Quick Takes: Law School Group Responds to Boycott Threat, Security Breach at Princeton Review, Fast Start for Federal Rule Making, Promoting Honest Talk on Drinking, Realities of Drinking in a College Town, Lawsuit Attacks Women's Studies

August 19, 2008
  • The Association of American Law Schools has announced what it hopes will be a solution to a threatened boycott of its annual meeting in January, in San Diego. One of the meeting hotels is the Manchester Grand Hyatt, whose owner has been a major donor to the campaign to bar gay marriage in California -- an action that led advocates for gay rights to boycott his hotel. The law school group announced that while it would honor its contract with the hotel, it was exercising its contract rights to have all official events, sessions, registration and so forth at the other conference hotel, the San Diego Marriott. In this way, it will be possible for someone to attend any part of the meeting without setting foot in the Hyatt.
  • The Princeton Review, the test prep company, accidentally published on its Web site the standardized test scores and personal data of thousands of Florida students, as well as internal company information about its strategies for coaching students on the SAT and other tests, The New York Times reported. A Princeton Review competitor discovered the security breach and provided information on the situation to the Times on the condition that the rival not be identified. The Princeton Review has now blocked access to the information.
  • The law may have taken twice as long to pass as it should have, but the U.S. Education Department is moving swiftly to carry out legislation to renew the Higher Education Act. The department has already scheduled four regional public hearings (at Texas Christian University, the University of Rhode Island, Pepperdine University, and the department’s Washington headquarters) to solicit suggestions about aspects of the 1,000-plus-page law on which the government should consider issuing clarifying regulations. The department’s announcement also said its officials hoped to begin negotiations by February — which of course will take place under a new presidential administration.
  • More than a year ago, John M. McCardell Jr., Middlebury College's former president, started a campaign to promote the idea of lowering the drinking age to 18 from 21, which he argues is unrealistic and prevents honest discussions about alcohol use on campuses. At the time he started the campaign, many college presidents privately applauded him but doubted whether he would get much public support. But now dozens of college presidents have signed a statement backing the discussion McCardell is seeking.
  • In the neighborhood where Iowa State University students drink, the impact of keg deliveries has done so much damage to sidewalks that the pavement is being replaced with rubber, The Ames Tribune reported.
  • A self-proclaimed men's rights lawyer on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court charging that Columbia University is engaged in illegal discrimination against men by maintaining women's studies programs, and that these programs amount to a religion that should disqualify Columbia from receiving certain state and federal funds. The lawyer, Roy Den Hollander, is currently engaged in a series of suits against what he perceives as anti-male bias. For example, he is challenging the legality of "ladies' night" specials at nightclubs. In an interview Monday, he acknowledged that Columbia's women's studies programs are open to male students and faculty members, but said that the lack of an equivalent men's studies program illustrated bias. In addition, he said that those who disagree with feminist teaching are mistreated in courses. "The professor will hide under the table and the feminists in the class will go after you for saying anything anti-feminist," he said. Den Hollander earned an M.B.A. at Columbia in 1997, but acknowledged never having taken a women's studies course then, or sitting in on courses now. He said he prepared his lawsuit based on Web sites of courses and programs. Columbia officials could not be reached for comment.
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