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DNA from armed rape helps police

Having obtained the DNA profile of the armed rapist and robber in the Aug. 26 assault of two University students, Charlottesville Police said they hope to uncover any community knowledge about the incident by releasing suspect details and possibly increasing reward money. The incident occurred in the Venable area between 15th Street NW and Rugby Road off of Grady Avenue shortly after 4 a.m.


News

Board approves Darden School expansion

The Board of Visitor's Building and Grounds Committee approved the schematic design for a major expansion of the Darden School yesterday. The expansion will include an addition to the residential wing of Sponsors Hall, an entirely new building with a large auditorium, dining facilities, additional office and classroom space and the construction of a 500-space parking garage.


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University approves Omega Phi Beta sorority under FSC

The University approved the Fraternal Organization Agreement Tuesday for the Iota chapter of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, the University's first Latina-oriented sorority. Omega Phi Beta also is the first fraternal organization in the new Fraternity and Sorority Council. The University needs to approve each fraternity or sorority's FOA in order for the organization to exist in relationship with the University.


News

Marx details issues for religious voters

In the upcoming General Assembly elections, religious conservatives will vote for candidates who best address the issues they care about, such as the right to life, school choice and family oriented tax cuts, said Gary Marx, director of the Virginia Christian Coalition, in a speech to the College Republicans last night in Cabell Hall. Marx told an audience of about 20 that religious voters play a pivotal role in elections, pointing to the 1994 congressional elections in which Republicans took the U.S.


News

Students fall victim to bike theft problem

With over half a dozen bicycle thefts already reported to University Police this semester, the constant threat of bike larceny appears to go unabated. In 1999, between three and seven bikes have been reported stolen from Grounds each month, according to the University Police Department.


News

Colleges investigate long-term computer projects

During the last five years, a trend toward updating integrating and consolidating computer systems has become visible among the nation's top universities. In addition to the University, the College of William & Mary and Virginia Tech are both working on technology integration projects with the goal of making their systems scalable - easy to upgrade in the future and more user-friendly. Because of the necessity of updating systems to be Y2K compliant before the new millennium, many universities have elected to kill two birds with one stone, updating their software and hardware systems and also integrating them. Virginia Tech began its integration project planning in 1996, and contracted the vendor SCT Software to integrate its human resources, finance and records systems. "One of our project goals is making it easier for students to register for classes and access course information on the Web," said Kim Homer, Virginia Tech computing helpdesk manager. Virginia Tech has spent over $10 million on upgrading and integrating its systems. Not all schools were able to complete both Y2K compliance and system integration, William & Mary integration project manager Pete Kellogg said "We weren't ahead of the game enough to complete both projects simultaneously and are only beginning systems integration this year," Kellogg said. William & Mary has completed Y2K compliance updates and is in the proposal phase of its integration project, which it began in February of this year. Several other competitive universities have made recent moves towards integration projects of their own.


News

Cobb suit to test student honor system

Despite a $1.05 million lawsuit alleging the honor system does not ensure due process, Committee members assert that the system is sound and will stand up to the allegations in court. Committee Chairman Hunter Ferguson said he believes the honor system will withstand pressure in court as long as honor trial participants follow the guidelines set forth in the honor constitution and bylaws. "So long as due process standards are met, [the Honor Committee] is unassailable," Ferguson said. Vice Chairman for Services Cordell Faulk said the Committee's case procedures and rights for the accused surpass any requirements set by the courts. "We go out of our way to give due process," Faulk said. But in November 1998, Jonathan Cobb, who was found guilty of cheating on an Introduction to Statistical Analysis exam, sued the University and others involved in the case for $1.05 million, arguing he did not receive due process.


News

EPA finishes chemistry lab investigation

The Environmental Protection Agency finished its investigation of alleged Chemistry department chemical management violations this week. The EPA now has a month to compile a report detailing the results of the investigation, said Ralph Allen, University director of environmental health and safety. The investigation comes in the face of the EPA's new movement to strengthen educational institutions' adherence to safety standards. Specifically, Allen said containers weren't being labeled correctly or the lids weren't kept closed. The process the department uses to dispose of waste first involves collecting waste from the various labs and storing it in a central location.


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University helps schools meet SOLs

The University's Continuing Education program is now helping Virginia schools to better integrate the state's Standards of Learning curriculum. The Virginia Department of Education set forth the SOL curriculum under Virginia Gov.


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Studies show rise in college-age smokers

When University students light up, they join the growing ranks of about four million college-aged smokers throughout the country. Although smoking is not a new phenomenon at colleges and universities, many health care professionals are worried to see increasing numbers of college students who smoke. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that the number of smokers at 116 colleges rose by 28 percent between 1993 and 1997. At the University, a survey conducted by the Department of Psychiatric Medicine in the spring shows 34.8 percent of University students reported using tobacco in the last 30 days, with 15.4 percent having done so on 40 or more occasions. These statistics alarm many in the health care profession. "This is a crucial pressing issue that continues ... on all college campuses," said Susan Tate, director for Health Promotion at the Elson Student Health Center.


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Candidates debate area's social issues

Local candidates for this fall's General Assembly elections demonstrated clear ideological differences as they debated the role of government in social programs in an issue forum hosted by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy last night.


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Students evaluate motives for race-based housing decisions

When third-year College student Michael McPheeters, a Chatam, Va., native, entered the University in the fall of 1997, he lived in McCormick Road dormitories, a predominantly white residence area. McPheeters, now co-president of the University's Black Fraternal Council, said at the time he knew very few black students in the area and not until the year progressed did he meet many other black students at all. "Initially, when I started going out, I went out with white students.


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Council plans revitalize book exchange program on Internet

As the popularity of Internet trading sites such as eBay.com continues to grow, Student Council is hoping to join the trend by offering University students the ability to trade their used books online. Once established, the online book exchange will allow students to set their own prices for their used books, said Brock Jolly, Council vice president for administration. The program, set up as a joint effort by the online company Bookswap.com and Council, will allow University students to register and purchase used books from other University students. The online exchange also will "eliminate paper, be faster, and be an overall better program" than Council's old book exchange, he said. The old program required students to bring in their books and set specific prices for them.


News

Officials call for more alcohol education for women

Despite the University's increased focus on preventing binge drinking in recent years, there still is a need for more programs specifically targeting female students, Women's Center Director Sharon Davie said. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more alcoholic beverages in a row for women, or five or more drinks in a row for men. Even though women are more vulnerable to the dangers associated with binge drinking, most alcohol abuse prevention is focused on men, Davie said. "My perception is that the stereotype is that men drink a whole bunch more than women, and ... in the overall scheme of things, it seems men would be targeted more" in prevention programs, she said. But roughly equal numbers of female and male students are treated for alcohol-related ailments at the Student Health Center, Director of Student Health James Turner said. Because women react differently to alcohol than men, some alcohol education programs should be directed at women, Turner said. "Women are less tolerant of alcohol, so they tend to get sicker sooner, so education effectively should be targeted specifically towards women," Turner said. Despite women's unique needs, Davie said she did not know of any binge drinking prevention programs at the University designed especially for females. But education is not necessarily the best way to prevent alcohol abuse by either gender, said Madeleine Chandler, Outpatient Psychiatry Services employee and registered nurse. "Education doesn't often" prevent binge drinking, Chandler said.