On Campus

5 Syracuse-related news stories from the last week

Will Carrara | Contributing Photographer

One of the biggest stories from the past week was Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud's announcement regarding a new $100 million academic initiative for the university.

This past week, Syracuse University and the city of Syracuse were buzzing with news. From new campus initiatives to SU Chancellor Kent Syverud’s stance on Trump’s transgender military ban, here are five news stories you should read.

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Syverud speaks out

President Donald Trump took to Twitter this week to state that he would be banning transgender individuals from joining the military, chalking this decision down to the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” In a campus-wide email, Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud clarified SU’s stance on this issue. In his email to the SU community, Syverud described the transgender ban as “inconsistent with Syracuse University’s values of access, and of inclusion, as well as of support for veterans.”

“It is offensive to me that anyone would question the patriotism or competence of the transgender members of our community to contribute to our national defense,” Syverud said in the email. “Syracuse University will always be a place that welcomes people of all identities, including within our programs for veterans and military-connected families.”

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Daily Orange File Photo

Making moves — SU’s newest initiative

Last Wednesday, Syracuse University announced a new initiative that it would implement to provide personalized academic and career assistance, rebalance student loans and start a fundraising campaign to support need-based financial aid and scholarships. The initiative, named  Invest Syracuse: Advancing Academic Excellence and the Student Experience, is part of Chancellor Kent Syverud’s Fast Forward Syracuse initiative. Invest Syracuse is intended to work to improve students’ learning experiences by providing personalized academic and career guidance and ensuring students have global learning experiences while at SU. The university also plans to hire 100 additional faculty scholars and support faculty research by improving the Office of Research and creating a Faculty Innovation and Discovery Fund. Rebalancing student loans and grants to manage the issue of excessive student debt will also be a part of this new initiative.

Winter Maxwell Exterior Lincoln StatueCourtesy of Stephen Sartori

SU alumnus at your service

On July 20, Syracuse University alumnus John R. Bass made headlines after President Donald Trump appointed him to serve as the United States ambassador to Afghanistan. Bass graduated from SU in 1986 with a degree in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Bass is currently the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, but in his new role will lead State Department diplomatic efforts. The U.S. Senate must confirm Bass’ nomination before he can assume his new role.

Interstate 81 near Syracuse University as seen on Dec. 5, 2016. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.Daily Orange File Photo

Safety first 

Uber and Lyft’s arrival to Syracuse was a long-time coming, but now that it’s here, these ride-hailing services could pose safety issues for the local area. According to Syracuse.com, police have reported three times as many vehicles downtown on weekend nights since ride-hailing services became legal in Syracuse at the beginning of July, slowing traffic and putting the safety of pedestrians in the area at risk. According to the article, police officers that help ease the traffic downtown have not adapted to the new technology and have not done anything to accommodate the drivers. In an interview for Syracuse.com, a local driver Adam Labonoski said “There’s no place for you to pull over, so you kind of have to do it in the middle of the intersection. And that’s when they come out and say you’re blocking traffic. You’re trying to get your passenger out as fast as they can, and they’re yelling at you,” he said. “I get the concerns, I really do. I don’t want people to be hurt.”

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Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

As a part of Syracuse University’s academic initiatives, the university is planning a $5,060 tuition increase in fall 2018, bringing the total student tuition to more than $50,000 a year. This increase includes a 3.9 percent raise from tuition costs for the 2017-18 academic year as well as a $3,300 premium. The tuition increase is one of three ways the university wants to increase funding to academics and was announced in conjunction with the Invest Syracuse reveal. Chancellor Kent Syverud said the university needs to increase funding to academics through a combination of tuition pricing, cost savings and fundraising.

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