Tom Ciccotta

Tom Ciccotta

Articles by Tom Ciccotta

Georgia Tech Settles Free Speech Lawsuit After Denying Speaker Fee for Alveda King

The Georgia Institute of Technology settled a lawsuit with the Students for Life group this week over the university’s refusal to fund an event with Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a result of the lawsuit, the university has revised its policies to ensure that funding for student groups will be awarded in a “viewpoint-neutral” manner.

PASADENA, CA - JULY 29: Dr. Alveda King at the 'Fatherhood, Community, and Our Cities' panel during Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon)

911 Services Went Down for Up to an Hour Across 14 States on Monday

Emergency 911 services in 14 states went down temporarily on Monday, putting lives at risk. Some argue that the outages, which lasted for up to an hour, were caused by technical issues at Microsoft, which provides communications products used by emergency service departments. Others believe that the shutdown was caused by an issue with an emergency telephone service called Intrado.

911 dispatch center

College of Eastern Idaho Requires Class that Discusses ‘White Privilege’

Students at the College of Eastern Idaho, a community college located in Idaho Falls, are required to take a course that teaches them about their privilege. One student in the course claims that he was shamed by his professor when he disputed the legitimacy of “white privilege.”

White privilege (Mark Dixon / Wikimedia Commons)

Hospital System with 400+ Locations Suffers Massive Cyberattack

Universal Health Services, a major hospital system with over 400 locations, faced a cyberattack over the weekend that shut down its internal records system. Doctors and nurses have been forced to use paper and pen to record patient records since the attack began. Cybersecurity analysts believe that the attack could be the largest medical cyberattack in the nation’s history.

Reboot

San Francisco State U. President Defends Speaking Invitation to Terrorist

San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney has defended students that invited airplane hijacker Leila Khaled to speak on campus. Mahoney said that students were “deeply” wounded by Zoom’s decision to shut down a livestream of the event. In a statement, Zoom said that it was forced to shut down the event after learning of Khaled’s affiliation with a terrorist organization.

Terrorist Leila Khaled graffiti

Columbia U. Partners with Amazon for A.I. Research Center

Columbia University announced this week that it is working with Amazon to create a research center for the development of AI technology. The center, which will be based in New York City, will operate for the next five years on a $5 million donation from Amazon.

CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos (R) gestures as he addresses the Amazon's annual Smbhav event in New Delhi on January 15, 2020. - Bezos, whose worth has been estimated at more than $110 billion, is officially in India for a meeting of business leaders in New Delhi. (Photo by Sajjad …

Video: College Students Reject SCOTUS Pick – Before Announcement

In interviews with Campus Reform this week, students pushed back against President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court of the United States. The problem? President Trump had not selected a replacement at the time of the interviews.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26: Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in the military on July 26, 2017 in New York City. Trump citied the …

Zoom, YouTube Shut Down San Francisco State U. Event Featuring Terrorist Leila Khaled

This week, YouTube and Zoom pulled the plug on a livestream event hosted by San Francisco State University featuring Leila Khaled, an activist that is best known for her participation in two airplane hijackings that took place in the 1970s. SFSU President Lynn Mahoney argued that that Zoom’s decision to “silence” Khaled is “deeply wounding” to members of the university community.

Leila Khaled BDS (Gianluigi Guercia / AFP / Getty)

Report: UW Madison Newspaper Fires Student Who Criticized ‘Defund the Police’ Movement

The student newspaper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reportedly fired a student this week after he submitted a column in which he pushed back against calls to “defund the police.” Student Tripp Grebe was swiftly removed from his role as a columnist at the paper after the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) questioned the university’s administration over the paper’s refusal to publish the column.

Protesters rally Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Phoenix, demanding that the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department. The protest is a result of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt York)

California Auditors: UC Berkeley ‘Failed to Establish’ Culture Based on Merit

A recent audit conducted by the state of California revealed that the University of California accepted at least 64 students due to their connections to university staff or donors over more qualified applicants. The majority of the applicants chosen for their connections were found at UC Berkeley, which the state auditors accused of failing to “establish a campus culture that values commitment to an admissions process based on fairness and applicants’ merits and achievements.” 

milo protest

Transylvania U. Fails to Condemn Prof. that Targeted Nick Sandmann

Administrators at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, have refused to condemn a professor that said he is prepared to file a disciplinary report on freshman Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic student that found himself at the center of a national media scandal after an encounter with a Native American protester in Washington D.C. in January 2019.

Nick Sandmann and Nathan Phillips in Covington Catholic High School confrontation

Gig Economy Startup ‘Civvl’ Offers Freelance Eviction Help to Landlords

A new startup is paying freelance workers to help landlords around the country evict tenants that are behind on their rent. The company has faced criticism from media outlets and social media users this week, many of which have suggested that the company’s operations are unethical.

In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read "No Job No Rent" hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not …

Brigham Young U. Students Withdraw over Coronavirus Rules

Two students at Brigham Young University have withdrawn from the university this week after they refused to comply with guidelines adopted by the university to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Prior to their withdrawal, the students had been disciplined by the administrators for refusing to wear masks and practice social distancing on campus.

Brigham Young University

Middlebury College Suspends 22 Students for Violating Coronavirus Rules

Nearly two dozen students at Middlebury College in Vermont were removed from campus this week over violations of coronavirus mitigation policies, despite zero cases of the Chinese virus reported at the college. Students at colleges and universities around the nation have been suspended over the past several weeks violating similar policies.

FILE - Pedestrians wear masks as they walk in front of a sign reminding the public to take steps to stop the spread of coronavirus, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Glendale, Calif. Los Angeles County is seeing some hopeful signs amid the coronavirus surge. The county reported Wednesday that COVID-19 …

Coronavirus ‘Circuit Breaker:’ U. of Utah Shuts Down Classes for 2 Weeks

The University of Utah announced this week that it will shut down its campus for two weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus and to prepare for the upcoming vice presidential debate that will take place on campus. Over the summer, health experts at the university devised a “circuit breaker” strategy for coronavirus mitigation, which mandated a two-week pause of in-person classes in the middle of the semester.

Empty college classroom

Facebook Says It Will Restrict Posting if Elections Cause ‘Unrest’

Facebook announced this week that it may restrict certain aspects of its platform following November’s general election as part of a larger effort to limit social unrest. A spokesperson for Facebook suggested that executives including Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg may censor specific information if they believe it is likely to heighten political tensions following the election.

Mark Zuckerberg Capitol Hill

Tulane U. Contract Worker Sues After Being Shot During Public Masturbation Arrest

A 28-year-old man who worked for Tulane University’s dining service claims that his rights were violated when he was shot by a police officer after an altercation on campus after he was allegedly found masturbating in front of a coworker. Taivon Aples was reportedly shot by an officer after he resisted arrest on the university’s campus.

Tulane

U. of Chicago Defends Limiting English Grad Students to ‘Black Studies’

The University of Chicago is defending its decision to force English Ph.D. candidates to focus exclusively on “Black Studies.” The university claims that the decision is insignificant because it will only apply to five incoming grad students that the department plans to admit for the upcoming term.

Fists were raised in memory of Breonna Taylor during a rally in her honor on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Thursday, June 25, 2020. The rally was held to demand justice in the death of Taylor who was killed in her apartment by members of …

Franklin and Marshall College Students Forced to Quarantine After Sewage Tests Positive for Coronavirus

A group of students at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, are being forced to quarantine after wastewater from their residential building tested positive for coronavirus. Franklin and Marshall is one of several colleges that is testing sewage water as part of its coronavirus mitigation protocols. None of the 92 students required to quarantine have actually tested positive for the Chinese virus.

Dr. Nita Patel, Director of Antibody discovery and Vaccine development, lifts a vial with a potential coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccine at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] …

Judge Blocks Order to Ban China’s WeChat

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler blocked an order by the Trump administration on Sunday that would have banned Chinese-owned messaging application WeChat from the Google and Apple app stores. Judge Beeler said that the order presents First Amendment concerns for users of the platform.

Counter-protesters hold up Chinese flags to oppose the protesters gathering in central London to attend a march organised by StandwithHK and D4HK in support of Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, on August 17, 2019. - Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster …

Gettysburg College Students Fight Plans to Send Them Home over Coronavirus

Students at Gettysburg College are pushing back against a proposed plan to send some students home to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Prior to the decision, the college had implemented some of the nation’s strictest mitigation protocols. Students were required to stay in their dorm room when they weren’t at the cafeteria or in the restroom.

coronavirus drive-thru test

Boston University Lecturer Dies in Elevator Accident

A 38-year-old lecturer at Boston University died in a tragic elevator accident this week. Professor Carrie O’Connor, who had previously taught French at MIT, Tufts, and Northeastern, had just started her second year of full-time teaching at Boston University. She reportedly became trapped between the elevator car and the first-floor door of her building.

Boston University Carrie OConnor

U. of Wisconsin Grad Student Lied About Being Black, Resigns from Teaching Position

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin recently announced that she has lied about her race. Graduate student CV Vitolo-Haddad, who is actually Sicilian, wrote in a blog post this week that she has pretended to be black for some time. At one point, Vitolo-Haddad also told her peers that she identified as Latino. She has resigned from her position as a teaching assistant

U of Wisconsin Grad Student CV Vitolo Haddad

Boston College Coronavirus Cases Drop After Short-Lived Spike

Boston College announced this week that the number of positive coronavirus tests on campus has dropped after a brief spike. 3.5 percent of students at the college tested positive at the beginning of September. This week, just 0.6 percent of students tested positive for the virus.

coronavirus drive-thru test