Posts Tagged “Howard University”
Last week, Georgetown announced the commencement speakers for 2012 graduates. The reaction varied from mostly bored to really angry. The Catholic community continues to boil over Sebelius, but our fellow D.C. schools aren’t as lucky to be handed a controversy.
Last year, Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke at Catholic University, which received criticism from the Catholic community on the grounds that Boehner fails to uphold Catholic teachings. This year, Catholic University gets off the hook by inviting an archbishop, but Georgetown is really in the doghouse. Regardless, the real winners are Howard University’s graduates because they get to stare into John Legend’s dreamy eyes.
More speakers from D.C. Universities after the jump:
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Last Monday, five female Howard University students filed suit against the university in the United States Court for the District of Columbia, claiming that the school did not do enough to protect them from sexual abuse by one of its employees.
The employee, librarian George Bright-Abu, was arrested earlier this year after Rukayatu Bello and Mercedes Woodson, both HU students, filed a police report alleging sexual misconduct. In a July trial, Bright-Abu was found guilty of one count of simple assault and two counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse. He was sentenced to sixty days in prison and probation.
In a statement released by the five students’ attorneys last week, they say Bright-Abu “sexually assaulted two full-time students during the 2010-2011 academic year. This included unwanted touching, flirting, fondling and degrading propositions of a sexual nature.” Bright-Abu was the work-study supervisor of all five plaintiffs in the federal case filed last week.
The lawsuit details months of unwanted sexual harassment and abuse by Bright-Abu, which Howard allegedly did nothing to stop. Woodson told MyFoxDC that after she reported an incident in November 2010, university administrators did not take action. “Basically, it seemed as though they weren’t really concerned and wanted me to overlook it,” Woodson told the station. In addition to Bello and Woodson, three other Howard students have come forward in this new lawsuit, alleging that Bright-Abu abused them and the university did nothing to stop him.
“Howard University created a hostile and abusive working environment for all plaintiffs by continuing to employ Bright-Abu after being made aware of his ongoing physical and verbal sexual assault,” Christal Edwards, one of the attorneys, told WJLA. After several months of university inaction, the lawsuit alleges, Bello and Woodson finally filed a police report.
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Last week, Georgetown announced the commencement speakers for the 2011 graduates of its various programs, with reactions falling across the spectrum from happy to tepid to irate. For those of you looking to procrastinate on finals studying for a few more minutes, feel free to take a glance at who will be speaking to seniors at some other DC colleges.
As we previously mentioned in December, George Washington University’s slate of graduation speakers will be headlined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will address the whole of the graduating class. Other speakers will include NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, former Treasury Secretary John Snow, and Operation Smile co-founder Dr. William Magee.
After the jump, see more speakers at DC universities.
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Coming on the heels of a multi-million dollar grant, Georgetown University Medical Center and Howard University joined forces to form the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (GHUCCTS).
The Center, which will collaborate with MedStar Health, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the D.C. Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, received a $38.2 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources (a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health) to establish itself. The grant begins this month and will last for five years.
Dr. Joseph Verbalis, Chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at the Medical Center, and Dr. Thomas Mellman, Howard University Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, will jointly oversee the Center’s 109 employees.
“We will creatively combine considerable institutional strengths and talents in ways to enable the application of a larger breadth of resources for clinical and translational research than are available at each of our individual institutions,” Verbalis said, noting that with the Center’s creation will make it easier to offer a wider variety of courses and training opportunities for students at the medical schools.
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At the Nationwide race a couple weekends ago, Brendan Gaughan (MSB ’97)—who played on the Georgetown basketball team with Allen Iverson and has since become a successful NASCAR driver—got into a crash with Marc Davis, whose car is sponsored by Howard University.
Angry with Davis for causing the crash, Gaughan reverted to schoolyard mode, yelling, “You find me that dumb wannabe college graduate!” After the race, he told a reporter:
Apparently you get a better education at Georgetown than at Howard University … I don’t know if his crew chief’s dumb, he’s dumb, or his spotter is dumb, but in the middle of the race when you end up turning left while people are coming onto pit road for green-flag pit stops is asinine. I mean, maybe he needs to look that word up, I don’t know.
(Emphasis mine.) Making matters more worse, Gaughan’s crew chief was accused of using racial slurs in reference to Davis after the crash, giving the whole Georgetown v. Howard smackdown some nasty racial undertones.
Some NASCAR fans have called Gaughan out for his less than sportsmanlike conduct, but Gaughan said he’s got the support of JT Jr.:
“I spoke to [Thompson] quite a bit this week – I was nervous [that] what I said was embarrassing a little bit, and Coach Thompson reassured me that he felt no embarrassment by it and he understood the context,” Gaughan said. “I felt bad because in many context that could be construed as something that wasn’t polite.
“Coach Thompson reminded me that I would say the same thing about Syracuse University.”
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Meanwhile, at the Washingtonian
In its February issue, the Washingtonian has an article that chronicles the party scenes of five area colleges. It can be trite (the writers have either long since graduated or are trying hard to indicate that they’re so over college) but I can’t say I knew much about the George Mason party scene before I read it.
However, the article incorrectly states that a fifth of all calls to GERMS are alcohol related. In reality, it’s only 7 percent. Give us a little credit!
Charms and out-of-touch touches in the article:
- Necessary explanations of the curious drinking games we play: “He uses a beer bong for ['pregaming,' or warming up with drinks at home]; the funnel attached to a tube is great for drinking fast.”
- The weird decision to view Howard University scene through the lens of a student who is identified outright as not your typical Howard student in a feature that implies it’s looking at the typical party scene at each college: the hyper-alcoholic Tiffany, who’s had a fake since she was 12, and friends, one of whom can chug a pitcher of margharitas in two minutes.
- Delightfully transparent references to Towne: “You could walk in with a piece of cardboard that says ‘I am 21 years old,’ and they will give you alcohol” and probably Rhino: “So she heads to a bar that’s popular with freshmen because it’s so easy to get into.”
- Those crazy kids at UMD: “I blacked out a little bit, but I remember playing around with a fire extinguisher in the hallway.”
The GWU section also awkwardly transitions into a three-paragraph detour to discuss our old friend Juicy Campus:
Kids worry more about a new Web site called Juicy Campus. It has pages for schools across the country where students can post gossip. “C’mon. Give us the juice,” it says. “Posts are totally, 100% anonymous.” Topics are often things like who the biggest slut on campus is or which guys are secretly gay. Or they’ll target one person, using first and last names and asking others to weigh in.
On the GW page, someone wrote that a certain guy “is a loser. He hit on his straight friend. Twice. What a FAGGOT.” On the Georgetown page, one girl is labeled “the dirtiest slut around.” Someone else wrote about her: “definitely a huge whore. probably has STD’s, so stay away!”
Some student governments are considering blocking Juicy Campus, and students have started flooding the site with poems, off-topic questions, and messages about how Juicy Campus is cruel.
Hey, it’s all college culture, right?
Photo taken from Flickr user ThisIsIt2 under a Creative Commons license.
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I was in Healy Circle last night around 1:00, checking out Mustard’s Last Stand, when all of a sudden the sound of police sirens became deafening, and the front gates turned an eerie purple color from the red and blue lights of multiple MPD vehicles. My friend and I ran up to see what was going on, but the scene seemed weirdly placid for the amount of police presence. A minute or so later, a big group of student ran by us, out the front gates, and away from DPS officers in hot pursuit.
Apparently, according to some rumors making the rounds among intoxicated partygoers (and, more legitimately, from some kids who were at the party in question), there had been an altercation at a beach-themed party in Henle where a fight broke out between Georgetown students and students visiting from Howard University. When DPS was called in, the Howard students turned on them, severely beating two officers. Panicked kids kept coming from the blocked-off Henle walkway talking about a pool of blood, and I saw one DPS officer completely unconscious, wheeled away into an ambulance by a grim-looking GERMS crew.
On my walk home to Burleith, I saw another ambulance, more kids and more cop cars on Reservoir Road. Everyone who was out on campus seemed pretty unsettled by the atmosphere of our usually peaceful campus—as my friend put it, apparently the D.C crime wave no longer stops at the Healy Gates.
Check our website for a full-length story on the incident by tomorrow.
Posted by Noreen Malone, Contributing Editor
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