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U. of Chicago’s Condemning of Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings Reignites Debate

A letter to incoming freshmen at the University of Chicago has reignited a debate over political correctness, the perceived coddling of college students, and academic freedom.

The letter, signed by John Ellison, the dean of students, states that the university does “not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’” nor does it cancel controversial campus speakers or “condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”

Rea…

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Education Dept. Cuts Off Federal Aid to New Students at For-Profit ITT

The U.S. Department of Education is barring ITT Educational Services Inc. from enrolling new students with federal financial aid, the department announced in a news release on Thursday. The department is also increasing the amount of cash ITT must send the department from just under $100 million to roughly $250 million, among other things.

The department’s move may be its most substantial action against an individual for-profit educator since its heightened scrutiny of Corinthian Colleges caused…

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U. of Vermont Cancels Game at Chapel Hill Over ‘Bathroom Bill’

Citing concerns about North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill,” the University of Vermont has canceled a scheduled women’s basketball game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Burlington Free Press reports.

“We strive very hard to create an inclusive climate for our students and staff in which they all can feel safe, respected, and valued,” the university’s athletic director, Jeff Schulman, said in a written statement. “It would be hard to fulfill these obligations …

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Fraternity at Texas A&M Is Suspended After a Student Dies

The Sigma Nu fraternity chapter at Texas A&M University at College Station suspended all activities after a student died over the weekend, KBTX reported on Thursday.

A search warrant said fraternity members had dragged Anton Gridnev’s body through the house before waiting to call 911 because they did not want any police involvement. Paramedics took Mr. Gridnev to a hospital on Saturday morning after a fraternity party on Friday night. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

On Saturday morning s…

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U. of Iowa Professor Wants Athletics Mascot to Show More Smile, Less Scowl

Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine, wants images of Herky the Hawk, the Hawkeyes’ mascot, to display a wider range of facial expressions beyond his well-known grimace, to better exemplify the university’s welcoming atmosphere, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported on Wednesday.

Ms. Oral recently wrote an email to athletic-department officials and Faculty Senate members saying that incoming students should be met with calm, nurtu…

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Gunmen Attack American U. in Afghanistan, Killing at Least 12 People

Militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan on Wednesday evening, firing on students in an attack that killed at least 12 people and wounded at least 30, according to reports by The Washington Post and CNN.

An Afghan police official told CNN that those killed included seven students, three police officers, and two security guards.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the two-pronged assault — a powerful explosion was set off nearby as the gunmen stormed onto the…

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Will the NLRB’s Columbia Ruling Tarnish the ‘College Experience’? A Closer Look

The National Labor Relations Board’s decision on Tuesday declaring that graduate-student assistants at Columbia University are employees with the right to unionize could have stark and unwelcome effects on private campuses where such unions are formed. Or so said the lone board member who voted against the majority, Philip A. Miscimarra, in his dissent.

First and foremost among those effects are the “economic weapons” now available to both the assistants and their universities in the course of c…

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Out to ‘Impress’ a Woman, U. of Pittsburgh Student Instead Needs to Be Rescued

A University of Pittsburgh student who, in an effort to impress a woman, jumped between two buildings — but missed — was rescued on Tuesday morning after the police knocked out a wall of a Qdoba restaurant, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The man became wedged between the two buildings in the city’s Oakland neighborhood, according to a city official quoted by the newspaper.

“The young man met a girl, brought her up to a rooftop, and decided to impress her by leaping from one roof to the nex…

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In Victory for Union Efforts, NLRB Rules Columbia U. Grad Students Are Employees

In a long-awaited decision, the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday ruled that graduate students at Columbia University are employees and can form a union. The decision reverses a previous board decision involving a case at Brown University, which, a majority of the board said on Tuesday, “deprived an entire category of workers of the protections of the [National Labor Relations Act] without a convincing justification.”

The decision, by a vote of 3 to 1, has big implications for graduate s…

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Stanford Bans Hard Liquor From Undergraduate Parties

Stanford University has banned hard liquor from all campus parties except those attended exclusively by graduate students, according to a news release issued on Monday. Distilled liquor, spirits, and hard alcohol in containers 750 milliliters and larger will also be prohibited from undergraduate residences. Students who are 21 and over may store such alcohol in quantities less than 750 milliliters in the original containers.

The policy changes were a direct outgrowth of conversations that studen…