Two summers ago, I visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Rihanna's dress was on display, which is sort of like putting Joe Namath's jersey on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame. It doesn't really belong.
In recent times, our national conversation on education has been too focused on the race for scarce jobs and fears of our decline in the global race to the top. If somebody else wins we lose. It's now a global a zero sum game.
The incoming students know the university's written policies (or at least are told what they are or where to find them) but tend to be curious about the informal rules. What do people wear to class? Can we eat during class? Should I have a separate notebook for my labs and lectures?
French sociologist Emile Durkheim gave a name to crowd loneliness: "anomie." That state of mind was believed to be often at the root of social unrest. So this condition is not altogether new, but the Internet may have amped it up a few notches.