Public universities don't have to comply with California minimum wage laws, but some are and some aren't

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As voters and politicians in California's expensive Bay Area push higher minimum wages, at least two public universities aren't paying it.

U. of Alabama Will Review Use of 'Dixieland Delight'

The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa plans to review the use of the song "Dixieland Delight" in athletic events, reported. Critics have suggested that Dixie-focused music can be less than inclusive to black students and fans. At the same time, the university denied rumors -- which have angered many Alabama fans -- that the university has already decided to ban the song from official events.


U. of Mary Washington Shelves Plans for Greek System

Following the suspension of Greek social functions at a slew of colleges and an allegation of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, the president of the University of Mary Washington has placed a hold on the university's plans to potentially establish a Greek system on campus. In an email to the student body, Richard Hurley, the university's president, announced the creation of a 15-person task force comprising professors, students, and staff that will explore issues surrounding Greek life and sexual assault. Hurley said now was not the time for the university to consider a Greek system when "much of the current national attention has focused on the role of Greek life organizations within university communities," and that "some institutions are placing restrictions on the activities of these organizations or even disbanding them."

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Panel of anthropologists discuss student debt, other concerns about higher ed at annual meeting

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Anthropologists discuss student debt and other concerns about the "commodification" of higher education, and debate role of faculty members in reform efforts.

Wake Forest U. creates room for napping in campus library

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Wake Forest University encourages students to de-stress by taking quick naps in its library. It's one of many ways colleges are trying to reduce the anxiety felt by their students.

Kean U. defends purchase of $219,000 conference room table

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Kean U. issues a full argument on behalf of an expensive purchase. Are you convinced?

U. of Michigan Fires Football Coach Brady Hoke

Brady Hoke will not be returning as the University of Michigan's head football coach next season, the university announced Tuesday. Hoke has faced mounting criticism from students, alumni, and fans this year as the football team continued to underperform. The season ended last weekend with a loss to Ohio State -- the team's seventh defeat of the year. Hoke's team is only the third Michigan squad in the last 40 years not to play in a bowl game.

Hoke was also criticized in September for allowing a quarterback to stay in a game despite exhibiting symptoms of what would eventually prove to be a concussion. Hundreds of students marched to the home of the university's president, demanding that Hoke and David Brandon, Michigan's athletics director, be fired. Brandon resigned in November. Hoke, who served four seasons as head coach, is owed a $3 million buyout by the university. "This was not an easy decision given the level of respect that I have for Brady," Jim Hackett, the university's interim athletics director, said. "He has done a great job of molding these young men, making them accountable to their teammates, focusing them on success in the classroom and in the community."

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Keene State Punishes 170 Students After Pumpkin Riots

Keene State College has disciplined 170 students for their involvement in riots that erupted in October during a pumpkin festival. Two students were expelled, one withdrew, and nine were suspended, The Boston Globe reported. The rest of the students are facing probation, fines, and payment of restitution. In October, police in riot gear used tear gas and rubber bullets to stop hundreds of students when the pumpkin festival -- celebrated annually in downtown Keene, New Hampshire -- got out of control. Authorities reported that students threw rocks and pumpkin parts at the police, and that many students refused to be orderly.

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Wesleyan Punishes Fraternity Over Reported Sex Assault

Wesleyan University on Monday announced that it was banning social events at Psi Upsilon for 2015 following a student's report of a 2011 sexual assault at the fraternity, and a federal lawsuit charging a rape took place there in 2013, The Hartford Courant reported. The men identified in both cases as the assailants have been expelled. "Although this latest reported incident took place three years ago, when most current residents of the fraternity house were not yet associated with the organization, some sanction of the fraternity is appropriate," said a letter to the campus from Michael Roth, the president, and Michael Whaley, vice president for student affairs. Wesleyan has been engaged in a debate over its fraternities, and in September gave them three years to go coeducational.

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Why Every Vote Matters in a Bond Referendum

Authorities have certified that voters in the North Orange County Community College District last month approved a $574 million bond referendum -- by a margin of 15 votes, The Orange County Register reported. Those votes put the bond measure's support over 55 percent of those voting, the super-majority required under California law. Opponents of the bond measure -- which is designed to support facility upgrades -- could seek a recount.


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