Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category

frat23n-7-webfrat23n-6-webThe University of Michigan Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity has been suspended by its national office and its members may face criminal investigation after its members were accused of causing $50,000 in damage at a ski resort last weekend. The pictures of the damage at the Treetops Resort are astonishing and the incident raises the question of whether students involved in potential criminal mischief should be expelled from the school for such extracurricular conduct.

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imrs-1.phpimrs.phpAs some of you know, I am a military history nut and collect (on a small level) military historical items. That is why this story caught my eye . . . and my greedy imagination. Sitting at the muddy bottom of the Congaree River in Columbia, South Carolina appears to be the long lost munitions booty of General William T. Sherman from his Carolinas campaign. If retrieved, the find could yield thousands of saves, cartridges, scabbards and other items that would thrill civil war buffs — and flood the market for such items. In a curious way, the river find shows history repeating itself. It was the dumping of pollutants by a gas-producing plant that led to the discovery of Sherman dumping his munitions in the river.

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earth-screensaver_largeA new study in the journal Science suggests that humanity is on the very of causing “a major extinction event” in our oceans while another study has found that 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping. In the meantime, Pope Francis has again raised climate change and called environmental destruction a “sin” and affront to God.

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charles-spencelayh-the-poacher-approximate-original-size-7x9150px-gwulogoGeorge Washington Law School (where I teach) has been accused of “downright predatory” tactics by the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in its acceptance of transfer students from American law school. The tension caused by transfers has increased during a period of reduced applications. Not only are schools fighting over a small applicant pool, but transfer students are effectively “off the books” for the purposes of reported GPA and LSAT rankings used by U.S. News and World Report. Thus, schools are more inclined to accept a transfer student in the second year (when scores are not reported) than when they first applied as first-year students.

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IMG_1806Ok, I admit that I can be a broken record about snow phobia in Virginia and the inability of drivers to cope with a single flake of the white stuff without creating piles of burning wrecks. However, my four children will be staying home today because of the snow. I had to actually go outside to see it but it is there — a dusting of the stuff but enough to shutdown one of the largest school districts in the country.

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tsullivan3220px-UVA_Rotunda_Logo.svgThe University of Virginia has reinstated the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity after a Rolling Stone magazine article on gang rape allegations was discredited. Teresa A. Sullivan, the president of the university said that “We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all.” The question is whether the University treated these students fairly in ordering the suspension and whether the University will take any steps with regard to the original accuser if it concludes that there was no gang rape at the fraternity as she alleged.

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883_original220px-Dartmouth_College_shield.svgDartmouth college has suspended 64 students in what appears an unprecedented action over cheating. What makes the action even more unnerving is that the cheating occurred in an ethics class. Most students have been suspended for a term. Professor Randall Balmer said that he was tipped off when he received more answers to this questions than students in the class.

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