University News

This Week in Higher Ed: Sept. 24, 2014

By
University News Editor
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wesleyan announces fraternities must go coed

Wesleyan University announced Monday that it will require all fraternities on campus to admit women within the next three years, multiple news outlets reported. Fraternities that do not comply within this timeframe will lose recognition from the University.

“The trustees and administration recognize that residential fraternities have contributed greatly to Wesleyan over a long period of time, but we also believe they must change to continue to benefit their members and the larger campus community,” wrote Wesleyan’s President Michael Roth and Joshua Boger, chairman of the institution’s board of trustees, in an email to the campus Monday.

The Wesleyan Student Assembly passed a resolution in April requesting the administration require all on-campus fraternities to become co-educational, the Wesleyan Argus reported at the time.

The change follows a series of reported incidents at Wesleyan fraternity houses, including a serious injury sustained by a student after falling out of a third-story window of the Beta Theta Pi house earlier this month, the Argus reported.

There have been two reported rapes at Wesleyan fraternity houses since 2010, the New York Times reported.

 

Rutgers campus shaken by two student deaths on same day

Rutgers University senior Darsh Patel died Sunday in a suspected black bear attack — believed to be New Jersey’s first fatal bear attack in over 150 years — while sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs died the same day of suspected alcohol poisoning at a fraternity party, multiple news outlets reported.

“Darsh was killed in a bear attack yesterday while hiking with friends in a wooded area of Passaic County,” said Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Richard Edwards said in a statement on the university’s Facebook page. “As we grieve over his tragic passing, please know that our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones and to all his friends and fellow students at Rutgers.”

Patel was with four other men when they came across the bear, the Washington Post reported. The four men split up, but could not relocate Patel and called in a search and rescue unit, which found Patel’s body a few hours later, the Post reported.

The campus community was also confronted with Kovacs’ death, which was announced Sunday morning.

A preliminary police investigation linked Kovacs’ death to suspected alcohol poisoning, authorities told NJ.com.

Friends took a “distressed” Kovacs to the hospital from a party at a Rutgers fraternity house, NJ.com reported. Police are still determining the exact cause of death.

“At the core of our university’s mission is our primary concern for the well-being of our students, and it is at heartbreaking moments like this that we must take special care to reach out with compassion and support,” Edwards said in a statement.

 

CSU bans discriminatory sports organization

California State University recently revoked recognition from its campus chapter of InterVarsity, a national Christian sports organization, for excluding gay students from joining the group.

The group’s policy first came to CSU administrators’ attention in August of last year, the Daily 49er reported. The InterVarsity chapter failed to comply with a one-year deadline given by the university to update its bylaws to allow for membership regardless of sexual orientation or religious identity.

The organization required members to sign a “statement of faith,” the Daily 49er reported.

Bailee Campbell, president of CSULB’s InterVaristy chapter, cited “religious integrity” as why the organization failed to comply with the university’s directive.

InterVarsity has chapters on nearly 600 campuses nation-wide, according to the group’s website.