Quick Takes | Higher education round-up: March 16
A weekly roundup of higher education news around the Ivy League and peer schools
March 16, 2012, 12:48 am · Updated March 16, 2012, 1:01 am·
Obama to speak at Barnard commencement
President Barack Obama will speak at Barnard College’s commencement on May 14, The Columbia Spectator reported.
The announcement, which came March 3, came as a disappointment for many at sibling school Columbia University, which Obama attended as an undergraduate.
Commentators have pointed out that speaking to an all-female school during the campaign season has political logic for the president, especially with the Obama administration recently accusing Republicans of waging a war on women.
Obama replaces previously announced speaker Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times.
Yale bans fall rush for freshmen
Yale University has banned fraternities and sororities from rushing freshmen in the fall semester, beginning this year.
The move came as a result of a recommendation by Yale’s Committee on Hazing and Initiations, which was initiated last year after Delta Kappa Epsilon made national headlines by chanting offensive slogans in fall 2010. That incident eventually led to DKE’s suspension from Yale’s campus.
Though sororities, which only hold spring rush, are largely unaffected, the new policy has already sparked frustration for Yale Greek organizations.
Penn also only allows freshmen to rush in the spring semester, and Princeton University banned rush for all freshmen this past September.
Harvard students detained in Israel
Fifty-five Harvard University students were detained by Israeli border security while on a trip to a Palestinian town in the West Bank on Tuesday.
The students, mostly from Harvard’s Kennedy School, were on an annually run program through Israel and the occupied territories.
Organized by the Palestine Caucus at the Kennedy School, the group was being led by a member of the local Popular Committee Against the Wall, a Palestinian group that opposes the security barrier erected between Israel and the West Bank.
According to trip organizers and locals, the group has made the same trip before without being detained. But the Israeli military said they were traveling in a military zone, according to an organizer.
Columbia employees protest proposed benefit cuts
Employees at Columbia University amassed on Broadway on March 7 to protest proposed cuts to health benefits and pensions.
Some 600 or 700 workers members of United Auto Workers Local 2110, the union that represents Columbia workers throughout New York, were part of the march, which included speeches criticizing the school’s administration.
According to the Local 2110 President Maida Rosenstein, the possibility of a strike has not been taken off the table. In addition to Local 2110, the protesters were joined by president of the New York City Central Labor Council Vincent Alvarez and an Upper West Side City Council candidate.
Dartmouth heats up among hazing allegations
Under recent media scrutiny of hazing allegations by a Dartmouth senior, the school’s Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Office charged 27 members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity there with hazing violations last semester.
If found guilty, the students could face suspension or expulsion from Dartmouth.
Though the initial allegations were made by former SAE member Andrew Lohse in late January, the school saw renewed attention from the media this month, after The Boston Globe and The Associated Press published articles about the hazing accusations.
Dartmouth also sent an email to members of its Alumni Council to brief them on the issue and administration policy.