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Westminster College Has 18 Athletes at the Winter Olympics

More than 140 U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes have attended the Utah school.

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Sure, Westminster College in Utah is an official partner of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body for competitive skiing and snowboarding, but it’s still kind of amazing how many of their students end up representing the United States in the Olympic Games.

This year, 18 U.S. Ski & Snowboard student-athletes will compete for Team USA in South Korea, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. The athletes are from a diverse selection of grade levels and majors—from juniors to first-years, art majors to finance majors.

They will be training at the Center of Excellence that is 30 minutes away from Westminster College, continuing to take classes at the same time.

 

“As an athlete, school has been a great outlet for me to take a break from thinking about skiing all the time and realize there is other stuff out there. It has given me skills that translate into making me who I am,” said Megan McJames, three-time Olympian and junior finance major to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. 

23 Westminster students competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and an impressive number of 58 U.S. Ski & Snowboard students and alums are currently enrolled in classes at Westminster, according to the official website of Westminster College. 

According to U.S. Ski & Snowboard, more than 140 U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes have attended Westminster College since their partnership with the school began in 2005.

Despite a demanding training schedule, the athletes all manage to maintain an impressive academic record as well. The average GPA of U.S Ski & Snowboard athletes is 3.6, and they have Monday-Thursday class schedules that leave three days to spend practicing at any of the 10 ski resorts that are less than an hour away from campus.

“I was the kid who was in summer school a lot. It took me an extra year to graduate high school and I didn’t really see secondary education as an option. Then I made the national team and thought ‘if I can be the best at my sport, I can get through college,’” said Faye Guilini, three-time Olympian, Grand Prix champion and a junior and accounting major.”I started at Westminster and saw that these professors are willing to be there when you’re in South America or halfway around the world. That’s very beneficial. I have a 3.9 GPA, something I never thought I would have.”

 

 

I'm an aspiring journalist from Istanbul, Turkey and am currently a junior at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. My work has appeared in Visit Seattle, Discover SLU, Washington State Visitors Guide and Ms. Magazine. I'm currently an editorial intern at Psychology Today.

Academics

Inside the Ivy: New Presidents and Immigration

The one with Harvard, new presidents and immigration reform panels.

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Harvard finally names a new president

Harvard University has hired one of its own as the 29th university president, Lawrence Bacow.

The Harvard Crimson reports, “Bacow, 66, formerly served as the president of Tufts University and the chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also held roles at the Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Education, the Law School—and, most recently, on Harvard’s own search committee.”

Bacow will be taking over at a precarious time for higher education and Harvard; he will face a presidency that goes against university ideals and has enacted tax policies that will cost the university millions, an underperforming endowment and the roll out of Harvard’s controversial policy that penalizes membership in single-gender social organizations.

Jeb Bush and Joe Biden at Penn’s Silfen Forum

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports, “Members of the Senate failed to advance any immigration laws on Feb. 15, leaving the fate of various U.S. immigrants in an ongoing state of limbo. News of the vote came in as hundreds of attendees sat in Irvine Auditorium, listening to former Vice President Joe Biden and former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush discuss immigration policy with Penn President Amy Gutmann.”

The event, “Policy Adrift: A 21st Century Framework for Asylum Seekers, Refugee’s and Immigration Policy,” was part of an annual series of panel discussions on modern issues.

Conversation on the panel quickly shifted to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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Quote of the Week:

“#MeToo is just so simple. It is really just a conversation starter. Or, [it can be] the whole conversation. This is a movement that’s about healing. [The phrase] comes from a place of trying to connect.

– Tarana Burke, #MeToo movement founder and leader at Brown University

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Academics

Yale Starts Financial Aid Program to Cover Sorority Dues

Yale University hopes to reduce financial distress caused by membership dues with a new financial aid program.

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For people in Greek life, membership costs can be a source of financial distress. Yale University hopes to change that with a new financial aid program.

The Yale Panhellenic Council announced that they will be launching their first financial aid program this Spring semester.

Each of Yale’s four sororities, Alpha Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi will receive roughly $200 to cover for membership dues according to Panhellenic Council President Lucy Friedmann ’19.

Members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority tabling on campus.

“We decided that as a body, we have the capacity to give more money,” Friedmann said to Yale Daily News. “It’ll be up to each sorority’s discretion whether they give it to one person or distribute it among people who need financial aid.”

Friedmann also said the funding for the new financial aid program will come from registration fees the council collected in previous years and has saved. According to Yale Daily News, the registration fee for sorority recruitment was $15.

Other colleges have started initiatives like that to help with membership costs in the past. At Penn State, the Panhellenic Council founded the Panhellenic Scholarship Fund in 2013 to “help multiple women who need financial assistance with their sorority dues.”

That year the fund split $3540 between 12 recipients and in 2016 it provided $3,830  to 17 recipients, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

The move came after students at Penn indicated that sorority membership dues, which ranged from $550 to $917 for freshmen not living in-house in 2015, posed a significant obstacle for students from lower income backgrounds.

At Cornell University and Columbia University, financial aid does not cover sorority membership fees, though sororities at the two schools have the option of offering their own financial aid, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

 

At Yale University, Alpha Phi requires new members to pay $750 for their first semester, $430 for their second semester and $350 for subsequent semesters. Kappa asks new members to pay $495 and active members to pay $395 every subsequent semester.

Pi Phi required members to pay $665 for their first semester and $411 for each subsequent semester. Theta required new members to pay $662 for their first two semesters, and active members to pay $487 in the fall semester and $395 in the spring semester.

Some were doubtful whether the amount offered would make much of a difference.

Kat Corfman ’21, who participated in this year’s rush but decided not to join a sorority, said to Yale Daily News that she appreciated the Panhellenic Council’s efforts to make Greek life more accessible at Yale but is unsure whether $200 would “make much of a dent,” considering the total cost of dues for each member.

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Academics

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Offers new Citizens Free 1-Year Memberships

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is doing it right.

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Boston is a very progressive city, and in support of new citizens it is offering an innovate perk:

Starting July 1, 2017, new US citizens living in Massachusetts can receive a free one-year family membership to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s newest program enables the Museum to become a place for new Americans to gather, make connections within their community, and create bridges across cultures, making the MFA part of their American experience.

It’s simple too: You can come to the Museum, show a copy or photo of your naturalization certificate at any ticket desk within one year of your swearing-in, and you will get a free Museum membership for one year.

This membership consists of Free admission to the Museum for one year for two adults and unlimited children (age 17 and under), and a Free MFA mobile guide rental for MFA Citizens members (available in 9 languages).

Boom!

 

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