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Monday, December 22, 2014

Nation briefs

assistant-news@dailylobo.com
@ChloeHenson5

Arizona
A fraternity at Arizona State University has been suspended after members planned an offensive party that was “Martin Luther King Jr.-themed,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Photos posted during the weekend showed students dressed in baggy basketball jerseys, loose pants and baseball caps while drinking out of watermelon cups. The fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, was on disciplinary probation during the time of the incident. The party has drawn attention from civil rights leaders, some of whom are calling for the expulsion of the participating students. The fraternity’s national office has issued a public statement apologizing for the actions of its members.

Florida
According to the Miami Herald, six same-sex couples filed lawsuits on Tuesday for the right to marry in Florida. The couples are suing in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Equality Florida, a same-sex rights group in Florida, is also a plaintiff in the case. The case challenges a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Florida and doesn’t recognize marriages performed elsewhere or domestic partnerships. Almost 62 percent of voters voted in favor of the ban in 2008. The lawsuit names Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin as the defendant.

Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma was placed on lockdown after a faculty member reported three sounds that sounded like gunshots Wednesday afternoon, according to ABC News.

Police and SWAT teams were immediately on scene after the call and a notification was sent out three minutes after the faculty member reported the noises. Police responded by evacuating and searching Gould Hall, where the shooting reportedly occurred. No evidence of a shooting was found, and the school was on lockdown for 30 minutes, though Gould Hall remained closed. OU President David Boren said that even though the report was likely a false alarm, the campus had practiced for events such as shootings and that the faculty members had acted appropriately.

Washington D.C.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with the White House Council on Women and Girls to create the White House Task Force on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault, according to Politico. The White House Council on Women and Girls reported Wednesday that one in five women have been sexually assaulted while in college. The report also stated that about one in 71 men and boys experience rape in their lifetime. The new task force created by the administration will have 90 days to create guidelines that will help colleges across the nation to combat sexual violence.