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Murder-Suicide Claims Lives of Two College Students

Jul 23, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

Tragedy has taken the lives of two college students shot to death at a Walnut Creek home in an apparent murder-suicide. Walnut Creek police are investigating the North Homestead neighborhood after receiving calls of what neighbors claimed were gunshots around 6:50 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The victims have been identified as 19-year-old college student Clare Orton; of Walnut Creek, and 21-year-old Scott Bertics, of Lafayette. Police report the victims knew one another and had a previous dating relationship. Initial reports indicate Orton was shot while answering the front door, then immediately her ex-boyfriend turned the gun on himself.

“I didn’t hear anything this morning, but I’m in shock,” said one neighbor who asked that his name not be used. “I have a granddaughter the same age, so it hits close to home.”

Orton, a 2014 graduate of Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, was home from college after finishing her freshman year at San Diego State University. University spokesman, Greg Block claimed she was an honors student studying environmental engineering. Orton was also a member of SDSU’s Society of Women Engineers, a group now mourning the loss of their fellow environmental engineer.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones,” Madeleine Rasche wrote.

Bertics, a 2012 graduate of Acalanes High School in Lafayette, enrolled at the University of Stanford in 2012, but took a voluntary leave of absence in the fall of 2014. He had yet to declare a major, but was listed on a 2013 demonstration called “Controlling Robot Dynamics with Spiking Neurons.”

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Naughty Professor: Love or Lechery in the Classroom?

Jul 21, 2015

by Susan Dutca

Social networking is strongly encouraged these days in the academic and professional realm. But what happens when a professor and student delve into a much deeper, complicated relationship? Northwestern academic Laura Kipnis exercised her academic voice to support professor-student relationships as "learning experiences" which received strong backlash, including a student protest and a filed Title IX complaint. Kipnis opposes college conduct rules that ban professors from dating students. Quite obviously, there are many issues regarding conflict of interest, favoritism and the like. We can never be too certain of people’s incentives in such relationships - is it true love, a gateway for strong recommendation letters, or for promising job opportunities post-graduation? Admitting to having one herself, the relationship between a higher-power professor and student now necessitates protection, whereas it did not in the past. Current sexual-harassment guidelines and laws prohibit relations that could further “skyrocket” student’s vulnerability. But you may ask, who is really vulnerable: the teacher on the brink of being fired for an originally-consented relationship or the student suffering emotional injury?

In the exact environment where there is high student accountability, "sexual panic rules." There is a large difference between consensual and nonconsensual romantic relations, as Kipnis points out- the latter requiring true concern. What is at stake here, in lieu of the consensual professor student relationship, is the degree to which new sexual harassment policies and the like come to "expand the power of the institutions themselves." When students accuse professors of emotional abuse, say in the case of a breakup, they are taught to tattle and are spoon fed reassurance. The student crying woe is me, for their own choices, does not decrease professor vulnerability but quite the contrary. All of a sudden, the honeymoon phase is over and professors face job termination due to their students' emotional injury.

In higher education, where students are at the age to consent and make their own choices, consistently pleading for more independence, would it make sense to impose laws that treat them as children? Should students be equally responsible for their romantic involvement without using laws as a crutch when things go awry?

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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“Queer Sphere” Gains Visibility and Recognition in Higher Education

Jul 7, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

Whether it’s Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer outlining his journey from the world’s greatest athlete, to a surgery which induced womanhood, or actress Laverne Cox breaking the trans glass ceiling in the Netflix’s hit series, Orange Is the New Black, where a trans woman is actually played by a trans woman, the transgender community continues to break the boundaries of social acceptance. The transgender push for equality has now shattered the Higher Education glass ceiling. According to the Washington Post, starting next fall, University of California applicants will be the first wave of students given the option to signal their sexual orientation and any number of gender identities on their application.

This change is one of several new accommodations the university has made in effort to make the campus as inclusive as possible. “I think it introduces the kind of welcoming environment we want to have just by introducing the question on the first thing students will see, which is the application they’re filling out. We think it’s very important,” said Pamela Brown, vice president for institutional research and academic planning, who serves on the system-wide-advisory council on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.

UC undergraduate program applicants will now have the option to answer the following questions:

How do you describe yourself?(Mark one answer)

  • Male
  • Female
  • Trans Male/Trans Man
  • Trans Female/Trans Woman
  • Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming
  • Different Identity

What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?

  • Male
  • Female

Do you consider yourself to be (Mark one answer):

  • Heterosexual or straight
  • Gay or lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Not listed above (please specify)

The university hopes to one day implement these options in graduate study and employment applications. The information will enable them to track such students in order to monitor graduation rates and determine if the support available is sufficient.

President Janet Napolitano, who pushed for these changes with the creation of a task force last summer said “it doesn’t stop [here] – we must continue to look at where we can improve so everyone at UC feels respected and supported.”

University officials note that an applicant’s answer to any of the questions holds no bearing on chances for admission.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Colleges Respond to Poll Showing 20 Percent of Female Students Sexually Assaulted

Jul 6, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

Students attending colleges and universities across the United States in 2015 can look forward to new U.S. regulations aimed to protect them against a rising rate of sexual assaults on campus. In attempt to increase responsibility for ending sexual assaults on campus, American colleges and universities will have to follow stricter reporting requirements for sexual assault allegations. In addition, they must provide clear options to those who report an incident of suspected abuse and provide prevention training for students and college employees.

The measures, provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, went into effect July 1st. The new regulations were fueled by several studies and polls showing a drastic spike in sexual assault rates across American college campuses. In a poll that was released last month by the Washington Post and The Kaiser Family Foundation, results showed 20 percent of female and five percent of male college students had been victims of sexual assault on U.S. college campuses during the past four years. The poll surveyed over 1,000 people that either attended or lived on or near a campus and more than 500 colleges across the country.

Tracy Sefl, a board member of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in America believes “increased awareness has led to increased recognition of the problem.”

By increasing awareness, advocates of the new regulations hope to flip the script on the astonishing findings that only 12 percent of sexual assault victims report the attacks to their college or local police. Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX, explains the dilemma a victim faces. “We know that most victims were assaulted by a friend or partner, and there can be a lot of confusion and doubt that comes along with that experience, and hesitation to report [someone] you know or love.”

Do you feel the negative stigma attached to sexual assault victims should bear enough weight to deter them from reporting the crime? Would you feel comfortable reporting a friend or loved one to the university or police? Why or why not?

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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College Student Tased, Left to Die in Jail

Jun 25, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

When Matthew Ajibade walked into Chatham County Jail on a domestic violence charge on January 1st, little did he know that he had taken his last breath of the cool Georgian winter air. That evening, within the walls of the notable county jail tucked away in historic Savannah, Ajibade was found dead, strapped to a chair.

According to ABC 7 News, Ajibade, a 21-year-old Savannah College of Art and Design student, was originally arrested after a dispute with his girlfriend. During the altercation, Ajibade injured three deputies and initial reports show Ajibade had been stunned with a Taser while he was restrained; he was then left unmonitored in an isolation cell, where his body was discovered. On Wednesday, a grand jury charged former jail employees Maxine Evans and Jason Kenny and contract health care worker Gregory Brown with aggravated assault and cruelty to an inmate. (Additionally, Evans and Brown are charged with public record fraud, while Brown faces a third charge of making a false statement.) According the grand jury, the log book had been falsified to state routine checks were conducted on the inmate’s cell.

The victim's family released a copy of the death certificate, which ruled homicide caused by blunt-force trauma. Chatham County Coroner Dr. Bill Wessinger concluded Ajibade suffered several blows to his head and upper body and some blood was found in his skull case. Florida defense lawyer Mark O'Mara was adamant that Ajibade, who suffered from bipolar disorder, and was having a manic episode when jail deputies "beat the (expletive) of him to get control of him." As for the indictments of Evans, Kenny and Brown, O'Mara said it's "too little too late": He believes Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap should have already pursued a felony murder charge based on the fact the grand jury found that there was aggravated assault, the direct cause of Ajibade's death.

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Man Stabbed in Face for Opinion on Value of Higher Education

Jun 23, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

One man's opinion of the value of a college education came at a greater price than he ever expected: a laceration from the corner of his mouth to his ear.

According to an article in "The Chronicle of Higher Education", a verbal argument Friday night at Gunston Middle School in Arlington, VA concluded with a man drawing a pocket knife to slash the other across the face. The argument was initiated from a difference of opinions on “the worth and importance of college education”, police said. The crime report did not specify if the victim was arguing for or against the value of higher education.

Police say the "fairly large laceration" caused significant bleeding due to striking a minor artery. The victim was admitted to George Washington University Hospital, where he received 60 stitches. The suspect, who fled the scene, is described as a Hispanic man, 6 feet 3 inches and 220 pounds. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a pink Nike polo shirt and blue jeans. According to officials, the investigation "is ongoing".

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Scholarships.com Launches RightStudent College Recruitment Service

Oct 4, 2012

by Suada Kolovic

Highland Park, Ill. - Scholarships.com, one of the most widely-used and trusted free college scholarship search and financial aid information resources on the Internet, has recently launched RightStudent, a recruitment service designed to help college recruiters and admissions officers find the ideal students for their institutions.

“For more than 12 years, students, parents and educators have been using Scholarships.com to find scholarships, grants and other valuable financial aid information at no cost to them. And while we feel great about having played such an instrumental role in so many students’ journeys to and through college, we knew we could do more. And we are...with RightStudent.” said vice president Kevin Ladd. The benefits are two-fold: On the Scholarships.com side, students enter their information – which includes potential majors, extracurricular activities and family income level – to be matched with their ideal scholarship awards and on the RightStudent side, colleges can use this information to create campaigns that speak directly to their ideal applicants. “If a college is seeking a specific type of student, RightStudent can help them not only find that candidate but ultimately reach out and recruit them for their incoming class,” Ladd added.

RightStudent is currently offering interested colleges and universities a free demo and trial of its service. For more details about RightStudent and to schedule a demo, please visit www.rightstudent.com or call 847-432-1700.



About Scholarships.com

Since its founding in 1999, Scholarships.com has had one goal: to help students find money for college. More than a decade later, Scholarships.com is recognized by high schools, colleges and universities nationwide and remains a trusted option for students and parents navigating the college and financial aid processes. To obtain more information, order free materials or create a profile, visit www.scholarships.com.


Media Contact:

Kevin Ladd
RightStudent
Phone: 847-432-1700 x 111
knl@rightstudent.com

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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