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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs – 2/20/03

Congressman Frank Files Bill To Repeal Law Barring Financial Aid From Drug-Convicted Students

A press release from his office states Congressman Barney Frank introduced legislation this week to repeal the law that has barred financial aid to tens of thousands of college students with drug convictions, including minor possession convictions, in some cases from many years in the past.

The bill (H.R. 685) was introduced on February 11 with 39 co-sponsors. It promises to be an uphill fight in the Republican-majority House of Representatives.

“I don’t condone illegal drug use,” Frank said, “but in my opinion it is a mistake to use the student financial aid system as a blanket method of punishing people who are convicted of minor drug violations. Under previous law, the authorities had the power to withhold aid from people based on the severity of their crimes, and I think it makes sense to deny aid to major traffickers and or people who have committed violent drug offenses. But, it is counter-productive to treat people convicted of minor possession crimes in the same fashion.”

Congressman Frank will be at UMass Boston Friday, February 21, in the Chancellor’s Conference Room on 3rd floor Quinn Administration Building, to speak on the current crisis with Iraq. The event is co-sponsored by The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, The John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, The Sociology Department, The UMass Student Veterans Center, and the College of Public and Community Service.

Cuts at UMass Dartmouth

The Providence Journal reports UMass Dartmouth will suffer $625,000 in cuts, due to Governor Mitt Romney’s attempt at reducing the 650 million dollar budget gap.

Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack says that the cuts can be handled. Teachers won’t be cut, since 42 teachers were already lost in September, and a hiring freeze is in effect.

The article stated Chancellor MacCormack is taking a look at raising tuition and fees for next year, since the spring semester’s bills have been mailed out.

“We’ve talked with the students about a fee increase,” she said. “Their view is, we’re willing to pay more if it gives us more. They don’t want to pay more to receive less in the way of services.”

Public Safety Gets Radios as Part of FEMA Effort

The Public Safety Department received 4 radios that enables them to contact federal, state, and local emergency operations centers. The radios are part of the FEMA effort to improve communications between agencies primarily in the case of a WMD incident, terrorist attack, or a natural disaster, says UMass Boston Public Safety News. UMass Public Safety Offices at the Amherst, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester campuses reportedly received the same equipment.