Quick Takes: Minimal Free Speech Win at Delaware, Unusual Approach to Paying Tuition, Lonely Protest in Single Tree, Corn-Eating: Speed Over Volume

September 9, 2008
  • A federal judge has found that the University of Delaware violated the free speech rights of Maciej Murakowski when it suspended the student over sex jokes and other content on his Web page, but the university was fined only $10, The News Journal reported. While the judge found that the university was not justified in suspending him over the Web content, there were other valid reasons to suspend him.
  • Max Stephenson is paying for part of his expenses at New York University this year by e-mailing thousands of people, and asking them to each contribute about $2.50. A profile in Time says that he has raised $6,000 through this approach. The magazine quotes Stephenson giving the phone number for NYU's admissions office (it's correct) and urging skeptics to call to verify that he's not "one of those Internet rip-off artists." College admissions offices, of course, do not normally give out to the public information about students' financial situations. An NYU spokesman confirmed to Inside Higher Ed that Stephenson is a student and suggested that callers to the admissions office wouldn't learn much. "The only waiver on disclosing financial aid information that has been sent to us by this College of Arts and Science student was for the Time Magazine reporter," the spokesman said. "Of course, he himself is in no way prohibited from sharing the material he received about his financial aid package."
  • The 21-month protest by tree-sitting environmentalists seeking to save a grove of trees at the University of California at Berkeley is down to a single tree, as the university -- having won its legal fight -- cut down more than 40 trees, the Los Angeles Times reported. Four people remain in the last tree, and the university has cut off the supply of food and water going to them.
  • The corn is back at Iowa. Last year the University of Iowa banned a corn-eating contest, suggesting that it was inappropriate to encourage excessive consumption at a time of rising levels of obesity. But The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that the university has found a way to show its love of corn without encouraging overeating: This year's contest will honor the person who can finish a single ear of corn first.
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