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Wednesday News Overload

Jenna Johnson

Colleges fail to help sexual assault victims
National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity teamed up to study the failure of colleges and universities -- and the government agency that oversees them -- to prevent sexual assaults and to resolve cases that do occur. Their investigation found that colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault, the U.S. Department of Education has failed to aggressively monitor and regulate campus response to sexual assault, and colleges are ill-equipped to handle cases of sexual assault.

Are 30 downloaded songs worth $675K -- or 21 bucks?
A Boston University graduate student who was ordered by a jury to pay four record labels a total of $675,000 in damages for illegally sharing 30 songs online, but his attorney argues that he caused no more than $21 worth of damage, The Boston Globe reports. Harvard law professor Charles Nesson said the 1999 federal law used by the jury to calculate damages had "produced absurd results'' and a grossly excessive award that violated the student's constitutional rights. If Tenenbaum had bought the songs legally on iTunes, Nesson argued, the student would have paid 99 cents for each, and the record labels would have received 70 cents each from Apple. Thus, Nesson said, total damages should be no more than $21.

Safe sexting
A University of Maryland senior tells The Diamondback that she has been sending and receiving risque text messages and sexy cell phone snapshots since she was a senior in high school. Sexting can come in handy when trying to score a late-night hook-up. "When it's just a hookup, there's this 'forbidden fruit' kind of idea, so sexting makes it even more appealing," she told the paper. But sexting can lead to disgrace with friends and employers. Even MTV has started airing public awareness ads that highlight sexting's dark side.

Cherished memories
The Associated Press had a feel-good story today about a Midwest tradition: Shot books. These are elaborate scrapbooks, often created for and by sorority sisters, that document every shot that a college student takes on their 21st birthday, often starting with a "wake up shot" and continuing through the day until the bars close. The student signs the book after each shot -- and as the night goes on, the handwriting gets sloppier and sloppier. Alcohol counselors say the shot books not only encourage risky behavior but also expose bar owners and employees - who are sometimes included in the photos - to legal consequences should the birthday drinker get sick from alcohol poisoning or even die.

Squash goes wild
At a national squash match this weekend, a Trinity University senior, who is 6'5", hit a winning shot against a much smaller Yale player. But in celebration of the win (the college's 12th consecutive title) the Trinity player screamed in the face of his opponent and then left the court with his teammates, The Telegraph reports. The victor has since apologized and is awaiting a ruling by the College Squash Association. Trinity coach Paul Assaiante told the Hartford Courant: "I have to say, I'm astounded. This was a perfect career. He's the poster boy for our sport. This was a boy who at every level exceeded expectation. Academically, interaction on campus, six-time national champion and he had 10 seconds of a lapse in composure at the end. He's paying a dear price for this."

Credit cards not giving up
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act went live this week, restricting how card issuers aggressively market high-interest cards. Gone are the days of credit card companies luring students with promises of free pizza or T-shirts. But that doesn't mean they are going to leave college students alone, Smart Money reports. Some will start targeting parents to co-sign a card for their student.

No packing heat @ CSU
The Colorado State University System Board of Governors voted 8-0 Tuesday to ban concealed weapons on its Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses. The policy must be in place by Aug. 1, The Rocky Mountain Collegian reports. The decision upset some student government members, who passed a resolution in favor of keeping campus gun-friendly.

Off-handed comments
A member of Missouri Southern State University's board of governors resigned two days after using a homosexual slur during a meeting, The Kansas City Star reports. During a board meeting Saturday, David Ansley praised a revamped athletics logo adopted two years ago. He described the new logo as a "ferocious lion" and used a homosexual slur to describe the lion shown in the previous logo. Ansley issued a long apology for what he called his "unacceptable comment."

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By Jenna Johnson  |  February 24, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  
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