Around the Nation

Bush weighs in on affirmative action

The Bush administration last Thursday said race should not be a deciding factor in the college admissions process, calling the approach unconstitutional.

The widely expected move came on a deadline to file briefs in a Supreme Court case involving the University of Michigan’s admissions policies. Those policies unfairly discriminate against white students and do not provide equal protection for everyone under the law, the White House said.

Instead, universities should consider “race-neutral alternatives” that still play a significant role in boosting a minority presence on U.S. campuses, the administration wrote.

Affirmative action proponents criticized the controversial move, but political analysts said Bush had to take a stance to please his conservative constituents. That came at the risk of alienating black and Hispanic voters, a group the Republican party hopes to court in the next election.

The case, which could be decided by summer, could rewrite the rules on how race is used in the college admissions process.

-Zeb Eckert

Penn State abortion clinic returns, faces controversy

(U-WIRE) UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After a six-month absence and much controversy, the only medical clinic in the region to perform abortions has re-opened its doors. The return of State College Medical Services, in State College, Pa., has caused some debate.

The previous office was closed last August following a five-year legal battle because the building’s owner, HFL Corp., said it was unaware ‘elective’ abortions would be performed in the office space. Although the office has moved to a new location, the services offered have not changed.

“We are happily situated in the new space,” said Sandra Wang, SCMS district manager. “We’re looking to expand our services and educate the community.”

However, not all members of the community are enthusiastic about the office’s return.

“We’re disappointed,” said Susan Rogacs, president of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. “But for at least six months some babies were saved.”

-The Daily Pennsylvanian (Penn State U.)

U. of Alabama student government supports limitation of bar hours

(U-WIRE) TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – While the decision to limit the hours of operation at Tuscaloosa’s bars still lies in the hands of the Tuscaloosa City Council, the University of Alabama Student Government Association Senate officially gave its thumbs up to any such move last Thursday.

Resolution 41-02, which “strongly encourages the Tuscaloosa City Council to establish reasonable hours of operation for all bars during the week (with) no set hours of operation on Friday,” was passed by an overwhelming majority of senators at their first formal meeting of the semester.

The resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Cochran Jamison of the College of Engineering, said few students would be interested in drinking if they were forced out of bars at a “reasonable time” on school nights.

“By the time two o’clock pulls around, not that many people are going to want to start a party,” Jamison said.

-The Crimson White (U. Alabama)

Drinking more often may be good for heart

(U-WIRE) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – If you’re going to go to the bar for a brew, researchers suggest that making the trip several times a week could be healthier than limiting yourself to a few times a month.

Drinking a glass of beer, wine or spirits at least three times per week can reduce men’s risk of heart attacks up to 35 percent, according to a study released last week by the Harvard School for Public Health. But drinking just several times a month proved less effective.

The research showed a link between drinking moderate amounts of alcohol regularly – ideally every day – and a lower risk of coronary heart disease. The connection held up regardless of the type or quantity of alcoholic beverage consumed and did not depend on other factors, such as whether or not drinks were consumed with meals.

Research into alcohol’s ability to help prevent heart attacks began when scientists noticed that people in rural France have a very low incidence of heart disease despite fatty diets. As a result, researchers were able to link the moderate consumption of red wine in the region to the prevention of plaque build-up in the heart’s arteries.

-Harvard Crimson (Harvard U.)

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