University News

This week in higher ed: April 10, 2013

University News Editor
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cornell president rejects immediate divestment from coal

Cornell President David Skorton said at a Student Assembly meeting Thursday that the university’s administration does not intend to immediately divest from the fossil fuels industry, the Cornell Daily Sun reported Friday.

Skorton cited the university’s financial constraints as a reason to remain invested in fossil fuel companies for the near future, adding that Cornell will make a “very serious effort” to make future investments in the sustainable energy sector, the Daily Sun reported.

Over 20 student organizations at Cornell have submitted letters to the university’s administrators calling on the university to divest from fossil fuel companies, the Daily Sun reported.


Amid outcry, Swarthmore College’s commencement speaker cancels

Former World Bank president Robert Zoellick cancelled his plans to speak at Swarthmore College’s commencement ceremony in Swarthmore, Pa., after his selection drew criticism from students, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

Zoellick, a Swarthmore alum who had been invited to speak at the upcoming ceremony in June, announced via an email released by Swarthmore President Rebecca Chopp that he did not want to “disrupt what should be a special day” for graduating students and their families by introducing controversy into the event.

Public outcry over Zoellick’s selection began last month after students participating in a discussion forum hosted by the Daily Gazette, one of Swarthmore’s student newspapers,  assailed his past job experiences. Critics highlighted Zoellick’s World Bank presidency and support for U.S. military action in Iraq as evidence that he should not have been selected.

Chopp defended Swarthmore’s decision to invite Zoellick and said the school “is very proud to claim him as an alumnus,” the Inquirer reported.


Proposed changes to North Carolina election laws target student voting 

College students in North Carolina may see changes to their out-of-state voting abilities if legislation proposed by Republican lawmakers clears the North Carolina statehouse, the Greensboro News and Record reported Friday.

The proposed changes to North Carolina’s election laws include ending payment of a tax exemption of up to $2,500 to parents for a dependent child if their child registers to vote outside their home precinct, a change that Democratic legislators assailed as seeking to curtail college students’ turnout on Election Day.

North Carolina Republicans are also pushing for an end to same-day voter registration and a shortened early-voting period in the state, claiming these measures will save money and prevent voter fraud, the News and Record reported.


Tailgate crash victim’s estate sues Yale for negligence 

An attorney representing the estate of Nancy Barry, the woman killed by a U-Haul truck at the 2011 Harvard-Yale football game tailgate, filed a negligence suit against Yale, the Yale Daily News reported Monday.

The attorney, Paul Edwards, alleges that Yale failed to appropriately maintain safety at the tailgate, where Barry and two other individuals were struck by the truck driven by a Yale undergraduate.

Edwards said in a press release that Yale “permitted and encouraged organizations to rent large box trucks to bring to a designated section of the Yale Bowl parking lot to host their alcohol-fueled tailgate parties,” the Daily News reported.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy disputed the university’s culpability for the accident, adding that Yale feels “the deepest sympathy for (Barry’s) family and loved ones,” the Daily News reported. Edwards also filed suit against other parties involved in the U-Haul crash, including the city of New Haven and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc., as the truck had been assigned to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity tailgate area.

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