Minnesota same sex health care plan to take effect

MINNEAPOLIS Marjorie Cowmeadow, associate dean of General College and University of Minnesota employee of 33 years, has been waiting for the University to enact same-sex domestic partner health care benefits.

Cowmeadow and Teresa Schneider, partners for 23 years, will receive these benefits starting Jan. 1 when the University will begin a new health insurance plan. Employees in same-sex domestic partnerships will receive the same medical benefits offered to married partners.

“It”s a work equality issue,” Cowmeadow said. “It means (the University is) not discriminating against employees.”

“With Teresa and I, there were periods of time where she was out of work and I could not cover her,” Cowmeadow said. “For the first time, we”re able to cover our partners.”

“I retire Jan. 2, 2002, and I feel like I can retire, having pulled this off,” Cowmeadow said. “If I didn”t have this I”d feel terrible leaving this place.”

The University has tried to implement medical benefits for same-sex domestic partners since the Board of Regents passed a resolution in 1993 saying the institution is committed to providing equal benefits.

Indiana university to distribute Star on campus free

INDIANAPOLIS Against the advice of journalism educators in Indianapolis and Bloomington, a top administrator at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis has cut a deal that some say could harm the financial status of student publications across Indiana.

Vice Chancellor Karen Whitney has accepted a proposal from The Indianapolis Star which is owned by the Gannett Company to distribute the state”s largest newspaper on campus free to students. The newspaper has also made a pitch at Indiana University-Bloomington and most other Hoosier colleges.

IUPUI has not signed a contract with The Star yet, and it is unclear how many papers will be distributed and where. University sources say one scenario could be that The Star would be available in news racks next to The Sagamore at IUPUI.

That possibility, as well as how The Star raises money for the program, alarms journalism leaders at IU and other universities.

Nebraska student regent to take office despite police record

OMAHA, Neb. Student Body President/Regent elect Damien Coran”s criminal history will not prevent him from taking office in January, University of Nebraska-Omaha officials said early last week.

Coran is “eligible to run for and serve as student body president/ regent,” said Rita Henry, assistant to the vice chancellor of student affairs.

Coran was elected student body president/regent last month with a majority vote and a 20 percent victory margin over current student body president/regent Mallory Prucha.

However, Coran”s eligibility to serve as student body president/regent came into question after The Gateway discovered Coran had been cited with a number of crimes between 1993 and 1998 and had spent nearly a year in prison in 1998.

Coran”s criminal history was given to university attorneys for review shortly after the elections. That legal counsel advised Henry that Coran was legally eligible to hold office. Under Nebraska state law, convicted felons are ineligible to hold certain elected offices.

“As far as I know, there hasn”t been any felony that would trigger this constitutional provision,” said John Wiltse, senior associate general counsel of the university and the attorney who reviewed Coran”s record.

Compiled from U-WIRE reports by Daily Staff Reporter Lizzie Ehrle.

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