Students Nationwide Carry Mattresses to Protest Campus Rape

Students on college campuses across the country are dragging their mattresses out of their beds as part of a “national day of action” expressing solidarity with survivors of rape.

The demonstrations, united under the slogan “Carry That Weight,” were sparked by a Columbia University senior’s protest, in which she has vowed to drag her mattress with her across the campus until her rapist is expelled. Emma Sulkowicz has been carrying her mattress since August.

Below is a roundup of images from the …


Strife Threatens Occidental College’s Response to Sex Assault, Report Says

Conflict and distrust between activists and the administration threaten Occidental College’s ability to improve how it handles sexual assault, according to a new report.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 130-page audit, sponsored by the institution’s president, Jonathan Veitch, cites at least 45 steps Occidental has taken to improve its procedures for handling reports of sexual assault.

But Caroline Heldman, an associate professor of politics and a prominent activist, dismissed the report’s…


Reform Group Proposes Academic-Integrity Rules for Athletics

The Drake Group, which promotes academic integrity in college sports, has released a list of guidelines it urges all colleges and universities to adopt in the wake of “recent academic scandals” related to athletics. Among other items, the group suggests that:

  • Freshmen be required to wait one year before playing sports if their standardized-test scores are a certain amount below the mean of the student body.
  • Athletics programs undergo a national “peer review” process once every 10 years.
  • Academi…

Columbia U. to Pay $9-Million to Settle Federal Claims Over AIDS Grants

Columbia University has admitted wrongdoing and agreed to pay $9-million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing it of mismanaging federal grants for AIDS research, reports Capital, an online news service covering New York.

According to the office of the federal prosecutor that handled the case, the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, a unit of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, filed claims for reimbursement citing work that was not done. Columbia received millions of dollars under more than 75 federal grants to prevent AIDS and HIV, but it was required to track the work of employees and submit that tally in order to obtain the grant money.

The university said in a statement cited by Capital that its center had helped more than two million people in 20 countries. It also said it had instituted new controls over grants administration to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Columbia’s finance department was found to have provided information for reports, though the employees were largely unaware of which tasks corresponded to which grants. The reports were then certified as correct without using suitable means to verify their accuracy, even as ICAP’s management was aware of the inaccuracies.

Read more at:


Northwestern Professor Sues Student Who Accused Him of Sexual Assault

Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University who has been at the center of a long-running controversy over an undergraduate student’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her and that Northwestern mishandled her complaint, is suing the student for defamation, the Chicago Tribune reported. In his lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in a state court in Illinois, Mr. Ludlow contends that the student knowingly made false statements to the news media and to Northwestern professors after …


Student-Loan Servicers Are Often ‘Unfair’ to Borrowers, U.S. Finds

Report: “Supervisory Highlights”

Organization: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Summary: Earlier this month, in the third annual report of its student-loan ombudsman, the bureau reported that private loan servicers aren’t doing much to help borrowers understand their repayment options. Well, here’s more bad news: Some of those servicers are doing a bunch of “unfair” and legally dubious things, too.

Most notably, they’re doing what they can to make as much money as possible off of delinquent …


NCAA Touts Higher Graduation Rates, but Numbers Remain Fuzzy

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday released its annual graduation rates, reporting that 84 percent of athletes who entered Division I institutions in 2007 graduated within six years. That is a two-percentage-point increase from the year before, an improvement that Mark Emmert, the association’s president, called “nothing short of remarkable.”

But there are some big problems with how the NCAA calculates its graduation rates. While most observers agree the association’s metric…


Another Lawsuit Is Filed Against the For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has sued Corinthian Colleges Inc., asserting that an Everest College location in Milwaukee used false job-placement statistics to mislead students into enrolling, among other things, the Journal Sentinel reports. The allegations are similar to those featured in many other state and federal lawsuits that have been filed against the company in the past year, including by California and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The lawsuit alleges that Corinthian…


Harvard Leads ‘U.S. News’ Ranking of Global Universities

U.S. News & World Report’s annual global college rankings are out, and Harvard University tops the list, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of Oxford. The list’s methodology favors global reputation and research volume, among other factors. Because of the distinct methodology, Princeton University, which the magazine named the top American university this year, was ranked 13th on the global list.

See the U.S. News ranking for the top universities in the world. The Best Global Universities list includes schools from the U.S.A., Canada, Asia, Europe and more.

Read more at:


Bloomberg Foundation Leads New Effort Against ‘Undermatching’

A new project led by the billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation will try to raise the number of low-income students attending top-tier colleges, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg Philanthropies and a number of other groups will announce their plans on Tuesday.

The project focuses on academically successful students in the bottom half of the income range. Its aim is to increase the number of those students who attend institutions with six-year graduation rates of more tha…