Poet Nikki Giovanni To Give Reading at Emory

American poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni will give a free reading of her work on Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. to close out Black History Month as part of the 15th season of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series, according to an Emory press release. Giovanni’s work covers topics that range from race and social issues to children’s literature. Her reading, which will be held in the Emory Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, will also feature her books and a limited-edition broadsheet for sale. 

Giovanni has written many collections of poetry, as well as many works of nonfiction and children’s literature. Her most recent publications are “Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid” and the children’s book of poetry “I Am Loved.”

New Title IX Rules to Include Definition of Dating Violence

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ new rules concerning sexual misconduct across U.S. colleges is expected to improve protections for victims of dating violence and stalking as a part of its new Title IX rules, according to The New York Times. The new rules will consider instances of domestic violence, stalking and dating violence as misconduct that universities are required to investigate. 

Other aspects of the new rules have been criticized by victims’ rights advocates for their inclusion of a narrow definition of sexual harassment, which would limit circumstances in which a university would be required to investigate instances of sexual harassment, the Wheel previously reported.

According to The New York Times, more than 120,000 comments received during the public comment period (a 60-day period following the publication of new federal regulations in the Federal Register that allows for public feedback) advocated for increased regulations for instances of dating violence. 

Georgetown Announces Halt of Fossil Fuel Investments

Georgetown University (D.C.) President John J. DeGioia announced on Feb. 6 that Georgetown will end new investments of endowment funds in fossil fuel companies and will move to withdraw funds that were already invested in the firms, according to The Washington Post.

The decision reflects a national push of students to minimize the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Many student groups on the Georgetown campus, such as GU Fossil Free, have been working to pressure the university to take a stand against climate change. Georgetown plans to stop all investments in publicly traded fossil fuel companies by 2025 and halt private investments by 2030.

International Students Gain Important Immigration Victory

On Feb. 6, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of North Carolina Loretta C. Biggs sided in favor of universities and international students in a case that would have barred a large number of international students from returning to the U.S. after the expiration of their legal status, according to Politico

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised memo in August 2018 regarding nonimmigrants who violate their status. The revision would have changed how immigration officials determined the duration of a visitor’s “unlawful presence” in the U.S.

Multiple American colleges sued over this change and argued that it would jeopardize millions of international students. The following May, the same district court issued a nationwide injunction that blocked the memo’s implementation in response to lawsuits from multiple universities.

The decision by Biggs prevents the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from imposing 3- and 10-year re-entry bans on international students, according to Forbes. The decision also marks an assurance that the U.S. remains open for international students to study. 

Former PIMCO CEO Sentenced To 9 Months Due to College Admissions Scandal

U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton charged Douglas Hodge, ex-CEO of global investment firm Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO), with money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud on Feb. 7, according to The New York Times. Hodge paid bribes for four of his childrens’ admissions into Georgetown and the University of Southern California as athletic recruits. 

Hodge was sentenced to nine months in prison, fined $750,000 and ordered to complete 500 hours of community service. Hodge’s sentence was the heaviest punishment of any parent sentenced in the admissions scandal thus far. 

Gorton stated that Hodge needed to pay a significant price for his criminal conduct in order to prevent himself and others from misusing their fortunes; however, Hodge’s record of philanthropy helped him receive a shorter sentence, the Times reported.