Responding to employer complaints that its graduates are socially inept and glued to their computers, computer science school Neumont University is forcing its geeky student body to learn some social skills in order to graduate.
Neumont University clearly has no problems churning out top-level talent. It's a college exclusively devoted to advanced studies in computer science, where students have classes for eight hours a day, five days a week all year-round. 90% of grads land jobs three months after graduation, some at companies like Microsoft, IBM and eBay, according to a recent LA Times article.
Here there are no beer cans littering the campus on a Saturday mornings. The hottest parties at Neumont are LAN parties, and Mountain Dew's favored over Natural Light. The student body is 95% male. This is pretty much it. Geek heaven. And it does not smell good.
"The truth is there are people in this school who just don't smell pleasant at all," one of the few female students at Neumont complained on a public forum.
The smell's just part of a bigger problem. Companies that have recruited Neumont graduates have been pleased with their computer skills, but have complained that the students lack basic social skills and suffer from computer addiction. To fix this Neumont's administration is taking drastic measures by forcing students to shut down laptops in class, start social clubs, and take at least three classes in interpersonal communication before they can graduate.
"You have to look up from your computer screens from time to time," pronounced an instructor at one of the classes The LA Times observed. "This will also help you if you're in a relationship."
"We don't have many of those," a student replied.
That's a problem for the school's administration, but it doesn't seem to be one with the student body, who haven't responded well to the administration's efforts to get them away from their computers.
"I might be missing a whole laid-back year of college," student Christina Dessi said. "But my friends at other colleges might not be able to get a job."
And that's a girl saying that.