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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.

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

Texas School District Will Suspend Students Who Protest

Out-of-school suspension is the punishment for any student who walks out.

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Needville is a suburb of Houston, Tx. (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

On Tuesday, Needville, Texas school Superintendent Curtis Rhodes announced plans to administer disciplinary punishment for any student who participates in the rising number of protests in the wake of the Florida Parkland high school shooting.

“We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved,” Rhodes stated.

Any student who participates faces up to 3 days of out-of-school suspension.

Multiple national protests are coming up in the months ahead, including the ‘March of Our Lives’ on March 24 and ‘National School Walkout’ on April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

This past week, students in Florida have protested in favor of stricter gun reforms and while Rhodes stated that the school district understands the sensitive issue, school policy will not tolerate any political protests.

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Academics

UC San Diego Refuses to Cancel Course on Woody Allen Films

University of California, San Diego refused to cancel a course on Woody Allen films despite a petition with over 20,000 signatures.

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The University of California, San Diego is refusing to cancel a course on “The Films of Woody Allen” despite a petition with more than 20,000 signatures.

The UC San Diego Academic Senate announced that they “conclude that canceling or removing this or any other course for the reason that it contains the study of controversial material, or even material widely regarded as morally problematic, would undermine both the value of free inquiry and the associated rights of faculty to engage in such inquiry by choosing their course content” in a press release.

The Senate also defined the subject of the press release as “Academic Freedom at UCSD”.

The petition, which currently has 21,895, was created by theater student Savanah Lyon, who said she “emailed all of the people in charge in an attempt to appeal to their sense of reason, humanity, and morality to stop this class and take it off the books so that no one can teach this class again.” Lyon’s emails have been met with dismissal, unprofessionalism, and dehumanizing rhetoric, according to the petition.

“They believe they have a right to teach this class due to academic freedom. They do not care about the statement it makes to survivors everywhere. They do not care that Woody Allen is on his way out of Hollywood,” Lyon also said in the petition.

“They do not care that the class is less than 1/3 full, making it an unpopular class that has no reason to be taught. They do not care that there are thousands of other directors who could teach the same film basics that they use Woody Allen to teach, directors who haven’t raped seven-year-old girls.”

Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter with Mia Farrow, had accused him of molesting her when she was a seven year old. Allen is currently married to Mia Farrrow’s other adoptive daughter Soon-Yi Previn. He claims the affair with Previn started when she was 21 years old.

In  a Facebook post Lyon said she tried as hard as she could but the odds were stacked up against her from the beginning.

I tried, I tried as hard as I could, and the people around me and across the globe tried as well. The odds were stacked…

Posted by Savanah Lyon on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“It’s hard to believe what would’ve been enough to get them to remove it from the books. Over 3,700 emails weren’t enough. Over 14,500 signatures weren’t enough. Various news clips and articles weren’t enough. The students weren’t enough, but the way the system works, I have a hard time believing we ever will,” she said.

“I don’t know if free speech and academic freedom will ever stop protecting oppressors. But, we can keep trying. Trying is radical and it will make them jump back every time. You get enough people pushing for change, it’ll start to happen. Don’t be discouraged by this.”

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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.

Randoms:

A little bit of hope for a tough week and love for Valentine’s Day

Princeton has its own dating app

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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