Every day, people from war-torn countries try to leave their homes to get to safer lands. Some are granted access to a safer life while others are denied the opportunity. In 2016, New England accepted nearly 650 Syrian refugees. Of those refugees, over 330 have resettled in Connecticut, the Associated Press reported. Connecticut accepted the highest number of Syrian refugees that year.
Yale University has had a higher number of reported burglaries than Harvard University over the past three years even though campus police have enacted new tactics to try to prevent property crimes. Reported burglaries have fluctuated in past years between 2013 and 2015 at Yale University. In 2013, there were 52 reported burglaries, compared to 33 in 2014 and 69 in 2016, according to the Yale Police Department. Harvard’s Cambridge, Massachusetts campus had 30 burglaries in 2013, 40 in 2014 and 43 in 2015, the Harvard Police Department reports. In New Haven, Connecticut, a recent report by the website Neighborhood Scout shows an annual rate of 5,435 reported property crimes compared to 3,549 in Cambridge.
The eight Ivy League universities are some of the most prestigious and competitive institutions in the world, with only a fraction of applicants admitted each year. Every year, more than 300,000 students compete for a slot at the universities. The latest admission rates are Harvard University, 5.2 percent; Columbia University, 5.8 percent; Princeton University, 6.1 percent; Yale University, 6.9 percent; Brown University, 8.3 percent, the University of Pennsylvania, 9.2 percent; Dartmouth College, 10.4 percent, and Cornell University, 12.5 percent, according to Business Insider. Each university offers an array of different opportunities based on an individual’s interest, so an Ivy League education can open doors for ambitious students. As soon as the Common Application website opens online on August 1, students from all over the world will log on to their accounts and begin the admissions process.
Since its establishment in 2002, over 1,100 veterans have sought the services of Homes for the Brave, a not-for-profit organization that provides care to American veterans in need. The shelter, located in Bridgeport, has been recognized for its programs. It offers both temporary and permanent housing, as well as vocational training and life skills coaching. Its mission to enable veterans to have a “productive and meaningful life” post-service. The work done by Homes for the Brave contributes to a nationwide and state effort to address the issue of veteran displacement. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines chronic homelessness as “an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.” A large population of veterans meet these qualifications.
Where schools lack structured theater and arts departments, there are programs available to children to study drama and visual arts in depth. The Shubert Theatre in New Haven has a summer program for kids interested in taking drama arts and design classes. Kelly Wuzzardo, the director for education and outreach for the Shubert Theatre, helps run the summer camp. She says even though kids perform better academically when they are involved in arts programs, the arts are under-appreciated. A U.S. Department of Education report from 2009 notes that elementary school theater programs decreased between 2000, when about 20 percent of schools offered the subject, and 2010, when only 4 percent of the schools said they offered instruction in drama.
A study by psychology majors at Ramapo College of New Jersey shows that hazing not only physically scars people, but it also has a long-lasting impact on a student’s self-esteem, mental health and school life. Hazing in college Greek Life and other organizations has gone up dramatically in the past ten years as reported by, insidehazing.com, a website created by Dr. Susan Lipkins, a hazing expert who has been working in the field for 25 years. Not only is hazing in general on the rise, but the brutal actions that take place while hazing have become more severe. Some students have died, and other cases have involved the overconsumption of alcohol, extreme public or mental humiliation, sleep deprivation, verbal abuse, being forced to perform sexual acts or being forced to wear embarrassing clothing, according to a national study done on hazing by Associate Professor Elizabeth J. Allen and Associate Professor Mary Madden of the University of Maine. The effects of hazing include psychological trauma, sleeping problems, flashbacks, eating disorders, anxiety, avoidance, depression and intense feelings, according to insidehazing.com.
Doing her part in the community to better the lives of the Hartford homeless is a passion of Jodyann Fuller, a sophomore at Achievement First Hartford Academy. The nonprofit group she’s part of, Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), assists in food pantries around the city, says the 15-year-old aspiring pediatrician. When she is not at home cleaning and cooking or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, Jodyann is on the streets, talking to the less fortunate of Connecticut’s capital city and discussing plausible solutions to the homelessness crisis. OPP works to get urban youth involved in their economy and community, according to its website. “I really like helping people, especially who are in need,” Jodyann says.
Drug and liquor arrests at Yale University and Harvard University have decreased since 2013. At Yale, 38 students were arrested for drug abuse violations and 20 students were arrested for liquor law violations in 2013, compared to 13 drug arrests and 3 liquor law violations in 2015, the Yale Police Department reported. Similarly, Harvard University reported 11 drug arrests in 2013 and 9 in 2015. Liquor law violations dropped from 7 in 2013 to 1 in 2015. Marisol Dahl, a 2015 Yale graduate, said she witnessed drinking and drug violations almost daily on the campus in New Haven.
Between 2009 and 2012, the rates of obesity dropped 3.7 percentage points among children aged 2 to 5 and 0.3 percentage points among children aged 6 to 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. During the presidency of Barack Obama, campaigns such as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and the Let’s Move campaign were born. Their purpose was to create healthy lunches for kids in school and to reduce childhood obesity. Such initiatives are in doubt now that President Donald J. Trump has taken office. In his first major act, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue began scaling back federal healthy eating requirements in school lunches that had been championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama.
In Connecticut, teenage dating violence has declined slightly, but on average 1,300 teens say they have experienced some form of violence each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013, 1,436 or 11.1 percent of teenagers surveyed said that they experienced sexual dating violence compared to 1,328 or 8.0 percent of teenagers in 2015. For physical dating violence the numbers fell from 1,466 teens or 9.0 percent in 2013 to 1,276 teens or 11.5 percent in 2015. This mirrors a national trend where the number of teens experiencing physical or sexual dating violence has dropped slightly. Nationally, about 10,000 teens reported experiencing physical and sexual dating violence yearly, reports show.