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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs

News Briefs
News Briefs

• In response to the shooting at Virginia Tech, Chancellor Michael Collins released a statement expressing condolences and encouraging students in need to seek help at University Health Services. The chancellor commented that the scope of the events in Blacksburg Virginia cause us now to reflect upon our own safety. The statement pointed out that while events like this are difficult to predict and prevent, the university has developed emergency preparedness plans to assist in addressing a crisis that threatens the safety and health of our campus and its students, faculty, staff or neighbors. “I would say that every aspect of planning, from the physical plan to the way that departments plan for emergencies, is up for review, but as of right now there has been no change in procedures,” Vice Chancellor Ed Hayward said. All this week, there will be a banner to sign in support of VA Tech and donations will be accepted.

• The Undergraduate Student Senate passed a resolution regarding housing options at their full meeting last week. The resolution argued that on-campus living would improve “personal, professional and academic development” and would have a “direct impact on the retaining and recruitment of quality students.” The resolution claimed that benefits of on-campus housing “far outweigh” the costs and it also claims that the student body has identified on-campus housing as a need. In the resolution it was resolved that UMass Boston immediately begin looking in to housing options, that it be incorporated in its master planning, and that funding be sought to pay for the project. The resolution overwhelmingly passed, but only after considerable debate.

• UMass Boston student group will go to the State House on April 25 in an attempt to get legislation passed for the betterment of Massachusetts’ public higher education system. The group is called the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), and they will be traveling to Beacon Hill with several proposals trying to get more budgetary compensation from the state, trying to halt price increases on tuition, fees, and textbook prices, as well as just making an effort to have the state pay more attention on how to better public higher education in general. PHENOM will meet at the state house’s Gardner Auditorium on April 25 at 10 a.m.

• UMass Lowell Student Pleads Guilty to Stabbing Professor. Nikhil Dhar, 23, was sentenced to four to five years in state prison after he entered guilty pleas to charges of armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Dhar was arrested on Dec. 22, 2005 after stabbing an assistant professor of clinical lab sciences, Mary Elizabeth Hooker, numerous times before slashing her throat. Hooker survived the incident, and told police that Dhar stabbed her due to his failing her course in hermotology. Dhar, who was from Calcutta, India, allegedly traveled twenty miles to accost Hooker at her house, where the incident took place.

• UMass Boston’s New Center for Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks Uses Wireless Technology to Focus on Boston Harbor. Campus researchers are looking into how UMass Boston’s own seawater-fed cooling system affects Boston Harbor by collecting data from coastal areas using remote, wireless sensors placed by researchers in strategic locations. The full potential of sensor networks was the focus of a conference organized by the university’s new Center for Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks on April 12 and 13 at the Campus Center. This was the first time that leading scientists, researchers and businesses gathered in the New England area to participate in the series of lectures and discussions. The UMass Boston campus is involved in an early project that uses one of two commercial facilities in Boston to use seawater to cool its physical plant systems. That water is discharged at warmer temperatures into Dorchester Bay. In late March, researchers placed a grid of temperature sensors in the harbor waters to determine if the discharge system has any effect on the bay.