Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.
Last month we provided some tips for lowering your cyber related risk in honor of Cyber Security Awareness Month. As we turn to November, we want to focus on the topic of compliance and ethics. The Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) has dubbed November 3rd – 9th as Compliance and Ethics Week, so it is a good time to think about this important topic.
It does not take long working in higher education to realize we are an extremely regulated industry. These regulations often bring ethical dilemmas. It is important to realize that ''compliance'' is not really an office; it is a responsibility of each member of the university community. Those of us who hold a compliance related title are here to assist you in this, and we encourage you to have conversations with the subject matter experts across campus for whatever compliance dilemma you may be facing or have questions about.
Last year I wrote a column dealing with ethics and provided three simple suggestions regarding ethical situations. With some minor modifications, I think these are still solid suggestions for helping you deal with compliance, whatever your role.
- Commit to doing the right thing every time--before you face an ethics or compliance dilemma. If an issue arises that includes pressure from powerful stakeholders, you will be better equipped to handle the situation. It does not mean it will be easy, but it does mean you will be a little better prepared to make wise decisions.
- Seek wise counsel when faced with an ethical or compliance dilemma. The black and white things are easy, but often there are situations where the ''right thing'' is less obvious. In those cases, it is good to get advice from someone you trust who is outside the emotions of the situation. Ethics and compliance officers are there to help you navigate the difficult waters that can arise.
- Use whatever influence you have in your role to encourage others in ethical and compliant behavior. This includes fostering an atmosphere where people can speak openly and honestly about concerns and issues they see.
Ethics and compliance issues permeate virtually every category we list here each month. We again invite you to review the events of the prior month with a view toward proactively managing risks. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.
M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
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Information Security & Technology Events
Oct 10: Spam Emails/Disabled Accounts: Over 1,000 Boston University students were forced to change their account passwords after BU servers were flooded with spam emails from student accounts in late September, university officials said. The spam is believed to be a result of a 2018 breach of the educational site Chegg. Eric Jacobsen, executive director of Information Security at BU, wrote in an email that student accounts that displayed spam activity were temporarily disabled and the students were forced to change their passwords as a means of resecuring their accounts. (link)
Oct 08: Privacy Breach/FERPA: On Oct. 4, an email including information from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences leaked private information about students, faculty and staff members to approximately 50 Southeast communication students. The email was sent with personally identifiable information (PII) to the communication students within the major. The email included three attached excel files, including information such as Southeast ID numbers, GPAs and academic standing, among other personal information. (link)
Oct 07: Phishing attack: The largest medical center in the state has announced thousands of patients may have had personal information exposed to hackers after a cyberattack in August. UAB Medicine sent a news release Friday afternoon saying over 19,000 patients may have had personal information breached after hackers gained access to some employee email accounts. The hackers sent an email on August 7 that looked like an authentic request from an executive asking employees to complete a survey, according to UAB. (link)
Oct 04: Accidental Data Release: An administrator in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health who was notifying seven students of balances due accidentally emailed them a spreadsheet attachment with balance information for them and 31 other students, officials said Friday. No banking or Social Security information was included in the accidental release that occurred last week, said Pitt spokesman Kevin Zwick. A note sent to students within the school said anyone receiving an Excel spreadsheet regarding student tuition information attached to a Sept. 24 email should delete it from user accounts and devices, as well as empty email trash in case one's account is compromised. (link)
Oct 02: Student Email Hack: On Sept. 19 Kent State announced over 3,000 student emails had been hacked the week before. According to Robert Eckman of Kent State's IT department, the breach was a result of credential harvesting.
Eckman said in an email, "Credential Harvesting is the process of using some form of technical or brute force in means of gaining both the username and password of a legitimate account holder. Often times hackers use previously hacked credentials against legitimate authentication systems (like the Kent State login) to see if they are still "usable." In other words, if a student had used the same username and password on another site that had been hacked and has not changed their KSU password, then that hacked credential would work here at KSU as well." (link)
Fraud & Ethics Related Events
Oct 29: Fraud: A 43-year-old woman has been arrested and charged for using fake travel vouchers to obtain money from Clemson University. According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Yolanda Felder filled out and submitted falsified travel vouchers to the university. Felder, who worked for one of the university's satellite offices, received more than $8,200 during a three-month span where she turned in counterfeited documents, according to the arrest warrant. (link)
Oct 24: Fraud/Forgery: A former Morehead State University employee has been indicted for fraud and forgery by a Rowan County grand jury. Sherri P. Ward, 51, was indicted Oct. 18, for one count fraudulent use of a credit card when police say she used a Morehead State Visa purchasing card to obtain $167,072.81 in merchandise for her personal use between Dec. 8, 2017, and July 1, 2019. The indictment claims Ward, who had worked in the department of art and design, also used a rubber signature stamp to forge the signature of Dr. Jean Petsch to a money transfer request from the MSU Foundation. (link)
Oct 23: Theft: Police in Lawrence are investigating after three fossils were stolen from a display case at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the fossils were reported missing Monday but were believed to have been stolen Friday or Saturday. The university police crime log says someone pried hooks from a display case to open it and take the fossils. (link)
Oct 20: Contract Authority: Three employees of the University of Maryland's business school -- including its former dean -- signed unauthorized contracts with the federal government, according to the preliminary results of an investigation released Friday. The employees acted on behalf of the Robert H. Smith School of Business Foundation, which runs the business school's executive education program. Two of them have since been fired, according to the investigation's findings, while the third was the school's "immediate past dean." (link)
Oct 19: Research Fraud: A Purdue University professor and his wife, accused of funneling more that $1 million in National Science Foundation research money into a private company that served as a front to pay for their own personal expenses, pleaded guilty Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Qingyou Han, a mechanical engineering technology professor at Purdue since 2007 and director of Purdue's Center for Materials Processing Research, and his wife, Lu Shao, pleaded guilty to felony charge of wire fraud on behalf of themselves and Shao's company, Hans Tech of Lakewood, Ohio. (link)
Oct 07: Grant Fraud: A former university professor in Philadelphia spent federal grant money on strip clubs and other personal expenses, prosecutors said Monday. Chika Nwankpa misappropriated grant money from the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation over a period of 10 years, the U.S. attorney's office said. Drexel University discovered the alleged fraud in 2017 during an internal audit and alerted the government. Most of the money was spent on strip clubs and sports bars in the Philadelphia area, according to a news release. (link)
Oct 01: Academic Dishonesty: About 70 students at the University of Texas at Austin are facing either automatic failing grades or expulsion for being members of a group message board where information about an upcoming test was posted. In a Sept. 20 email headed "A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for many of you," John Kappelman, a professor in UT's anthropology department, accused over half the students in his introductory anthropology class of cheating after he learned of the group chat's existence, something he said in the email was explicitly prohibited at the start of the semester. (link)
Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events
Oct 29: NCAA Compliance: The NCAA's top decision-makers voted unanimously Tuesday to start the process of modifying its rule to allow college athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses "in a manner consistent with the collegiate model." The board directed the three separate divisions of the organization to immediately begin figuring out how to update their rules in a way that maintains a distinction between college and professional sports. (link)
Oct 28: Nassar Title IX Update: A Michigan judge ruled Monday that there is enough evidence to try an ex-university president accused of lying to police about serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar. Judge Julie Reincke said that former Michigan State University president Lou Ann Simon appeared to have "knowingly and willfully" deceived two state police investigators in an interview last year about a 2014 Title XI investigation into Nassar, then a gymnastics doctor at the school. (link)
Oct 25: NCAA Violation Appeal: Cal Poly is nearing the end of the NCAA appeals process after being forced to vacate records broken by student-athletes who were given extra scholarship money. President Jeffery Armstrong, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and Athletics Director Don Oberhelman went before the NCAA Infractions Appeal Committee on Thursday in Indianapolis for oral arguments. This is the final step in the appeals process, according to the NCAA. Cal Poly was sanctioned by the NCAA on April 18 for giving extra textbook stipends to student-athletes. (link)
Oct 24: Cheating Investigation Lawsuit: A Texas Tech University student disciplined for cheating on his business law exam didn't show that the school's investigation into the allegation violated his constitutional rights, the Fifth Circuit said Oct. 23. Rajin Patel's accusation that Texas Tech violated his due process rights was rejected because he didn't show the defendants failed to exercise their professional judgment during the process, or the result didn't comport with reasoned academic decisionmaking, the opinion by Judge Stuart K. Duncan said. (link)
Oct 23: Clery Act Accusation: A complaint has been filed with the federal Department of Education against the University of Oregon, alleging Clery Act violations and the university's failure to report what the complainant describes as hate crimes. The complaint, filed late last month by an anonymous student and employee of the UO who shared the report with The Register-Guard, alleges that at least 30 documented incidents of hate and bias, mostly anti-Semitic in nature, were not recorded in the campus's Clery Act report. (link)
Oct 22: College Admissions Scandal: Several coaches and athletic department administrators were charged with additional crimes for their alleged involvement in the "side door" college admissions scandal uncovered by the FBI earlier this year. Prosecutors charged former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst with money laundering and federal programs bribery in addition to wire and mail fraud charges. Ernst, former UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo and former USC athletic administrator Donna Heinel were also charged with "soliciting and accepting bribes to facilitate the admission of students to the universities where they worked." (link)
Oct 22: NCAA Compliance: The NCAA placed South Carolina's football program on probation for one year after reaching a negotiated resolution agreement to close an investigation into impermissible off-campus contact between a Gamecocks assistant coach and a recruit in 2018. According to an NCAA release, the unnamed assistant coach had impermissible off-campus contact with a recruit in May 2018. The coach also sent 13 text messages to the prospective student-athlete, who was a sophomore in high school at the time, from January 2018 to June 2018. (link)
Oct 21: ADA Lawsuit: The former director of financial aid special programs for the University of Pittsburgh claims the school fired her because of her disability and stated her seizures "were a distraction" to fellow employees. According to the Oct. 4 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Estelle Belko filed the civil action against the University of Pittsburgh claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) (link)
Oct 20: Wrongful Termination Lawsuit: A former professor at a college in Connecticut says in a lawsuit she was fired for refusing to disclose the name of a student who told her a male professor was offering better grades in exchange for sex. Laura Jean Champagne's federal suit against Goodwin College seeks unspecified damages for wrongful termination and rights violations. (link)
Oct 16: Public Records Lawsuit: N.C. State University is refusing to turn over records -- which should be public -- that could shine a light on a corruption scandal involving Adidas and former basketball star Dennis Smith Jr., multiple media outlets claim in a new lawsuit. The News & Observer, The New York Times, WRAL and ABC11 have sued N.C. State, claiming the school has been "knowingly and intentionally violating" the law by refusing to turn over public records. (link)
Oct 11: Abortion Law: California will become the first state in the nation to require public universities to provide access to abortion pills on campus under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday. Senate Bill 24 by state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) will go into effect in 2023, with the University of California and California State University systems required to offer students medical abortions. (link)
Oct 11: Sexual Harassment/Retaliation: A Stockton University physics professor with a history of retaliation and sexual harassment was pulled from his classroom earlier this month. Administrators found out about Andrew Kortyna's history after he was hired to teach during the 2019-20 school year, a university official confirmed Friday, and are reviewing it. The 58-year-old was hired as a visiting assistant professor in physics even though he was fired in 2015 from a tenured professorship at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, after an investigation into two students' claims, WHYY reported Thursday evening. (link)
Oct 11: Sports Gambling: The Purdue University trustees have approved a policy banning faculty, staff and non-athlete students from gambling on sporting events involving any Purdue teams, coaches or student-athletes. The policy approved Thursday was developed at the urging of some faculty members and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics after sports betting became legal in Indiana earlier this year. The policy applies to wagers placed worldwide and online. (link)
Oct 09: Exploitation: A college football coach is under investigation Wednesday for, among other things, being accused of letting his players sleep in the locker room and charging them rent. A former player for the Pierce College football team is alleging that he ended up homeless, living in his car, after he paid his coach money for a room to stay in. According to Pierce College's paper, "The Roundup News," the team's head football coach Carlos Woods is under an internal investigation after football players and staff filed complaints that Woods collected $300-400 for housing from some players who ended up being kicked out of their apartments because the rent hadn't been paid. (link)
Oct 08: Indifference to Safety Lawsuit: Two of the women raped by former Utah State University football player Torrey Green are suing the university, accusing the Logan school of maintaining a dangerous environment where sexual assaults were known about and tolerated. The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, says the university and its employees "acted with deliberate indifference" to the plaintiffs' right -- and the right of other female USU students -- to a safe educational environment by failing to investigate and respond to multiple assault allegations, failing to provide adequate health and counseling services to victims, and failing to warn other students of the danger posed by Green. (link)
Oct 07: Mental Health Discrimination Lawsuit: Stanford University has agreed to a "groundbreaking" settlement with a group of students who sought through a class action lawsuit to reform allegedly discriminatory policies affecting students in mental health crisis. Disability Rights Advocates in San Francisco, which brought the case on behalf of the Stanford Mental Health & Wellness Coalition and individual students last spring, called the agreement the "most comprehensive (settlement) ever to protect college students with mental health disabilities from unnecessary exclusion." (link)
Oct 06: Gender Discrimination Lawsuit: A man is suing the University of Pittsburgh, alleging that he was discriminated against due to a false sexual harassment claim. John Doe filed a complaint on Sept. 14 in the Western District Court against University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. According to the complaint, the plaintiff is seeking damages for an incident that took place in the summer of 2016 when the plaintiff and Jane Roe began to have friendly interactions. (link)
Oct 05: Court Ordered Investigative Files: A federal judge has ordered the University of Arizona to produce investigative files related to 16 complaints of domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment in the athletic department, as part of an ongoing lawsuit involving former Wildcats running back Orlando Bradford's abuse of women. Judge Susan R. Bolton ordered the UA to produce the files, but denied the plaintiff's request for additional sanctions, including attorneys' fees. The plaintiff said the UA withheld critical evidence in the case, and that the university's omission called into question many of the statements already made during the discovery process. (link)
Oct 05: California Admissions Laws: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed three laws Friday in response to a college admissions scandal where more than 50 people have been arrested and accused of using bribes to get their children into elite schools. The laws tighten rules on when colleges can admit students who don't meet standard eligibility requirements; require schools to tell the Legislature if they give preferential treatment to some applicants; and prevent people found guilty in the scandal from receiving tax benefits stemming from bribes that might have been disguised as charitable contributions. (link)
Oct 04: Tuition Lawsuit: A Valley man and his daughter have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Auburn University claiming that it is fraudulently charging in-state students out-of-state tuition. Jeffrey Prosser and his daughter Brooke Prosser, of Valley but formerly of Georgia, filed the lawsuit. Brook Prosser is claiming that she has qualified for in-state tuition since starting school at the university but has been denied, instead charged out-of-state tuition. The lawsuit names Gov. Kay Ivey, Auburn University, The Auburn University board of trustees and Interim President Jay Gogue. (link)
Oct 03: Sexual Misconduct Court Order: A business student nearing graduation was forced to withdraw from classes at the University of Michigan, or face expulsion. It was determined the student, at the time a senior in his final semester, violated the school's sexual misconduct policy by having sex with an intoxicated freshman during a "Risky Business" themed fraternity party in January 2016, according to court records. But the process used to make that determination was later deemed illegal by a federal appeals court. Now, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson in a Sept. 30 order told UM to reverse the disciplinary actions it imposed (link)
Oct 02: Healthcare Lawsuit Settlement: Transgender employees who work at universities in Georgia will now receive healthcare under the state university system's insurance plan. The policy changes come after Skyler Jay, a catering manager at the University of Georgia, filed a federal lawsuit against the University System of Georgia last year. The lawsuit claimed the University System of Georgia's employee insurance health plan discriminated against its transgender employees because it excluded covering transgender medical care. (link)
Oct 02: Foreign Gifts Disclosure Law: The federal government is investigating whether the University of Maryland has followed a law requiring disclosure of foreign gifts and contracts, according to documents made public this week. A letter on the matter from the Education Department did not allege a violation of the law. But U-Md. officials acknowledged Wednesday that they had recently discovered and rectified gaps in their reporting of such revenue. (link)
Oct 02: Title IX Lawsuit: Former Auburn softball player Alexa Nemeth has filed a civil lawsuit against her former school, coaches and university administrators stemming from the softball scandal that engulfed the team more than two years ago. Nemeth, a one-time walk-on at Auburn from 2016-17, filed the lawsuit on Sept. 25 with five counts alleging sexual discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title IX. Former head coach Clint Myers, his son and former assistant coach Corey Myers, former Auburn presidents Jay Gogue and Steven Leath, and Auburn University are all named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Montgomery. (link)
Oct 01: Harvard Admissions Lawsuit: A judge has ruled in favor of Harvard University in a high-profile court case centered on whether the school's admissions process forces Asian Americans to clear a higher bar to get in. Federal District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs issued her decision Tuesday, saying "the Court finds no persuasive documentary evidence of any racial animus or conscious prejudice against Asian Americans." In the decision, Burroughs said that while Harvard's admissions program is "not perfect," "ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions." (link)
Oct 01: Religious Discrimination: When a federal judge nearly two years ago said the University of Iowa was selectively enforcing its human rights policy against faith-based student groups and ordered it to stop, the campus doubled down and honed its student organization review on those with religious ties, according to new court documents. "Reviewers were instructed to review religious groups first, and those groups were reviewed twice," according to a Friday ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose barring the UI from deregistering faith-based groups for asking leaders to align with their beliefs. (link)
Oct 01: College Athlete Profit Law: California became the first state to require major financial reforms in college athletics on Monday after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that allows players to receive endorsement deals, despite the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. calling the move unconstitutional. Other states have proposed similar measures to pressure the NCAA, but so far only California is on a collision course with the governing body of college athletics, a billion-dollar organization that has repeatedly opposed efforts to allow players to profit off their sports. (link)
Oct 01: Discrimination Lawsuit: A state appeals court says San Francisco State University violated the rights of a professor who was denied tenure and fired, despite high ratings from students and colleagues, after complaining about her school's treatment of racial minorities. The First District Court of Appeal upheld a San Francisco jury's 2017 verdict that awarded Rashmi Gupta $378,000 in damages for illegal retaliation by the university, where she had spent six years as an assistant professor of social work before being terminated in 2014. The school must also reimburse her $587,000 for attorneys' fees and court costs. (link)
Campus Life & Safety Events
Oct 29: Free Speech: The University of Michigan will not reinstate its Bias Response Team as part of a settlement with a nonprofit that had argued the team's policies had the potential to interfere with open expression and alter students' views. The agreement was reached between UM and the Washington D.C.-based Speech First on Oct. 24-25. The settlement came about a month after a federal appeals court vacated a federal district judge's ruling against the nonprofit, saying the Bias Response Team acts with the implicit threat of punishment and intimidation to quell speech on campus. (link)
Oct 28: Hostile Environment Lawsuit: A former University of Akron basketball player has sued the school and its head basketball coach after a teammate was accused of punching him during practice, knocking out teeth and fracturing nasal bones. The Akron Beacon Journal reports Mark Kostelac sued recently in Ohio's Court of Claims accusing the university of "failing to remedy the discriminatory, hostile environment" he says led to his injuries. The suit alleges black team members discriminated against white teammates based on race and religion. (link)
Oct 27: Sexual Assaults: Utah State University police are investigating after three people reported being sexually assaulted on the school's campus Friday night. One individual reported they were raped, and two others reported they were groped, USU spokesman Tim Vitale said. He didn't release where on campus the assaults were alleged to have occurred, nor whether the victims or the accused were students. (link)
Oct 27: Wildfires/Power Shut Off: Monday's daytime classes will be canceled after PG&E disconnected power on campus about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a campuswide email from UCPD. The email also states that "adverse weather conditions," including heat and high winds, are expected to continue through Monday. (link)
Oct 27: Fall from Stadium Upper Deck: An Iowa State football fan tumbled out of Jack Trice Stadium's upper deck during Saturday's football game, but beyond that, details about the person and their condition have not been released by Iowa State or the Iowa State University Police Department. The fan, whom Iowa State officials did not identify, fell at least 25 feet from the upper deck on the east side of the 61,500-seat stadium and into an area near the stadium's club seating area around the 40-yard line. The person was taken from the stadium on a stretcher. (link)
Oct 26: Mumps Outbreaks: We recently reported that several East Coast universities in the US were experiencing mumps outbreaks, including South Carolina. In recent days we see an update out of the College of Charleston and a report out of Clemson University. State health officials reported a mumps outbreak at the College of Charleston about one month ago. Now the school have reported additional cases bringing the total to 11 to date. On Friday morning, Clemson officials sent an email to all students, staff and faculty concerning a confirmed mumps case on campus. School officials believe this is an isolated case but the campus is trying to be proactive so more people don't get sick. (link)
Oct 24: Medical Marijuana on Campus: Colleges are becoming a battleground in the conflict between federal and state marijuana laws as students who use medical pot challenge decades-old campus drug policies. In states where medical marijuana is legal, students disciplined for using it are taking their schools to court. College officials argue they could lose federal funding for failing to follow federal law that labels cannabis an illegal drug with no accepted medical use. Sheida Assar said she was expelled from GateWay Community College in Phoenix last month for violating the school's drug policy after she tested positive for marijuana, which she uses to treat chronic pain from polycystic ovary syndrome. (link)
Oct 23: Hazing: The University of Arizona placed the Theta Chi fraternity under interim suspension for violating the school's hazing policies after a former pledge claimed he suffered a chemical burn in his eye and a blood infection during a hazing in April. The student initially filed a notice of claim against the school in August and an amended claim in October that detail a pattern of physical and emotional abuse by members of the fraternity, according to copies obtained by the Star. (link)
Oct 22: Secret Recordings: Athletes at Bellarmine University in Louisville were secretly recorded as they changed in a visitor's locker room at a South Carolina college, and the footage was uploaded to one of the world's largest porn sites, according to officials.Police in Gaffney, South Carolina, told local news outlets that Limestone College officials were made aware this month of five videos that showed five different visiting women's athletic teams showering and changing clothes in the men's soccer team locker room. (link)
Oct 22: Race Relations/Free Speech: Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested Monday after video that showed them shouting racial slurs prompted campus protests, university police told NBC News. Jarred Mitchell Karal, 21, and Ryan Gilman Mucaj, 21, face charges of ridicule on account of race, color, or creed. They were released with a court date set for Oct. 30 at Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut. (link)
Oct 21: Rape/Kidnapping: Kansas State University police arrested a Fort Riley man suspected of rape Sunday, according to the university. Jason Seifert, 23, was arrested on the campus on suspicion of rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. Officers of the Kansas State University Police Department were called about 2:55 a.m. to the Denison corridor on the west side of campus, where they found the victim, according to a statement Monday from the the university. (link)
Oct 20: Sexual Assault: Police have made an arrest after a student was sexually assaulted while she was sleeping inside her dorm room at Rutgers University, law enforcement sources tell NBC New York.
The student was asleep in an "unsecured" dorm room on the Livingston Campus in Piscataway, New Jersey, around 7:40 a.m. on Oct. 20 when the suspect went in and made "unwanted sexual contact," Rutgers police said Sunday. (link)
Oct 19: Death: Police at the University of South Florida have identified the woman who fell to her death Friday afternoon from an on-campus parking garage as a 25-year-old graduate student from Port Richey, Florida. Investigators have not named the woman, but confirmed on Saturday that she was enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Florida and was completing her studies at the Moffitt Cancer Center hospital on USF's Tampa campus. (link)
Oct 17: Terroristic Threats: Police arrested a former Rutgers University student Thursday morning, the day after he sent an email and video to law students that spoke of school shootings and gun violence, officials said. Patrick Kelly, 28, of Harrison was arrested by Rutgers University police, less than a day after he sent a message to several students at Rutgers Law School in Newark that mentioned "mass violence in schools," "extreme group stalking" and mental health, according to an email obtained by NorthJersey.com. (link)
Oct 17: Reckless Homicide: Detectives in north Nashville have charged TSU student George Wells, Jr. with reckless homicide for Sunday's shooting that left fellow student Rickey Scott, 19, dead. Wells, 18, lived in the same Watson Hall dormitory as Scott and told police late Wednesday that he brought what he thought was a pellet gun to Scott's room and was handling it when he pulled the trigger. Scott died not long later at Skyline Medical Center. (link)
Oct 13: Hazing: UF's Chi Phi chapter is on interim suspension after allegations of hazing were reported to the fraternity's national office and UF administration. Chi Phi national executive director Michael Azarian enacted the suspension on Oct. 2, according to a letter he emailed Chad Grodi, president of UF's Chi Phi chapter. All chapter activities are banned, and the allegations are currently under investigation. (link)
Oct 12: Stalking: A man has been arrested in connection with a string of prowling incidents at sorority houses on Kent State University's campus, according to Kent police. 43-year-old Steven Franzreb of North Royalton was arrested and charged with menacing by stalking after police received multiple reports of a man approaching a Kent State University sorority house nude or mostly nude on multiple occasions. (link)
Oct 11: Race Relations: Samford University is reviewing an incident in which a photo was posted on social media of a student with a spray tan and captioned "we changing races." The female student was photographed on Snapchat with spray tan in a vehicle with the caption being "we changing races tonight!!" The snapchat was captured by several students and made its way around campus until being reported to university officials. The identities of the two female students have not been officially confirmed by the university. (link)
Oct 09: Power Outages: Several school districts decided on Tuesday to close in anticipation of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s engineered power shutoffs, which could begin midnight Wednesday. Other districts from Redding to Placerville and in the Bay Area, meanwhile, took a wait-and-see approach to the planned blackouts, not announcing plans on whether to close campuses for the day until early Wednesday morning. PG&E's shutoffs, blacking out power to 513,000 customers as of 4 a.m. Wednesday with a second phase of more than 250,000 expected to begin around noon, could affect thousands of students and their families in Northern and Central California. (link)
Oct 10: Drug Dealing: West Chester University police say a student was using Snapchat and printed flyers to run a campus pot-dealing business. West Chester University is all abuzz about the suspected weed dealer doing business out of the dorms and according to classmates he wasn't so discreet. Acting on a tip for underaged drinking West Chester University police were called to a party inside in Brandywine Hall last weekend. After sniffing around the party on the third-floor officers say they found 19-year-old Zachary Given sleeping inside his room. (link)
Oct 09: Robbery/Assault: Police in Atlanta are looking for two men who got into a Georgia State University student's car while she was parked on campus, robbed her at gunpoint and pistol-whipped her. The woman got off a shuttle and walked to her car parked in the blue lot on campus about 6 p.m. on Sept. 27, Channel 2 Action News reported. After she got into the driver's seat, two armed men jumped into the vehicle and demanded she hand over all of her belongings, the news station reported. (link)
Oct 09: Free Speech Lawsuit: A federal court of appeals is hearing arguments in a lawsuit accusing the University of Texas of violating free speech rights by removing Confederate statues. The Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans sued after the university put three statues of leading Confederate figures in storage. The move followed 2017 white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which three people died. The lawsuit argues that the university breached its agreement with Maj. George Washington Littlefield, who donated the statues in 1921. (link)
Oct 08: Accidental Fall: A WVU student is in critical condition after suffering serious injuries from a two-story fall from the Sigma Nu fraternity house on Thursday night. The student was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital on Thursday, where he still remains in critical condition, according to a WVU statement. While the accident occurred at the fraternity house, at this time there is no evidence to suggest that it was connected to a fraternity event, according to the statement. (link)
Oct 08: Social Media Threat: A suspect has been arrested and charged following a social media threat against Winston-Salem State University, according to a news release from the university. Thomas Bell, 19, is charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. (link)
Oct 04: Mold: After a week away in upstate New York, Barnet Pavão-Zuckerman walked back into her office at the University of Maryland and instantly felt something was wrong. She walked over to her shelves and saw that, once again, mold spores were coating the spines of her books. Professors who work out of Woods Hall on the state's flagship campus in College Park say their working conditions have been making them sick for years. Mold spores show up on their desks, books and clothing, leading to health issues such as severe skin irritations and exacerbated asthma or allergies, they said. (link)
Oct 04: Hazing: Ohio University on Thursday announced it was suspending all its fraternities following allegations of widespread hazing. Suspension of the 15 fraternities at the university was immediate and indefinite. It followed allegations within the past week of hazing at seven of the fraternities, as well as the expulsion in May of a fraternity following the alleged hazing of a freshman who died last year. (link)
Oct 02: Hazing: The University of Georgia chapter of Delta Delta Delta has been placed on probation for risk management policy violations involving alcohol, national Tri-Delta Fraternity President Kimberlee Sullivan said in an Oct. 2 statement emailed to The Red & Black. An investigation into the violations led by the national women's fraternity organization found individual members had been held accountable for actions "considered hazing by Tri Delta," according to Sullivan's statement. (link)
Oct 02: Hazing: After Florida State University suspended the Delta Tau Delta fraternity Friday, two other fraternities on campus have been put under interim suspension. Delta Tau Delta and Phi Kappa Tau are under investigation for hazing, while Sigma Alpha Epsilon is under interim suspension for alcohol violations. These investigations came to light just as Andrew's Law went into effect Tuesday in Florida. (link)
Oct 02: Hazing: Eighteen Miami University fraternity members accused of hitting, kicking and spitting on "pledges" have been charged with dozens of misdemeanors in Butler County, according to a grand jury report released Wednesday. Their 64 cumulative charges are all either for assault or hazing. Most stand charged with more than one count of each. The Journal-News reported all 18 are members of Delta Tau Delta, a fraternity banned from campus until at least 2029 in response to a new member's report of violent hazing this spring. (link)
Oct 01: Vaping on Campus: Anyone who steps foot on a Texas A&M campus will not be allowed to vape or smoke e-cigarettes, according to a memo released by the university system. Chancellor John Sharp said smoking is banned in most campuses and facilities of TAMU, but announced the ban on vaping will be "mandatory and expanded to every inch of the Texas A&M System." "This health threat is serious enough that I want to see the ban include every building, outside space, parking lot, garage and laboratory within the Texas A&M System," read the memo. (link)
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