The FBI arrested a student at Loyola University New Orleans last week after she sent e-mails to the campus police threatening to blow up a building and kill five professors, The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper, reports. Evelyn Hubbard, a junior biology major, told the authorities that she had sent the messages to avoid taking a test on the morning of November 17 in the building, Monroe Hall. Investigators eventually tracked the e-mails back to Ms. Hubbard, who said she had never planned to injure or kill anyone and thought the messages were more of a joke, according to an FBI affidavit. She is currently free on bond and still enrolled at Loyola. If convicted, she would face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Author Archives: Lacey Johnson
A professor at the U.S. Naval Academy has accused the institution of inflating its application numbers in order to appear more selective and thus rise in national rankings like those compiled by U.S. News & World Report. Students who applied to a weeklong Summer Seminar and candidates who never completed their applications are included in the academy’s annual tally of applicants, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the professor, Bruce Fleming. The Class of 2015 was reportedly chosen from 19,145 applicants, but only 5,720 people actually completed applications, according to the documents, which Mr. Fleming gave to the Navy Times. That means the academy’s 7.4-percent acceptance rate is actually closer to 25 percent. The academy defended its approach, saying it has used this method of counting applicants for at least 20 years. Mr. Fleming, an English professor, has been a longtime critic of the academy’s admissions policies.
Yeshiva University’s student government has voted to withdraw financial support from a student newspaper, YU Beacon, after it published a literary article about a sexual encounter by a female student, The Wall Street Journal reports. In the article, which appeared this week, the anonymous writer describes her transformation from an “occasionally-cute-modern-orthodox-girl” into a “sexually-appealing-secular-woman” while meeting a Jewish man in a hotel room for sex. Many students at the university, an educational flagship of Orthodox Judaism, were upset by the article and posted negative comments. According the newspaper’s Web site, it will continue to operate independently of the university. A co-editor, Toviah Moldwin, said today that he would leave his position because he had “become uncomfortable remaining at the forefront of The Beacon,” reports the New York Daily News.
In response to the recent death of a drum major in Florida A&M University’s marching band, Gov. Rick Scott is asking the state’s university presidents to re-evaluate their hazing and harassment policies, the Associated Press reported. The governor, a Republican, wrote a letter on Thursday to Chancellor Frank T. Brogan, who oversees the 11 institutions in Florida’s university system, saying that hazing should be strictly condemned. The drum major, Robert Champion, died on November 19 from what local authorities have called hazing-related injuries. Several investigations are currently under way, and four unnamed students have been dismissed from the university, the AP reported, although it declined to say what they had done.
Student-body leaders at more than a dozen colleges across the country announced their support of free assembly and expression in a YouTube video uploaded on Saturday, in response to police officers’ use of force against demonstrators on the University of California at Berkeley’s campus this month. The students in the video are on a trip together in Russia and said they wanted to show solidarity with the Occupy Cal protesters, who are part of a national Occupy Colleges movement.
The students also voiced support for a solidarity march that took place before a Stanford vs. California football game on Saturday night. The video does not mention an incident on the university’s Davis campus last Friday in which peaceful student protesters were pepper-sprayed by a police officer, probably because the video was recorded before that incident.
College students are more likely to think about smoking when they are partying, drinking, or working, according to a study in the journal Substance Use & Misuse. After examining the smoking patterns of fraternity and sorority members during three fall semesters, researchers at the University of Missouri also found that overall student smoking declined as each semester wore on. But the rate of smoking increased on weekends. The study is part of a larger research project published in Preventive Medicine. The authors believe the findings can be used to design smoking-prevention efforts at colleges.
Despite the widely publicized rising sticker prices on tuition, about two-thirds of the increase in the cost of attending a four-year college from 2000 to 2009 came from nontuition sources, such as books and off-campus room and board, according to a report released on Thursday by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The average amount that students paid, after subtracting savings from scholarships and grants, increased by nearly $3,000, while net tuition prices grew by only about $1,000 over roughly the same period. The overall cost to attend a two-year college also grew, by $1,333, despite the fall of net tuition prices by $849. The authors of the report suggest that more needs to be done to control nontuition costs related to college. The report’s estimates are based on data from the U.S. Department of Education.
A 2010 graduate of the University of California at Davis has filed a lawsuit accusing administrators of ignoring his complaints about being sexually abused and hazed during a fraternity initiation in 2008, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The former student, Ryan Clifford, says he was drugged, molested, punched, and forced to drink “inordinate amounts” of alcohol. The events, he says, resulted in his having a permanent limp from a fractured foot, which required two surgeries. He says he was singled out for abuse because he was a non-Jew pledging a Jewish fraternity. After reporting the incident to university officials, including his academic counselor, professors, and the Office of the Dean of Students, he says he was advised to withdraw from classes. Mr. Clifford also sued the fraternity and one of its members in May 2009; that case is scheduled to go to trial in April.
The Undergraduate Assembly at the University of Pennsylvania is being investigated by the administration after allegations of hazing were made public in The Daily Pennsylvanian. The student-government group was accused of blindfolding newly elected freshman members, encouraging them to drink alcohol, tying them to chairs, and locking them in a small closet. Two members of the assembly wrote about the hazing rituals in opinion essays published last week. Tyler Ernst, the president, responded in an apologetic letter to the campus newspaper, saying the group had volunteered details of the incidents to the administration and the Office of Student Conduct. Groups found guilty of hazing can lose university recognition, funds, and use of campus facilities.
The University of Charleston, in West Virginia, announced on Wednesday it would cut tuition by 22 percent for entering freshmen and transfer students beginning next fall, from $25,000 to $19,500. The college said the decision was in keeping with its mission to expand access to private higher education to more middle-income families. Returning students have also been promised at least $6,000 each in university aid, which will ensure that no one pays more than $19,500 in tuition. A similar announcement in February of a 10-percent tuition cut at Sewanee: the University of the South later drew criticism from many students, who said they felt mislead because the university also cut merit-scholarship awards, reducing anticipated savings.