College Nation

Ahmadinejad defends views on Israel, criticizes West in visit to university

Columbia University

NEW YORK – Columbia University President Lee Bollinger blasted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the Iranian president’s speech recently, during which he in turn attacked Western interference with his nation’s policies.

In his remarks, Ahmadinejad clarified and defended his views on the Holocaust, declared that there was no homosexuality in Iran, and denied that his country had ambitions of a nuclear weapons program.

But Bollinger set the tone for the event with his opening remarks, when he drew cheers from the crowd with his statement, “Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”

Through a translator, Ahmadinejad rebuked Bollinger for his comments, calling them insulting and saying that guest speeches in his nation follow a certain decorum.

“In Iran,” he said, “we don’t think it’s necessary before the speech is even given, to come in with a series of claims.”

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During the speech, Ahmadinejad deviated from the usual news reports of his views on the Holocaust and Israel. “I am not saying that it (the Holocaust) did not happen at all. I am saying that – granted this happened – what does this have to do with the Palestinian people?” he asked, saying that Palestinians were displaced to make way for a Jewish state of Israel. He said that just as more research leads to changing perspectives in science, it is also valuable to continue reevaluating and studying historical events, including the Holocaust, saying, “There’s nothing known as absolute.”

-Courtesy of the Columbia Daily Spectator

Families affected by Virginia Tech shooting file claims for memorial fund money

Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. – All 78 families eligible to receive money from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund met the Sept. 15 deadline to fill out a claim for the money due to them.

The $7.6 million currently in the fund will be split among the families proportionally to the degree they were affected.

According to the final protocols by Kenneth Feinberg, the consultant for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, 32 of the families who lost a family member can receive a cash payment of $180,000, turn the money into a scholarship in the name of the victim, or opt for a combination of both.

People who were hospitalized for 10 or more days will receive $90,000 and have their tuition paid for the remainder of their educations at Virginia Tech.

Tuition will be paid and $40,000 will be given to those hospitalized for three to nine days. The final protocols also discuss free tuition for other injuries and free counseling for those psychologically injured.

The families received the claim form Aug. 15 and were expected to return the claims by Sept. 15. Rumors circulating that the families considered the monthlong timeframe too short are false.

-Courtesy of The Collegiate Times

Harry Potter class casts spell on Stanford

Stanford University

STANFORD, Calif. – There may not be any more Harry Potter books coming out, but the magic will continue at Stanford this fall with “Harry Potter and the Arc of Storytelling,” a highly coveted Student Initiated Course.

A giddy crowd of nearly 100 hopeful students gathered on the night of Sep. 25 for a chance to explore various themes of the best-selling book series. But early in the evening, course leaders Caley Anderson and Christine O’Connell broke the news that the class would be capped at 20 students. When they said the lucky students would be selected via random lottery – not Sorting Hat – the crowd broke out in protest.

“We thought there might be 30, 40 people max,” said O’Connell, who sported a lightning bolt on her forehead. “When we saw the number signed up on Coursework, we were shocked.”

The class is the first at Stanford to tackle the entire Harry Potter series in one quarter. Last winter, a similar SIC led by Ari Neumann focused on predictions for the seventh book based on clues provided in the first six.

To receive credit for the course, each student must complete a six-page paper on a chosen Harry Potter theme.

-Courtesy of the Stanford Daily

Collegian editorial sparks national uproar

Colorado State University

After a Sept. 21 editorial on page four in the Collegian that said “Taser this . F— BUSH” sparked national uproar and controversy regarding free speech, Editor in Chief J. David McSwane had to go before CSU’s Board of Student Communications recently to defend his job.

The expletive was spelled out at about twice the size of a headline.

The board has authority to fire the editor in chief.

McSwane and the Collegian Editorial Board are standing by the decision.

“The Editorial Board felt very strongly that it’s time college students, especially CSU students, start talking about issues,” he said. “We’re zealots for freedom of speech and we felt that after Andrew Meyers on the University of Florida campus was pulled from his mic and abused . that we started getting people to talk.”

But he added that the board didn’t realize the full consequences of the decision, which included a decrease in advertising.

The Collegian will not be suspended by the university.

-Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Collegian