Students walking on a college campus

In this week's roundup, more conversations on mental health are taking place, the strike at the University of California has ended for some and a course aims to help develop social skills lost in the pandemic. 

December 8-14

  • Conversations have reignited on how institutions should care for students with mental health conditions. Recent lawsuits against Yale and Stanford focus on making mental health policies more student-centered. 
  • Artificial Intelligence is causing concern in higher ed. Tools such as ChatGPT can construct essays in seconds, which scholars say will become a part of everyday teaching. 
  • LGBTQ+ students nationwide have been dealing with what has been described as a “national pile-up of negativity” composed of hateful rhetoric, legislation and violence. 
  • Academic researchers at the University of California said they will return to work, partially ending their weeklong strike. Graduate students remain on strike, leaving institutions to decide how to handle undergraduate students’ final grades. 
  • The University of Northern Colorado has offered a course to first-year students to help them develop social skills they missed out on while learning remotely. The course “University 101” was taken by a quarter of first-year students. 
  • Vanderbilt University has reduced its carbon emissions by 19% in three years. The reduction was partially attributed to less commuting during the pandemic. 
  • Emory University announced an increase in minimum wage for student workers. The increase will begin in January at $12 an hour and will further increase to $13.50 an hour in September 2023 and $15 an hour in September 2024. 
  • A new campaign seeks to help California adults re-enroll into college after stepping out. California Reconnect will work with 30 institutions to engage students who have college credits without a degree. 
  • The State University of New York will offer in-state tuition to refugees from 16 countries including Ukraine and Haiti. SUNY Board Vice Chairman Cesar Perales calls this effort “a critical investment in solidarity and opportunity that sends an unmistakable message – evacuees and refugees are welcome in the Empire State.” 
  • Students are applying to more colleges and universities than eight years ago, according to a Common Application analysis. The students “driving up the average” are mainly applying to highly selective, private institutions. 


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