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Code of Conduct
Air Force Academy adopts changes in response to 2003 sexual assault scandal

  In This Issue

(Photo by Mike Falco, Black Star, for CrossTalk)

Half of Princeton University's freshman class began the year with a week-long outdoor orientation program. After a soggy trouble-plagued start, they did just fine.
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Code of Conduct
Air Force Academy adopts changes in response to 2003 sexual assault scandal

Political Football
Partisan politics could determine management of Los Alamos laboratory

Preparing for Success in College
California State University is working closely with high schools to improve English and math skills

Into the Woods
Outdoor Action program offers a rewarding college orientation experience

Mark Warner

Supplement to National CrossTalk
Grading the National Report Card
Critics and supporters respond to Measuring Up 2004

Other Voices
Trouble at the Border
How U.S. anti-terrorism efforts affect foreign students and visiting scholars

A Bold Proposal
Increasing college access without spending more money

Assessment Literacy
Do educators know how to make use of the new avalanche of standardized test data?

By Kathy Witkowsky
Colorado Springs

The day before she enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Mryamn Ruth wrote an entry in her new journal, a gift from a friend.

In neat block letters, the former high school valedictorian and martial arts expert (she holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do) listed the reasons she had chosen the academy over other institutions of higher education: 1) Love of country; 2) Drive to service; 3) Great education; 4) It's a challenge; 5) Astronautical engineering.

"No matter what happens," Mryamn (pronounced Miriam) added in a note below, "I'm walking across that stage in four years with an astronautical engineering degree."

Hoping to undo the damage done by the 2003 sexual assault scandal, the Air Force Academy has adopted new rules and procedures.
(Photo by Rod Searcey for CrossTalk)
The slender, self-assured 18-year-old from Oklahoma City is beginning her career at USAFA at a time of radical change, prompted by a sexual assault scandal that hit the academy like a sledgehammer.

In the spring of 2003, the public learned that dozens of women had alleged that they had been sexually assaulted or raped while enrolled at the academy over the past decade; many of them said their claims had been ignored or mishandled. The scandal led to the replacement of USAFA's top officials and an overhaul of many of its policies. It also made headlines in national publications ranging from the New York Times to Vanity Fair (which titled its piece, "Code of Dishonor"). (continue)


Political Football
Partisan politics could determine management of Los Alamos laboratory

By Carl Irving
Los Alamos, New Mexico

Scientists at this national laboratory, many of them helping to maintain and protect the world's largest nuclear stockpile, tensely await word whether a university in Texas or California will manage them a year from now.

They expect to find out as soon as the outcome of the November 2 presidential election is known, even though the present contract with the University of California, first and only manager for 60 years, runs through next September.

Interviews in the swarm of offices and research labs at this isolated site, 34 miles northwest of Santa Fe and 7,400 feet above sea level, found virtual unanimity that the name of the next president will determine whether or not Texas campuses replace UC as manager. That judgment was confirmed by scientists and officials not connected with the lab, though their comments were mostly not for attribution.

A Bush victory, according to this consensus, means the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will opt for the University of Texas and/or Texas A&M University as co-managers, with a private enterprise. And a Kerry win, it is expected, means that UC will be retained as lab manager, also in partnership with a for-profit business.

The most important mission at Los Alamos is maintenance of an enduring nuclear stockpile, says lab official Donald J. Rej.
(Photo by Los Alamos National Laboratory)

"It's scary to think decisions about national security will be affected by national politics," said George Blumenthal, chairman of the UC faculty academic senate. "The reality is everyone seems to think that it will." (continue)


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