University News

This Week in Higher Ed: Jan. 29, 2015

By
University News Editor
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Yale student held at gunpoint

Yale police officers held junior Tahj Blow at gunpoint Jan. 24, wrote his father Charles Blow in a Jan. 26 New York Times column. Around 6 p.m., Blow was returning to his dorm room from the library when an officer raised his gun and told him to drop to the ground, his father wrote of his son’s experience.

The officer asked Blow for his student ID, and another officer later informed him a burglary had been reported and the suspect resembled him, his father wrote.His father repeatedly tweeted about the incident that evening, using popular hashtags such as “#BlackLivesMatter.”

The Yale Police Department will conduct an internal investigation of the incident, the Yale Daily News reported Jan. 27.

In a campus-wide email, University President Peter Salovey, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway and Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins wrote the incident was “not a replay of what happened in Ferguson; Staten Island; Cleveland; or so many other places in our time and over time in the United States,” the Daily News reported.

Obama revokes motion to cancel 529 college savings plans

After public criticism, President Obama called off his plan to eliminate 529 college savings plans, multiple news outlets reported. Obama’s decision came after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for the proposal to be stricken from the budget “for the sake of middle-class families,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.

At a press conference Tuesday, a White House official called the backlash a “distraction,” noting that Congress can now focus instead on education and child care tax relief, the Times reported.

The plan was part of Obama’s effort to aid middle-class families, as he announced in the State of the Union Jan. 20. The proposal was based on the notion that wealthier families tend to utilize the savings plans, and taxing them would allow funds to be reallocated to middle-class families, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

About seven million families have 529 plans, which total about $217 billion, the Times reported. 529 plans are run at the state level and allow parents to deposit money that may grow over time. The money can then be removed tax-free to pay for children’s college expenses.

Duke suspends frat following sexual assault allegation

Duke University suspended its chapter of Alpha Delta Phi Jan. 20 after a student reported an incident of sexual assault at an off-campus party Jan. 8, the Duke Chronicle reported Jan. 20. The Durham Police Department obtained a search warrant Jan. 10 and is probing into the situation as part of a second-degree rape investigation, the Chronicle reported.

The female student who filed the claim maintained she had been drugged and raped, according to the search warrant and an attached probable cause affidavit. After drinking hot chocolate served by the fraternity that did not taste alcoholic, her last memory “was dancing with her friends before she woke up the next afternoon with a t-shirt she did not recognize, no bra and no underwear,” the affidavit reads.

The leggings she wore the night before were torn on the floor, the Chronicle reported. She received a text from an unknown number at 1:30 a.m. saying she “WENT BACK” with someone the sender knew. “YOU’RE SCREWED,” the text read, according to the document.

Police officers searched the house where the incident occurred and collected three liquid samples and photographs, the Chronicle reported.

No charges have been filed, the New York Times reported Jan. 20.

Dartmouth faces cheating scandal

After being accused of cheating in a fall course entitled “Sports, Ethics and Religion” Nov. 11, 64 Dartmouth students have been sanctioned by a disciplinary committee, the Dartmouth reported Monday. Punishments ranged from four terms of academic probation to two terms of suspension, with most of the 64 students suspended for one term, the Dartmouth reported.

The course was taught by Randall Balmer, chair of the religious studies department, and was created for student athletes, the Dartmouth reported Nov. 12. One method of evaluation in the course was clicker quizzes — assessments in which students use personal clickers to answer questions. Some students were accused of giving their clickers to peers to complete the quizzes, while others were accused of directly completing the quizzes for peers.

Balmer suspected students were not attending class and giving other students their clickers, the Dartmouth reported. On Oct. 30, he gave a clicker quiz followed by a hard copy of the same quiz and found that 43 more students completed the clicker quiz.

Students’ appeals to the decisions were declined, and the entire judicial process lasted under three months, the Dartmouth reported.