Around the Nation

U. Akron shooting worries students

(U-WIRE) KENT, Ohio – Police shot and killed a man armed with a .45-caliber handgun who was carrying around a backpack containing a machete, a .40-caliber handgun and ammunition at the University of Akron Tuesday.

Thomas Tremko Jr., a former University of Akron janitor, holed himself up in a bathroom stall after a struggle with police left officers with nothing but his backpack. Tremko, still armed with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, stayed inside the stall for 10 hours before being forced out by tear gas.

It was the first time anyone had ever been shot on campus, said Bruce Vernyi, University of Akron senior public relations representative.

“It was just a different situation entirely (than anything in the past),” he said.

U. Wisconsin student dies of meningitis

(U-WIRE) MADISON, Wis. – Meningitis is the likely cause of the death of a male University of Wisconsin student who died Tuesday morning at Meriter Hospital.

Dean of Students Luoluo Hong said the family and friends of the dead 20-year-old student have been contacted, and she offered her condolences.

“We just want the people close to the student to know how sorry we are,” Hong said.

Meningococcal disease is a rare bacterial infection that has a potentially fatal development that doctors do not fully understand.

University Health Services epidemiologist Craig Roberts said the incident does not pose a health threat to the general student population.

“The only people at risk are those who had intimate contact with the student, such as a girlfriend, friends or roommates,” Roberts said.

Students who may be at risk have already been contacted and given doses of antibiotics as a precaution, Roberts added.

The death follows incidents on other university campuses across the state. This school year, cases have been reported at UW-Whitewater, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls.

UC to spot-check extracurriculars of applicants

(U-WIRE) BERKELEY, Calif. – The University of California will begin a new policy to verify applicants’ extracurricular activities next year.

For fall 2003, UC will phase in a system-wide program requiring that some applicants’ activities be independently verified. A new, expanded version of comprehensive review gives such involvement a more prominent role in the admissions process.

UC will revoke admission offers from applicants who fail to provide evidence verifying their activities, according to a report issued by the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools.

“Some individual campuses had verified some information before, but this is the first time on a system-wide basis that the information in the applications is going to be verified,” UC spokesperson Hanan Eisenman said.

A trial run of the program conducted last year by UC San Diego uncovered only one instance of unsubstantiated claims out of a pool of 437 applicants.

New NCAA standards downplay SAT score

(U-WIRE) COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a new set of academic standards last month that will allow student-athletes with exemplary high school grade point averages entrance into college even with sub-par scores on standardized tests.

Commonly referred to as a full sliding scale, the new standards permit athletes with an SAT score as low as 400 – the lowest score possible – to qualify for admittance to college if they boast a high school GPA of 3.55 or higher.

However, according to University of Maryland officials, it is unlikely any student-athletes near the bottom of the scale will enroll at the university, as each Division I institution sets its own, sometimes stricter, standards on top of those levied by the NCAA.

In the past, a student who scored an 820 on the SAT needed a coinciding 2.5 GPA to be eligible for admission under NCAA rules, however, the 820 mark was the lowest a student could score in the past to qualify for admission.

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