This is an interesting post that the New York Times has about student blogs at M.I.T.
The student blogs have had a substantial effect on life at M.I.T. They've contributed to changes in the housing policy, and have had a dramatic enough impact on incoming freshmen that the bloggers become almost celebrities, as the Times notes.
Cornell has six of it's own student blogs, though I confess that I've not spent as much time reading them as I'd like. I wonder if they have the same impact here? If not, they certainly could.
The article also raises an interesting point about a potential tarnish to a college's image:
"Posting untouched student writing — and comments reacting to that writing — does carry some risks. Boring, sloppily written posts do nothing to burnish an institutional image, college admissions officials say, and there is always the possibility of an inflammatory or wildly negative posting."
College has a somewhat daunting, almost mythical stance in the minds of high school students (it did for me, at least). Student blogs have the positive benefit of humanizing college for prospective students, but they could also damage school reputations. It raises the question of whether or not the risks of student blogs outweigh the benefit. Most colleges seem to have different answers.