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The Dartmouth
February 22, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Daily Debriefing

Richard Descoings, president of noted Parisian university Sciences Po, died under suspicious circumstances in New York City on Tuesday, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported. Descoings was scheduled to speak at the Global Colloquium of University Presidents at Columbia on Tuesday, and his colleagues called the hotel where he was staying when he did not arrive at the conference. Hotel staff said they heard him snoring in his room, but when they checked again, they found him unconscious and promptly called the police. When officers arrived, Descoings was declared dead, according to the Spectator. Investigating officers found evidence that alcohol and another person had been present at the scene, and a medical examiner will look into the cause of death, the Spectator reported.

Amidst the national debate over whether religious institutions should provide contraception to their employees, Xavier University has removed birth control coverage from its employees' health insurance plans, Inside Higher Ed reported. Xavier President Michael Graham has argued that Catholic institutions like Xavier should not be required to provide medications that the Catholic Church opposes. Although the university has always provided health plans that cover birth control for women, the debate made administrators reconsider the school's policies. Graham said that President Barack Obama's compromise, which allows religious colleges to not to pay for coverage as long as insurance companies provide it to school employees for free, is not sufficient. In response to the policy change, a group of alumni has signed a petition promising to stop donating to the university if it ceased to grant birth control coverage to its employees, according to Inside Higher Ed.

A study by University of Wisconsin researchers found that disproportionate gains in life span are correlated with increased education, The New York Times reported. The study used data from more than 3,000 counties across the U.S., and government data was used to rank certain health indicators such as physical inactivity and obesity within each county. Findings showed that education has become a telling predictor of good health and earnings, and a strong link between college education and longevity has emerged, according to The Times. There was a 16 percent decline in the number of years of life lost before the age of 75 for every increasing post-secondary education level, The New York Times reported. In addition, health and longevity varied greatly by geographical region. In New York, for example, Putnam County had the healthiest residents, with only eight percent reporting poor or fair health, while Bronx County had the worst health, with 25 percent of its residents categorized as unhealthy, according to The Times.