News briefs: Shop the mall without leaving home

By Jenette Sturges

For most University students, shopping at Marketplace Mall usually involves a bus trip across town. But now shoppers can check for sales and merchandise without leaving their living rooms.

Marketplace Mall is the first shopping center in the Champaign area to offer an online service that allows shoppers to collectively search all of the mall’s stores via the Internet. While online, consumers can also choose to “reserve this product,” ensuring that selected items are available and waiting in the right size and color before going into the store and picking them up. While in the mall, SMS feeds will allow shoppers to use their cell phones to find the nearest store offering a specific product.

To search the mall from your couch, go to www.marketplacemall.com and click on “product search.”

New York Times hosts essay contest for students eager to defend colleges

“College as America used to understand it is coming to an end.”

Or so says historian and author Rick Perlstein. His essay suggests that campuses today have lost their central role in society, and MTVu and The New York Times would like to offer college students the chance to rebut.

Students are encouraged to visit www.nytimes.com/essay, read the essay, and write a response. The winning essay will appear in the Sept. 30 issue of New York Times Magazine, and the winner will be featured on MTVu.

For more information, go to www.nytimes.com/essay. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 6.

State bill would create new program for remedial students

A bill recently passed through the State Senate aims to reduce the need for remedial level classes for incoming college students by closing the learning gap senior year.

Senate Bill 858 would call for the Illinois Community College Board to create a three-year pilot project to diagnose college readiness in high school students and work to align high school and college curricula. The assessments of student readiness would be based on ACT scores, and those students with suffering scores would work on areas needing improvement during their senior year of high school. The program is aimed at helping students who would otherwise have to take non-credit remedial coursework during their freshman year.

“I am confident that this program will allow college-bound students to be better prepared for their future,” said State Senator Edward Maloney (D-Chicago).

The bill is supported by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Community College Board, and now moves to the House of Representatives.

Compiled by Jenette Sturges