Talk:Occidental College

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Talk:Occidental College/Archive 1

Notable Professors[edit]

Eliminated "Notable Professors" section which was over-the-top selective promotion of individual faculty, and not an accurate reflection of the overall quality of faculty. Other wikipedia entries for respectable liberal arts colleges do not have such a section. --Ignat 17:12, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that this is acceptable, it wasn't necessarily pov and I don't think discussion of the issue of this issue on the talk page prior to your changes, you are free to edit, but wholesale removal is too extreme. Your removal of the picture of the fountain was also extremely questionable. I am reverting your edits. Especially seeing as how you do not have an existing registered username. Making slighter modifications made in the order to remove pov parts of the article after discussion on the talk page is a better way of editing this page. Also, the fact that "Other wikipedia entries for respectable liberal arts colleges do not have such a section" is not a reasonable basis for such massive edits.Asedzie 17:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

-I agree with Asedzie here. What is wrong with presenting true information? To the extent Oxy has stars, it's legitimate to point this out, and more to the point is *useful* to those who might wish to know something about the school. The real issue is whether the information presented was untrue, or the manner in which this was presented was NPOV...the mere presentation of information (despite the approach of our anonymous user-vandal) isn't POV as opposed to non-presentation. If other college's pages don't include this information, the solution isn't to cut the Oxy page, but to expand the others.

Timothy Usher (tried to sign the recommended way, but tildes remained tildes)

I am trying to find some reasonable way to say that this college is one of the more well-known colleges in the country, but people keep editing these parts out. First there was "higly-competitive" then "commonly ranked as one of the top colleges in the country", I will now put "highly selective", but does anyone see this as still too pov? How does it compare to other similar colleges?`I think this is a reasonable detail to have about the college in an encyclopedia, after all people who are not familiar with the school should be able to get an idea of the school's general reputation from this page. Any ideas?Asedzie 17:47, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Kathy Augustine[edit]

I have re-added Kathy Augustine to the "Notable Oxy Alumni" list following the unexplained deletion of her name by User:Ignat. According to one of the sources I used to create the article on her, she is a graduate of Occidental College. --TommyBoy 19:52, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I think we should put back a lot of the Alumni unecessarily deleted by User:Ignat.Asedzie 03:24, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I replaced a few of the names. I mean, who is User:Ignat to say that these people aren't notable? After all, they have wikipedia entries, they must be important to somebody.Asedzie 03:30, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

What makes someone notable? Are there standards, or is someone notable if some wikipedia contributor thinks they are notable? What's the standard for someone being non-notable? Is someone non-notable if some wikipedia author thinks they are not notable? Unless we can resolve this, then it seems that individual wikipedia contributors should be able to make both notable and non-notable judgments and edit accordingly.

By the way, the rhetorical "Who is x to say that ..." has no argumentative force with me, since matters of contribution to this or other wikipedia entries are not judged on the basis of credentials or other forms of authority, but by collectively developed reasoned standards of correctness and appropriateness. --Ignat 16:01, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Further Thoughts: Reading beyond the "who is to say" rhetorical device, Asedzie argues that if someone has a wikipedia entry, then they are notable, and if they are notable for wikipedia generally, then they are notable alums.(Is having a wikipedia entry also a necessary condition for listing among the notable Oxy alums? If so, several names will need to be eliminated.) First, someone may have a wikipedia entry and may still not be notable. Even if they meet these standards, they may not be notable in the context of the Occidental College article. So I guess I'm conceding that the issue is somewhat complex, and I'm all for resolving it. My general worry is remains (and I brought this up with the "notable professors" section a while back) that these lists are not balanced and just reflect the interests of those who contribute. --Ignat 18:25, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Although I am actually becoming more and more indifferent about the direction of this page everyday, I have one simple policy regarding the Alum section. If I hear about someone considered famous or newsworthy on the news or in the paper, or if I read about them on wikipedia I add their name to the list. It has nothing to do with my "intrests" as you so obliquely state. It is just what I do for every page that I work on. I'm sure the majority of other users do it the same way. As for the "who is x to say" rhetorical turn, which "collectively developed reasoned standards of correctness and appropriateness" are you using to remove names. It seems to me that you are presuming that you have some authority or ultimate objective viewpoint when you take out indidividuals that you don't deem noteworthy. You need to try to practice what you preach. But this is beating the issue to death. I've already discussed this with you on other issues, I admire your persistence, but I question your motives in constantly changing the page. What is your endgoal in editing the page? What kind of information would you like it to contain? These are important questions for you to answer so that we can understand what kind of point of view you are bringing to editing in general, as well as the page specifically. Asedzie 3:46, 01 August 2006 (UTC)

I think I've said this before, so I apologize if I'm repeating myself. I think a good article on Occidental or anything else is one that doesn't reveal the particular interests and background of the authors. If someone were commissioned to write an article about Occidental for, say, a college guide, and one wanted to include something about notable alums, one would have to do some research. It wouldn't be o.k. to just include the things one came across in casual reading. That's because one's casual reading may be selective and not comprehensive. If my main interest is folk-rock of the early 60s, my famous alum list may be a bit skewed. A good editor will help with things like this. If Wikipedia is just about adding facts to a heap of facts, it really isn't going to result in helpful and informative information. So I guess the problem is that my standards are too high. If no one can make editorial judgments, if it's o.k. to add but never to remove, then let's just pile on the facts. --Ignat 18:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I've removed alums w/o articles from the list. This doesn't, however, mean that everyone with an article is notable. MrVibrating (talk) 07:19, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Edit Links[edit]

Is it just me or are all of the "[edit]" links on the page bunched up under the "Free Speech and Civil Rights" section? Hopefully someone can fix (or explain) this. N1000 17:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

What browser are you using? I find this sometimes happens with Firefox. To fix it, just change the font size using ctrl + or ctrl - --Ignat 03:25, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


As wikipedia's standards for citing sources get ever tighter, articles like this become problematic because there are no sources proffered to establish that all these alums actually went to Occidental.-Dmz5*Edits**Talk* 17:14, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed your tag for several reasons. First, this is one of thousands of college articles with this problem. Why single it out for a tag that references are needed? If you want to do this you will have to put tags on every college article that doesn't individually cite every alumnus - Oberlin, Macalester, Middlebury, Humboldt State, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, etc., etc., etc.. Second, every one of the biographies for those people has Occidental listed as the person's college. There's another 50 or so articles you will either have to tag or do research for sources and cite. If you are up to the task of finding all of the citations for these people that went to these colleges and citing it in their bios, go for it, I applaud you. Otherwise, I don't think you should tag only one article with the references tag to show that all colleges need to have their alumni properly cited from now on. But I'd have to say that I agree that this will be a problem for every single one of these articles in the future.Cinxin 14:40, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Complete Overhaul[edit]

Occidental's page is pretty weak compared to other colleges of its size and stature. It could definitely use more picture and more information about its history and buildings. Is there any way to do this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jkfp2004 (talkcontribs) 23:21, 13 May 2007 (UTC).

I did as best I could to expand this article. Hope it's alright. Notecardforfree 23:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Just started working on this overhaul. Main issue now is fixing broken links. Would appreciate help! :) Retrospector87 (talk) 21:38, 22 June 2012 (UTC)


What is the Latin name of the school? Because "Occidental" by itself only means Western, not "heart". Second, I am curious how diverse the school's offerings are - I attend the School of Oriental and African Studies which is quite intentionally *not* a school of Occidental (Western) studies. Does Oxy cover Eastern topics? LordAmeth 12:05, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

You are quite right about Occidental's Latin name. I was misinformed when I wrote the introduction and have since corrected the error. The school offers a wide range of studies, both of the west and of the east. One of the school's goals is to create a cross-cultural awareness and perspective for its students. Incidentally, the school's motto is "Occident Proximus Orient." Hope that was of some help. Notecardforfree 19:00, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I was just curious. ^_^ LordAmeth 22:56, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
But what is the Latin name? And what does "West of the Now" mean? (talk) 04:28, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
That motto, Occidens Proximus Orienti means "The West is nearest the East", according to their website. And because the article makes a claim about a Latin name with nothing to back it up, I zapped it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 04:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Added the "Peacock" tag...[edit]

This article suffers from promotionalism -- it reads like a brochure from beginning to end. See the page for what to avoid and how to avoid it.

Also, it seems to contain somewhat trivial, nonencyclopediac information, such as the detailed description of the curriculum -- there's nothing particularly noteworthy I see in that. Ex0pos (talk) 23:06, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Debate over Obama's Alumni status[edit]

It has been asserted that Obama is not an alumni of Occidental. That is simply not true--numerous sources acknowledge his alumni status at Occidental, chief among them the Los Angeles Times, one of the nation's most respected newspapers.

Purplebackpack89 (talk) 05:12, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Obama's status as an alumnus depends entirely on the definition of alumnus that is used. In a strict traditional definition Obama is not an alumnus since he did not graduate. The definition has expanded in modern times and now includes non graduates so Obama should stay (see Wikipedia article on alumni). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Obama in the opener[edit]

Why do people keep deleting it? I, for one, feel that it's important enough to be in the opener, which is meant to be a summary of the entire article, INCLUDING topics covered in other sections. Comments? Purplebackpack89 (talk) 21:44, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Keep Obama in the front summary. He's the most noteworthy figure to have attended Occidental. (talk) 01:30, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

This does not belong in the intro. See other schools' pages for standard operating procedure (the Andover and Yale intros, for example, do not mention Bush).WildlifeAnalysis (talk) 18:50, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Rankings and reputation[edit]

I find it difficult to classify a college that is ranked 33rd and 86th respectively in two polls as being one of the "top" colleges. There have obviously been several notable people that have attended, but this school didn't even make the Top 20 in a poll of only Liberal Arts colleges in the United States, and 88th overall? That isn't exactly "exclusive", and this needs to be reworded. SeanNovack (talk) 19:20, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

It's in the top 100. ;) But we should avoid academic boosterism. See Wikipedia:College and university article guidelines for suggestions on how articles like this should look.   Will Beback  talk  20:26, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
In examining the article more closely it really did appear to be written by the recruiting department for the school. I have removed some of the more flowery rhetoric and corrected the poll to state that it is tied for 36th place on the Liberal Arts College list, instead of "33rd". I'll take look at it when I have more leisure and try to even everything out. Thanks! SeanNovack (talk) 20:58, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

File:Jack Kemp - Library of Congress, Congressional Portrait Collection.gif Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Merger complete[edit]

  YesY Merger complete. All information from KOXY has been merged into this article, per the merge result of the AfD discussion located at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/KOXY. Northamerica1000(talk) 05:28, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Sexual misconduct controversy[edit]

Two Wikipedia editors - ElKevbo and EB423 - are adding contentious and unbalanced material at this entry regarding handling of sexual misconduct issues at Occidental College. It appears that they are using Wikipedia to actively debate these issues. They have been non-responsive to efforts to talk about the issue of neutrality and balance in this article, and simply add back material to this entry that has been deleted for lack of neutrality and balance. Their initial entries were not deleted by this editor nor has their emphasis on concerns about handling of sexual misconduct been changed. Neutrality was re-established by the addition of information on how Occidental has made changes in policies and procedures to respond to the concerns about this issue. Then these editors have added copious further contentious material once again unbalancing the article. Their entries are not neutral, and the references are questionable. This argumentation has created an inappropriate emphasis on recent and controversial events that is out of proportion to the span of history covered in an article about a 126-year-old institution.

These same two editors have applied a similar process to the biography of Occidental President Jonathan Veitch, violating the three core Wikipedia policies for biographies of living persons. When neutrality is restored, they simply add back their unbalanced material.

Perhaps the solution is to remove the entries for Occidental College and its president from Wikipedia completely, and start over with neutral and proportional information on the college and its president.


Globalglo (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 18:13, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm not directly involved in these edits, but I don't agree that having a fair amount of material related to the college's handling of sexual assaults in 'unbalanced'. People are more interested in recent events than in history, for the most part. In a Google search for 'Occidental College' (not news, just the name of the college) 11 of the first 50 results related to sexual assault issues. Less than 20% of the article is about sexual assault so I'd say we're in balance. Similarlyy re. Mr Veitch. ChengduTeacher (talk) 11:15, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I've pared it down a little, and retitled the section. It seems undue relative to the rest of the history section; there is more about the sexual assault controversy than there is about Oxy's history from 1960 to 2013. It also goes into detail inappropriate for this type of article. If more detailed coverage is desired, it should be split into a separate article rather than crowding out this one pbp 16:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Occidental was one of the first US colleges to be publicly engaged in controversies over sexual assault. At that time, the controversy at Occidental was relatively unique, and perhaps deserved considerable space on the College's Wikipedia page. Now, many US institutions of higher learning are the subject of such controversies, and most of them (e.g. University of Virginia) have nothing about this on their Wikipedia pages. The debate has moved into the mainstream media and public policy, and such a contentious current debate has no place on the Wikipedia pages of individual institutions. It is simply an invitation to what has happened on this Wikipedia page, with arguments back and forth, additions, deletions, ad infinitum. One of the contributors is actually using Occidental's Wikipedia page to call, by name, for the firing of a specific sitting administrator, which is extremely inappropriate. Wikipedia has flagged this page as unbalanced and argumentative.

A web search of Occidental College now lists zero items on sexual assault among the first 10 items that come up. To address the flag placed on this Wikipedia article, I propose to eliminate this entire section on sexual assault controversies. This will be done in one week if no one presents a persuasive argument as to why Occidental should be singled out when virtually every higher education institution in the US is now the subject of controversy about sexual assault. Globalglo (talk) 22:58, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

My Web search on Google shows result number 8 as "Inside the Sexual Assault War at Occidental College". In results 11-20 I see: "Sexual Assault Injustice at Occidental", "Occidental College Sexual Assault Response Subject of Federal Complaints", "College Shelved More Sexual Assault Reports - Los Angeles Times", and "Occidental Sexual Assault - Business Insider". Do I really have to go on?
There are over 5,000 universities in the US, but only about 50 under active investigation by the Federal Office of Civil Rights for Title 9 violations relative to sexual assault. So your argument above is not supported by the facts.ChengduTeacher (talk) 08:53, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll be keeping a close eye on this page in future. These repeated wholesale deletions don't smell right to me. I'd like to ask GlobalGlo: do you have any significant connection to Occidental College (alumnus, staff, PR rep...)? For the record, I don't.ChengduTeacher (talk) 10:00, 29 January 2015 (UTC)