This week we’re following up with three stories we reported on in earlier Weekly Roundups.
A few weeks ago we reported on alumni who are fighting sexual assault at the alma maters by withholding or diverting donations in protest of ineffective or ill-conceived sexual assault policies. Now, a rapidly growing group of alumni are taking one step further by coordinating their efforts against sexual assault. Alumni activists from the University of Chicago, Yale, Occidental, Columbia, Dartmouth, and numerous other campuses are banding together to figure out how they can use their donations and, in many cases, considerable wealth and influence to positively affect the cultures of the schools they used to call home. This fight has particular urgency for many former student activists, who bemoan the need to fight for change they were calling decades ago.
Last month we brought you this story about a new powdered form of alcohol called “Palcohol” and the problems it could pose for school administrators. Now, at least two states have decided that those issues are enough cause for concern to justify temporary bans on alcohol in powdered form. Vermont banned powdered alcohol last month, and now South Carolina’s House of Representatives, citing concerns about the regulation of alcohol in non-liquid form, have voted unanimously to send a bill banning the powdered versions of various kinds of liquor on to the governor for approval. Unsurprisingly, one of the chief regulatory concerns cited by South Carolina lawmakers was how this product could be used to effectively circumvent laws that define alcohol as a liquid. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer asked the Food and Drug Administration to keep Palcohol out of the hands of underage drinkers, predicting it would become “the Kool-Aid of teen binge drinking.”
We’ve reported on both the pros and the cons of U.S. News and World Report factoring the number of on-campus sexual assaults at a given institution into its college rankings. Following lawmakers’ calls for the publication to begin including sexual assault data in its rankings, U.S. News has issued a definitive decision on the matter. Due to their concerns about the accuracy of such data, and their belief that such information, even if it could be measured accurately, would not be relevant to the rankings’ purpose of determining the academic quality of a given school, U.S. News does not plan to factor sexual assault prevalence into its college rankings now or at any time in the foreseeable future. It will, however, include such information on the online profile page for individual schools and acknowledges the importance of campus safety to students’ college experience.