Co-op lease deadline passes with no eviction

    Though the Nov. 14 lease termination deadline has expired, the university has not initiated eviction proceedings against the student co-ops.

    Associated Students, the Graduate Student Association and the University Centers Advisory Board originally had until Oct. 15 under a university-set deadline to negotiate new documents to replace the Master Space Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding, which govern the way the co-ops lease campus facilities. The deadline was further extended to Nov. 14, with the university threatening to evict the co-ops if new agreements were not formulated by that date.

    A.S. President Jenn Pae said she has not received any communication from the university regarding the co-ops’ eviction.

    On Nov. 4, the negotiating parties signed a confidentiality agreement as part of the terms of mediation, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life Carmen Vazquez. Under this agreement, the parties are not allowed to disclose specific information regarding the negotiations, including the current status of the co-op lease.

    Another negotiation meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2, according to Pae.

    Bush names adviser to head education department

    President George W. Bush has nominated Margaret Spellings — a friend and former education adviser from Bush’s days as governor of Texas — to head the U.S. Department of Education.

    “If confirmed by the Senate, I commit to work alongside America’s educators and my new colleagues at the Department of Education to make our schools the finest in the world,” Spellings said at the White House announcement of her nomination.

    In a press release, National Education Association President Reg Weaver stated that the organization looked “forward to finding common ground with Ms. Spellings in her new role.”

    “This is a great opportunity for the administration to change the tone of its discourse with the education community,” Weaver said.

    Spellings’ nomination came two days after current Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige officially announced his resignation, pointing out that he will have served longer than any Republican education secretary at the end of the president’s first term.

    In a personal letter to Bush, Paige praised the president for his “strong and clear leadership” and thanked him “for the opportunity to serve you and the nation in such an important position.” Paige, who oversaw the implementation of the secondary education reform known as No Child Left Behind, noted positive changes in the “national education culture,” pointing to rising test scores among racial minorities.

    Employment looking brighter for college graduates

    Employers expect to increase their college hiring by 13.1 percent in 2004-05, a great improvement over past employment figures, the annual Job Outlook survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has found.

    More than 80 percent of executives questioned rated the job market for college graduates as “good,” “very good” or “excellent,” according to the survey, compared to 38 percent last year.

    “We’re seeing a number of positive indications that the job market for new college graduates is improving,” NACE Executive Director Marilyn Mackes said.

    In addition, seven out of 10 respondents to the survey suggested they expect to increase their starting salary offers to new graduates with bachelor’s degrees, the annual report stated. On average, they predicted an increase of 3.7 percent.

    The job outlook remained most promising for graduates with degrees in business, engineering and computer-related fields.

    A separate NACE survey released earlier in November showed that turnover among new college hires has also dropped to its lowest level in 12 years.

    Students planning increased political involvement

    Young voters, who turned out in record numbers on Nov. 2, say they plan to become more active in politics, according to a national post-election poll commissioned by nonpartisan, nonprofit voter-turnout group Declare Yourself.

    The 2004 election saw an emergence of increased political participation by students and other young people on both sides of the political spectrum, the group reported on Nov. 16, predicting that young voters between 18 and 29 years of age “will be even more critical in future elections,” possibly leading to a “Decade of the Young Voter.”

    Of the young adult voters surveyed, 75 percent said they planned to become more politically active in the future and 46 percent said they would register and vote in the next election. Five percent said they would opt out of the political process.

    Though young people use network and cable news as their primary source of information, they said they trusted Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart more than the three most respected network news anchors, according to the group.

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