A Year of Commentator News
As the calendar year comes to a close and finals season arrives, The Commentator invites you on a trip through its top news stories of 2018. The following list is in chronological order, beginning with Jan. 2018 through to the most recent issue. Hyperlinks to each story are included to give you an expanded glimpse.
President Ari Berman appointed Doron Stern as the new Vice President of Communications, announcing it in an email from the President’s Office to the YU community on Monday, Jan. 30. As the first to hold the position of VP of Communications since 2011, Stern now heads the university’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA). In this past year, Stern spearheaded an ad campaign in The Wall Street Journal.
With a win against Purchase on Sunday, Feb. 25, the Yeshiva Maccabees Men’s basketball team won the Skyline Championship and secured its first-ever NCAA Division III tournament berth. Thousands of Macs fans were in attendance singing “mishe nichnas Adar marbim b’simcha” as the team closed out the victory. The team was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
Rabbi Ozer Glickman, a YU rosh yeshiva and professor in Sy Syms School of Business and Isaac Breuer College, died suddenly on Monday, March 19. Glickman, a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey, leaves behind his wife, Ilana, as well as six children and several grandchildren. He was 67 years old, and was remembered for his dedication to Torah Umadda and humility.
Dr. Chaim Nissel, Dean of Students released a statement to the student newspapers on Friday, March 23 outlining the framework for a new “community” minyan on the Wilf campus for the 2018/2019 academic year, where women will be able to give divrei Torah. Dean Nissel explained that this decision was made after “student feedback” regarding Shabbat services at YU. The statement came one month after several articles in the student newspapers discussed, questioned and further criticized the administration for not addressing Wilf campus policies concerning women’s roles in uptown Shabbat activities. As per an update in the Oct. 14 edition, this minyan will not be established.
The second annual YU Giving Day campaign on Apr. 25 and 26 raised $4,538,697 from 3,004 donors, surpassing the original stated goal of $3 million from 3,000 donors, according to the Giving Day website. While the original $3 million goal was reached with hours to spare, the total donors' goal was aided by a push of over 1,000 donors in the last two hours.
A private tutoring service has been illicitly conducting sessions for undergraduate students on the Beren Campus, without permission from the Office of Events, Security, or the Dean’s Office, an investigation by The Commentator revealed. The Chromium Prep tutoring service, conducted by Nomi Ben-Zvi, a science tutor who has been known to Beren students for several years, operated on the Beren Campus with permission in the past but had its authorization rescinded by the Dean’s Office after the Fall 2017 semester. As per an update in the Oct. 14 edition, Ben-Zvi has regained permission to tutor on the Beren Campus this semester.
For the Fall 2018 semester, the full-time male student population in the Sy Syms School of Business surpassed that of Yeshiva College. As of Oct. 9, there were 524 full-time students enrolled in Syms and 476 in YC. The data followed an eight-year trend of the Yeshiva College student body decreasing in size. During this time, the large gap between the Syms and YC populations dramatically closed, and for the first time at the beginning of an academic year, Syms maintained a majority.
Twenty-one professors from the Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law joined more than 2,400 other law professors in signing an open letter in The New York Times’ Opinion Section. The professors were attempting to urge the U.S. Senate not to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The letter appears in the opinion section of The Times and was presented to the Senate on Thursday, Oct. 4.
On Monday, Oct. 29, the YU community held a vigil to honor those lost in the attack in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. The vigil was organized by the student councils, led by Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) and Stern College for Women Student Council (SCWSC), and was held on the 185th Street Plaza on the Wilf Campus. The attendees formed a circle, and while the majority of the crowd was made up of students, many members of the Washington Heights community also attended.
The majority of Yeshiva University undergraduates merited Dean’s List last year, and the median grade point average (GPA) was greater than a 3.6, according to data provided by the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment (OIR) and confirmed by the Office of the Registrar.
Several students allegedly cheated on a General Chemistry midterm on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Two weeks later, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, cheating was reported once again following a Money and Banking midterm. Both were Yeshiva College (YC) courses, with the latter course also cross-listed as a Sy Syms School of Business (SSSB) course. In addition, Stern College (SCW) Deans this semester identified incidents of suspected plagiarism in an advanced English course and a Computer Systems course. These incidents followed efforts to curb a culture of lax academic integrity that has plagued YU’s undergraduate colleges for decades.
Results from a survey conducted by the Yeshiva University Faculty Council reveal a faculty that feels largely underappreciated and distressed about the future of the university. The survey, which polled 211 faculty members across all of YU’s graduate and undergraduate schools, consisted of 16 questions screened by the Faculty Council with response possibilities on a scale of 1-7 (1=strongly agree, 7=strongly disagree). The results were sent to The Commentator via an anonymous email address on Thursday, Dec. 13.
Photo Caption: Photos from top Commentator stories
Photo Credit: Compiled by Shira Levitt for The Commentator