Around the Ivies

Brown University: Two rugby players, Uzo Okoro and Kiki Morgan, were among 49 players named in a list of potential United States National Team members for 2016, The Brown Daily Herald reported. Okoro and Morgan will have a chance to compete with the national team during the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017, following a series of camps and international competitions this summer. This year, Brown’s women’s rugby team held a 5-2 record in the regular season, but fell to Dartmouth in the Ivy League Championship game.

Cornell University: The World Health Organization partnered with Cornell University to create and implement public health policy, The Cornell Sun reported. Cornell, one of 700 WHO collaborating centers in over 80 countries, will work on areas such as nursing, occupational health, nutrition and health technologies. The WHO Center will provide opportunities for Cornell faculty and students to help meet the needs of United Nations member states seeking policy guidance based on scientific research.

Columbia University: Over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the 2015 Quality of Life Survey, a biennial University-wide survey which seeks to assess student satisfaction at Columbia, The Columbia Spectator reported. The results of the survey revealed that students are slightly more satisfied with their experience at the university than they were two years ago. However, the survey also highlighted inequitiable satisfaction levels among students with disabilities and students who self-identified as transgender or genderqueer. To combat such dissatisfaction, the University Senate Student Affairs Committee recommended that all school forms provide an option for identifying as transgender or genderqueer, and that more gender-inclusive bathrooms are added to buildings.

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Around The Ivies

Brown University: This past fall, the ALS Finding a Cure Foundation endowed a team of five faculty members at Brown University with a $1.8 million research grant, The Brown Daily Herald reported. The team plans to research the possibility of aberrant genes as a cure for ALS, suggesting that the gene mutations may potentially defend motor neurons. Depending on its success, the team could receive up to $14 million in the next few years.

Cornell University: Cornell Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced a four-percent increase in next year’s tuition rate, in addition international student admission will no longer be done on a need-blind basis, The Cornell Daily Sun reported. Students have shown concern about the change, with many expressing that their opinions have been disregarded. Cornell admissions will shift to a need-aware basis fot international applicants starting in fall 2017.

Columbia University: Kathleen Bachynski, a Columbia researcher who studies the correlation between brain injuries and youth football, suggested that youth football must eliminate tackles,the Columbia Daily Spectator reported. Even after concussion symptoms fade, the risks and long-term effects continue.  These include deficiencies in cognition and attention, sleep problems, behavioral issues and headaches. Bachynski asserts that the safety of human brains must be prioritized. Continue reading

Around The Ivies

Brown:  Brown can enjoy their winter break for a couple more weeks after a long semester. But just before they bid 2015 and their friends goodbye, Brown’s a capella groups came together for the annual Holiday Midnight Organ Concert in Sayles Hall. Students took a break from studying to enjoy melodious holiday a capella performances that ranged from traditional hymns to comical renditions. However, this was no ordinary concert: students cozied up in blankets and PJs instead of sitting in chairs, while glitter and Twinkies were thrown into the audience. Continue reading

Around the Ivies

Brown University: Alongside community members, students from Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design staged a “die-in” on Sept. 12 to protest police brutality against people of color, the Brown Daily Herald reported. More than 100 people attended the protest to show solidarity and respect for the recent casualties in Ferguson, Missouri.

Columbia University: Hundreds gathered to protest Columbia’s handling of sexual assault on campus last Friday, the Columbia Spectator reported. Standing behind a line of mattresses, students held signs that supported survivors and condemned administrators.

Cornell University: On Sept. 10, Cornell’s Climate Neutrality Acceleration Working Group presented recommendations to change Cornell’s target date for cutting its net carbon emissions to zero from 2050 to 2035, the Cornell Daily Sun reported.  The recommendations included constructing more efficient buildings, using wind projects and developing local biofuels.

Harvard University: Two members of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk rock protest group, spoke at Harvard’s Institute of Politics on Monday, critiquing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oppression in Russia and Ukraine and advocating for the right to free speech, the Harvard Crimson reported. The pair also investigated the arrest of a Harvard alumnus who had been banned from campus after a previous protest, and had illegally attended the forum.

Princeton University: In a unanimous vote, Princeton faculty members approved a set of recommendations on handling sexual misconduct by the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy on Monday, the Daily Princetonian reported. Changes include removing students from the adjudication panel, reducing the burden of proof for sexual assault cases, granting both parties the opportunity to have an advisor from outside the Princeton community.

University of Pennsylvania: The University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report has increased its emphasis on sexual violence, complying with the Violence Against Women Act and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act to increase transparency and accountability in reporting sexual violence crimes on U.S. campuses. The report, which aims to inform the community about fires and crimes on and around campus, included reported offenses of domestic and dating violence and stalking for the first time and a section listing support services for victims of sexual violence.

Yale University: More than 300 attended a speech by Somali-born American activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Monday night without significant interruption or disturbance, even though Yale’s Muslim Students Association sent a letter signed by more than 30 other student organizations, voicing concerns about Hirsi Ali’s lack of academic credentials on Islam.

Watching the Ivies: 5/28




COLUMBIA: Columbia University held its General Studies Class Day ceremony last Monday morning, awarding 444 diplomas to the largest graduating class in the school’s history, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported. Many GS graduates, such as the 62 military veterans in the graduating class, took nontraditional paths to pursue a Columbia degree. The ceremony’s keynote speaker Nicholas Dirks, chancellor-designate at the University of California Berkeley, highlighted the merit of receiving a liberal arts education in his address. Continue reading

Watching the Ivies: 5/13


BROWN: Brown University announced a 60 percent yield for the Class of 2017, an increase of nearly five percent from last year’s yield of 55.8 percent, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The yield rate is higher than the University’s anticipated rate of about 57 percent. The Admission Office expects to admit “a handful” of students from the waitlist.

COLUMBIA: A football player at Columbia University was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime last Tuesday, according to the Columbia Spectator. The student, Chad Washington, allegedly heckled an Asian student with racial slurs and shoved him against a wall. Washington and his teammates were also criticized for posting “racist and homophobic tweets” online. Columbia administrators and student leaders released statements condemning the language used in the Twitter posts.

CORNELL: Cornell University’s current faculty renewal initiative aims to replace half of the University’s faculty in the next 10 years, as over half of current faculty members over age 55 prepare to retire, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. The University, currently facing the most substantial wave of faculty retirements in its history, intends to hire about 67 new faculty members each year in the next decade. Cornell will finance this initiative through donations and by allocating resources for faculty salary.

HARVARD: Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences last Tuesday approved a restructuring of reading and exam periods to be implemented in Fall 2014, according to The Crimson. Harvard’s reading period will be shortened to six or seven days from its current length of eight. The proposal also addressed the type of assignments that faculty will be permitted to assign during reading period. The changes are intended to “spread out due dates, and give students time to do their work,” Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay Harris said in an email.

PRINCETON: Princeton University announced a 2 percent increase in its yield from 66.7 to 68.7 percent for the Class of 2017, according to the Daily Princetonian. This is the second year since Princeton reinstated its early admission program — which for the class of 2016 spurred a 10 percent yield increase — that the college has seen an increase in its yield. Thirty-five of the 1,327 enrolled students will defer matriculation for a year and enter the Bridge Year Program.

UPENN: The University of Pennsylvania recently announced its lineup of speakers for this year’s commencement ceremonies, as the Daily Pennsylvanian reported. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the commencement ceremony on May 13. Roy Vagelos, retired chair and CEO of Merck & Co, Inc. will speak at the ceremony for the College of Arts & Sciences, while former First Lady Laura Bush will speak at the ceremony for the School of Nursing.

YALE: Yale College’s senior male a cappella group the Whiffenpoofs appeared on the season finale of “Glee” last Thursday, according to the Yale Daily News. The group portrayed the prep school show choir the Waffletoots, who competed against the New Directions at the regional championship on the show. The Whiffenpoofs have also recently appeared on other shows including “The West Wing” and “Saturday Night Live.”