San Jose State University announced Friday that it will prohibit on-campus blood drives, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The university defended its actions by citing the Food and Drug Administration rule that prevents sexually active gay men from donating blood. This violates the campus’s nondiscrimination policy, officials claim, by preventing a group of people from donating based on sexual orientation and gender.

The agency has defended the rule by saying that a man who has had a sexual encounter with another man since 1977 is more likely to be HIV positive than other people. Critics of the rule, including the Red Cross and many LGBT organizations, have opposed this view, claiming tests can easily screen HIV positive blood and that the rule perpetuates a bias against gay men.

Aid Expansion

Northwestern University officials announced Thursday that they will increase the school’s financial aid program next fall, the Chicago Tribune reported. The new program will replace 450 students’ loans with grants funded by the university.

Last fall, only 24 entering students received similar aid. Congress has been pressuring the nation’s leading universities to increase financial aid spending to 5 percent of total endowment funds. For the University of Michigan to meet this level, it would have to spend $355 million on financial aid each year.

The Future of Diversity

The American Council of Education published a paper Thursday describing a new kind of university administrative position: a chief diversity officer, the Chronicle reported. The paper was co-authored by the University of Michigan’s Katrina Wade-Golden, senior research scientist at the University’s Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives, and Damon Williams of the University of Connecticut.

The officer would report directly to the president of the university and would be required to work directly with important departments within the university, to ensure that diversity is encouraged in all university projects.

Downloaders Beware

Charges brought against nine University of Maine students by the Recording Industry Association of America were upheld last week, the Chronicle reported. The RIAA is suing the students for violating copyright law for sharing music files online. The students claimed the charges were too broad, since they were only identified by their Internet addresses.

University of Maine law students represent two of the students through the University’s free legal aid clinic. A U.S. magistrate judge disagreed with the students’ motion, but said the court should impose sanctions on the RIAA for the way they went about suing the students.

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