Frat Plane Prank Ends in Arrests at Arkansas State U.

By Shannon Knebel The Herald

(U-WIRE) STATE UNIVERSITY, Ark. – What was supposed to be a light-hearted prank ended up in four arrests Tuesday afternoon when Arkansas State University fraternity members dropped a water balloon from a low-flying plane in the Fowler Center parking lot.

Lance Shepard, Jason Gene Jones, Kyle Mitchell Keith and Jason Ryan Causey were taken into custody after it was discovered that they had used an Arkansas State University airplane to play a practical joke.

Shepard took a small plane from ASU’s flight training center in Newport and flew to Jonesboro where the men dropped the water balloons near the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house. Shepard, who attends both the Newport and the Jonesboro campuses, is a licensed pilot who in one of the flight training classes, said Chief Ken Cooper of the UPD.

According to a statement given to police by Shepard, he and his passenger, Causey, went to the Lambda Chi house and picked up Jones and Keith who brought along water balloons.

“Two of the passengers had brought water balloons from the fraternity house because we had had a water balloon fight the night before and they thought it would be fun to throw one at the [Lambda Chi] house,” Shepard said. “Not thinking of the current U.S. situations, I did not say anything about it.”

Shepard said on his way home he heard something about a plane on the ASU campus on the radio and immediately contacted the Flight Service Station and the Jonesboro Police Department.

Bob Simpson, chair of the Department of Theater Arts, reported to the UPD that as he was standing outside the Fowler Center he saw the airplane flying lower than normal on campus at about 3:30 p.m. He witnessed a small object about the size of a baseball drop from the plane and stepped back to avoid being hit by it.

“If they had done this at any other time, it wouldn’t be such a serious situation,” said Capt. Mike Archer of the UPD.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration, Archer said.

Although it was just a prank, the FAA took the incident seriously because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said John Claybes, a spokesman for the FAA Southwest Regional Office in Fort Worth, Texas.

“In today’s world, this was just not a very smart thing to be doing,” Claybes said.

Guards Patrol U. Iowa Lab To Prevent Bioterrorism

By Vess Mitev The Daily Iowan

(U-WIRE) IOWA CITY, Iowa – Clutching semi-automatic rifles, guards paced in front of the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory, on the Oakdale campus, as part of a statewide effort to prevent possible acts of bioterrorism.

The watch will continue indefinitely, said Chuck Green, the UI assistant vice president for Public Safety.

The lab contains a small amount of a non-virulent vaccine strain of anthrax-causing bacteria, university officials said.

Green said the guards at the facility are strictly a precautionary measure and that the specimens pose no threat to the public.

At least one Public Safety officer will remain on duty with the Iowa National Guard until officials from Gov. Tom Vilsack’s office instructs the university otherwise, Green said. The Iowa State Patrol also assisted guarding the laboratory until they left early Thursday morning, he said.

Hygienic Laboratory Director Mary Gilchrist said the bacteria specimens do not pose a danger to the public.

“There is no public threat here,” she said in a statement. “The quantity of anthrax at our facility is very small, and the strain is a vaccine strain, which does not have the toxic capabilities that virulent strains do.”

The Oakdale campus is open to the public, but guards patrol 10 entrances and exits, said Dennis Herman, the former head of housekeeping.

“It’s real easy to get in and out of there,” he said. “It’s good [the guards] there. I think it’s enough at this time.”

Iowa City police have not been contacted to help with Oakdale campus security, but police Sgt. Mike Brotherton said police would respond immediately if summoned.

Police have been on a general alert since the attacks on Sept. 11. Brotherton said he commended the swift action of the UI Thursday.

“How prepared can you be?” he said. “You try to cover all the bases in case something happens.”

Officials at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa said they have also had a heightened awareness, but neither school houses the bacterium.

UNI microbiologist Michael Walter, who has done extensive research on anthrax, said he believes the public is misinformed about the power of anthrax as a biological weapon.

“Basically, it doesn’t work,” he said. “The spores clog up and prevent it from being spread in massive amounts.”

The bacteria is usually found in the soil, and although individual spores can survive for decades, it’s usually a problem for animals, not humans, Walter said.

Stress Management Programs Crucial for College Students

By Tim Cigelske The Marquette Tribune

(U-WIRE) MILWAUKEE – If you have any expectation of succeeding on your midterms, you’re going to experience stress. The drive to set and meet goals is by definition “good” stress. It’s called eustress.

But if you start to fret, cram, skip meals, lose sleep, detach from friends and finally shut down, you are experiencing distress. While grade goals can inspire a helpful surge of adrenaline and focus thoughts on studying, too much pressure can have students feeling chronically overwhelmed and feeling like there’s no way out.

“You need a certain amount of stress or we’d all sit in front of the TV and be couch potatoes,” said Pam Miller, a psychologist at the Marquette Univeristy Counseling Center. “But you have to watch out that you don’t get in that overstress zone where you end up hurting yourself.”

In effect, students can manage stress and even make it beneficial – if they’re smart about it. Careful planning, balance, and knowledge of relaxation techniques will make students healthier, happier and more successful during midterm week.

Common sense says that reviewing is much easier than learning everything for the first time. It’s easy to see who slid their syllabus in the back of a folder, glancing at it for the first time days before the test.

But for those who have just begun their studying or for those who push themselves for extremely high grades, it’s important to keep goals realistic.

“A lot of students are fixated on the numbers,” iller said. “For some, to get a B is unacceptable, and there are a lot at Marquette who feel that way. Some students who work really, really hard think they should always get an A. But some subjects are just harder because each student’s natural abilities are different.”

In addition, the object isn’t to eliminate all stress. It’s OK to be “psyched up” for a test, have butterflies or even have a little trouble sleeping the night before a test.

“That falls within the norm,” said Sarah Goldsworthy, a counselor at the Career Center.

Having strategies in place to prevent the stress from becoming too much is key. And for that, there are any number of tactics for each individual – from running to watching television.

Mike Zebrowski, associate director of the counseling center, lists positive self-talk as especially effective.

“You talk to yourself like a good coach would,” he said. “Say things like `I’m fine, I’m studying as much as I can, I’m going to do the best I can’ rather than `I’m not prepared, I’m going to bomb, I’m going to fail.’ It’s real easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, but you can’t let yourself.”

Student Alcohol Use Questioned

By Mike Miller The Chronicle

(U-WIRE) DURHAM, N.C. – Recent research at Duke University and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center questions the sensibility of Duke students’ “work hard, play hard” mantra, suggesting that even small amounts of alcohol have profound effects on the ability of college-age students to learn and remember new information.

“There’s no time when a person is called on to learn more than in college, but this is exactly the time when alcohol has its greatest negative effects on learning,” said lead author of the study Scott Swartzwelder, a clinical professor of medical psychology.

The researchers examined the ability of people to learn with low levels of alcohol in their systems. After administering two drinks over the course of an hour to two test groups, one aged 21 to 24 and the other aged 25 to 29, the researchers tested the subjects for verbal and visual memory ability.

“There was a much more powerful effect at inhibiting people’s ability to learn in the younger range,” said Swartzwelder.

Jeff Georgi, clinical coordinator of Duke’s Alcoholism and Addictions Program, stressed that society has erroneously assumed that adolescents are mentally resilient because of their superb physical recovery. “Brain recovery is exactly backwards,” he said.

Several researchers emphasized that alcohol affects college-age students not only when they are intoxicated but also later, by harming their ability to process information already learned.

New York Colleges To Establish Scholarship Fund for Families of Victims

By Mary Steffel Columbia Daily Spectator (Columbia U.)

(U-WIRE) NEW YORK – Among the more than 6,000 people dead or missing from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 were parents of children and adolescents who one day hope to go to college.

In an effort to provide for these students, Columbia University will establish a scholarship fund for both the children of those who died in the attacks and the children of those who died in the rescue effort.

Although details are yet to be finalized, Virgil Renzulli, associate vice president for public affairs, said that the scholarship fund would be available to both current and prospective students.

“We’re an integral part of the city, and although Columbia is a national and global university, we’re very much rooted to New York and the community,” Renzulli said. “This is something important to do to help those families out and to help them recover.”

There is no current count of the number of students who lost an immediate family member in the attacks. Columbia has identified 31 individuals killed or missing in the attacks as alumni of the university.

Columbia’s efforts mirror those of other New York universities. New York University will establish a $5 million scholarship fund to help provide for the dependents of the firefighters, police officers and Emergency Medical Services personnel who lost their lives responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center’s towers.

Long Island University will offer financial assistance to current students whose parents or spouses were killed in the attack and will create scholarships named after students who were victims.

“It’s an appropriate way to honor the memory of our students and our community who have been so impacted by this horrible tragedy,” said Terri Nackid, director of public relations at Long Island University.

Brooklyn’s Polytechnic University has established a $1 million memorial scholarship fund for dependents of fire and police personnel who were killed or are missing.

In addition, Governor George Pataki is proposing legislation to create a “World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship” that would guarantee funding for a college education to the children and spouses of police, firefighters and Emergency Medical Services workers who were killed on the job, whether in the attacks or elsewhere.

Under that proposal, the state would pay the cost of attendance at any State University of New York or City University of New York institution or provide students an equivalent amount to attend a private college or university located in New York State.

The governor’s proposal would cover the cost of items such as tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies and transportation for four years of full-time undergraduate study or five years for certain five-year baccalaureate programs. The current average cost of attendance at a SUNY four-year college is nearly $12,000. At today’s costs, the scholarship would be valued at more than $47,500 for four years of study.

The governor’s legislation would become effective immediately and be in effect for the current 2001-2002 academic year.

Outside of New York City, other schools are joining the effort as well.

Cornell University has established an endowment to honor alumni who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks and to help undergraduates whose financial circumstances have changed as a result.

No Plans for Texas A&M Bonfire Anniversary Event

By Rolando Garcia The Battalion (Texas A&M U.)

(U-WIRE) COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No university-sponsored memorial ceremony to commemorate the second anniversary of the 1999 Aggie Bonfire collapse is planned, Texas A&M University officials said.

“Having a ceremony was the right thing to do last year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do now,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. J. Malon Southerland.

A candlelight ceremony was held Nov. 18, 2000 at 2:42 a.m. on the Polo Fields to remember the 12 students killed in the collapse.

Although no similar event is scheduled, Nov. 18 will not pass unnoticed, Southerland said. The four finalists in the Bonfire emorial design competition will be unveiled and put on display, and other Bonfire-related events are in the works.

“We’ll always remember Nov. 18, and the best way to do that is through the permanent memorial,” Southerland said.

Student Body President Schuyler Houser, a senior industrial engineering major, said the feedback she has received indicates students would prefer a more private and discrete remembrance this year.

“We can’t let the week come and go without recognizing what happened, but students don’t want to have to relive it again and again,” Houser said. “Students just want to get through it in their own way and not go through another big ceremony and relive those painful memories.”

Efforts are being made to put the collection of Bonfire memorabilia, which includes memorial items left at the Bonfire site, Houser said, in the Memorial Student Center, possibly in the Stark Galleries.

“We want to make it easily accessible, but put it somewhere so you don’t have to see it if you don’t want to,” Houser said.

Houser said student groups and organizations are free to plan Bonfire remembrance events.

“If students want to do something, even just quietly gather at the Polo Fields, that would be great,” Houser said.

Yell Leader Sam Seidel said that allowing students to quietly observe the second anniversary of the Bonfire collapse would help bring closure to the Bonfire tragedy.

U. Montana Posters Spark Censorship Debate

By Ted Sullivan Montana Kaimin (U. Montana)

(U-WIRE) MISSOULA, Mont. – A Knowles Hall resident pushed the University of Montana Residence Life policy to its limit when he put controversial signs about the Sept. 11 attacks on his door, prompting a possible change in the rules regarding fliers on campus.

John Bacino, a freshman majoring in creative writing, posted signs promoting peace on his door more than two weeks ago, he said.

Some of the signs on Bacino’s door read: “Arabs never stole the remainder of my meal plan balance to build a gym; ake war not love, because you are filled with hate; Arabs never tried to steal three weeks of my Christmas break, and they’re not even Christian; When you own a world filled with corpses, who will buy your guns?”

Bacino met with Residence Life Director Ron Brunell Monday because several Knowles Hall residents complained that the signs were “derogatory and offensive,” Brunell said, and Bacino did not have approval to post his signs.

University policy states that all signs hung in public areas must be approved by Residence Life, Brunell said.

Heather Blanchet, a resident assistant in Knowles Hall who refused the Kaimin’s requests for comment, asked Bacino on Oct. 2 to voluntarily take the signs off his door, Bacino said. Otherwise, she was going to refer him to Residence Life.

Bacino refused to take his signs down because other Knowles Hall residents had signs on their doors, he said.

“I thought it was absurd that an entirely positive message, and at most satirical, was taken down,” Bacino said. “They have absolutely no right.”

Ben Houston lives three doors down from Bacino. His door was covered with messages advertising an act of war and retaliation, including a petition demanding war against governments that sponsor terrorism and essays stating why America should retaliate.

But Houston said a resident assistant never told him to take the messages off his door.

Bacino said the resident assistants were singling him out.

“They can’t arbitrarily take my posters down without taking all of the posters down, in all of the dorms, to equally apply the rule. Otherwise, it’s unfair,” Bacino said.

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