Ivory Towers 9-24-08

The presence of West Nile Virus in the town of Amherst, Mass., was uncovered a week ago by a public health nurse taking samples of dead mosquitoes found in standing water. As a result, students at Amherst College were advised to avoid outdoor activities, wear long sleeved shirts, pants and socks and apply insect repellant.So far Amherst has not had any reports of West Nile Virus amongst its student body.
This was not the first health concern to plague the campus this year. During orientation, the College was informed that the town’s public water supply had tested positive for a trace amount of E. Coli. A follow-up test came up negative for E. Coli, but that did not stop the administration from taking action. Dining Services ordered a large supply of bottled water, all-campus e-mails were sent out to increase awareness and a boil-water order was issued.
The primary concern throughout the avoided crisis was the health and safety of the student body. “It would have been a bit of a challenge, but nothing that the college community couldn’t handle” Environmental Health and Safety Manager Richard Mears said. “The safety of students, faculty and staff is far more important than any inconveniences that safety precautions would incur.”

The Amherst Student

Cornell Students Want Newspaper to Remove “Cornell” from Name

One of Cornell University’s daily newspapers, The Cornell Review, is embroiled in a controversy regarding its printing of an article about campus “ghettos,” “bitter minorities” and affirmative action. As a result of the article running, several students proposed a resolution to the Student Assembly which would prevent The Cornell Review from using the “Cornell” name.
The controversy began with an article titled “What to Expect: The Angry Minority.” Essentially, the article claimed that minority students in Cornell’s program houses are only at Cornell because of affirmative action and scholarships. The article accused said students of “complaining about brutal oppression from whitey.”
Nicole Rivera, president of the Minority Student Business Association and one of the students who brought the resolution to the Student Assembly, expressed outrage at the article. “As a student here at Cornell, I find this article ignorant and completely inconsistent to Cornell’s values – I can’t believe a Cornell publication has the audacity to write articles full of hate,” she said. “This is not an issue of freedom of speech; this is an issue of respect for Cornell’s brand and for students at Cornell.”

The Cornell Sun

Blair takes position at Yale

Six lucky undergraduates at Yale University will have the rare treat of studying with a former head of government this semester. The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, has accepted a three-year teaching position at Yale. His seminar, Faith and Globalization, accepted 25 students – including six undergraduates and 19 from the University’s various graduate schools – from an applicant pool of hundreds of students throughout the University.
The seminar will address the conflict between globalization, a force which drives people and groups together, and religion, which may drive them apart. Blair, recently converted to Catholicism, argues that it can humanize our twenty-first century as well. “Faith is important because it motivates people … to do harm,” he said. “But it also has the potential to do good.”
Blair has filled several roles since he left office in June 2007, including advising jobs at various financial organizations and a stint as a United Nations special envoy on Middle Eastern peace. His position at Yale University, he says, will allow him to change the world in different ways. “These issues have to be explored in depth, not just through making speeches but through interacting with young people who are interested in the same topics,” he said.
Blair is the second former head of state at Yale, along with Ernesto Zedillo, president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000. Blair is also the second member of his own family to pass through Yale; his son Euan received his master’s degree there in 2008.

The Yale Daily News