Grenades and GTL at Columbia University

First, Snooki was tapped by Rutgers University to inspire those college students. OK, so we chilled out because we thought it was likely a one-time thing.

But now Vinny Guadagnino, also of Jersey Shore infamy, lectured at the prestigious and (supposedly) highly selective Columbia University.

I think I’m going to be sick.

 It was suitably first reported by TMZ that the twenty-something reality-TV personality (nope, not calling him or anyone who fits into this category a star) was invited by a student interning at MTV’s philanthropic organization, Do Something, to pop into Professor Diane Vaughn’s class titled “Mistake, Misconduct, and Disaster” at the revered institution of higher learning.

Vinny, who attended CUNY College of Staten Island and earned a degree in Political Science, talked to the class about anti-bullying, becoming (blockheads) role models of politeness, and (my personal favorite) setting a good example by stopping violence (bar brawls)  from escalating.

Either this was an isolated aberration of the Ivy’s commitment to adhere to and demand a higher standard from those who apply and are (lucky to be) accepted there, or perhaps it’s the result of a star-struck kid wielding her (intern) power to impress her professor.

In either case, both situations (pun, ha!) are a deviation from the lofty academic norm expected from a school of this caliber and its students.

Visit any elementary, middle school, or high school across this country and you’ll see legitimate anti-bullying work carried out by ordinary and professional people with genuine intentions of instilling solid morals and values in students and impressionable kids.  By the time these kids hit college (and for many Columbia is exalted as the Mecca of academia) these kids should already know that GTL is not a lifestyle they should aspire to, and that degrading people by calling them Grenades based on appearances is not universally acceptable.

Having a person like Vinny, who’s seen more ass than a student’s classroom chair, is not going to teach young, well-educated adults anything they haven’t already heard. On the contrary, having these so-called celebs show up at our respected scholarly institutions helps validate this type of ‘occupation’ as a viable option for future careers.

And I’m afraid that for all the Jersey Shore has taught our youth about deviant behavior=fame+fortune, Columbia University isn’t the only highly-regarded college serving up the reality-TV Kool-Aid.

The New York Times reported that just last week, the University of Chicago had an entire (free) conference titled Jersey Shore Studies.

Frankly, though the entertainment industry produces some outstanding programming and has put forth genuinely giving and concerned movie moguls, the cash cow Jersey Shore TV show and cast should not be validated in this manner by our colleges and universities.

There are real students busting their butts to make it into these hallowed halls to be imparted principals that will propel them into the world to hopefully make a positive mark.

However, there could be a silver lining to this education-reality-TV mess. There is now a good chance that other prestigious schools want in on the act so they’re not left behind.

Could Kim Kardashian be the next guest speaker at the Wharton School of Business to teach kids Hollywood’s newest business model, “Getting Rich Off Reality TV: Short Your Wedding Vows”?

Oh, gawd! Someone please pass me a trash can!






  1. […] cast members went to college. Well, sort of. Snooki got paid by Rutgers to inspire their alum, and Vinny showed up at Columbia University to also motivate a class about anti-bullying. (These events are not real accomplishments, but news […]

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