All posts by Nick DeSantis

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Fraternity Releases Findings on Racist Chant by Oklahoma Chapter

The national office of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on Wednesday released the findings of an investigation into an incident last year at the University of Oklahoma that involved a racist chant sung by members of its chapter there.

Video of the chant, which gained national attention within hours of its release online, fueled twin conversations about race and the role of fraternities in modern student life. Oklahoma’s president, David L. Boren, quickly expelled the two students who were caug…

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Florida State to Pay $950,000 to Settle Title IX Suit by Quarterback’s Accuser

[Updated (1/25/2016, 6:39 p.m.) with more on the disposition of the settlement money.]

Florida State University will pay $950,000 to settle a federal Title IX lawsuit filed by a former student who said she had been raped by a star quarterback for the Seminoles, USA Today reports. The university also agreed to make a five-year commitment to prevention and training programs.

The plaintiff, Erica Kinsman, sued the university a year ago, and in August a judge rejected Florida State’s bid to dismiss …

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Board Chair Blasts Faculty Group for Undermining ‘Drown the Bunnies’ President

The chairman of the Board of Trustees at Mount St. Mary’s University of Maryland on Friday blamed a “small group of faculty” for what he called the “deliberate mischaracterization” of a retention program that recently landed the institution’s president in hot water.

The president, Simon P. Newman, a former businessman, drew intense scrutiny after the campus newspaper published an article asserting that he had said faculty members shouldn’t think of at-risk students as “cuddly bunnies” but …

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Labor Board Will Hear Columbia U. Graduate Students’ Bid to Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday agreed to hear a bid by graduate students at Columbia University to form a labor union.

The full board’s decision to hear the case follows a regional official’s ruling in October that rejected the Columbia students’ union petition. At the time, the regional officer cited a 2004 decision, involving graduate students at Brown University, that has largely blocked such students from forming unions at private colleges. Unions at public colleges are go…

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Higher One to Pay Penalty and Compensate Consumers for Deceptive Practices

The student-debit-card company Higher One and WEX Bank will pay civil penalties and a total of $31 million to some 900,000 consumers over deceptive practices related to their financial products, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced on Wednesday.

The federal regulator said it had concluded that Higher One and WEX Bank omitted key details about a debit-card product known as OneAccount, leading Higher One to improperly collect $31 million in fees from students. The FDIC ordered Highe…

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Title IX Covers Bias Based on Sexual Orientation, Judge Rules

A federal judge in California has ruled that the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX covers discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, finding that such bias falls under the law’s ban on sex- and gender-based discrimination.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the ruling, by Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, allows a lawsuit against Pepperdine University that was filed by two members of its women’s basketball team to proceed. The plaintiffs alleg…

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U.S. Investigates For-Profit Ashford U. Over Marketing to Students

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid is investigating Bridgepoint Education Inc.’s Ashford University over the for-profit college’s marketing practices and other matters, the company said on Thursday in a corporate filing.

Bridgepoint said the federal office was looking into “representations made by Ashford University to potential and enrolled students, and has asked the company and Ashford University to assist in its assessment of Ashford University’s compliance …

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Community College Fires Instructor Over Math Quiz on Pimps and Prostitutes

Portland Community College, in Oregon, has fired an instructor who gave students a mathematics quiz with questions about such topics as pimps, prostitutes, and drug dealing, The Oregonian reported.

The quiz was based on a fake document that has floated around the Internet for years, under names such as the “City of Los Angeles High School Math Proficiency Exam.” Its questions include math problems involving drug dealing, drive-by shootings, and stealing cars.

Some students were offended by the q…

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U. of Colorado Returns Coca-Cola Money Used for Controversial Advocacy Group

The University of Colorado’s medical school is returning a $1-million grant from the Coca-Cola Company after revelations that the money was used to finance a research and advocacy group that urged people to focus more on exercise than how many calories they consume, The New York Times reported.

The group, known as the Global Energy Balance Network, was described in a news release from a wellness center on the university’s medical campus in March as an international network of researchers who wer…

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Supreme Court Will Hear Religious Colleges’ Objections to Contraceptive Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the arguments of religious colleges and other faith-based nonprofit organizations against the contraceptive mandate of President Obama’s signature health-care law, the Associated Press reported.

The Obama administration’s requirement that employers provide access to contraceptives has been deeply controversial among faith-based organizations. They argue that the rule violates their religious beliefs. The administration has tried several times to ac…