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In Brief: Bats Take Over Texas Southern Dorm

Rabies Scare After Bats Invade Dorm

HOUSTON — Bats took over a university dormitory, forcing more than 200 students into hotels and worrying health officials, who now fear the students could have been exposed to rabies.

Videos posted on the Internet show students swinging a broom and a tennis racket as several bats fly about in a dormitory hallway at Texas Southern University. One student, 19-year-old Jason Smith, said he killed dozens of bats but didn’t know of anyone who was bitten.

“When we saw the video, we knew we had a problem,” said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the city of Houston’s health department.

Health officials asked students who had been in Lanier Hall East to meet with them this week to determine whether any would need rabies vaccinations.

Texas Southern officials, meanwhile, are trying to rid the dorm of the bat infestation, said university spokesman Terrence Jackson. It wasn’t clear how many bats were in the building. Exterminators went to the dorm on Monday.

Rabies is a viral disease most often transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. It attacks the central nervous system and, if untreated, can lead to paralysis, difficulty swallowing and death.

Associated Press


Basketball Players Say Assault Outside College Was Hate Crime

Black players on the Manhattan Community College basketball team said this week that an unprovoked attack by a gang of White men near the school should be handled as a hate crime.

The group is calling on Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and other officials to upgrade the charges brought against three suspects from assault to a serious hate crime, according to Bonita Zelman, an attorney representing the players.

The group also wants a review of the investigation, because they say more than eight people were involved in the attack, and only three were arrested.

“This was a hate crime,” Zelman says.

A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday to release further details of the attack. A police spokesman declined to comment on the charges saying that any response will have to come after the details of the press conference were released.

Team members and their coach were confronted by a gang of White males who punched, stomped and kicked them as they walked from practice near the college last September, according to Zelman. “They hurled racial slurs at them, screaming the ‘N’ word,” she says.

– Associated Press

ACE Releases New Report On Minorities in Higher Ed
Although total minority enrollment at the nation’s colleges and universities rose by 49 percent between 1994 and 2004 to more than 4.8 million students, minorities lag behind their White peers in the percentage of 18- to 24-year-old high school graduates enrolled in college, according to the American Council on Education.

The college participation rate for Blacks increased from 35 to 41 percent between 1993-95 and 2003-05, compared to the rate for Whites which stood at 48 percent in 2003-05, up from 43 percent.
The college participation rate for Hispanic students grew slightly from 35 percent to 37 percent during that same time period, according to ACE’s Minorities in Higher Education 22nd Annual Status Report: 2007 Supplement.

This report marks the first year ACE will release an abridged version of its annual report. Starting in 2008, ACE will release the full assessment of minorities in higher education every other year.

“The data on enrollment, degrees conferred, faculty and administrators in higher education varies little from year to year, so after consulting with our member institutions, ACE decided to streamline the process by releasing the full report biennially,” says Diana I. Córdova, director of ACE’s Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity.

– Diverse Staff

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