Oklahoma State University Renames Two Buildings After First Black Student

Oklahoma State University has renamed two buildings on its Stillwater campus after civil rights pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis, the school’s first Black student, ABC 8 News reported.

Nancy Randolph Davis (Photo by OSU)

The OSU Board of Regents gave the approval Friday to rename its Human Sciences and Human Sciences West buildings to Nancy Randolph Davis and Nancy Randolph Davis West.

Davis began attending then-Oklahoma A&M College in 1949, earning a master’s degree in home economics from there in 1952. Later, she taught the subject in Oklahoma high schools for more than 40 years.

A civil rights advocate, Davis was an adviser to the Oklahoma City National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council.

In 2015, she died. She was 88.

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/194561/

Duke Reports 17 New Positive COVID-19 Tests

Between Oct. 17 and Oct. 23, Duke University reported 21 new positive coronavirus test results out of 15,378 total tests, according to data from the University’s COVID-19 testing tracker.

Out of 13,563 student tests, 17 resulted in positive. The positivity rate is now 0.125%, according to The Chronicle. 

Nine students tested positive of 131 tests total. These students had symptoms and/or were in close contact with someone who tested positive as well.

Out of 1,816 people total, four tests came back positive from faculty and staff — which were contact traced.

Both the total number of new student cases reported this week and last week are the same.

A series of safety measures came into play. 157 people were placed in precautionary quarantine and 151 were released; 21 people were placed in isolation, and 14 were cleared to leave after having previously tested positive.

About 5% of the more than 300 quarantine and isolation beds available for students in Duke housing are full, according to a news release.

Since Aug. 2, the university has conducted various types of testing for students, faculty, and staff, including entry testing of every returning student, testing based on contact tracing, and pooled surveillance testing of asymptomatic people.

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/194544/

Ohio Valley University Court-Ordered to Pay Food Vendor $1.2 Million Over Unpaid Bills

A circuit court judge awarded more than $1.2 million to Ohio Valley University’s food vendor over unpaid bills, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.

(Photo by WTAP)

Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jason Wharton made the decision Oct. 13. in a July lawsuit against OVU by Aladdin Food Management Services LLC.

According to the lawsuit, OVU failed to make approximately $1,160,000 in payments to the vendor on an agreement signed July 2014.

The order said OVU owes the company $1,197,664.57 and at least $15,109.70 in attorney fees and costs – a total of $1,212,774.27.

After negotiations occurred in fall 2019, according to the lawsuit, OVU officials verbally acknowledged and agreed to a revised repayment plan in December. But in February, OVU made only a partial payment, according to the lawsuit.

OVU President Michael Ross said in an email Friday that the school acknowledged its debt and intended to pay all of it.

He said OVU made “substantial payments” to reduce the debt in the fall and spring.

“Unfortunately, we could not reconcile the exact amount of debt before COVID-19,” Ross said. “In March (2020), the campus closed for the semester and Aladdin submitted their notice to leave as our provider. … We are optimistic we will be able to work with Aladdin on a resolution.”

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/194535/

The Unique Challenges Faced By HBCU Students During COVID

Paul Quinn College President Michael J. Sorrell has been a leading advocate in higher education for students returning to in-person learning only when it is safe to do so. So while it was no surprise when he announced that our school’s classes would continue remotely because of COVID concerns, our students, as well as those at other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), suddenly faced obstacles that students learning remotely at many other schools may not have encountered.

Because 75% of Paul Quinn students are first-generation (even higher than the 60% first-gen rate at HBCUs nationally), one such hurdle came from the students’ families, who often expected the students to resume the responsibilities they had before leaving for college. That included taking jobs to help with the family’s financial needs (about 80% of our students qualify for Pell grants) or caring for an elderly grandparent or a younger sibling. Not surprisingly, these intergenerational responsibilities can be a huge distraction from remaining focused on schoolwork.

Dr. Stacia’ Alexander

That led to a second challenge – students’ mental health – and specifically, anxiety and loneliness. As it is, more than 70% of Paul Quinn students report experiencing some type of trauma. Now this group of students, who already feel pressured as first-gen students to succeed, have likely returned to situations that made them the most uncomfortable before coming to college. Without the daily interactions with dorm and classroom friends who provide energy and support to each other, and without a regular schedule, their patterns for studying, eating, sleeping and exercise were all thrown off.

Thirdly, the intersection of COVID, racial unrest, food insecurity and economic recession/concerns seem to bear a disproportionate weight on students of color, and Black students in particular. A recent report by the non-profit The Steve Fund concluded, “Disparate health impacts of the pandemic and today’s mounting social, economic, and racial inequities require strategic action to protect the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.”

As it is, many Black youths do not seek out counseling because th

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/194474/

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