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News briefs: university style

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Stampede tragedy

A Stampede party was the scene of unfortunate accident as a University of Calgary student was killed after being struck by a mechanical horse. Twenty-two-year-old engineering student Nathan Shair was operating a calf-roping ride Thu., Jul. 13 at a party hosted by XI Technologies. A spring-loaded lever at the back of the machine hit Shair in the head while he was standing beside the machine. The blow knocked him unconscious and he later died at hospital.

Shair was in the middle of a work term at XI and was planning on returning to the U of C to finish up his final year in the fall.

A memorial service will be held 10 a.m. Sat., Jul. 21 at the South Calgary Chinese Evangelical Free Church on 340 39th Ave. SE.

Administrators turfed after rape-murder cover-up

Three top-ranking administrators at Eastern Michigan University were fired after covering up the rape and murder of a student.

EMU student Laura Dickinson's body was discovered Dec. 15, 2006 in her dorm room naked from the waist down with her legs spread and a pillow over her face. University officials announced Dickinson's death the next day in a written statement noting, "At this point, there is no reason to suspect foul play."

In February, police arrested Orange Taylor III, a fellow EMU student, charging him with the rape and murder of Dickinson.

EMU president John Fallon, vice-president of student affairs Jim Vick and public safety director Cindy Hall were all fired Mon., Jul. 16 after they admitted lying to cover-up the circumstances of Dickinson's death.

All three administrators will receive a severance package equal to one year's salary, and Hall and Vick will be allowed to retire and collect their pension.

Taylor is scheduled for trial Mon., Oct. 15.

Zany Zhao zips into mayoral race

University of Calgary engineering student Jeremy Zhao has tossed his hat in the political arena again--this time in civic politics. Zhao announced his intention to run for the office of mayor in Calgary Mon., Jul. 9. The race is already crowded, featuring incumbent and favourite Dave "Pie-face" Bronconnier, local business man and entrepreneur Alnoor Kassam and oil-patch engineer Sandy Jenkins.

Zhao last tested the political waters on campus in February 2007's Students' Union General Election where he ran for the position of Board of Governor's representative against former SU president Emily Wyatt. Despite receiving three Gauntlet endorsements, and boasting a meaty resume featuring such highlights as holding a job working in the deli of a Superstore, Zhao finished a distant second with just 21 per cent of the vote.

Oxford fines Facebookers

Maybe turning on the "friends only" option for Facebook photo albums is a good idea after all.

University students at prestigious Oxford University in the U.K. learned this lesson the hard way after being fined for racy photos posted on their Facebook accounts. The photos show students dousing each other with food, alcoholic beverages and flour in celebration of completing exams. University officials apparently don't condone that type of celebration and are attempting to chase down the students and levy a few fines, ranging from $80 to $200 USD.

This is only the latest in a string of recent Facebook follies making the news. Recently crowned Miss New Jersey and aspiring Miss America Amy Polumbo was blackmailed with compromising photos of her taken from her Facebook account. The photos included a picture of her boyfriend appearing to bite her breast through her shirt.

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