Around the Ivies

BROWN UNIVERSITY: Brown will expand its Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards program for this summer, the Brown Daily Herald reported. The program, which grants stipends for research projects, will offer 50 additional awards and increase the stipend from $3,000 to $3,500. The expansion aligns with university president Christina Paxson’s recent push to offer students research opportunities.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Columbia’s celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month began Tuesday night, the Columbia Spectator reported. The events planned for April include a mock Pakistani wedding and Chinese lantern festival.

CORNELL UNIVERSITY: Cornell saw low voter turnout in its Student Assembly elections this month, the Cornell Daily Sun reported. Though the elections committee hoped to see at least a 50 percent turnout, under 30 percent of the undergraduate population voted. Students speculated that the timing of Cornell’s February break and several uncontested races could have contributed to the low turnout.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY: The Harvard Art Museums are establishing a student advisory board to involve students more directly, the Harvard Crimson reported. The board will consist of both graduate and undergraduate students and will work to increase student participation in museum events and exhibits.

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Princeton has set up clinics to issue the meningitis B vaccine this week, the Daily Princetonian reported. Around 91 percent of the student population has already received the vaccine.

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: The University of Pennsylvania will launch the PennApps Fellows Internship Program this summer, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported. The program will enable 10 students to work at startup companies in Philadelphia to build the city’s reputation as an entrepreneurship hub. The program recently received an additional $25,000 grant, which will be used to help house interns.

YALE UNIVERSITY: Yale administrators are implementing cuts to its $39 million budget deficit, the Yale Daily News reported. The Provost’s Office has issued budget targets to the university’s 40 units, including Yale College and the graduate schools. Though half of the Ivy League saw deficits during the 2013 fiscal year, Yale’s was the highest.

Around the Ivies

BROWN UNIVERSITY: The second-largest applicant pool in the university’s history applied for the Class of 2018, the Brown Daily Herald reported. About 30,200 students applied, a 4 percent increase from last year. The Class of 2015 saw the applicant pool’s all-time high of 30,900.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITYCommunity members commemorated the death of Karen Blank, who served as Barnard College’s dean of studies for nearly two decades. Blank’s death was announced to students in an email on Jan. 2. As dean of studies, Blank administered a review of Barnard’s general education requirements, advised an honor code oversight board and worked to enhance communication between Barnard and Columbia.
CORNELL UNIVERSITYJoel Malina will serve as Cornell’s new vice president for university relations, the Cornell Daily Sun reported. Malina currently works as the CEO and general manager of the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates and has past experience in political advertising, campaign fundraising and musical theater. He will take office on March 31.
HARVARD UNIVERSITYA student charged in connection with a campus bomb scare last December is currently awaiting grand jury indictment, according to The Crimson. Eldo Kim allegedly sent emails to the Harvard University Police Department and various administrators claiming to have placed bombs in several campus buildings in order to avoid taking a final exam. Kim, a member of Harvard’s Class of 2016, was released from federal custody on Dec. 18.
PRINCETON UNIVERISTYMembers of Princeton’s eating clubs can now take an online course about power-based personal violence, according to the Daily Princetonian. The course, called Agent of Change, addresses topics such as domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault and features 10 levels of an avatar-based game. The program is currently in its pilot phase and plans to expand its reach across campus in the coming months.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA:  “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox will speak at QPenn, an annual event celebrating LGBTQ culture, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. Cox, a transgender actress known for her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series, will deliver the event’s keynote address in March. Cox’s talk will aim to highlight lesser-known issues within the LGBTQ community.
YALE UNIVERSITY: Students have reestablished a chapter of Chi Psi fraternity on campus, the Yale Daily News reported. The fraternity received its official charter on Nov. 16 and will conduct recruitment this semester. “It’s not your ‘Animal House’-style party frat,” sophomore Jordan Bravin, Chi Psi vice president, told the Yale Daily News.

Watching the Ivies

BROWN: Brown University is currently implementing initiatives outlined in President Christina Paxson’s recently approved strategic plan, the Brown Daily Herald reported. A new sophomore seminar program focusing on “diversity and social justice” will be piloted in the spring. Other changes include a post-tenure sabbatical policy and the development of online education programs.

COLUMBIA: A new global fellowship program at Columbia University will fund the overseas experiences of 15 students the summer before sophomore year, the Columbia Spectator reported. The program will fund living expenses and airfare for students studying, working or conducting research near one of Columbia’s eight global centers. The program represents an initiative to increase the accessibility of Columbia’s global centers for undergraduate students.

CORNELL: Cornell University announced the dismissal of the men’s lacrosse team’s head coach Ben DeLuca, according to the Cornell Sun. The dismissal occurred two months after a hazing incident in which freshman team members were forced to chug beer, which resulted in the team’s suspension for the fall season. Team members expressed surprise and shock upon learning of DeLuca’s dismissal.

HARVARD: Harvard University announced plans to construct the Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center, to be located on the first three floors of the former Holyoke Center, The Crimson reported. The project is named after benefactors Richard A. Smith of the Class of 1946 and his wife Susan F. Smith. The new campus center is scheduled for completion in 2018 and will include food service, study areas and spaces for exhibitions and performances.

PRINCETON: Princeton University is experiencing a meningitis outbreak on campus, the Daily Princetonian reported. As of Nov. 10, seven cases of the disease have been associated with the University since March. Administrators urged students to exercise caution to prevent the disease’s spread at last weekend’s Orange and Black Ball and at the Homecoming football game against Yale.

UPENN: University of Pennsylvania reported a new high in the number of applicants to its Early Decision program this year, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. The binding admissions program attracted 5,133 applicants to the class of 2018, a 6.6 percent increase from last year’s admissions cycle. This also marks a 41 percent increase from the 2008 cycle.

YALE: Yale University’s number of registered student groups fell by half after a Nov. 1 registration deadline, Yale Daily News reported. While over 600 organizations were registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office prior to the deadline, only 279 succeeded in completing all of the requirements for registration. Some students cited frustration with required leadership training sessions as their reasoning behind failing to re-register, while others expressed concern with glitches in the online system.

Watching the Ivies

BROWN: Brown’s current $4.3 million deficit has concerned administrators as they plan the operating budget for the next fiscal year, according to the Brown Daily Herald. Though this sum is lower than the $5.5 million deficit that Brown sustained at the end of the last fiscal year, the University had hoped to bring the deficit to zero in the last few years, Provost Mark Schlissel said at an open forum last week. University officials did not indicate whether or not this would result in a tuition increase next year.


COLUMBIA: Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender formally added the clause “and Sexuality” to its name after gaining University Senate approval, according to the Columbia Spectator. The name change was implemented to raise awareness about the research institute’s commitment to sexuality and queer studies, according to Director Alondra Nelson. The change also reflects the institute’s increasing emphasis on sexuality, queer, and masculinity studies in the last few years.


CORNELL: At a Student Assembly meeting last week, Cornell’s President David Skorton highlighted the importance of working together to support campus safety and health, according to the Cornell Sun. Students have recently expressed concern about the lack of walk-in health care services late at night, when victims of sexual assault would most likely need help. While administrators have indicated that reinstating overnight hours at Gannett Health Services is unlikely, Skorton stressed that it is essential for community members to work collaboratively to promote each other’s well-being.


HARVARD: Harvard released its financial report for the 2013 fiscal year last Friday, The Crimson reported. Data shows that the University posted an operating deficit of about $34 million in fiscal year 2013, which represents less than 1 percent of its revenue for the year. Additionally, Harvard experienced a growth in net assets of over 8 percent, demonstrating its continued recovery from losses of the recent financial crisis. Harvard is seeking further relief from its Harvard Campaign fundraising drive, which aims to raise $6.5 billion.


PRINCETON: A group of local residents is challenging Princeton’s status as a property tax-exempt organization, according to the Daily Princetonian. The plaintiffs initially filed the suit in 2011, alleging that Princeton does not qualify for tax breaks because it collects profits from patented products created in its research facilities. The suit aims to lower the tax burden for the rest of the local community, according to plaintiff Ken Fields. A successful challenge to Princeton’s tax status would raise its annual tax bill significantly.


UPENN: Penn’s Admissions Office held an “Ivy in Your Backyard” event for Philadelphia high school students last weekend, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. Current Penn students helped high school seniors draft college application essays at the event, while high schoolers’ parents attended financial aid workshops. Between 150 and 175 local high school students attended the event. The event represents an initiative by Penn to empower local students and parents to complete the college application process successfully.


YALE: Yale’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Grading dropped the idea of a numerical system as a possibility for grade reform last week, according to Yale Daily News. The proposal to convert grades to a number system had been previously tabled after a contentious debate on the topic last spring. At a faculty meeting last Thursday, grading committee members reported that the most developed reform proposal includes different grading spreads for entry-level, mid-level, and upper-level courses, though nothing has yet been determined conclusively.

Watching the Ivies

Courtesy of the Daily Pennsylvanian











Courtesy of the Daily Pennsylvanian


BROWN: Brown University held its annual SexPowerGod dance on Saturday, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The annual event, which is the largest student-run dance held each year at Brown, encourages students to “feel comfortable exploring their bodies and their sexualities without fear of judgment,” the Blog Daily Herald reported. The dance is put on by Brown’s Queer Alliance, and sold about 400 tickets this year.


COLUMBIA: Researchers at Columbia University argue that New York City’s infrastructure remains insecure one year after Hurricane Sandy, according to the Columbia Spectator. The city should work to develop resiliency against long-term vulnerabilities, rather than focusing on “band-aid solutions,” according to School of International and Public Affairs Professor Klaus Jacob. This will require a plan costing over $100 billion, which will be difficult to secure given Washington’s political stagnation, Jacob said.


CORNELL: Cornell University plans to downsize its annual event Filthy/Gorgeous, which aims to raise awareness of the LGBTQ community each spring, according to the Cornell Sun. The event typically includes performers such as drag artists, rappers and go-go dancers. This year’s event will have a smaller budget and will be hosted in a smaller room.


HARVARD: Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is preparing to make 20 new tenure-track hires, which will increase its faculty by nearly 30 percent, according to the Crimson. The SEAS aims to raise $450 million to fund the new hires through the Campaign for Arts and Science, which is part of the larger Harvard Campaign, a University-wide capital campaign launched in September that seeks to raise $6.5 billion in total. The new SEAS hires will accommodate the school’s increased enrollment in the last five years.


PRINCETON: Members of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Nation protested an event at the Princeton Club of New York, the Daily Princetonian reported. Members disrupted a panel discussion with Russian officials promoting investment in Moscow, protesting Russia’s laws discriminating against the LGBT community. Three protestors were escorted out of the forum, while others demonstrated outside the building.


UPENN: The University of Pennsylvania plans to implement major changes to its college house system, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. A new college house located on Hill Field, which will include a dining hall and suite-style living, is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016. Proposed changes to the current house system include a ban on freshman residence in high-rise buildings and a revision of the room selection process.


YALE: Yale University’s Undergraduate Career Services released a report of the postgraduate plans of the class of 2013, according to Yale Daily News. The most popular pursuit among graduates was research, at 14.5 percent, with jobs in consulting a close second at 13.8 percent. This is the first year since 1968 that Yale collected data on seniors’ postgraduate plans.

Watching the Ivies: 10/22


BROWN: Brown University has introduced an initiative called “I’m With the Band” granting Brown students free admission to certain performing arts events in downtown Providence, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The initiative, which went into effect Oct. 1., has allowed students to attend film screenings, dance performances, and other local performing arts events free of charge.  The program represents an effort by Brown to collaborate with and affirm its connection to the local art community.


COLUMBIA: Columbia’s College Student Council and Engineering Student Council passed a resolution requesting that undergraduates be permitted to enter the Business School’s Watson Library after 5 p.m. during midterms and finals, according to the Columbia Spectator. A new policy introduced last semester banned all undergraduates except economics majors from the library during midterms and finals. Columbia Senate committees will discuss the issue throughout the remainder of the month.


CORNELL: Cornell will partner with Chobani, Inc. to promote innovation in dairy and food science research, according to the Cornell Sun. The partnership, announced by Cornell last Friday, was enabled by a $1.5-million donation from Chobani to Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Chobani’s partnership with Cornell aims to generate knowledge and solutions that will “take dairy science to the next level,” according to Chobani’s communication manager Lindsay Kos. The specific research projects to be conducted have not yet been determined.


HARVARD: Former CIA director and four-star Army general David H. Petraeus will join Harvard Kennedy School as a non-resident senior fellow, according to the Crimson. Petraeus will head a project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs called “The Coming North America Decades,” alongside Kennedy School Professor Graham T. Allison. The project will analyze the effects of scientific, economic, and technological factors on the competitiveness of North America.


PRINCETON: Princeton announced an 11.7 percent return on its endowment in fiscal year 2013, as the Daily Princetonian reported last Friday. The endowment grew in total value to $18.2 billion. The year’s return far exceeded the 3.1 percent gain in fiscal year 2012, reflecting patterns of increasingly bullish foreign and domestic market activity.


UPENN: UPenn will host a performance by Chance the Rapper on Nov. 1., as the Daily Pennsylvanian reported. The artist will headline the Social Planning & Events Committee to Represent Undergraduate Minorities’ (SPEC-TRUM) fall show. Chance the Rapper released the popular mixtape Acid Rap in April 2013.


YALE: Administrators at Yale have announced that the number of student athletes recruited to Yale will likely remain constant in the immediate future, although the cap could potentially increase later on, according to Yale Daily News. Some community members have voiced opinions that Yale should increase its in-house cap of 180 student athletes admitted to Yale annually, as the Ivy League enforces a quota of 230 per year. Yale’s former President Richard Levin downsized the number admitted to Yale to 180 eight years ago. Many students and alumni hope for an eventual change in this policy under Yale’s new University President Peter Salovey.