Notes in the Margins: Hearing loss, co-signers and gender-neutral housing

Study Spotlights Music Students’ Hearing Risks In a study at West Virginia University, in Morgantown, 130 music students showed a casual attitude about hearing protection despite musicians’ elevated risks of hearing loss. The study’s authors think their data “supports the need for continuing efforts to raise awareness in student musicians” about “the risks of excessive noise/music exposure.”(

Senate Legislation to Clarify Student-Loan Co-signer Obligations When a student dies, the bill for his student loans often lives on – to the painful surprise and dismay of his co-signers. New Senate legislation seeks to change that, by requiring lenders to make clear the obligations of co-signers in the event of death. (Wall Street Journal)

GWU will soon offer gender-neutral housing Starting next fall, George Washington University in the District will allow male and female students to live in the same room or suite in nearly all of its residence halls. Dozens of colleges across the country have begun to offer gender-neutral housing, as it is called, but usually the option is available only to upperclassmen or those living in apartment-style halls. An LGBT student organization at GWU, which led the effort and has advocated for gender-neutral housing for several years, cheered the Thursday announcement. (

Former Kaplan Dean Alleges Fraud to Get Aid U.S. prosecutors charge Bennie Wilcox, a former dean of law and legal studies at Kaplan University, with six counts of sending threatening e-mails and online postings. The fraud allegations against Kaplan are untrue and the company “vigorously” denies them, a spokesman said in a telephone interview. Wilcox witnessed Kaplan executives commit “multiple schemes” to defraud the U.S. government and taxpayers out of $1 billion, he said yesterday in his first day of testimony in U.S. District Court. He said Kaplan is retaliating for his attempt to expose fraud at the company in a pending whistleblower lawsuit in Florida filed in 2007. (

Iowa universities request fewer sabbaticals Iowa’s three public universities are asking for fewer paid research leaves for professors, a practice that has come under fire from Republican lawmakers. House Republicans have proposed canceling sabbaticals to reduce state spending. (Chicago Tribune)

Texas A&M Open Records Rule Prevents Professors From Instructing Students To Request Public Information Texas A&M System professors hoping to teach their students the merits of the Freedom of Information Act recently encountered an ironic roadblock: Under a system-wide rule, they could face steep punishment for instructing students to file open records requests. (Huffington Post)

Bill would require colleges’ transparency South Carolina’s public colleges and universities will be required to publicly disclose online how they spend money if a bill proposed by House Speaker Bobby Harrell passes in the upcoming legislative session. (