The chorus of disapproval against Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's appearance as guest speaker at Rutgers University earlier this year was evidently not loud enough in the world of academia.
Another reality-TV personality one-upped the petite party girl by addressing scholars at a glorified Ivy League University.
It wasn't Kim Kardashian, thought I imagine she isn't far behind.
Last week, Vinny Guadagnino of "Jersey Shore" infamy, showed up at Professor Diane Vaughn’s class titled “Mistake, Misconduct, and Disaster” at Columbia University to discuss anti-bullying and the importance of being a polite citizen.
It was first reported by TMZ that the "Jersey Shore" thug was apparently invited to class by one of Vaughn's students currently interning at MTV's philanthropic branch, Do Something, where Vinny has been involved doing charity work.
But, before we take sides on the right or wrong side of this anomaly and the finger wagging begins, let's reflect on what Mr. Guadagnino was there to do.
Vinny, who attended CUNY College of Staten Island and earned a degree in political science, talked to the class about bullying, becoming role models of politeness, and (my personal favorite) setting a good example by stopping violence (bar brawls) from escalating.
On the one hand, whether or not a class on "Mistake, Misconduct and Disaster" was trying to embody its title or justify its curriculum is unknown.
On the other, it's worth pointing out that when visiting any elementary, middle school, or high school across this country you will see legitimate anti-bullying work carried out by professional people with genuine intentions of instilling solid morals and values in students at this impressionable age.
Hopefully, by the time these kids hit college they should already know that degrading people by calling them grenades based on appearances is not universally acceptable, and that GTL -- gym, tan, laundry -- is a lifestyle they should not aspire to.
(I hear you. "Chill out! It was just a little fun." "We can tell the difference between reality and reality-TV.")
Whether a visit from Guadagnino to this revered Ivy was necessary or frivolous is something to ponder. The convergence of higher education and our society's obsession with the lucrative life-styles of instant reality-TV-fame have become more than a one-time occurrence.
Last year's SAT essay question was about reality TV, and Snooki was paid more money to speak to students at Rutgers than the Nobel-Prize-winning author for her commencement speech at this same university. The New York Times recently reported that the University of Chicago held a conference titled: "Jersey Shore Studies."
Regardless, either this was an isolated aberration of the Ivy League school's commitment to adhere to, and demand, a higher standard from those who apply and are accepted there, or perhaps the appearance of the reality-TV Guido at one of our nation's elite schools was the result of a star-struck kid wielding her intern clout 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.
Despite that, from the limited reports available regarding Vinny's stint as a guest speaker at Columbia University, it appears he lectured free of charge -- and this could be a good thing.
One day (not soon, hopefully), when Kim Kardashian realizes she too can impart her wisdom on the generation raised on reality-TV she inspires, the fame-seeking icon won't charge for her lecture on how to get wildly rich by releasing a sex tape, living on a reality show, selling her vows, and then disavowing them in 72 days for a mere $18 million.
Conceivably, could this new business model be worthy of a class at one of our nation's top MBA schools?
Don't answer that.