U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., introduced legislation Thursday that would require colleges and universities to establish anti-harassment policies, according to a press release from Lautenberg's office. The bill is named for Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after his roommate allegedly recorded and publicized a video on the Internet showing him during an intimate encounter with another man. The legislation aims to "recognize cyberbullying as a form of harassment," according to the release, and would obligate colleges and universities to create a policy that prohibits harassment on the basis of "actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion," according to the release. Students would have to be informed of the policy, as well as information about institutional procedures following any instances of harassment and services available to victims and perpetrators.
A study conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling suggests that the trend of shrinking college admissions rates does not simply illustrate students' drive to be admitted to a top college, Inside Higher Ed reported. Rather, the increase is more indicative of an increase of in the types of people applying to college, the number of people graduating from high school and the number of people colleges are accepting. The report noted that application increase is usually directly tied to an increase in the number of acceptances to colleges with a wide range of acceptance rates and suggested that more competitive schools spend far too much of their resources on recruiting students. Discussion of acceptance rates tends to make it easy to overlook institutions like community colleges, which are grossly underfunded, the report said.
A unanimous ruling by the California Supreme Court last week found that undocumented immigrant students were eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities in the state of California, according to National Public Radio. In order for a student to pay in-state tuition, current law says they must attend high school in California for at least three years, but includes no limitations based on immigration status, attorney Ethan Schulman told NPR. Michael Brady, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the case, argued that the California statute conflicted with federal law, which says illegal immigrants "may not receive benefits based on residency, or benefits unavailable to all citizens," NPR reported. Brady says he plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a ruling could influence the 10 states that currently allow undocumented students in-state tuition, according to NPR.