UTAH GREEKS FACE CHARGES IN PLEDGE DEATH

Two Greek chapters are facing felony charges after an 18-year-old pledge died of alcohol poisoning in November, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Paramedics found Michael Starks, a freshman from Salt Lake City, unresponsive at the Sigma Nu fraternity house at 4 a.m. on Nov. 21.

Starks was killed after participating in a “kidnap scenario” enacted by the fraternity and sorority aimed at initiating him. Chi Omega sorority members “captured” Starks and fed him vodka. His blood alcohol level reached .373.

Prosecutor Tony Baird said that Starks was not forced to drink but because he was under 21, coercion is irrelevant.

If convicted of misdemeanors, the students could face up to a year in jail. University officials have suspended both chapters.

CANADIAN UNION TO PROPOSE BAN ON ISRAELI PROFESSORS

The Canadian Union of Public Employees will introduce a resolution next month barring Israeli academics from teaching, speaking or doing research at Ontario universities unless they first condemn Israel’s recent actions, reported The Globe and Mail.

The resolution is a response to recent Israeli troop advancement in Gaza.

The CUPE, the largest labor union in Canada, cited bombing that damaged the Islamic University of Gaza. Israeli spokespersons said the university served as a development center for Hamas weapons.

CUPE President Sid Ryan compared the attack to actions of Nazi Germany, saying the university was deliberately targeted. Ryan later apologized for the remark.

STUDENTS WIN TUITION SUIT

After the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the University of California in a lawsuit brought against it by eight students, UC paid about $33 million to 35,000 students, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Eight students filed a class-action lawsuit in 2003 after the UC system increased tuition after previously promising not to raise certain fees. UC administrators said they made the hike to compensate for a state budget shortfall.

A 2006 ruling in the case said the the decision to raise the fees was a breach of contract between the university and the students. An appeals court affirmed the ruling in 2007.

The payouts, ranging from $1 to $12,000 per student, averaged $200 to $300.

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