterism for the institution. Furthermore, no institution or publication classifies colleges as "highly" selective, so it's not even verifiable. Assert facts, not opinions and just describe the admissions numbers (number of applicants, number admitted, number matriculated, and freshmen retention) in the body of article and don't tell the reader what to think. Madcoverboy (talk) 18:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Putting it under "admissions" seems like a good place for it to go -- and it is sourced. A potential student would learn, at a minimum, what others think. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC).


The lists of alumni/faculty are getting pretty unwieldy. I suggest breaking these out into separate articles, and replacing them with paragraphs on the most notable (Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Herb Ritts, Chinua Achebe, etc). I would do it, but I'm about to go sledding. That's what you get with collaborative media I suppose. Toscaesque (talk) 00:15, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

"In popular culture" section[edit]

I recently removed the "In popular culture" section of this article, claiming that it is "largely unsourced and entirely trivial." Single-purpose editor Jr991999 reverted my edit, claiming that "Quite a few college pages have similar 'in popular culture pages' [sic]".

First, although it is true that many other articles have similar sections, that in itself is not justification for including one in this article. Further, such an assertion does nothing to address either of the important issues that I brought up in my edit summary, namely that the section is largely unsupported by references and all of the material is too trivial to warrant inclusion in an encyclopedia article.

Second, these sections - particularly when they devolve into a list of trivial mentions - are specifically discouraged by many and for good reason. Most applicable to this particular article is the guideline regarding the contents of college and university articles which states that "[In popular culture sections] should not be a trivia list or section, but rather a collection of analyses regarding the university's role in popular culture using reliable sources." The list of disconnected bullet points in this article in no way resembles analyses nor does it use reliable sources. ElKevbo (talk) 08:53, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

  • ElKevbo is right--"In popular culture" sections are unencyclopedic and should be removed wherever they appear, here or elsewhere.--GrapedApe (talk) 22:50, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
After looking at other in popular culture sections, I must now agree that this is lacking. My mistake. Jr991999 (talk) 16:28, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Newsweek ranking[edit]

I've copied some of this from my User Talk page to this location so other editors can more easily participate in the discussion.

Hi ElKevbo, just wondering, where did the Daily Beast copy its information from? If it's true, that's quite interesting as I have not seen any references to the original on the webpage. You mentioned that in the deletion of the ranking. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jr991999 (talkcontribs) 01:22, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

The second sentence of the source you cited says: "Newsweek ranks the schools that are most likely to keep you studying late into the night." But it doesn't say anything more such as how Newsweek ranked the schools, where they got their information, or where the original information or source can be found. If you can find the original Newsweek article or rankings then it might be worth discussing whether it should be included but the Daily Beast info is such sloppy "journalism" that we definitely shouldn't be including anything like that in an encyclopedia article. ElKevbo (talk) 10:38, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Daily Beast is Newsweek. The overarching company is now called The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, both companies have merged. They're the same. Visit and you'll be redirected to Jr991999 (talk) 15:34, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
You're right and I didn't know that. That makes me sad. Newsweek wasn't ever the most prestigious or respected news outlet but it's certainly several steps up from The Daily Beast. :(
But this still doesn't do much to establish the reliability of this ranking. Who compiled the information? How did they get it? How was the ranking system created and implemented? Without some of those kinds of details, I can't recommend using this ranking system in any encyclopedia article - or anywhere else whatsoever. ElKevbo (talk) 16:04, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
After looking at the website, they have quite a few different rankings. According to this, they compiled information from a few various sources. However, the exact methodology isn't talked about. "To come up with our rankings, we looked at what American kids really care about these days, and also pulled from sources including the National Center for Education Statistics, the College Board, the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, the Sustainable Endowment Institute, a data partnership with the Washington Monthly—and, in one case, even Playboy."Jr991999 (talk) 16:32, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

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