A new procedure at the University of Iowa would make graduate students’ dissertations and theses available over the Internet, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

The change allows the school to require that theses and dissertations will become “open-access documents.” Students have the option of postponing Internet availability for two years.

Graduate students in Iowa’s writing programs are up in arms over the process, claiming it will inhibit any attempts to publish their theses or embarrass anyone who wrote about personal experiences.

Professors claim they don’t know who inserted the clause, but they believe it to be the result of a miscommunication.

INSURE YOURSELF OR ELSE

The University of Maryland’s University Senate has proposed requiring all undergraduate students to provide proof of health insurance coverage or purchase a University health insurance policy, The Diamondback reported.

If approved by Maryland President Dan Mote, the requirement could be implemented as early as fall 2009. It would drive down the cost of Maryland’s policy from $1,300 to $800 because more students would buy insurance in bulk.

ISLAM, WOMEN AND HARVARD

Harvard recently instated two policies to accommodate Muslim students – one designates certain hours at the campus gym for women only and the other allows for a call to prayer to be given throughout the Harvard Yard, The New York Times reported.

Opinion articles in the Harvard Crimson have condemned both practices, and other students have expressed concern about a possible promotion of religion.

“Harvard changed its policies after a small group of female Muslim students complained that the wearing of workout clothes in front of men violated their rules promoting the wearing of modest clothing when in the presence of the opposite sex.

MOM SAYS I’M PERFECT FOR ‘U’

Some schools like Centre College in Kentucky and Smith College in Massachusetts are asking parents to submit recommendation letters as a part of their admissions process, the Sun Journal reported.

Although a parent’s opinion may seem biased, administrators say they often reveal insights into a prospective student’s personality.

J. Carey Thompson, Centre College’s vice president of enrollment, said the testimony is often helpful when choosing among applicants.

“We ask for the parent to assess their child’s strengths and weaknesses and often receive very thoughtful reflections that give us a bit of insight we would not have had otherwise,” he said.

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