University Amends Tuition Roll in Light of Shutdown
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 23:10
Northeastern: University Amends Tuition Roll in Light of Shutdown
As the government shutdown continues, more than 25 out of the nearly 100 active-duty military service members enrolled at Northeastern University are affected by the Pentagon’s suspension of the Military Tuition Assistance Program, which these students rely on to help pay for their courses. According to Navy officials, tuition assistance cannot be authorized because the funds are appropriated by Congress and signed into law by the President.
This past Sunday, however, Northeastern President Joseph Aoun announced that the university would not charge enlisted students who rely on tuition assistance during the shutdown so that they can continue with their education. “We believe higher education has an obligation to contribute to the security of our nation, and to support the women and men of the armed forces who serve and protect us,” Aoun stated, after hearing reports from student service members that they should either backtrack their plans to enroll in classes beginning after Oct. 1, or withdraw from their current programs.
Aoun deemed the suspension of the Tuition Assistance Program “unacceptable” in a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, dated Oct. 6. Aoun went on to explain in the letter, “Our active duty military, Reserve, and National Guard members who put their lives on the line to protect us deserve far better from their country than to be prevented from accessing the higher education benefits they were promised.”
According to officials, other universities in the Boston area not experiencing the same issues due to differently structured academic schedules. While Boston College has an ROTC program, for example, students in the program do not have any classes that began after Oct. 1, so the shutdown does not affect these students in the same way as those at Northeastern.
BU has introduced a new graduate certificate program with an interdisciplinary platform in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS). The program will allow students of all disciplines to discuss women’s issues from multiple perspectives. For example, an English student studying female authors can talk with a political science student focusing on the suffrage movement, or a theology student studying how gender and sexuality issues relate to organized religion, said Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) associate dean W. Jeffrey Hughes. Candidates in the program must take four courses focused on women, gender, or sexuality, with required courses that include the new graduate seminar Theories and Methods in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, which is an interdisciplinary, team-taught course offered by the MIT-based Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. Other course options include Women in the Muslim World, Gender and Judaism, and Gender in Literature and Film from GRS; Women and Film from the College of Communications; and Women and Health Policy from the School of Public Health.
Last week Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and director and producer Steven Spielberg were among six recipients awarded Harvard University’s highest honor in the field of African and African-American Studies, the W.E.B. Du Bois medal, at a ceremony on Wednesday. The Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research, which presented the medals, awarded Sotomayor for being the first Latin American woman to serve on the high court, while noting that her frequent discussions about her upbringing help influence and inspire children trying to succeed in the face of adversity. The Hutchins Center cited Spielberg for his establishment of a foundation to record oral histories of those who survived the Holocaust and other genocides, in addition to his accomplishments in filmmaking. Medals were also given to senior presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, playwright Tony Kushner, Georgia civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Researchers at MIT have recreated Mars-like conditions within a three-story-tall cloud chamber in Germany by adjusting the chamber’s temperature and relative humidity to match conditions on Mars—effectively forming Martian clouds on Earth. Although it is difficult to know the precise conditions that allow the formation of these clouds without a direct sample from a Martian cloud, the researchers were able to create clouds at the frigid temperatures typically found on Mars, and discovered that they needed to adjust the chamber’s relative humidity to 190 percent as one of the conditions (much greater than cloud formation requires on Earth). Dan Cziczo, the Victor P. Starr associate professor of atmospheric chemistry at MIT, said the research group’s experimental results will help to improve Martian climate models, as well as scientists’ understanding of how the planet transports water through the atmosphere. Cziczo and his colleagues have reported their findings in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.