Faculty, staff groups to take on underage drinking
UI interim provost Lola Lopes assembled in January two teams of faculty and staff members to help her find solutions to underage drinking among UI undergraduates. One group will look into the legal and policy issues surrounding the problem and the other will work to find additional late-night activities for students.
“Students tell me there’s nothing to do in Iowa City,” Lopes says. “At first, that seems unrealistic, because Iowa City has one of the most vibrant cultural and entertainment environments in the Midwest. But those opportunities for the most part end at 10 p.m., and therein lies the problem.”
Suggestions to date range from unusual educational offerings and volunteer programs to roller skating and dancing. Lopes hopes to have some solutions in place by the end of the spring semester. The group working on the policy and legal issues will likely have a longer-term commitment.
Campus to go smoke-free
Smoking will not be allowed anywhere on campus after July 1, 2009.
Current policy prohibits smoking in and around all UI buildings, as well as everywhere on the UI health campus west of the Iowa River. The new smoking policy was developed by a Smoking Policy Review Team that consulted broadly across campus.
For students who smoke or chew tobacco, Health Iowa offers a free tobacco cessation program; for more information, visit www.uiowa.edu/~shs/health_iowa/substance_abuse/index.shtml.
University to require health insurance
Beginning in summer 2008, all new first-year students enrolled in five or more semester hours will be required to have health insurance coverage valid in Iowa for the time they are a student at Iowa.
Students who do not have insurance that meets University requirements will be automatically enrolled in the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Coverage begins the first of the month in which students are registered and classes begin. Students enrolled in SHIP can have their financial aid budget increased accordingly to help meet this additional cost.
For more information, see www.uiowa.edu/admissions/undergrad/requirements/health-ins.
Student union offers healthier food options
A new campus initiative is making it easier for students to eat healthy foods. “Healthier Option” gives individuals the opportunity to select yogurt or a piece of fruit—instead of chips or a cookie—as a side item to the daily special at the Iowa Memorial Union’s Union Station Food Court.
The program, implemented by Student Health Service, IMU Food Service, and UI Wellness in fall 2007, aims to help customers improve their eating habits without having to pay extra. The initiative was formed in response to a spring 2007 National College Health Assessment Survey of UI students, which found that less than 10 percent eat enough fruits and vegetables, based on guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2005.
Academic accolades submitted to hometown newspapers
Student achievement is important, and Iowa makes it a priority to share it with students’ hometown newspapers.
University News Services (UNS) is notified twice a year of students who qualify for the president’s list and three times a year of students who qualify for the dean’s list and of UI graduates. UNS, in turn, announces these achievements to newspapers based on the primary parent addresses listed in student records, so long as students have not restricted this information from publication.
To qualify for the dean’s list, a student must earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average (based on a 4.0 scale) for current work and have completed at least 12 graded hours during the most recent semester.
To be included on the president’s list, a student must have a minimum 4.0 grade point average in all academic subjects for the preceding two semesters, with at least 12 graded semester hours of credit per semester in that period.
For a variety of reasons, qualifying information may be submitted to newspapers up to a year after the semester ends or graduation occurs—for example, a student might take an incomplete grade in a class and not immediately satisfy course requirements. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevents UNS from commenting on a student’s academic status; once a month, however, UNS will submit to newspapers any newly verified information. To learn more, visit www.registrar.uiowa.edu/more/parents_faq.aspx.
Daily Iowan wins award for web site
The Iowa Newspaper Association awarded the Daily Iowan first place in the Best Web Site/Daily category at an awards ceremony in February that pitted the campus daily against professional newspapers around the state of Iowa. UI students design and develop content for the site, www.dailyiowan.com.
Loh named new executive vice president, provost
Wallace D. Loh, dean of the college of arts and sciences, professor of public service, and professor of psychology at Seattle University, has been named executive vice president and provost of The University of Iowa. He will begin his duties Aug. 1. (See news release.)
Loh succeeds Michael J. Hogan, who left Iowa to become president of the University of Connecticut in September 2007. The executive vice president and provost is the University’s chief academic officer and the highest-ranking University official after the president.
Loh’s main areas of teaching and scholarship are law and social science. He received a bachelor’s degree and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Grinnell College, a master’s degree from Cornell University, a PhD from the University of Michigan, and a JD from Yale Law School.
Dance Marathon tops $1 million goal
The University’s 14th annual Dance Marathon raised a record-breaking $1,003,646.14 in February, almost $4,000 more than its goal of $1 million and $120,000 above last year’s $880,000 total. More than 1,500 UI students participated in the event, a nationwide, student-run philanthropy that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. The UI event supports programs that benefit children with cancer and their families at UI Children’s Hospital. For more information, see www.uiowa.edu/~dancemar.