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Villanova University bans Cliff+s Notes

April 25, 1997

Villanova University bans Cliff's Notes

James Phillips / The Baylor Lariat

Ben Thomason, a Bastrop, LA., sophomore looks through the Cliff's Notes at the Baylor Bookstore.

By Allison Curlin

Lariat Reporter

Professors have finally won a battle against one of their greatest foes--Cliff's Notes.

The administration of Villanova University, located just outside of Philadelphia, banned the study aids from the campus bookstore, leaving half of its literature section empty.

The Villanova Vice President for Academic Affairs, John Johannes, said in a wire report that he and others told the bookstore to stop selling Cliff's Notes because students need to do 'serious critical and original thinking, rather than working with simplistic study.'

The Cliff's Notes company reacted by placing a full-page advertisement in the Villanova campus newspaper stating that the university's decision was an example of 'book banning and censorship.'

Baylor professors have also voiced their concerns with the booklets.

'I've only had one case where a student used Cliff's Notes,' Dr. Tom Hanks, English professor, said. 'It's obvious if they are plagiarizing. If the language and insight are different from what the student usually uses, you can tell.'

Although many University students use Cliff's Notes, several students said they only use the booklets in addition to the actual text.

'Baylor students are responsible enough and intelligent enough to formulate their own ideas and opinions,' Whitney Daniels, a Katy junior, said. 'They only need Cliffs Notes as a supplement.'

Cara Tareilo, an Arlington junior, said, 'They make my studying more efficient and I can get more from the book using Cliffs Notes as a study aid.'

Lavona Moseley, the trade department manager for the Baylor Bookstore, said sales would 'definitely' suffer if the University administration banned Cliffs Notes on campus.

Moseley did not know the number of Cliffs Notes sold by the bookstore each year, but she said they have the largest selection out of all the local bookstores.

Several faculty members have complained about the availability of Cliffs Notes on campus, but Moseley said 'they've never asked me to do anything about it.'

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