Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
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Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager
Volume 15 Number 02 | February 2023
Quotable .....
“ If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. ”

-- William H. McRaven

This month we begin a deeper dive into each specific category from 2022 with a focus on Information Technology. IT risks are vitally important to manage and are ever evolving so they require special vigilance. As we examined the issues in this category, we noticed something interesting. See if you can pick up a trend here:

Top 3 types of stories in the IT category 2020:

  1. Data Breaches
  2. Cyberattacks
  3. Privacy Issues

Top 3 types of stories in the IT category for 2021:

  1. Data Breaches
  2. Cyberattacks
  3. Privacy Issues

Top 3 types of stories in the IT category for 2022:

  1. Data Breaches
  2. Cyberattacks
  3. Privacy Issues

Since we think we gave some fairly good advice last year on managing this risk, we again present our suggestions for avoiding the headlines.

5 Tips That Could Help You Avoid Becoming an IT Headline

  • Practice good password hygiene
    Use strong & different passwords on each site and enable multi-factor authentication.
  • Beware of social engineering tactics
    Learn to recognize common methods used by scammers to obtain your personal information, whether via email, text message, phone calls, or in-person. Be skeptical of requests for your personal information or money.
  • Use only secure WiFi or VPN
    Most public or free WiFi networks are unsecured. Always use a VPN service when connecting to a public WiFi network.
  • Install Updates
    Cyber attackers take advantage of unpatched devices and applications. Regularly look for and install OS and application software updates and hardware firmware.
  • Backup your data
    Something will inevitably go wrong. Your hardware may fail, you may accidentally delete the wrong files, or even lose a device. Backups protect you from accidentally losing data and help you recover from ransomware.

Looking to the future, here are five things we predict from reading the tea leaves of this category:

  1. The 3 items above will remain the top 3 items.
  2. 2023 will see an increase in governmental regulation surrounding cyber security. While many of these regulations will not be focused on higher education specifically, they will no doubt raise the expectation of cyber security within higher education.
  3. Privacy regulations will also continue to increase worldwide and in the U.S., thus impacting higher education.
  4. Cyber insurance rates will continue to increase and become harder for universities to get, leading to more choosing to self-insure.
  5. Artificial Intelligence (including ChatGPT) will challenge institutions academically as well as in the cyber security realm as deep fakes and social engineering become more sophisticated. This will make the need for training and individual vigilance more important than ever.

Technology related risks are here to stay, but they are simply one category of a vast tapestry of risks facing our industry. We again invite you to look at the events of the prior month with a focus toward proactively managing risk in your area of influence. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

M. Kevin Robinson, CIA, CFE
Associate Vice President
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Follow us on Twitter

Information Security & Technology Events

Feb 27: Data Breach; Letters are being mailed to last known permanent address to 2,158 users whose personally identifiable information (PII) was involved in a data breach of the Physician Assistant Portal (PA Portal) at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven. On Jan. 19, 2023, Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania (CU) learned of a possible data breach at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven. A cyber forensics investigation confirmed that personally identifiable information of 2,158 Physician Assistant Portal (PA Portal) users was compromised. (link)

Feb 24: Data Breach: Stanford University disclosed a data breach after files containing Economics Ph.D. program admission information were downloaded from its website between December 2022 and January 2023. The information exposed as a result of this breach comprises application and accompanying materials, including names, dates of birth, home and mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, race and ethnicity, citizenship, and gender. (link)

Feb 22: Third Party Breach: Virginia Tech Police are investigating credit card fraud, relating to a security breach at AudienceView Campus, which the university uses as a ticketing vendor for campus events. "A number of our students made Virginia Tech Police aware that their credit cards had been hacked into and there were charges against their credit cards that were not their own," said Mark Owczarski, spokesperson for Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech uses a handful of third party ticket contractors for events across campus. Now, some students who purchased tickets for recent events are canceling credit cards after seeing fraud charges in their bank accounts (link)

Feb 14: Data Breach: On February 13, 2023, Xavier University of Louisiana ("XULA") filed a notice of data breach with the Maine Attorney General after learning that the school was the recent target of a ransomware attack compromising personal information belonging to certain students. Based on the company's official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to students' full names and Social Security numbers. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, XULA began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident. (link)

Feb 13: Inappropriate Access: A former Michigan co-offensive coordinator was fired Jan. 20 after it was found during a university investigation review that day that he appeared to "have inappropriately accessed" computer accounts, according to his termination letter. The details of what exactly the man was accessing from computer accounts and whose accounts remains unclear. Melissa Overton, UM Chief of Police, when contacted by The News on Monday, had no comment, saying this is "still an active investigation." (link)

Feb 01: Data Breach: Western Michigan University IT services are returning to full operational capacity following a 13-day service disruption. The disruption was caused by an "unauthorized user" that accessed two WMU servers on Jan. 19, according to an email from WMU's Office of Information Technology. A full forensic investigation is ongoing, university officials said in the email. The servers the user accessed contained user backups for faculty staff, according to the news release. It's possible that some personal information was contained on those servers but no systems that centrally maintain university-wide student, employee or patient information was accessed, officials said in the email. (link)

Feb 01: Data Breach Lawsuit: Suffolk University negligently failed to protect the sensitive information of thousands of current and former students that was exposed in a July 2022 data breach, a new proposed federal class action said. Susannah Smith alleges the university failed to implement industry standards for the protection of personal information and failed to provide adequate notice to affected students, according to a complaint filed Tuesday with the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. (link)

Feb 01: Data Breach: Three weeks after an extensive data breach in the Okanagan College servers, the hacking group who accessed the sensitive information has released it to the dark web. The group, Vice Society, illegally obtained the information on Jan. 9. The data included everything from passwords, to social security numbers, credit card numbers and more, totalling 800 GB. They followed through with their threats on Jan. 30. (link)

Feb 01: Cyberattack: Russian hacking group Killnet claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that disrupted hospital and health system websites across the U.S., according to BetterCyber, a technology company. Killnet said it hit websites for hospitals and health systems across the U.S., including university health systems. (link)

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Fraud & Ethics Related Events

Feb 22: Theft: The department chair and director of nursing at Bradley University is now facing 10 counts of theft. The department chair and director of nursing at Bradley University is now facing 10 counts of theft. A spokesperson for the university tells 25 News, they are aware of the allegations and would not comment further. (link)

Feb 15: Ethics: Minnesota State College Southeast President Marsha Danielson inappropriately used a college-owned car, accepted a hockey ticket package and treated employees in a manner that could be viewed as demeaning, humiliating or bullying, according to reports and emails released this week that show she violated system procedures. The Minnesota State system of colleges and universities began investigations after multiple people filed complaints about Danielson in October. The system relied on its Office of Internal Auditing to investigate allegations that Danielson "misused college resources and took advantage of her state position." (link)

Feb 08: Theft: A 72-year-old Fairfield man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges in New York after authorities accused him of stealing works of art by students and equipment last year at the State University of New York in Purchase. The man was arrested by State University Police, following a months-long investigation where authorities combed through hours of campus and off-campus surveillance video to find the suspect's vehicle. State University Police Chief Dayton Tucker did not elaborate on the details of the case, but the Yonkers Times reported that virtually all the stolen artwork were nudes that were part of student thesis assignments. (link)

Feb 06: Embezzlement: Two former Coahoma Community College employees were sentenced to five years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White announced. The employees were arrested in June 2019 after authorities say they made over $750,000 in personal purchases with Coahoma Community College credit cards and checks. The state auditor said the women bought gift cards, shoes, watches, a chandelier, and other items with the money from January 2013 to September 2017. The scheme was uncovered when they forgot to conceal a purchase record. (link)

Feb 01: Research Grant Fraud: The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today that the United States has filed and settled a civil fraud lawsuit against Hunter College and a former Hunter psychology professor who served as Director of Hunter's Center for HIV Educational Studies. Under the settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, the professor, 55, of Teaneck, New Jersey, and Hunter College agreed to pay $375,000 and $200,000, respectively, to the United States and made detailed factual admissions regarding their conduct. (link)

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Compliance/Regulatory & Legal Events

Feb 26: Discrimination Lawsuit: A White student at Howard University's law school is suing the institution for racial discrimination, alleging the school created a "hostile education environment." Michael Newman, the plaintiff, attended Howard University School of Law starting in the fall semester of 2020 and remained there for just two years until he was expelled in September 2022. He is seeking $2 million in monetary damages for "pain, suffering, emotional anguish and damage to his reputation." Newman suffered "depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts" as a result of "public ostracism, vilification and humiliation," the lawsuit claims. (link)

Feb 24: Defamation Lawsuit: Former Michigan State University Business School Dean Sanjay Gupta filed a lawsuit Friday against Interim President Teresa Woodruff alleging she defamed him and used her power to demote him so that he would not be a rival to serve as the university's next president. The suit adds Gupta's interpretation of a sequence of events largely laid out in a December report in The Detroit News about the leadership transition from former President Samuel Stanley to Woodruff, whose action against Gupta is under investigation by the MSU Board of Trustees. It also lays open the question of whether MSU's policy on who must report and investigate alleged violations of sexual improprieties is evenly enforced. (link)

Feb 24: NCAA Violations: The Miami (Florida) women's basketball head coach violated NCAA rules when she facilitated impermissible contact between two prospects and a booster, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. In facilitating the contact, the head coach also violated rules on publicity before signing and, because of her direct involvement, she violated head coach responsibility rules. (link)

Feb 24: Housing Development Lawsuit: A state appellate court has issued a final ruling that stops UC Berkeley from building badly needed student housing at People's Park and opens controversial new paths to block development using the state's environmental law. In a decision issued Friday evening, the court said University of California regents need not abandon the People's Park project but must return to the trial court and "fix the errors" in the environmental review. Two nonprofits had filed a lawsuit to stop the plan, saying it would rob neighbors of green space, damage the park's historic value and bring more noise and other disruptions to the area. (link)

Feb 22: Student Death Settlement: The University of Utah announced Tuesday it has reached a settlement and will pay $5 million to the parents of an international student who was killed last year. Zhifan Dong was a first-year student from China who police say was killed by fellow student and boyfriend Haoyu Wang on Feb. 11, 2022, at a downtown Salt Lake hotel. Police say Wang injected his girlfriend with a fatal dose of drugs as part of a suicide pact. Dong's parents criticized the university in July and said the school failed "to protect her when she needed it the most." Before her death, Dong was endangered, missing and an alleged victim of domestic violence. (link)

Feb 21: DUI: A Radford University men's basketball coach was charged Sunday with driving under the influence. Radford University men's basketball coach He was charged Sunday with driving under the influence. Radford announced on the athletic department's Twitter account later Tuesday morning that it has named an assistant coach the acting head coach. The tweet did not mention any decision on the coach's job status but said the university is "evaluating the situation regarding our head men's basketball coach." (link)

Feb 19: Wrongful Death Lawsuit: The parents of a Jacksonville University student who died by suicide are suing the school and its former track and cross-country coach accused of berating and bullying her. Julia Pernsteiner, 23, died in her dorm room in November 2021, less than a year after she transferred from the University of Pikeville in Kentucky. The wrongful-death lawsuit by Ray and Lynne Pernsteiner cites JU negligence as well as breach of contract and failure to follow requirements of the federal Title IX protection against sex discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act and another civil rights law known as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (link)

Feb 17: Title IV: Wednesday's U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter announces an expanded Department interpretation of the definition of Third-Party Servicer to include a new array of vendors providing student recruiting and retention services, certain software products and services linked to Title IV Federal Student Aid administration activities, and educational content and instruction. Specifically, the new interpretation includes a "catch-all" provision that captures all vendors that "perform any other aspect of the administration of the Title IV programs or comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements associated with those programs." (link)

Feb 16: Allergy Death Lawsuit: The family of a Lake Villa teenager and freshman football player has filed a lawsuit against Trinity University in Deerfield claiming the school was responsible for serving the man contaminated food that caused his fatal allergic reaction. Incoming freshman student Avery Gilbert, 18, was at Trinity University for just his third day on August 10 when he suffered a severe allergic reaction. A police report said the football players, including Gilbert, were all eating together after practice. A lawsuit filed in Lake County Circuit Court said that the food was supposed to be allergen free but had been "cross-contacted" with allergens by the staff at the dining hall. The food was served in an area called "The Zone: An Allergen Sensitive Area." (link)

Feb 16: Sexual Abuse Lawsuit: More sexual abuse survivors of former Ohio State University physician Richard Strauss will be allowed to sue the university, a federal appeals court has ruled. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision Wednesday that prohibited victims and their families from suing the university on the grounds that the statute of limitations on Title IX cases had passed. The court did not, however, accept survivors' claims of Title IX retaliation, nor did it rule that the lower judge who originally dismissed the cases should recuse himself for his affiliation with Ohio State. (link)

Feb 14: NCAA Compliance: A former Northern Arizona associate athletics director violated academic integrity rules when she provided impermissible assistance to a student-athlete during a placement exam, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. Because the academic integrity violation constituted an impermissible benefit, the student-athlete went on to compete in 10 games while ineligible. (link)

Feb 13: First Amendment Lawsuit: A conservative University of Texas professor has sued three officials in the McCombs School of Business, accusing them of violating his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for his criticism of the university. Richard Lowery, an associate finance professor, alleges that his public criticism of the university, including against the school's diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, prompted officials to threaten his job status and academic freedom, according to the lawsuit filed last week in federal district court. (link)

Feb 06: Discrimination Lawsuit: A former dean at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton has filed a lawsuit against the college, claiming the university president and a top administrator discriminated against him and eventually forcing him out of his job because he is Black and has diabetes. Joseph Youngblood II, of Hopewell, said in court papers he was harassed and discriminated against during his 18 years of employment with the school, most recently by two administrators leading the public university. (link)

Feb 06: Whistleblower Settlement: Nearly two years of litigation between Linfield University and fired professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner has come to an end in the form of a more than $1 million settlement. Pollack-Pelzner, a tenured professor at the private university in McMinnville, was fired in April 2021 after he publicly shared allegations of sexual misconduct from students and staff involving university board members, including the Linfield president. Pollack-Pelzner, who is Jewish, also shared antisemitic comments he said came from the president and other university leaders. (link)

Feb 03: Sex Crimes: A Virginia Tech professor was arrested Tuesday on child sex-related charges, according to court documents from Montgomery County Circuit Court. An Associate Professor of Energy Engineering and Science was charged with 14 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery against a victim under the age of 13, and one count of intercourse with a victim by force, threat, or intimidation. Court records indicate the charges are related to an incident that allegedly occurred in 2002. WDBJ7 reached out to a spokesperson for Virginia Tech for a statement on the man's arrest and if he's still employed by the university, the statement can be found below: "We are aware of the charges. He is currently employed but he is not teaching. Beyond that I have no statement." (link)

Feb 02: Drugs: A Purdue University professor was arrested after being accused of dealing meth and propositioning women for sexual favors. According to the Lafayette Police Department, The man, 65, of Lafayette was arrested on Wednesday after a lengthy investigation into reports of a "suspicious male approaching women." The professor faces charges of making an unlawful proposition, dealing methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine. He is listed as a professor of aeronautical and astronautical engineering who has been at Purdue since 2014. Purdue University said that the professor has been placed on leave and is barred from campus. (link)

Feb 02: Breach of Contract Lawsuit: Dr. Paula Kopacz gave 34 years of her life to Eastern Kentucky University's (EKU) English Department. She rose through the ranks, working her way from assistant professor to foundation professor. Now she is suing the university. In 2021, the educator filed a lawsuit against her former employer on the grounds of unlawful termination and breach of contract. That case has been in gridlock since May 2022. (link)

Feb 01: Public Records Lawsuit: Student journalists in Oakland have sued the Peralta Community College District, claiming their attempts to obtain district documents under the state Public Records Act have been long ignored -- in one case for nearly two years. The suit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of the Peralta Citizen, the district's student-run newspaper, and four of its journalists. It was announced Wednesday. "The district routinely fails to comply with the PRA," Oakland First Amendment lawyer Sam Ferguson wrote in the complaint. (link)

Feb 01: Sex Crimes: A former assistant dean of admissions at Texas Southern University's law school is facing additional charges after facing theft counts back in 2020 for a scheme that involved stealing money from the university. The man allegedly induced a minor to engage in sexual acts in June 2018, according to court documents obtained by ABC13. They go on to state there are also photos. The district attorney's office told Eyewitness News that the minor had no connection to TSU. TSU confirmed only with ABC13 that the man was an employee at the university during the new allegations. (link)

Feb 01: First Amendment: A former Virginia Tech soccer player who accused her coach of benching her for expressing political views at a game will receive $100,000 from a settlement of her lawsuit. The money will go to Kiersten Hening as part of an agreement to dismiss a federal lawsuit in which she claimed she was punished for exercising her First Amendment rights, according to her attorney, Cameron Norris of Arlington. Norris said the terms of the settlement included no admission of wrongdoing by either his client or the head coach of the women's soccer team. (link)

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Campus Life & Safety Events

Feb 23: Free Speech: A group of Stanford University professors is pushing to end a system that allows students to anonymously report classmates for exhibiting discrimination or bias, saying it threatens free speech on campus. The backlash began last month, when a student reading "Mein Kampf," the autobiographical manifesto of Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, was reported through the school's "Protected Identity Harm" system. (link)

Feb 21: Racial Issues: For years, when students at Vermont Law and Graduate School came to Shirley Jefferson with objections to the murals in the student center, and their depictions of Black people that struck some as racist caricatures, the longtime Black administrator urged those protesting to move on. Then came the summer of 2020, and for Ms. Jefferson and many others, a renewed commitment to confront embedded racism and insensitivity, even where it might be unintended. "When George Floyd was killed, all of a sudden I said to myself, ‘That mural has got to go,'" she said. "I called the dean, and he said OK.'' (link)

Feb 21: Burglary: A 64-year-old man is facing felony charges after police say he used a butter knife to break into a dorm room at Belmont University. According to an arrest affidavit, on January 22, a 64-year-old man was observed on security video entering a secured area of Belmont University's campus using a silver object that appeared to be a butter knife. Court records state that the man was able to break into a dorm room, while the victim was inside sleeping. He allegedly stole the victim's wallet and Belmont ID. An arrest report states the victim woke up to the sound of their door closing and then noticed their wallet was missing. (link)

Feb 20: Homicide: An 18-year-old man was arrested Sunday for the fatal shooting of a Temple University police officer in north Philadelphia, authorities said. The man is facing charges including murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, robbery, carjacking and related offenses in the shooting on Saturday night that killed officer Christopher Fitzgerald, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Fitzgerald encountered the suspect during the course of an "incident investigation" near Temple's campus, the DA's office said. The man allegedly shot Fitzgerald in the head, killing him. He also allegedly attempted to rob Fitzgerald of his gun and to have gone through his pockets while the officer was laying on the ground and fatally wounded. (link)

Feb 20: Racial Issues: University of Denver has opened an investigation of a spate of antisemitic incidents on campus. According to Hillel at Denver University (DU Hillel), over the past several weeks mezuzahs belonging to three Jewish students have been "taken down and defiled" and one of the students "had pork products glued to their door." "DU's Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX (EOIX) is pursuing an investigation of these incidents, including a thorough review of video footage from campus safety," Chancellor Jeremy Haefner said on Friday. (link)

Feb 16: Team Suspension: Austin Peay State University has suspended their cheerleading team amid alleged violations of the schools' policies, officials confirm. The team and staff will not be allowed to represent the Clarksville school or athletics departments in the future while allegations are being investigated, a spokesperson with APSU says. APSU personnel was made aware of potential violations of the campus' policies which led to the suspension. (link)

Feb 15: Threats: A man from Delray Beach was arrested and charged after allegedly making threats to kill or harm faculty members at several colleges in Palm Beach County. The man, 35, was arrested after an investigation began in late January into threats made by email to faculty members at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College, NBC affiliate WPTV reported Tuesday. He allegedly sent repetitive emails using profanity and calling the faculty by derogatory names. "As a soldier we carry the weight of expecting to kill an 'enemy' of our country," one of the emails said. "Imagine how I feel about your life." (link)

Feb 14: Shooting: Three Michigan State University students were killed and five others were critically wounded in a shooting at the university Monday night, authorities said. The gunman was later found dead in Lansing of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Law enforcement officials at the university identified the shooter as a 43-year-old man with no obvious affiliation to the school. Two of those killed were at Berkey Hall on the campus and the third was shot at the MSU Union, Rozman said. The suspect was located off campus in Lansing after a manhunt and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. (link)

Feb 13: Sexual Assault: Borough police have charged a West Chester University student with raping a woman he met at a party at a local fraternity house, holding her against her will after forcing her into a upstairs bedroom while others were downstairs. The man, 20, of Concord, Delaware County, was arrested on Friday after charges were filed on Tuesday for counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, false imprisonment and unlawful restraint. The student is a junior finance major at West Chester scheduled to graduate in 2025, and was apparently living at the Kappa Delta Roe fraternity house in the 500 block of South Walnut Street when the alleged assault took place. (link)

Feb 13: Hazing: New Mexico State men's basketball has canceled Saturday's game at Cal Baptist and suspended its season indefinitely following "new allegations" within the program, according to a statement from the school. The new allegations involve multiple players being allegedly investigated for their role in hazing attacks on a teammate on more than one occasion, Stadium reported. The school said in the statement that the new allegations have prompted an investigation by the university and led to the coaching staff being put on paid administrative leave. (link)

Feb 08: Lab Incident: All of the University of Delaware campus buildings that closed and evacuated on Wednesday afternoon for a "safety-related incident" in the Lammot du Pont Laboratory will reopen for classes Thursday morning, the university announced Wednesday night. The evacuation took place after researchers in the lab "inadvertently produced a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive chemical," according to the university. (link)

Feb 08: Privacy: A suspect was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly taking pictures under a shower stall at a University of Texas dormitory. The University of Texas Police Department was notified about the incident at Jester West Hall around 11:45 p.m. The suspect, who is affiliated with the university, was charged with two counts of Invasive Visual Recording. (link)

Feb 06: Threat: A freshman student was just five months into his time as an undergraduate at the University of Hartford Sunday night when Hartford Police entered his dorm with a warrant for his arrest. "I got glocks on deck!" "We bouta have a shootout." "Who finna die. Come to Stowe." According to the warrant for his arrest, fellow students were concerned for their safety at Stowe, an on-campus dorm referenced in the messages, and flagged the above comments for campus police after reading them on the social media app Yik Yak. The University of Hartford said a student was arrested and banned from campus after "concerning" posts were made to social media. (link)

Feb 02: Hazing: When a former Penn State student claimed responsibility for vandalizing the Lion Shrine last year, she also alleged inappropriate conduct including hazing by the Lion Ambassadors, a student group responsible for giving campus tours to prospective students. The university confirmed to Onward State and the Huntingdon Daily Herald that Penn State had investigated the Lion Ambassadors for several months. As a result, "several organizational reforms" were put in place, and three students were removed from the program. The Lion Ambassadors, however, do not show up on the university's mandated hazing report, which details hazing violations that were reported between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 20, 2022. (link)

Feb 01: Greek Life: igma Chi has voted to suspend their chapter at Vanderbilt University, the fraternity announced this week. The Executive Committee says it comes amid "accountability issues" and "disappointing" actions among members. "The members' actions were inconsistent with the Fraternity's values, and the [committee] was left with no other option than to suspend the chapter's charter," Sigma Chi's Executive Committee wrote. Vanderbilt's undergraduate members will not be allowed to participate in anything related to Sigma Chi. (link)

Feb 01: Student Safety: The University of Houston has walked back a policy requiring theater students to wear vests while rehearsing scenes outdoors, a move put in place after a campus police officer drew a gun on a Black student while he was rehearsing a play. The university's decision, which was first reported by the Houston Chronicle, comes after it was criticized by students, who argued that the policy put the burden of their safety on them rather than on police. Students criticized administrators and campus police officers for failing to acknowledge and address the traumatic nature of the incident on students of color. (link)

Feb 01: Athletics Culture: The Longtime University of California women's swimming coach was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged harassment, bullying and verbally abusive conduct, the school said in a statement. Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said in a letter to team and athletic staff that an investigative report by an independent law firm detailed "numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin, and disability discrimination. ... The report also details verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values." (link)

Feb 01: Athletics Culture: In a Boston Globe report, the Harvard women's hockey coach is being accused of racist behavior and abusive behavior towards members of the Crimson team. One incident in the report is how the coach allegedly berated two former players who are North Americans of Indigenous descent. According to the Globe report, the coach, now in her 27th season with Harvard, accused the players of showing her too little respect and turning into a collection of skaters "with too many chiefs and not enough Indians." (link)

Feb 01: Hazing: Northwestern has initiated an investigation into an allegation of hazing within its football program, the school said in a statement to ESPN on Wednesday. The school was made aware of the allegation after the 2022 season, according to the statement. The university has hired an independent attorney, Maggie Hickey of the law firm ArentFox Schiff, to lead the inquiry. Northwestern said Hickey's investigation will likely include interviews with players, coaches and staff members. (link)

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