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by Susan Dutca

The incoming Trump administration could reverse President Obama's actions on college sexual assault, giving hope to those who claim their lives were destroyed by false rape claims. However, this raises concerns for some that perhaps those who have been victims of sexual assault and made legitimate reports may not get the protection they deserve.

Since 2011, colleges and universities have been pushed by the Obama administration to "more aggressively police sexual assaults." The U.S. Education Department currently has 216 schools under investigation. Other schools are reportedly "operating out of fear" rather than "cooperating with the government" often expelling students on "scant evidence...often with no legal recourse or due process." Some students who were found guilty during this time have filed lawsuits "alleging their due process rights and Title IX were violated during the investigation and ruling of the cases." The hope is that a way can be found to ensure due process and the protection of all students' rights.

Rather than focusing on "Obama's interpretation of Title IX," Trump and select Education Secretary Betsy DeVos" biggest priority is to focus on school as a whole, according to Cynthia Garrett, co-president of Families Advocating for Campus Equality. Groups representing alleged campus rape victims believe that a "dialing back of Title IX" would not "get a true ruling" or a "fair and equitable process for both process."

In your opinion, how should colleges deal with incidents of campus sexual assault? Is it possible to offer equal protection to all students and still make campuses safer and free from sexual assault?

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Students are being called to "expose and document" professors "who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda" on a new website called Professor Watchlist.

Turning Point USA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 promotes ideas of free-market capitalism and "educates students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government." Through this website, Millennial founder Charlie Kirk hopes that "every young person can be enlightened to true free market values...through non-partisan debate, dialogue, and discussion." Individuals can contribute via an open submission form which "brazenly calls out the professors in a public space."

The list contains dozens of comments from professors across the U.S. and all published comments "fall well within the norms of academic and political discourse." One comment, for example, details how a "(t)endured[sic] professor...and an admitted socialist, required students to recite a pledge that describes a racist, sexist, homophobic America. 'I pledge allegiance to and wrap myself in the flag of the United States Against Anything Un-American and to the Republicans for which it stands, two nations, under Jesus, rich against poor, with curtailed liberty and justice for all except blacks, homosexuals, women who want abortions, Communists, welfare queens, treehuggers, feminazis, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants..."

To-date, students and others have submitted "tips and evidence of bias" evident in classrooms and across social media. Some have also recounted the nature of certain academics' professional work and agendas which they push onto their students. Do you support the nature of this discourse and the website? Why or why not? Start a meaningful conversation with your personal opinion.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Two fans at UW Madison's weekend football game wore costumes depicting Donald Trump lynching President Obama. The school, though stating the costume was "repugnant" and "insensitive," backed the demonstration as free speech, protected under the First Amendment. Critics are now "deeply concerned" with the lack of action.

A photo of the costume went viral on social media and police asked the fans to "remove the offensive component of the costume." The man in the prison-striped effigy of Obama also wore a sandwich board with the message "What difference does it make now, Hillary?" and had a large cutout of Hillary Clinton's face masking his identity. The individuals were not forced to leave the stadium once they had complied with the orders, which outraged some who believe that "officials should have done more."

More than 60 people expressed their disapproval in a letter signed by the "University of Wisconsin-Madison Black and African-American Alumni." In it, they claimed to honor free speech as a "fundamental entitlement in our country." However, the "official response" to the incident was "in error," as the costume "incited race-based hatred by invoking lynching symbols, historically understood as a racist hate crime."

In your opinion, do you think the university should have taken another course of action? Should they have considered the costume hate speech with the potential of inciting a riot? Why or why not? Start a conversation with your thoughtful comments below.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Chicago is a baseball city and naturally, Cubs fans are "losing their minds" as the team makes its way to their home field at Wrigley Stadium for the next three games. Not only could they make history by clinching the World Series Championship - experts believe ticket prices could break the record for the most expensive sales in U.S. sports history. If you have a passion for baseball and would rather get paid to play than pay to watch, check out these scholarships:

  1. American Legion Baseball Scholarship

    Deadline: July 15
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  2. Bobby Sox High School Senior Scholarship

    Deadline: May 5
    Maximum Award: Varies

  3. Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: February 1
    Maximum Award: Varies

  4. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity – Lee Arthur Sr. Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: Varies

  5. Alliance Pipeline Scholarship

    Deadline: Varies
    Maximum Award: Varies

  6. Bernie Varnadore Scholarship Program

    Deadline: April 1
    Maximum Award: $1,250

  7. WWU Scholar-Athlete Award

    Deadline: December 1
    Maximum Award: $5,000

  8. IUTIS Club Scholarship

    Deadline: February 15
    Maximum Award: $500

  9. Joshua L. Anderson Memorial Foundation Scholarship

    Deadline: April 7
    Maximum Award: Varies

  10. CSUB Albert Holloway Memorial Scholarship

    Deadline: March 22
    Maximum Award: Varies

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

The generous $500 million gift from Phil and Penny Knight to the University of Oregon is the "largest ever for a public flagship institution" and is intended to support and strengthen interdisciplinary scientific research.

With the donation, the university plans to extend its current science campus by 210,000 square feet, with three new research facilities. The initiative is expected to create 30 new positions for research scientists and open 250 graduate and 150 postdoctoral slots.

This won't be the first time the Knights have made such a large contribution. In 2014, they gave more than $300 million to the University of Oregon's athletic department. Also, in February 2016, they announced their plan to donate $400 million to Stanford University's graduate scholar program. Mega-gifts such as these given to Knights' alma maters are not uncommon; however, they are "rare at public universities." While some argue that these donations are simply "gifts from the top 1% to the top 1%," University of Oregon President Michael Schill notes that "more than one-third of Oregon undergraduates are considered low-income." Furthermore, statistics from the White House indicate that only "73% of Oregon students graduated high school last year, one of the lowest graduation rates in the country."

Mr. Knight's states that "collaborative scientific research is a comparative strength at the University of Oregon, and with appropriate support could develop into a major center of excellence and a national treasure." He notes that the lack of funding to basic scientific research programs "threaten to choke off opportunities to enhance standards of living." The University of Oregon hopes to complete and open the new facilities in three years.

Do you think the $500 million donation is a good investment? If you had the resources, how and where would you invest your dollars? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to check out our extended list of scholarships by state for more opportunities.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

One nonprofit is heavily recruiting reformed delinquents from disadvantaged communities and funneling them into college. The troubled youth - many of whom have committed crimes and have been in jail, are given personal advisers, free college-prep courses, childcare, bus passes and other forms of support to keep off the streets.

College Bound Dorchester has enrolled about 130 students over the past three years and guides students into Bunker Hill and two other Boston Colleges - Roxbury Community college and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. Some students are homeless and others are victims of domestic abuse. In spite of their dark pasts, 30 percent have earned an associate or bachelor's degree and 60 percent of those who start the program continue the following year.

Giovanne Morris is proof that you can overcome hardship and become successful. Though he may have been previously known for "the destruction he caused growing up in a neighborhood teeming with guns, drugs, and violence", Morris recently received a standing ovation for his matriculation speech at Bunker Hill Community College. He is currently headed into his second semester of college, majoring in human services and hoping to become a counselor for a middle school or nonprofit organization. He described his struggle to fit in with his peers, often feeling "more accepted in the streets." His ankle monitor and the scar on his wrist are a reminder of the past he has chosen to leave behind in order to pursue greater opportunities for himself and his son and daughter.

Morris hopes to be a "different kind of role model" than he was prior to joining College Bound Dorchester. The program, which is located in one of Boston's most dangerous neighborhoods scopes out 17-27-year-olds with "a track record of leading their peers into crime" and turns them into "core influencers" who can utilize their "charisma and leadership that got them into trouble to become positive influences in their communities." The cost of achieving this goal isn't cheap - funds come from mostly private donations but is worth it, according to leaders who claim it's cheaper than the alternative.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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by Susan Dutca

Within 48 hours, two incidents involving racially-charged photos surfaced at the University of North Dakota. The pictures were posted to Snapchat with the captions "Black Lives Matter" and "Locked the black b—h out." UND President Mark Kennedy is "appalled" at the events and stated that there is "much work to do at the University of North Dakota."

The first picture showed three white students in a UND dorm with the caption "locked the black b—h out." Though it is unclear as to what prompted the picture, it allegedly began with "three students stealing another student's phone" while she was out of the room and posting it to her Snapchat story. Roughly 24 hours later, a second picture surfaced, revealing four white UND students in blackface and with the caption "Black Lives Matter."

In a statement issued by UND President Mark Kennedy, he expressed his disappointment in seeing that there are "people in [our] university community who don't know that the kind of behavior and messaging demonstrated in these two photos is not ok, and that, in fact, it is inexcusable." Kennedy is "directing [his] team to explore best practices for diversity education amongst premier institutions" and is also collaborating with the "AVP for Diversity and Inclusion University Senate to bring it a reality at UND. Currently, the UND Police Department and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities are investigating both incidents.

In your opinion, what disciplinary action, if any, should be taken? Share your thoughts and start a meaningful discussion.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (15)

by Susan Dutca

Emotional support animals are able to attend select colleges with their owners, as schools are re-evaluating their campus policies when it comes to accommodating students with mental-health issues. Higher education institutions are also debating whether suicide-prone students should be given campus leave, in order to recover. Administrators are fighting to make decisions in the best interest of all students meanwhile discerning the troubled adolescent from a homesick student who just really wants a puppy.

About ten years ago, many colleges and universities told students to leave their support pets at home. After legal settlements at several institutions, the Justice Department allowed students to bring their support animals to campus. Felines and canines used to be the norm for support animals. Schools are now seeing applications for tarantulas, ferrets, and pigs. Studies show that support animals can help students suffering from anxiety or depression, but college disability officers are aware that online therapists are willing to write "accommodation letters" to "just about anyone" for an average fee of $150. Nonetheless, with recent legal settlements, colleges aren't prying when students show up to campus with animal and accommodation letter in hand.

This year 66 students have emotional-support animals at Oklahoma State and the university is considering building a pet-friendly dorm to "reduce complaints from other students about allergies and phobias." At Northern Arizona University, 85 students requested special accommodation but "half the requests dropped when students learned that documentation is required."

Colleges are also facing another dilemma: how to handle students at risk of committing suicide. In 2015, a survey revealed 36 percent of undergraduates "had felt so depressed it was difficult to function," with 10 percent of students having "seriously considered committing suicide." In the past, colleges were allowed to remove students from campus when they posed a "direct threat" to others or themselves. Some administrators believe that campus leave allows suffering students to "recover under close supervision...without the social and academic stresses of college life." Students, however, feel like they are being "punished," which sends them into a "deeper spiral."

In your opinion, should students be allowed to bring support animals to campus? Should suicide-prone students be given campus leave? Share your thoughts with us.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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$7.5M Lawsuit Over Fabricated UVA Rape Story

Rolling Stone Magazine and Sabrina Erdely Sued by Defamed UVA Administrator

Jan 12, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Rolling Stone author Sabrina Rubin Erdely did not sufficiently research and verify a student's account of gang rape and neither did anybody else at the nationwide publication with a readership of nearly 1.5 million. It has since been discovered that the young women's story was entirely fabricated and that she has a reputation as a "serial liar."

After clicking early on in college and sharing a passion for the same rock bands, two UVA students began a friendship that would soon turn rotten. Little did Ryan Duffin know, "Jackie" would soon entangle him, several of his Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers, and UVA administrators in a gang rape allegation that would be reported by Rolling Stone Magazine, becoming the center of national controversy.

From the beginning, Duffin did not want to pursue anything beyond friendship with "Jackie." However, the woman who was identified only as "Jackie" in the magazine article wanted more. It was then that Jackie created a fictitious character, "Haven Monahan," whom she alleged she knew from chemistry class. New court documents report that Monahan was created by Jackie to "catfish" Duffin into her desired romantic relationship. Through texts, Jackie, posing as Monahan told Duffin how she felt about him.

In late September of 2012, Jackie told Duffin that her date with Monahan took a turn for the worse after he and several other rushing fraternity brothers had gang raped her. Duffin and a group of friends rushed to a hysterical and traumatized Jackie to comfort her. Jackie did not appear to be injured at all and her dress was not mangled or torn. She also refused to report the alleged incident to the police or even go to the hospital for medical attention. Two days after the incident, Jackie told Duffin she forgave Monahan, which left Duffin to seriously doubt Monahan's existence, as he claimed in an interview with The Washington Post: "I was wondering how I didn't see through it way earlier."

The story did not appear until two years later, in July of 2015, when Erdely contacted Emily Renda, a rape survivor and U-VA staff member working with sexual assault victims. Erdely, who was searching for a singular college rape case to report on the "pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture" on college campuses was directed to what Renda called the "darker side" of the issue in fraternities. Erdely contacted "Jackie," who then recounted her gang rape experience. While at a fraternity campus party, "Jackie" claimed, she was lured to an upstairs bedroom around 12:52 am, where she was ambushed and gang raped. Ederly's 9,000-word story was published in Rolling Stone in November 2014. It was titled "A Rape on Campus."

Significant scrutiny and reports of multiple discrepancies resulted in an audit of the editorial processes leading up to the story's publication. The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism discredited the Rolling Stone article for a variety of reasons stating that the "assault could not have taken place the way it was described." For instance, the fraternity issued a statement that it did not host "a function or social event" that weekend, as was claimed by the alleged victim. The Washington Post also uncovered information in December 2014; reports that Jackie's friends claimed the "details of the attack have changed over time and that they have not been able to verify key points." The New York Times reported that police had "exhausted all investigative leads" to find "no substantive basis" for the Rolling Stone's article. The article was retracted and the magazine's managing editor and article's author both apologized. Ederly later acknowledged that she "did not go far enough to verify her story.”

As a result of the fabricated story and the damage done to UVA Associate Dean, Nicole Eramo's reputation and filed a $7.5 million defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone and Erdely for failing to perform the basic tenants of journalism. As a top administrator, Eramo stated she was cast a "chief villain" in the discredited piece. Lawyers are now asking for the alleged victim to produce text message and "other communications in the case" since it would expose her to be a "serial liar." Duffin stated that, "had any of us been contacted it never would have blown up like this," referring to the Rolling Stone magazine.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (20)

by Christina Zhou

College can be a stressful time, suddenly full of both student and adult responsibilities. However, for some students, it can become more than just stress - potentially a larger issue like depression. If students cannot or will not seek help, the consequences can be severe. Therefore, students need to prioritize their happiness in college, since mental health is just as important as physical health.

The following tips are some ways to keep you from going down that dangerous road:

  • Take classes that truly interest you. It can be difficult to avoid the parental voice in your head telling you that your chosen major won't land you a high-paying job. However, in the long run, you will feel better if you study and write papers for classes you actually enjoy.
  • Exercise. Seriously. Homework is important but it can still be done in an hour after you go to the gym and boost your physical and mental health. Many colleges offer free classes that require very little commitment, such as yoga or spinning.
  • Ask for help. Colleges almost always have a counselor program of some sort. If you are feeling down, don't hesitate to talk to them.
  • Take a break. Watch that TV episode you haven't gotten around to yet. Splurge on a nice meal from that nearby restaurant. College may be fast-paced, but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t slow down once in a while and work on self-care.
  • Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep has a multitude of negative effects, including health problems, lowered concentration, fatigue, and increased irritability. Not getting enough sleep also decreases your ability to fight stress. Try to avoid caffeine if possible, and don't push yourself too late into the night, otherwise that 8 AM chemistry lab will feel even worse.
  • And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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