Quick Takes | Higher education round-up: April 6


A weekly roundup of news from around the Ivy League and the higher-education community




Cornell University

Stud gov debates changes to sexual assault policy

Cornell’s University Assembly — a voting body comprised of staff and students — is debating a policy change that would lower the burden of proof required for sexual assault accusations, sparking criticism and praise across campus.

Sexual assault offenders face expulsion from the school, and opponents say that the change would make it too easy for falsely accused students to face grave and irreversible consequences. Advocates say the change is important for creating a fairer process and protecting students who have been assaulted.

The change would also limit the role of lawyers to cross-examine plaintiffs and prevent victims from having to describe their experiences to other students who adjudicate accusations.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth drops all SAE charges

Dartmouth dropped all 27 charges against Sigma Alpha Epsilon members last Friday, though an organizational investigation will continue.

The Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Committee dropped the charges after the fraternity provided “physical evidence” against the accusations made by Andrew Lohse, a senior, in January.

Lohse, who was also charged with hazing and was acquitted, said the charges were dropped because of his own lack of cooperation with the investigations, which he criticized as poor.

The move comes just days after Rolling Stone magazine published a feature article on Lohse’s account of the hazing.

Harvard University

School won’t reinvest in HEI hotels

Harvard’s investment arm announced that it will not reinvest in funds managed by HEI Hotels and Resorts, The Harvard Crimson reported Sunday.

Harvard Management Company, which runs the school’s $32 billion endowment — the largest of any higher education institution — made the decision after committing in December to review HEI’s business practices, which have been repeatedly attacked by labor activists for breaking labor regulations.

HMC’s President and CEO Jane Mendillo claimed that the decision stemmed from strategic factors, rather than the question of labor practices.

Penn made a similar decision not to reinvest last year, as did Princeton, Yale, Brown and Cornell universities, among others.

Princeton University

Norovirus outbreak traced to Panera

An outbreak of the stomach-flu causing virus norovirus among 288 Princeton students this semester was traced back to the school’s local Panera Bread.

The Princeton Regional Health Department suspected the restaurant after noticing that several patients ate there before contracting the virus. Five Panera workers were temporarily removed from food handling.

The virus is the number one cause of illness from contaminated foods and though it only lasts a few days, can spread quickly.

According to officials there, the outbreak has stabilized as of last week. According to The Daily Princetonian, Panera did not respond to requests for comment.

Yale University

Barbara Walters to speak at Class Day

Yale announced Monday that journalist and Emmy-winning television host Barbara Walters will speak at its Class Day on May 20.

Walters will speak on the heels of actor Tom Hanks, former President Bill Clinton, political satirist Christopher Buckley and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.

According to the selection committee, Walters was chosen in part because the school has not had a female speaker since 2005.

Yale is the fifth Ivy to announce its graduation speaker, which so far count Time editor Fareed Zakaria at Harvard, Harper’s Magazine president and publisher John MacArthur at Columbia, actor Steve Carell at Princeton and social activist Geoffrey Canada here at Penn. Barnard College is having President Barack Obama.

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