The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, September 17, 1998, Image 5

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    Melinda Gates And husband
Bill give $2O million to Duke
By Christine Tatum
College Press Exchange
Melinda French Gates and her
husband, Microsoft founder Bill
Gates, have given $2O million to Duke
University to support a new
interdisciplinary studies program
designed to encourage the university's
brightest students - regardless of age
or degree - to work together on a
variety of projects.
The University Scholars
program, scheduled to accept its first
students in the fall of 1999, eventually
will accommodate up to 80 scholars -
at least half of whom will be
undergraduates. Participants,
characterized by a "rare level of
intellectual brilliance and ...
fearlessness," will work along a new
it was
By Christine Tatum
College Press Exchange
CHICAGO - More than half of
American college students drank to
get drunk last year, and the number
of binge drinkers is virtually the same
as it was four years ago, according to
a study released Thursday by me
Harvard School of Public Health.
The survey of 14,521 students is the
sequel to a 1993 analysis of students'
alcohol consumption. Both studies
were based on responses from
randomly chosen students attending
130 colleges across the country.
The latest report, published this
month in the Journal of American
College Health, shows that 52 percent
of students drank to get tanked in
1997, compared with 39 percent in
1993. Overall, the number of students
who binge - defined as five drinks in
a row for men and four in a row for
women - dropped slightly, from 44.1
percent in 1993 to 42.7 percent last
However slight, that drop is
basically the study's only bright spot,
said Professor Henry Wechsler, lead
author of both studies. The decrease,
he said, could be attributed to a rising
number of students who abstain from
drinking altogether. Nineteen percent
of students reported that they hadn't
had a drink in a year, compared with
15.6 percent in the earlier study.
UC Senate joins
move student off campus
By Chuck Squatriglia
Knight-Ridder Newspapers
BERKELEY, Calif. - In an
unprecedented move, the UC-
Berkeley student senate will tell
David T. Cash Jr. he is not welcome
at the school and should leave.
Wednesday night, the senate is
expected to endorse a resolution
denouncing Cash for failing to
prevent the killing of 7-year-old
Sherrice Iverson and demanding that
he withdraw from the university.
The resolution continues a grass
roots campaign to drive the 19-year
old sophomore from campus and
marks the first time student leadership
has joined the fray. Although the
resolution will be debated one day
after Jeremy Strohmeyer, Cash's
former best friend, pleaded guilty to
killing Sherrice, it has been in the
works for more than a week.
Supporters of the resolution said
there is a rising sentiment on campus
that Cash must go.
"People don't want him at Cal,"
said Patrick Campbell, chief of staff
to student body President Irami Osei-
Frimpong. "They don't want him
interdisciplinary theme each year,
school officials said.
The program is unique because
it "will provide for interaction
between 19-year-old undergradukes
and 28-year-old students pursuing the
Ph.D. or professional degree and 45-
year-olds at the peak of their scholarly
study," said university President
Nannerl 0. Keohane.
Scholarships will be provided for
program participants who need
financial aid, and research grants will
be given to those who do not. Each
student selected for the program also
will receive "generous fellowship
support," university officials said.
Duke's 1998 undergraduate tuition is
"Bill and I hope that our gift will
ensure the best and brightest students
have access to an outstanding
drinking no better
4 years ago, study
Wechsler said more students may'
be abstaining because they're
repulsed by the behavior of their
drinking friends and tired of vorhit
filled bathrooms, unwanted sexual
advances and late-night disturbances.
That makes sense to Dan Meade, a
senior at Georgetown University who
said his struggles witn hinging
prompted him to quit drinking more
than a year ago - a decision, Meade
said, that has made his life
"immeasurably better." •
"I would get so drunk I'd black out
and not remember a thing I'd done,"
he said. "I had to make a lot of
apologies to people for things I didn't
remember. At first, my drinking was
largely limited to weekends ... then it
started to hurt my grades."
Both of Wechsler's studies say the
biggest beer-guzzlers on campus are
in fraternities and sororities, where
four of five of those students binge.
While many fraternities have
announced plans to go dry, Wechsler
criticized the one caveat usually
attached: in the year 2000.
"Postponing things until the
millennium is not the way to handle
the problems of today," he said.
While the study did not show which
colleges had the most drinkers, it did
indicate that binging students are
more likely to be found on campuses
throughout the Northeast and
Midwest. Students at historically
associated with the university."
Although anti-Cash graffiti has Strohmeyer must take responsibility
appeared on campus and police for what he did and he can blame
continue to keep a close watch on tile anybody he wants, but he'and he alone
embattled sophomore to protect him killed Sherrice Iverson," Werksman
from harassment, student anger has said.
waned since a fiery Aug. 26 protest
to demand' his expulsion. But the
campaign to force him out could be
jump-started by an attorney's
suggestion that Cash was involved in
the killing. .
On Tuesday, Strdhmeyer pleaded
guilty to killing
. Sherrice ami most
likely will spend the reat of his life in
His attorney, Leslie Abramson,
blamed "evil influence,s," including
Cash, for Strohmeyer's actions, and
suggested Cash "is not a witness but
a co-perpetrator in this case." After
Strohmeyer pleaded guilty, Abramson
said she would provide unspecified
evidence to those who want Cash
punished. She did not elaborate and
was not available for further
Cash could not be reached for
comment, but his attorney, Mark
Werksman, told Associated Press that
Cash was not involved in the killing.
National Campus News
university experience without regard
to economic status," said Melinda
Gates, who was named to the
university's board 'of trustees in 1996.
"Some of the best years of my life
were spent at Duke University, and I
look forward to sharing that
experience with other young people
through this gift."
Much like the students she's
hoping to reach, Melinda Gates' own
academic pursuits traversed the
disciplines. She earned a bachelor's
degree in computer science and
economics at Duke in 1986 and
graduated from the university's
business school a year later. Had she
been able to take advantage of the
University Scholars program, Gates
said someone on faculty could have
helped her understand how best to
combine and use her studies.
black and women's colleges and
commuter schools where few students
ive in dormitories tend to drink less,
the study also indicated.
Identifying the problem of binge
drinking is far simpler than finding
ways to stop it, Wechsler said. And to
make any change, everyone -
including alumni who toddle back to
"tailgating parties on campus so they
can get intoxicated" - needs to assume
responsibility in the fight against
unhealthy drinking habits, he added.
Campuses shouldn't necessarily ban
alcohol, just ensure that students of
age are drinking responsibly, he said.
"We have to know all the
contributing factors to this behavior -
the fraternities, the tradition
surrounding athletics and the sale of
alcohol for dirt cheap in bars and
stores throughout the community,"
Wechsler said. "This is a call for
college presidents and students to
develop codes of behavior that is
acceptable on campus. And as people
transgress those codes, they have to
be dealt with accordingly."
The crafting of new policies should
be interesting, Wechsler said, noting
that one in five students are frequent
binge drinkers, while another one in
five abstain from alcohol
consumption. Falling between the two
extremes is one-fifth of students who
binge occasionally and two-fifths whc
drink but do not binge.
in drive to
"At the end of the day, Jeremy
That doesn't matter to Cash's
detractors, who question the morality
of doing nothing to help a child and
want him held accountable. But others
question whether senators elected to
represent students have any business
asking one to leave.
"The ramifications of this action
are huge," Osei-Frimpong told the
Daily Californian student newspaper.
"Senators are supposed to represent
the student body. 'I hope they vote 'no'
for this bill. I believe in the right to
due process."
So do university administrators.
Although Chancellor Robert Berdahl
has expreSied "heartfelt sympathy" to
Sherrice's family and called her death
"a brutal and senseless act of
violence," he said UC cannot punish
Cash because the sophomore nuclear
engineering major has not been
charged with a crime..
By Ken Parish Perkins
Knight-Ridder Newspapers
It's easy to remember the time
before Conan O'Brien was CONAN
O'BRIEN, scrappy late-night
survivor, after-hours star. That was
when O'Brien seemed like NBC's
worst nightmare, a jittery, red-haired
kid with a cartoon face and a head
shaped like a partly bulldozed
skyscraper. He'd amble onto the "Late
Night" set with a wicked, sly smile;
after a barrage of biting but wildly
uneven comedy bits, he'd slither into
his seat and face the day as the
interviewer with no clue.
You can't seem to talk about
O'Brien these days without speaking
of his rather unnoticeable rise ("Has
it been five years?" was a comment I
heard the other day; "Is he still on?"
was another). Or how his slow,
methodical crawl to respectability is
now measured by a fawning,
apologetic press and a network
confident enough to trust him.
More than four years after a
horrible debut and a string of near
death experiences at the hands of
NBC executives who wanted nothing
more than to right their wrong, "Late
Night With Conan O'Brien" is as hot
as it has ever been.
In some ways, O'Brien, now 35,
has become the David Letterman of a
generation who think that the gap
toothed one on CBS is an outdated old
fogy. College kids flock to O'Brien's
World Wide Web site and to his show,
which now attracts nearly as many 18-
to 49-year-olds as Letterman did in
his last season on NBC, amid fiercer
competition, mind you.
Part of O'Brien's appeal to young
adults is the return of the host-as-bully
approach. There's a reason CBS
Campus News Briefs
Norwich University's
Top Cadets Sent To
Their Rooms For Year
By Christine Tatum
College Press Exchange
two top military cadets at Norwich
University have lost their rank and
been confined to their rooms for the
remainder of the school year for
participating in a secret society banned
by the school.
For their insubordination, Ross
Rapach and Ben Finkelstein also face
losing their scholarships from the
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
The two were among eight
students punished for participating in
the Skull and Swords, a group once
praised by the university for its
community service but banned in 1995
after it was found to have engaged in
acts of hazing. School officials said the
students did not participate in the
secret society's hazing but were being
punished for diobeying orders.
The punishment, handed down
Sept. 8 by the nation's oldest private
military college, will allow the
students to complete their senior year
with no privileges. They will be
allowed out of their rooms only to
attend class or other official school
activities, school officials said. The
students also must sign in and out of
their rooms and secure special
permission to leave campus.
And as if that's not enough, all
eight students must do 60 "tours," or
marching exercises.
The punishment, a school
spokesman said, will let the delinquent
students to finish their academic work,
but not do much more.
"We're hoping this type of
punishment sends a strong message
that this type of society has no place
at Norwich," said Tom Greene, a
spokesman for the university.
Sell it... In the Beacon Classifieds
Thursday, Septemberl7, 1998 The Behrend College Beacon - Page 5
favorite Conan
now TV's hippest host
snatched Craig Kilborn from
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
to go toe-to-toe with Conan next year.
Also, after spending time with
the other court jesters of late night,
Letterman and Jay Leno, you can't
help but notice O'Brien and his
steadfast refusal to operate from their
political correctness guideline - that
one that states you ought not offend
the delicate sensibility of even one
person in our fragile land.
Let's face it. Letterman is more
or less a pop culture irrelevancy, and
Leno's "Tonight Show" has become
so traditional it verges on the archaic.
With such blandness darkening the
landscape, it's no wonder O'Brien
has emerged.
And how resilient he has been.
When he began hosting "Late Night
With Conan O'Brien" in 1993, media
members (myself included) brought
out long, sharp knives to cut him to
pieces, ripping NBC for hiring a man
whose claim to fame was writing for
"The Simpsons" and "Saturday Night
Live," and whose on-camera
experience was practically zilch.
Criticism mounted after O'Brien
went on. He was visibly nervous and
awkward. He often looked down at
his notes instead of at guests.
Comedy skits were inventive but flat,
edgy but uneven, irreverent but often
O'Brien admits now that he was
literally in a state of panic, a place he
doesn't mind being because it keeps
him focused. He kept the faith even
though NBC kept him on a string of
short-term deals while privately
searching for a real host.
Such ambivalence gave O'Brien
time to build. Slowly, "Late Night"
developed a soul and direction,
becoming a regular haunt for
U. Of Tennessee At
Chattanooga Accused
Of Hiding Campus
College Press Exchange
The Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation is looking into
allegations that the University of
Tennessee at Chattanooga deliberately
underreported the number of crimes
that happened on campus last year.
University officials said an internal
review of the school's reported crime
statistics did turn up "a few" incidents
that never made it into the record
because of "human error." But they
largely deny the allegations and blame
them on a group of disgruntled campus
police officers who are angry about a
recent reorganization within the
department's ranks.
Nevertheless, state investigators are
reviewing a complaint filed Sept. 9 by
Security on Campus, a national
watchdog organization that monitors
campus crime. Officials of the
organization, which has an office in
Tennessee, said campus officers gave
them police records that support the
charges. The organization has accused
the campus of failing to report several
crimes - including one sex offense,
three robberies and nine drug offenses.
Investigators said they would visit
the campus before October to
determine whether the campus police
department's records match the
number of incidents reported by the
Tennessee law requires police
departments, including those on
campuses, to publish annual crime
statistics. Federal law mandates that
colleges and universities publish
annual crime statistics or face stiff
fines. Officials at Security on Campus
said they've also filed a complaint
against the university with the
Department of Education.
comedians such as Janeane Garofalo
and musical acts such as Green Day,
Goo Goo Dolls and Jewel. Soon
Conan was the clever hotshot, bent on
getting buttoned-down guests to step
out of their personas, quite the
Letterman thing to do. (Seeing NBC
anchor Tom Brokaw pulled from his
anchor desk by a Godzilla-size
creature was priceless.)
O'Brien's producer, Jay Ross,
insists that even during the bad days
they never wavered. All they had to
do was stay afloat long enough for the
host to learn how to be one.
Indeed, O'Brien is far more
relaxed and inventive with his comedy
skits, and has improved vastly as an
interviewer. His follow-up questions
are witty and logical, not stilted and
mechanical; his comebacks are
snappier than ever.
Just last week, O'Brien got
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer's" Sarah
Michelle Gellar to talk about the
lameness of horror films. Gellar found
it "weird" for slasher victims to be
sitting at home wearing high heels and
then delivered the punch line, "I don't
know about you, but I don't wear heels
in the house."
This prompted O'Brien to quickly
re-punch the punch line: "Well, 'l' do.
It's comfortable and makes me look
more attractive."
It's this air of improvised
looseness that stands out.
But what do you think of this:
Many "A"-list stars plugging their
latest whatever may begin to sidestep
O'Brien for Letterman and Leno,
where they are certain to find hosts far
more agreeable to their often self
serving, empty chatter.
As O'Brien would mutter, "Who
ever would have chunk it?"
Purdue Fires Prof
Acquitted Of Stalking
College Press Exchange
Purdue University announced
Thursday that it is taking steps to
dismiss from its teaching ranks a
professor recently acquitted of
stalking a student.
Dong X. Shaw, an assistant
professor of industrial engineering,
was charged in 1996 with two counts
of felony and misdemeanor stalking,
but a jury cleared him of those
charges last week.
Nevertheless, university officials,
who had barred Shaw from the
classroom until the case was
resolved, said they're pursuing
formal action to dismiss him. While
Shaw hasn't broken the law, he has
violated university policies, school
spokesman Joseph L. Bennett said in
a statement.
Prosecutors said Shaw invited the
student on several dates, called her
repeatedly, sent her a Valentine's Day
card in 1995 and even paid an
uninvited visit to her out-of-state
home. Shaw said his interest in the
student was "misunderstood."
"Professor Shaw admitted clear
violations of university policy during
the investigation and during the trial,"
Bennett wrote. "Each of these actions
is inappropriate for a Purdue faculty
member and constitutes improper
conduct injurious to the welfare of the
university. Purdue has an inviolable
obligation to ensure its students a safe
and non-threatening environment."
Shaw, who was on an accelerated
tenure track at Purdue, said he will
fight the university's decision.