University of Maryland students struggle to cancel housing leases

When South Campus Commons at the University of Maryland, College Park, canceled its apartment leases in March, Julia Kane called it “the right thing to do” during the pandemic.

By June, the university also gave students the option to cancel their fall housing agreements without penalty. But then South Campus Commons and The Courtyards, the public-private apartments owned by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, told students they were legally bound to their leases.

Capstone On-Campus Management, the entity hired to manage the apartments, told 3,000 students with leases their only options were to re-lease to another student, to pay and live on-campus, or to pay and live at home, Kane said. Kane, a senior studying marketing and operations management and business analytics, managed to cancel her lease cost-free, but it only happened after days of pressure from her father, who is an attorney.

“When I signed this lease back in

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Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey, NJ — Moody’s withdraws P-1 rating on Rutgers University, NJ’s CP Series E in conjunction with SBPA expiration

Rating Action: Moody’s withdraws P-1 rating on Rutgers University, NJ’s CP Series E in conjunction with SBPA expiration

New York, July 31, 2020 — Moody’s Investors Service has withdrawn the P-1 rating on Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s (NJ) General Obligation Commercial Paper Series E (Federally Taxable), in conjunction with the expiration of the standby bank purchase agreement (SBPA) associated with this series of commercial paper. We maintain a P-1 rating on General Obligation Commercial Paper Series A (Tax-Exempt), Series B (Tax-Exempt), Series C (Federally Taxable), and Series D (Extendable Tax-Exempt), which are supported by a separate SBPA. We also maintain Aa3 and Aa3/VMIG 1 on approximately $2.1 billion of outstanding debt as well as the Aa3 on proposed approximately $200 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds, 2020 Series S (Federally Taxable), which was assigned on February 24, 2020. The outlook for the long-term underlying debt is stable.

The … Read More

Outrage at Open University as exam marks given out are based on former students’ results

Three graduates in graduation robes - PA
Three graduates in graduation robes – PA

Students at the Open University (OU) are outraged at having received grades based on the results of former students after the institution used a statistical model to calculate scores for cancelled assignments. 

The institution cancelled half of all final assignments during lockdown – even if they were contact-free.

One student said that classmates had received “sudden” downward adjustments to their marks for “opaque” reasons. She called the situation a “disgrace”. 

The OU said it made the statistical adjustment by analysing data from students with comparable scores, who sat the modules the past three times the course has run, and the students’ existing grades.

Students, who have received lower grades than what their previous modules should have averaged, said they will now find it harder to achieve the final degree classifications they had been expecting. 

One student received a final grade of 77 per

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University Of Washington Moves More Fall Courses Online

SEATTLE, WA — The University of Washington is scaling back plans to hold small, in-person courses this fall quarter, citing an “alarming increase” in COVID-19 cases seen in Washington and much of the United States.

In late June, UW unveiled plans that would allow for courses with 50 or fewer students to be taught in large classrooms, while larger classes would be offered remotely. The university prioritized physical instruction for “hands-on” courses, which require time in studios, clinics or labs.

As the number of coronavirus cases and rates of transmission continue to grow in King County and elsewhere, school leadership is adjusting the fall outlook to include even less time spent on campus.

UW sent letters to students, staff and faculty Wednesday, informing them of the latest changes.

“Although conditions continue to be extremely fluid and unpredictable, we write today to provide you with the best information and guidance we

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The university workers tasked with getting Maryland’s campuses ready to reopen fear for students’ return in the fall

Five days a week, Relford Matthews reports to dormitories at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to paint, fill holes in the walls and install Plexiglass dividers meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Lots of the time, Matthews works by himself. So, for the moment, the 64-year-old maintenance worker feels safe at his job.

But he knows a storm is coming. The students.

UMES, like numerous other Maryland colleges and universities, is hoping to welcome students back to campus this fall — even on a limited basis — after an abrupt end to the spring semester as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the frontline workers toiling to make it happen, housekeepers and maintenance workers among them, say they harbor fears for the fall. Fears that students won’t follow protocol in the dorms, and walk about mask-less. Fears that the workers would be the ones most likely to

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Coronavirus ‘will be a jumping-off point for change’: Temple University CFO

The COVID-19 pandemic and the political ramifications that come with it have forced many universities to make tough, many hard financial decisions. 

The Trump administration’s plans to strip international students’ visas if their universities and institutions continue online-only instruction would force over 1 million students to leave or be deported. 

Ken Kaiser, Chief Financial Officer at Temple University, joined Yahoo Finance’s “On the Move” to discuss the adverse impact COVID-19 and the administration’s plan would have on not only his school but institutions all over the U.S. 

“The bottom line is that these international students pay for a public university like Temple out of state tuition. And that is a significant driver for our net tuition revenue at the University. So it is a big concern,” says Kaiser, who tells Yahoo Finance that Temple University is trying to work out partnerships with other international universities where the school’s foreign students

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St Andrews University investigates rape and sexual abuse allegations against student fraternity


St Andrews University has said it will work with police to investigate dozens of allegations of sexual assault or rape on campus.

An Instagram account called St Andrews Survivors posted over 20 allegations about sexual misconduct at the university, with many claiming members of a fraternity at St Andrews University carried out the attacks.

According to a report in The Telegraph, at least nine rape claims involved students in the St Andrews branch of US-based student fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

The fraternity confirmed in a statement that several of its members have been suspended following the allegations and said it will conduct a thorough investigation.

“We find the contents of these allegations abhorrent and are taking them extremely seriously,” it said.

“Coming forward in any capacity takes tremendous bravery, and we want to thank everyone who has both told their stories and those who have supported them as

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When a university closes for COVID-19, its college town may not survive

AMHERST, Mass. — For more than a century, the office supply store A.J. Hastings has opened its doors to the public every day without fail, a community staple in a quintessential college town.

That streak endured through the 1918 flu and world wars, national holidays and even a move. “Through thick and thin,” said Sharon Povinelli, who co-owns the store with her wife, Mary Broll.

Located in the heart of Amherst, the store has been a mainstay for students at Amherst College and Hampshire College, and the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts.

“We’ve been here almost as long as the universities here,” Povinelli said.

The third-generation-owned business never broke its opening streak — until the coronavirus pandemic hit. A.J. Hastings, along with millions of other businesses across the country, closed in March to curb the spread of COVID-19, while colleges shut down their campuses and turned to remote

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University of St Andrews to introduce compulsory sexual assault education class following Telegraph investigation

St Andrews students - St Andrews University /
St Andrews students – St Andrews University /

The University of St Andrews is introducing a compulsory module on consent and sexual assault for all of its students, following a Telegraph investigation into a series of alleged rapes on campus.

Every single one of the university’s 9,000 students will be required to participate in the online class before they are allowed to start the forthcoming academic year in a move that has been praised by female students.

The university also said that it was undertaking work to ensure that its staff were sufficiently trained up to support sexual assault victims.

On Saturday, The Telegraph revealed that more than a dozen claims of rape and sexual assault have been levelled at members of a US-style fraternity who have now suspended some of their cohort.

At least nine allegations of rape were made against students in the St Andrew’s branch of

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How University of California campuses are opening this fall

University of California campuses will offer mostly online instruction this fall, but each school has the power to set its own rules and at least two of them are already revising early plans to account for new coronavirus outbreaks.

Some schools plan to offer 30% of instruction in person, while others intend to limit on-site coursework to laboratory and studio classes. Some are prioritizing incoming freshmen for campus housing while others plan to reserve rooms for students with special circumstances, including financial need.

As the pandemic’s trajectory continues to change, university administrators warn campuses may revert to reduced operations even after the fall semester begins.

At least two schools — UC Berkeley and UC Merced — are already reevaluating their plans in light of recent COVID-19 developments. At Cal, that’s because frat parties triggered an outbreak that more than doubled the total number of infections tied to Berkeley’s campus, officials

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