Monday, May 2, 2016

April 2016 News Digest

Check out some higher education news for April!

Common Application to Change Gender-Identity Options

As part of society’s gradual shift in its understanding of gender, the Common Application will now ask students to state their “sex assigned at birth.” There will also be an optional free-response text field for students to describe their gender identity.

This allows transgender students to freely express their identity on their college applications.

The Universal College Application has also decided to modify their gender identification sections in a similar manner.

Who’s Going to Be Punished for the Worst Academic Scandal Anyone Can Remember?

According to reports, UNC has offered fake classes to student athletes since 1993. The question still remains on who will be punished or who will enforce that punishment. The NCAA, UNC’s accrediting agency, and the university itself may both be part of imposing penalties.

The toughest penalties from the NCAA will most likely affect scholarships to student athletes. This will mostly hurt students who were not yet enrolled in the university during the scandal.

Yale Keeps Name for College That Honors a Slavery Apologist

Although Yale recently decided to get rid of the term “master” to refer to the leader of each residential college, it has decided not to change the name of Calhoun College. The college is named after alum and slavery sympathizer, John C. Calhoun. 

The President of the University, Peter Salovey, argues that keeping the name facilitates the discussion of slavery and racism rather than just forgetting about it. Yale has responded to some demands from protestors and agreed to remove portraits of Calhoun from the college.

A former African American student and current professor said seeing the name everyday was a source of inspiration to prove that Calhoun was wrong about African Americans. However, many black students on campus wanted the college to be renamed.

Yale's Calhoun College

What Community Colleges Are Doing to Counteract Declining Enrollments

According to EAB, a research and technology group, enrollment in community colleges has dropped 16% from 2010 to 2015.

The improving economy has seen more people going to work rather than school, but four-year colleges are also responsible for this drop. Four-year universities have increased their marketing techniques to reach more students.

According to Carla Hickman of EAB, community colleges need to do a better job at educating students on transfer pathways and career opportunities in order to counteract this decline in enrollment. Many community colleges have also begun to improve their marketing techniques as well.

A Piece of UT Austin History

Big Bertha is the name of the massive bass drum that's wheeled around at football games. Nicknamed the "Sweetheart of the Longhorn Band," it was acquired in 1955 from the University of Chicago. When Chicago decided to drop varsity football in 1939, UT bought it for $1.

The drum is over 100 years old and is 8ft in diameter, 3.4ft wide, and over 10 ft high when set on its carriage. A group known as the "Bertha Crew' cart the drum around during football games. Next time you see it, remember that sometimes $1 can actually buy you a lot.

The Bertha Crew

Vintage Big Bertha

Big Bertha with updated branding

Summaries written by Kelsey Thompson and Stephanie Nandlal

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