Nation in Brief

BYU investigates rape allegations

(U-WIRE) PROVO, Utah – As Brigham Young University students head back to school this fall, many freshmen are learning about their Honor Code for the first time. Their lessons have been punctuated, however, by a real-life example of possible Honor Code violations, in the form of recent rape allegations against BYU football players.

Police reports filed Aug. 9 indicate that players from the BYU football team allegedly raped a 17-year-old Provo, Utah, resident on Aug. 8 after she drank shots of vodka with them in their apartment.

Carri Jenkins, a spokeswoman for BYU, said the university is continuing to receive information regarding the case.

“These are allegations of grave misconduct that we take very seriously,” Jenkins said. “This matter has our full attention.”

Nadar calls for lower tuition costs

(U-WIRE) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader told a packed house at the University of New Mexico that the similarities between the Democratic and Republican parties tower over the dwindling differences, and he’s running to offer a new choice.

Nader said as president he would work on a plan to make college tuition free for students.

Like the public education systems in Australia and New Zealand that charge marginal fees for college, American public universities should not charge students tuition, he said.

“We’re spending $80 billion keeping our troops in Western Europe and East Asia 60 years after World War II, defending prosperous countries that can defend themselves against nonexistent enemies,” he said in an interview. “That would pay for two years and three months of public university tuition for every student in America.”

He also said his campaign is more likely to help Kerry’s campaign than hurt it.

“It’s simple,” he said. “Two fronts are better than one against Bush, especially when our front takes Bush and his government apart much more seriously and graphically than the Democrats are willing to do.”

Nader said the major parties are using redistricting to consolidate their powers, rendering 95 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives a foregone conclusion.

“There’s no choice,” he said. “It’s just the incumbent party, not opposed or nominally opposed by the other major party, and that means the end of elections. We’re seeing the end of even the charade of the two-party system in most districts around the country.”

Wisconsin freshman in critical condition following fall

(U-WIRE) MADISON, Wis. – For one University of Wisconsin freshman, the excitement of his first weekend living away from home ended in disaster.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 18-year-old Jason Gratzl was listed in critical condition at UW Hospital after falling from a second-floor balcony late Saturday night. He was attending a party off campus.

Alcohol apparently played a major factor in the fall. Gratzl was leaning over the railing to vomit and lost his balance, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, was on the scene around bar time to see the “gruesome pool of blood that was left on the concrete steps where (Gratzl) landed.”

Verveer said balcony and roof falls in Madison, Wis., are not a common occurrence and this is an unfortunate exception.

Verveer said he spoke with police officials who were surprised Gratzl initially survived.

“This is such a sad welcome to Madison,” he said.

-compiled by Vanessa Maltin

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