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Wednesday News Overload

Jenna Johnson

Hopkins turns into Hogwarts
On Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University hosted its first High Table Dinner, which allows about 440 freshmen to dine with the university's top officials and faculty members in Harry Potter-style formality. Students dressed up for the event, mingled with campus big wigs and dined on a multi-course meal in the Fresh Food Café, which had been transformed into a formal dinning room with table service, china and linens. According to a university flier about the event, "High Table dinner will be based on the British tradition of Formal Hall, a style of dining that has taken place at Oxford and Cambridge for centuries... The atmosphere of the dinner is notably academic in nature, as attendees are required to wear their gowns along with semi-formal or formal attire for more important sittings. A Latin grace is said beforehand, although today this is more for traditional than religious reasons." (HT to @AdmissionDaniel for tweeting this yesterday)

Old school roommates
Despite the popularity of finding roommates on Facebook and other social networking Web sites, the University of Maryland is hesitant to move its roommate matching system online and embrace the social networking boom, The Diamondback reports. Incoming freshmen have had the chance to share pictures, comments and life experiences on the university-sponsored social networking website TerpNet for the last two years -- but the Resident Life Department's criteria for matching up roommates remains five basic questions.

Racism, diversity and Dr. Seuss
In the last three weeks, there has been a series of racially charged incidents at the University of California, San Diego, that have sparked protests across the state, debates about diversity on campus and even the student government freezing student media funding. Late Monday night there was yet another incident: Someone put a Ku Klux Klan-style pillowcase hood, with a hand-drawn KKK symbol, on the Dr. Seuss statue outside the campus library, The Guardian reports. The statue was donated in 2004 by Audrey Geisel -- widow of Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss -- who also donated $20 million to the construction of the library.

A UC San Diego minority student has also admitted that she left a piece of rope tied like a noose in the library last week and has since been suspended. In an anonymous column in the campus newspaper, the student said the incident "was not an act of racism." She and her friends had found a piece of rope, tried jump-roping with it, made it into a lasso and then tied it into a noose. The student was the last one to leave the library and left the rope hanging on a desk. "It was a mindless act and stupid mistake," she wrote. "I know what I did was offensive -- regardless of my intentions -- I am just trying to say I'm sorry. As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain."

The ultimate tailgater
An Ohio State University Buckeye fan bought a fire truck on eBay and plans to turn it into the ultimate tailgating vehicle, the "Fire Buck," The Lantern reports. The Fire Buck will feature two flat-screen televisions, high-definition satellite coverage of Buckeye football games, a video game system, propane grill, and removable seating on the rear deck.

But first he had to take a trip into the land of the Buckeye rivals: Michigan. "I made a covert trip -- classified as 'Operation Fire Buck' -- into enemy territory to rescue the truck and convert it into what is sure to be one of the most recognizable OSU-themed vehicles in Ohio," the fan told The Lantern.

GWU pride over NYT notoriety
New Jersey State Senator Bill Baroni, who graduated from George Washington University in 1994, told GW Today that he was excited when the campus newspaper, The Hatchet, wrote about his support of a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey Senate last December. "I was very lucky to have some coverage in the GW press. It meant a lot to me," he said. "It's nice to have a comment in the New York Times, but it's great to be in the Hatchet!"

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By Jenna Johnson  |  March 3, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: George Washington, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, University of California, University of Maryland  
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