Quick Takes: California Supreme Court Takes Immigrant Tuition Case, Group Punishment for Athletes, Campus in Iraq, Utah State Hazing Charges, Police Kill Student, U. of California Considers Admitting More From Out of State, Layoffs at Bowling Green

January 5, 2009
  • The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court's ruling that placed in doubt the legality of a state law granting in-state tuition rates to some immigrant students who lack the legal authority to be residents of the state, the Los Angeles Times reported. While the California Supreme Court's ruling would only be binding in that state, it could influence debates in other states with similar laws. Higher education officials and advocates for immigrants have worried that the lower court's ruling, if it stands, could make it impossible for many of the students covered by the law to remain in college, given the large difference in tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students and the limited aid dollars available to students who are not legal U.S. residents.
  • Faced with a series of incidents of misbehavior by football players, the University of Colorado at Boulder is trying out the idea of group punishments. The Denver Post reported that the football team has been divided into nine nine-man teams, and that if one team member is punished for off-field misbehavior, the other eight on his team will face the same punishment. The university also plans to hire a "director of student athlete wellness" to deal with the situation. In the last 15 months, 13 Colorado football players have been charged with violating the law, the Post reported. The newspaper noted that five of the charges involved fighting, including one incident in which a victim required facial surgery.
  • The University of Maryland University College has set up a campus in Iraq to offer in-person courses for U.S. troops stationed there, The Washington Post reported. Students arrive at class with both rifles and textbooks, the paper noted. UMUC has a long history of offering educational programs for soldiers, either via distance education or through outposts on or near military bases.
  • A fraternity, a sorority, and 12 of their members are facing felony hazing charges in the death of a freshman at Utah State University, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. According to authorities, Michael Starks was a pledge of Sigma Nu fraternity when he won what was considered an honor of being "captured" members of Chi Omega sorority, who allegedly painted him and fed him vodka. He died from alcohol poisoning.
  • Seattle police shot and killed a University of Washington senior last week after arriving at his off-campus apartment and finding him dressed in a German World War II uniform and holding a long rifle, The Seattle Times reported. Police say that they told him several times to drop the rifle and that he instead pointed it at them. But friends and others who knew Miles Allen Murphy say that he was a history buff who frequently dressed in military uniforms and carried old weapons, and was peaceful and not a threat.
  • Some University of California officials want the system to admit more undergraduates who don't live in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported. About half of what such students pay is profit for the system, and could be helpful at a time of severe limits on state appropriations. But such a move would be controversial because it is already so difficult for California residents to get admitted.
  • Bowling Green State University has told 43 salaried, non-faculty employees that they will lose their jobs at the end of the academic year, The Toledo Blade reported. Those losing their jobs include managers and directors in various divisions. Some of the layoff notices arrived on Christmas Eve, in what university officials said was a mistake in timing. More layoffs, of non-salaried employees, are expected as the university grapples with budget cuts.
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