ASHLAND, Ore. – School has begun for college students at Southern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Rogue Community College. Before those students start school, Beloit College releases a list about their political and cultural backgrounds.
On the first day of school, Southern Oregon University students are plugged in, taking calls, listening to music and hitting the web. The incoming freshman, the class of 2016, have never lived a day without Internet; that’s part of the annual Beloit College Mindset List. It’s meant to give professors an idea of the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of their students.
According to the mindset list, the incoming freshman are only familiar with outdated technology because of the icons on their smart phones and tablets. A telephone to make a call, an envelope for email and a floppy disc to save.
David West, Director of Native American Programs at SOU, has taught at the university since the year the incoming freshman were born.
“They are a lot more technologically sound, they have a broader perception of the world because of the world wide web,” West said.
The Mindset List touches on politics, saying the freshman, most likely born in 1994, know more about Hillary Clinton, than her husband. It also talks about pop culture. For this year’s freshman, TV is on the go, there have always been blue M&M’s, and Twilight has more to do with vampires than Rod Serling.
Regardless of the mindset, these freshman, like college freshmen for years, are ready to find their place.