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Princeton President Expresses Concern Over Nude Olympics
PRINCETON, N.J. - President Shapiro announced that he is asking Dean of Student Life Janina Montero to examine the future of the Nude Olympics in light of the "serious risks that the Nude Olympics pose." In a strongly worded letter to the editors of The Daily Princetonian, Shapiro cited the high number of students who were taken to McCosh Health Center and Princeton Medical Center as an indication of the event's potentially dangerous nature. He also wrote that college masters reported behavior "that was truly disgraceful and unacceptable." "The reports of that evening sounded, to put it mildly, supremely distressing," Shapiro said in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon. " have the health and the safety of the students in mind. I think it's not the rowdiness I have in mind. It's the severe abuse of alcohol." In his letter, Shapiro indicated that Friday's events necessitated a decisive response. "I am simply not willing to wait until a student dies before taking preventive action," he wrote. Shapiro said he had forwarded descriptions of the Nude Olympics to the Trustees, whose subcommittee on alcohol abuse is preparing to review recommendations recently submitted by campus groups to the Office of the Dean of Student Life. Shapiro said he expects the reports on the Nude Olympics to have an impact on the Trustees' alcohol-initiative discussions. Rockefeller College Master Michael Jennings said he submitted a letter to Shapiro after the Nude Olympics expressing his concerns about the event. "This year's was worse than any of the already bad ones," Jennings said. "The crowd was very inebriated and out of control, and there was unacceptable public sexual activity taking place. I interpret the president's letter as an affirmation that we have to shut it down, no matter what the cost," Jennings said. "I advocate the immediate cessation of the Nude Olympics." Jennings explained that he had been concerned for the safety of the students and his staff during the event. "At one point, I made the decision to stand between the runners and the crowd to try to separate them. My assistant masters followed me," he said. "I felt at some points that they were in real danger. I will never do that to my staff again." Undergraduate Student Government president-elect Spencer Merriweather '00, who participated in the event, said he hopes to see a forum for students to express their opinions on the Nude Olympics. "I think there needs to be increased education about it," he said. "When all you know is you're going to run around naked, then there are going to be problems." Merriweather said he thought the students who behaved responsibly enjoyed the event. "Students think it's a tradition worth preserving," he said.
Many accepted early at Yale; More at Harvard
New Haven, Conn. - High school students applying regular decision to Harvard this year might be feeling a little nervous. While Yale offered 529 of the 1445 early applicants a slot at Yale this past December, leaving plenty of room for the regular decision round, Harvard University admissions officers accepted a whopping 1186 out of 4589 applicants. This reserves few spots for regular decision applications to fill Harvard's class size of 1650. Yale's Dean of Admissions, Richard Shaw, said Harvard's high admissions yield - roughly 85 percent of students accept an offer of admission to Harvard -- will cause problems for applicants in the regular decision round. "It's certainly going to be hard on the kids in the spring," Shaw said. Shaw added that roughly 40 percent of Yale's class will be early admittance students. Last year, Harvard accepted 48 percent of its class early. While Harvard uses a non-binding early action program, Harvard's admissions yield and the simultaneous 14 percent increase in letters of acceptance will most likely cause Harvard to accept more than half the class of '03 early. At other Ivy League schools, administrators said Harvard's large number of accepted early applicants will cause no problems for high school students. Cornell University Director of Undergraduate Admissions Nancy Hargrave Meislahn said she believes Harvard's large number of acceptances is simply an independent decision that does not reflect any systemic problem of early admissions. "I see that as an institutional decision," Meislahn said. She added that Cornell accepted roughly a third of its early applications and that Cornell has "been on the conservative side of things." While early applications to Yale increased by 9.2 percent this year and resulted in a one percent increase in the early applicant admissions rate, Harvard's early applicant pool increased by 17.3 percent, causing a one percent drop in its early applicant acceptance rate. Shaw said the early crop for the class of '03 "is self-electing and very strong," He added that the average SAT score for the students Yale accepted is 1470. "On the old scale they would be lower, but they are all in the 99th percentile of the nation," Shaw said. The accepted early applicants also comprise 269 public high school, 77 boarding school, 135 day school, and 34 religious school students.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY (The Daily Free Press)
BU Loses Top International Rank
BOSTON, Mass. -- Boston University lost its billing as the top American school for foreign students, a distinction it held since 1994, according to a report released last month. The report, conducted by the Institute for International Education, showed New York University edged out BU to claim the highest number of international students enrolled during the 1997-1998 academic year. But BU administrators said this week they are not concerned about the news. The university has deliberately reduced its incoming international classes to make room for more domestic students, said Riaz Khan, assistant vice president for external programs. "Every year we decide how many domestic and international students we'd like to recruit, and for this year and last year we got the number we wanted. We aren't in any way below our target," he said. BU boasted 4,603 foreign students last year, 361 less than NYU, the report states. The report was compiled from questionnaires sent to 2,571 institutions. Its rankings are based on the number of full- and part-time students enrolled during the 1997-1998 academic year. BU's foreign student population dropped 1.16 percent from fall 1996 to fall 1997, according to the International Students and Scholars Office. Statistics for this year were not yet available. Enrollment in BU's Center for English Language Orientation Program, a non-degree program that helps foreigners tune their speaking skills, fell by more than 200 this year, in part because of the economic crisis that has plagued Asia, Kahn said. Khan also attributed the drop at BU to the higher admission standards in the School of Management, which raised minimum scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Four hundred forty-nine international students were enrolled in the college during the 1997-98 school year. The dethroning of BU as the top international institution is not surprising, said Todd Davis, director of research at the Institute for International Education. "This isn't a 'We're number one' kind of thing,"he said. "BU has a major international commitment to education, but it may very well wish to cap its enrollment. You want a mix, and international students are an element of that mix." And BU is not alone in its decision to do so. Tougher requirements for transfers decreased the number of foreign students at the University of Southern California in 1996, International Student Office Director Dixon Johnson said. USC ranked fourth in the survey. In 1992, Texas placed a cap on the number of non-residents who could pursue certain fields of study at state colleges. The study also showed that Midwestern schools have become more attractive to foreign students, while New England saw slower growth rates.
Study shows 72 percent of student-athletes gamble
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After a semester marked with incidents of illegal gambling among college athletes across the nation, a report released Monday confirms what many have feared: the number of athletes who gamble is higher than previously thought. The report, conducted and funded by the Michigan Athletic Department, states that 72 percent of student athletes who answered the survey have gambled in some way since entering college. More specifically, 42 percent of male athlete respondents gamble on sports, the report states. The term gambling can include anything from playing cards for money to betting on horses or dogs to taking money for purposely losing a game, the report states. One seemingly low statistic is of great concern to the study's authors, Mike Cross and Ann Vollano, assistant directors for compliance in the Athletic Department. They found that more than 5 percent of male student athlete respondents have provided inside information for gambling purposes, bet on a game in which they participated or accepted money for performing poorly in a game. "Five percent might not sound like a lot, but to me, that statistic should be zero," Vollano said. NCAA rules strictly prohibit gambling on sports for which the NCAA sponsors a championship. Although many of the gambling practices covered in the report are legal in the United States, gambling has proven to be an addictive practice for some people, Cross said. "Society has gotten to be so accepting of gambling," he said. "Gambling is like alcoholism or drug use - you don't know you have a problem until you try it the first time." Mike Stevenson, senior associate athletic director, said the pervasive occurrence of gambling among athletes surprised him. "It is absolutely a serious problem for intercollegiate athletes," he said. "Billions of dollars will probably be bet on the Super Bowl. This is something that is deeply ingrained in our culture." Although the report was meant to indicate the frequency of gambling throughout nation, Stevenson said the University community should not overlook the results. "It would be naive to think it couldn't happen here," he said. The report collected data from members of the football and men's and women's basketball teams at all Division I-A schools in the NCAA. In all, 3,000 students from 182 institutions were asked to participate. The survey's response rate was 25.3 percent. The survey's most strikingstatistic: Student athletes who gambled on sports with bookmakers gamble an average of $225 per month.
Secret Service Investigates Counterfeiting at OU
ATHENS, Ohio -- After a search of his Wilson Hall room turned up more than $5,000 worth of fake $20 bills, an Ohio University freshman is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service for allegedly making and passing counterfeit money. John J. Swieton, 19, was charged Jan. 7 with carrying a false or altered identification and forgery, according to Athens County Municipal Court records. The case was brought before Athens Municipal Court Judge Doug Bennett Jan. 8 and then was dismissed when the state showed interest in it. The state no longer has jurisdiction and Swieton now could be charged on the federal level, Bennett said. The Secret Service is investigating the incident but cannot discuss it because it is active, Shawn Young, a Secret Service spokeswoman, said yesterday from Washington, D.C. The Athens Police Department recently investigated complaints filed by local businesses that Sweiton, of Clarendon Hills, Ill., allegedly passed counterfeit $20 bills. "One of the businesses had spotted one of the counterfeit bills being issued and gave a description [of Swieton]. A uniformed officer located him then," APD Investigator Jeff Gura said. Through communication with other Uptown businesses, Taco Bell General Manager Carmaletha Byrd said her store received word to watch for counterfeit money being passed. Two more counterfeit incidents occurred in Athens this month, but neither have been traced to Swieton. Hocking Valley Bank reported counterfeit $20 bills were received in a deposit on Jan. 6 and another counterfeit $20 bill was received at Red Wagon early last week.
INDIANA UNIVERSITY (Indiana Daily Student)
IU Student Association Considers Minimum GPA
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Student Association might add itself to the list of campus organizations requiring good grades. When IUSA redrafted its Elections Code last semester, authors included a controversial clause requiring a minimum grade point average for executive candidates and good standing for members of Congress. The IUSA Supreme Court met Monday night to rule on the constitutionality of the requirement. A decision is expected to be handed down tonight. In the first Supreme Court hearing of the spring semester, IUSA executives voiced their support, and Congress members stated their concern regarding the GPA restrictions found in the new Elections Code. Senior Matthew Muterspaugh, former IUSA organization affairs chair, petitioned the court Dec. 3 and requested a hearing challenge regarding the clause that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and requiring executives to have a minimum 2.5 GPA. In his opening statements to the court, Muterspaugh stated his strong opposition to the clause. "Limiting representatives to students only doing well in classes makes it more difficult for students with lower GPAs to be represented," he said. "It's that limitation that is a fundamental part of why this is wrong." IUSA treasurer Kate Schroeder, a senior, said the clause is very relevant to any student wishing to hold an office in IUSA. "My opinion of currently holding an office is that you need a high level of academic ability," she said. "It requires a lot of work and you want responsible and diligent student body representatives." Schroeder also stated the new requirement gives students fair warning and ample opportunity to maintain the minimum GPA. "Everyone starts with a blank slate, and you have a choice and the opportunity to make a 2.5," she said. "If you don't make a 2.5, you limited yourself." Associate Justice Erick Watt-Udogu said he was concerned with setting a discrimination precedent. "What would be next? A grad student not being able to run because they have no time or an honors student because they need a 4.0," he said. Senior Brad Preamble, IUSA vice president for Congress, said the court needed to address the constitutionality of the clause and not debate hypotheticals. He also said the GPA requirement by no means limits a student's involvement. "This clause doesn't prohibit individuals from being involved within IUSA, and I want to stress that very much," he said. Current elections coordinator Christy Short -- who will author the application fo candidacy -- stated that students will not have to publicly disclose their GPAs, but the administrator overseeing IUSA would determine their eligibility.
Law Students Compete for National Title
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Court will soon be in session for three University of Nebraska law students - again. The moot court team of Wendy DeBoer, Shannon Doering and Terry Meinecke will argue a case they have argued 11 times before when the team competes for a moot court national title Jan. 25 to Jan. 28 in New York. "The team probably won't spend as much time preparing as they have in the past," said John Lenich, associate professor in the NU College of Law. "They will face the same case in the nationals that they have in other competitions." Moot court team members are hoping this repetitiveness will aid in their quest to win the national title. NU moot court teams have advanced to the national rounds of the tournament seven of the past 10 years, but Nebraska has not won the title since 1953. But knowing this doesn't appear to taint the confidence of the team. "There is no doubt about it that we can win the nationals," said DeBoer, who was named best oral advocate in the final round of regionals in November. DeBoer believes the team has the talent and the chemistry to carry itself to success this year. "Although we are different types of people, we complement each other very well as a team," she said. "The variety in our styles of argument help us as we face the judges." The case the team will argue involves a person who claims to be disabled in order to receive state benefits, while at the same time making a non-disabled claim to his or her employer in order to keep a job. The NU team advanced to the national rounds by defeating the University of Kansas team in the final round of regional competition held Nov. 20 and Nov. 21 in Kansas City, Mo. Nebraska also received the award for best written brief in the competition. Of 208 teams from 143 law schools nationwide who enter regionals, only the top 28 teams advance to nationals where competition is stiff.
South Florida Students Protest Discrimination Policy
TAMPA, Fla. -- When University of South Florida President Betty Castor asked for a state university policy banning sexual-orientation discrimination, she may not have foreseen the controversy it would cause. Her proposal stalled at a recent Board of Regents meeting, when Chancellor Adam Herbert said it did not have the authority to ban that type of discrimination. Supporters around the state refuse to let it die. Students and faculty from universities around the state will trek to the Florida Education Building in Tallahassee in the coming weeks to protest the BOR's decision. R.J. Thompson, co-president of USF's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Coalition, said he hopes to change the regents' minds. His organization plans to unfurl a large scroll listing more than 300 colleges and universities around the country which protect against this type of discrimination and lay it on the front steps of the BOR's office. "We're holding it to help the chancellor and the BOR understand why they can make it happen, even though they say that it is just a legislative matter," Thompson said. "Since it wasn't on their agenda (at last week's meeting), we had no prior knowledge. We could have let our wishes be known then." At a Jan. 21 meeting, Herbert briefly announced that the State University System did not have legal authority to include sexual orientation as a protected class in anti-discrimination policy language. "State law is very specific with regard to state agencies and we cannot provide protections that are not specifically authorized by the state Legislature," Herbert said last week. Regent spokesman Keith Goldschmidt said the BOR could not institute such a policy until the Legislature adopts its own anti-discrimination policy language. "The Legislature would have to change the law or create the law that would protect sexual orientation, and then we would be able to write our policy off of that," Goldschmidt said. Thompson said there are several university systems that have enacted similar policies without similar protections in state statutes. "There are public universities across the country that have enacted these policies, even ones whose states didn't have the laws for it - like University of Georgia," Thompson said. "Another point is the Florida Administrative Code bans that kind of discrimination, and it's included in the Florida Hate Crimes Law. Those are examples of state agencies making the policies." In 1990, Florida International University President "Mitch" Maidique requested a policy similar to Castor's. His request was denied, as were similar requests in 1991 and 1992 by the office of the chancellor.
MSU Professor Defends Human Cloning
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Elizabeth Price Foley has no doubt her client will clone a human being. "He's extremely intelligent, and he fits the profile of the mad scientist because he talks so far above most mortals' heads that it can be intimidating," Foley said. "He knows how smart he is, and I have no doubt in my mind that he has the intellectual capability to do what he says he'll do and that's to be the first doctor to clone a human." Foley, a Detroit College of Law at MSU associate professor and lawyer who specializes in bioethics and health care law, advises Richard Seed, an Illinois physicist who has said he plans to open a cloning clinic. Last spring, Michigan become the second state to ban human cloning. "The ban is definitely a knee-jerk reaction," Foley said. "Michigan jumped the gun on this. The bill was passed to win political points because people are so afraid of the sci-fi prospects of human cloning that they demanded that their elected reps do something. The ramifications aren't going to have a positive effect in the state. There was research that could have been done. I hate to see a chilling-effect law like this in the books." The Food and Drug Administration has said it has the power to block scientists who try to clone people. Foley said the administration threatened Seed with a cease-and-desist order. "It called for him to stop his experimentation, or they would criminally prosecute him," she said. "We'll ask for a declaratory judgment, asking for the judge to declare that the FDA doesn't have the authority. So far, the FDA has backed off, and so we are waiting and seeing." Seed sought Foley's legal advice after hearing her in a 1997 National Public Radio interview. They have worked together ever since. Right to Life of Michigan is the most vocal supporter of the ban in the state. Many fears about cloning are unfounded, said Leonard Fleck, an MSU medical ethics and philosophy professor. "All the scare stories propagated are the products of feared individuals with no connection to the world," he said. "Somebody has the fear that someone can clone a thousand Hitlers or a thousand Michael Jordans, and they don't realize that's not how cloning works." Before she came to DCL, Foley ranked first in her class at the University of Tennessee College of Law. At DCL, she teaches classes about civil procedure, evidence, health care law, and food and drug law. Ashaki Fitzpatrick, a third- year DCL student and Foley's former student, called Foley impressive and brilliant. "She is very insightful and cares about her students," Fitzpatrick said. "She is a walking wealth of knowledge. She has a passion that comes through in the classroom and the students respond to that."
Villanova Students Voice Privacy Concerns
VILLANOVA, Penn. -- Could it be? Does a new web site really exist that displays not only the names but the faces of fellow classmates? On Jan. 10, students at Villanova University returned for the spring semester and discovered the latest rumor: you can preview your classmates via the internet! The buzz spread quickly and before the day was over, most students and teachers had already utilized this innovation and had much to say about their discoveries. Most students believed the web site to be a positive addition to the new and improved University network. Senior Aly Ward said, "I love the new site. I wish they always had this kind of technology in the past because I loved finding out who's in my classes ahead of time." Professor Belkin of the math department also benefited from the site. She exclaimed, "I loved having a face to go with each name on my class roster. I was able to memorize the names of my students faster and feel that I will be able to establish better relationships with them because of it." So what happened to it? The obvious advantages of the web site produced widespread positive reactions. Why did this ever-popular site all of a sudden become inaccessible? When questioned about the disappearance, a representative from University Information Technologies (UNIT) stated that the site was taken away due to the complaints of the students that did not want their picture on the site. Complaints were mostly self-conscious concerns about their Wildcard photographs. Freshman Mike Nowell complained, "I have by far the ugliest picture on that web site, so nobody should feel bad about theirs." Nowell and most students realized this site does not present anything different from the freshmen student record book ("the meet book") already accomplishes. Students would only be able to view their classmates who they will already be seeing multiple times each week. Even the students who were indifferent to the web site could find at least one positive aspect about it. Freshman Wayne Thomas said, "I always have trouble remembering the names of everyone in my classes. So if I do forget someone's name, I could look up the person and avoid what would have been a very awkward situation." UNIT and the designers of the web site are also aware of its positive effects and are attempting to bring it back. The representative from UNIT said they are hoping to provide students with the option of having their pictures on the site, similar to the process of creating the student recordbook. They hope the process will be done quickly, but do not have a specific date set for the return of the site.
Missouri Reinstate Minority Tuition Waiver
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri's minority community, which took a major blow with the September announcement of cuts in minority scholarships, recently received good news. After eliminating the out-of-state tuition waiver and cutting three minority scholarships by $1,000 each, MU administrators decided to reinstate the tuition waiver. The Brooks, Diversity and Transition awards will all be cut $1,000 for incoming freshmen, but non-Missouri residents will not have to pay the out-of-state tuition. "I said that if we believe this program wouldn't work, something would be changed," said Michael Middleton, deputy chancellor and vice provost for minority affairs. After the announcement of the scholarship cuts, Middleton and other administrators began to investigate what the outcome of the cuts might be. "I'm not going to sit in this office the year that our minority admission gets cut in half, Middleton said. He began hearing complaints from the black students here even though some administrators still believed the plan would work. "They really believed that the minority kids we were getting from, say, Chicago, could easily be replaced by kids from St. Louis," Middleton said. "And surely the politicians of Missouri would prefer that we give the minority scholarships to kids from within the state." Middleton still had doubts about not giving out-of-state minority students a chance to attend MU, so he asked someone to find out how many high- school graduates in Missouri have the credentials to receive a minority scholarship. "The numbers were brought back to me, and we couldn't do it," he said. "A huge number of our African-American scholarship recipients are out of state. We could not make up for that loss with qualified in-state minority students. We'd be dipping down into the 16 to 18 range of ACT scores. The retention rate of minority students would plummet." MU administrators made their decision to reinstate the waiver right before winter break but decided not to go public with it. Instead, they chose to inform some minority and prospective minority students. Freshman Jeffery Beckham was happy to hear the MU minority community will not be depleted next year. "I'm elated with the fact that the university thought the minority student standing wasn't going to be sufficient without the waiver," Beckham said. "It's a good thing that we can keep the diversity and the multicultural atmosphere of MU. "We live in a diversified world. Therefore we need to represent that in our schooling." Middleton said the university does not expect the $1,000 cut in minority scholarships to affect most of the incoming scholarship recipients because the students will be able to receive money through need-based grants.
Bill To Give D.C. Students Nationwide Tuition Cut
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- In an effort to make out-of-state college tuition more affordable for Washington, D.C. residents, Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-11th, has announced plans to introduce a bill to Congress providing D.C. students with in-state tuition rates for state universities across the nation. If the proposal were passed into law, the federal government would fund the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition at any state university. The proposal still is in the planning stages, and Davis has not determined yet whether the tuition reduction would apply to private schools. Because the federal government would pay the difference in cost between in- state and out-of-state tuition, "the proposal would not impact state funds," Davis spokesman Trey Hardin said. The program would cost about $7 million annually, Hardin said. "The proposal hasn't been submitted officially as a bill; there is still a lot of time to work out the details," he said. Davis has not determined yet how to administer the project. "It is possible that there is already an agency within the government that could handle" the program's management, Hardin said. Under the proposal, D.C. residents would not be given preferential treatment as in-state residents during the admissions process. Larry Groves, University of Virginia associate dean of admissions, said admissions at the University probably would not be affected. The proposal "definitely would give D.C. residents more options," said Ronné Patrick, associate director of admissions at the University of Maryland. "D.C. students don't have the benefit of having a comprehensive state school system. We definitely would support the proposal." However, some University students expressed doubts about fairness of the program. Kevin Mohatt, a second-year College student and New York resident said he felt the program seemed unfair. "I think [D.C. students] should pay what all the other out-of-state students pay," Mohatt said. "I live fifteen minutes away from D.C. but I will not get the benefit," first-year College student Jennifer Kim said. But Kim, a Maryland resident, said she also saw the positive aspects of the proposal. "In a way it is fair because a lot of D.C. students may be at a disadvantage in terms of schooling, and the tuition break would be good for them," Kim said. University tuition and required fees for a Virginia resident totals $4,827, whereas out-of-state students pay $15,775 per year. "This is an exciting idea that is going to be pursued. But, we still need some time to fill in the gaps," Hardin said. #

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