Colleges should be required to inform sexual assault survivors that nurse examiners, both on campus and in nearby communities, are available to them, two senators told the U.S. Department of Education Monday.
Senators Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, urged the department to include the requirement in the rules implementing the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act. The department already proposes that colleges and universities be required to provide students and faculty with notification about other counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and legal assistance.
"This common-sense addition will strengthen the current proposed rules and increase awareness of resources that are already present on campus or in nearby communities," the senators wrote in a letter. "In the tragic event of a sexual assault, it is critical that our students know who they can turn to and where they can go — providing information about access to forensic nurses will help accomplish this important goal."
Sexual assault nurse examiners, also known as forensic nurses, are often among the first people that survivors speak to following a sexual assault, Udall and McCaskill said, and -- in addition to administering rape kits -- they are an important piece in encouraging victims to seek other services. "If readily available and adequately trained, forensic nurses can serve as a critical resource for those seeking justice and starting the healing process," the senators wrote.
Tensions continue to grow between faculty members at Pasadena City College and President Mark W. Rocha, The Los Angeles Times reported. Rocha says he is making necessary changes to deal with financial challenges. But faculty members say he doesn't consult with them, resulting in flawed decisions. Faculty members are considering their third vote of no confidence in Rocha.
On the latest edition of "This Week,"Inside Higher Ed's news podcast, Shapri D. LoMaglio of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and Campus Pride's Shane Windmeyer joined Inside Higher Ed Editor Scott Jaschik and the moderator Casey Green to discuss efforts by religious institutions to seek exemptions from key federal civil rights laws; also, the constitutional scholar Rodney A. Smolla analyzed a federal appeals court's ruling last week upholding the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race in admissions.
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association has dropped a controversial name-and-likeness release from the "student-athlete statement" signed each year by Division I college athletes, USA Today reported.
The release is a central part of the high-profile class action filed by Ed O'Bannon, a former University of California at Los Angeles basketball player, as well as other lawsuits filed against the NCAA regarding the commercialized use of likenesses of college athletes. In 2009, the same year that O'Bannon filed his class action, Ryan Hart, a former starting quarterback at Rutgers University, filed a similar complaint. In May of that year, Sam Keller, a former starting quarterback at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, also filed a class action about the NCAA profiting off athletes' likenesses in a series of video games.
The same day that O'Bannon's lawsuit finally went to trial, the NCAA settled its case with Keller, thus avoiding a trial that was set for March. As part of the settlement, the NCAA agreed to make $20 million available to Division I football and men's basketball players at certain colleges whose teams were in the Electronic Arts video games. A week earlier, EA Sports agreed to pay $40 million in a separate settlement with O'Bannon. O'Bannon and the NCAA are still waiting on a federal judge's ruling in the class action.
The board of directors that governs Division I member universities of the National Collegiate Athletic Association will soon vote on a new governance model, increasing the size of its board from 18 members to 24 and giving greater voting control to the five major athletic conferences. The new board would consist of five presidents from those major conferences: the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12, and Southeastern Conferences. It would also include five presidents from the remaining five Football Bowl Subdivision Conferences, five from the Football Championship Subdivision, and five from Division I institutions that don't have football teams. A student athlete, a faculty athletics representative, a campus senior woman athletics representative, and the chair of the Council -- the governing body in charge of the day-to-day legislative functions -- would round out the rest of the board.
The weighted voting totals of the Council gives 37.5 percent of the vote to the five major conferences, as well as a combined 37.5 percent to FCS and no-football conferences. FBS conferences would have 18.8 percent. Faculty representatives and student athletes would have 3.1 percent each.
“We will begin to focus on student-athlete welfare in ways they will feel as early as next year,” Michael Drake, president of Ohio State University and steering committee member, said in a statement.
At a Senate hearing earlier this month, Mark Emmert, the NCAA's president, told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that Division I colleges were attempting to remake the decision-making process to give more control to the 65 largest revenue institutions, Emmert said, as they’re most likely to move forward on reforms that would benefit college athletes. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat and the committee’s chairman, said he didn’t believe that the colleges that make the most money from athletes would be the ones most eager to change. “I am just very skeptical that the NCAA can ever live up to the lofty mission it constantly touts,” Rockefeller said at the hearing's start.
The Division I Board of Directors will vote on the model on August 7.
A survey of campus police departments at 343 colleges and universities has found that, when campus police find students violating alcohol laws, they typically refer them to various college offices, but do not issue citations. Further, the students are generally not referred to a campus health center for alcohol screening or intervention. The survey results will appear in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
As more states recognize gay marriage, universities consider whether to keep policies created to help same-sex partners who couldn't marry. And in states that still don't recognize gay marriage, some public colleges are starting to offer new benefits.