UM has moved up two spots this year in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges in America” overall rankings, going from number 60 to number 58! Last year, the University experienced a dramatic six-point jump from No. 66 to No. 60. Two new categories have been added this year: the Debt Load category, which measures the average amount of debt a 2003 graduate carried after graduating, in which UM ranks Number 3, and the Great Schools, Great Prices category, in which UM ranks number 49, being the only institution in Florida to be ranked in this category. Go ‘Canes!

In order to increase the safety and well being of its students, UM has launched an online program aimed at preventing alcohol abuse among college students: AlcoholEDU for College. According to Dr. Pat Whitely, Vice President of Student Affairs, the objective of AlcoholEDU is to keep students responsive and informed about the dangerous effects of alcohol. The program requires students to take a two-and-a-half-hour online course, which uses science-based research to educate students on alcohol’s effects, and an accompanying exam. For more information, contact the UM Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education at 305-284-6120.

According to University of Mississippi officials, a fraternity house caught fire, killing three of its members and leaving the two-story structure in ruins. Although the Alpha Tau Omega house had, according to officials, undergone a routine fire inspection before students moved in, firefighters found several problems, including buckets of paint in the basement and no fire extinguishers in the kitchen. The surviving Alpha Tau Omega members have been placed in temporary housing until their fraternity house is repaired.

Hurricane Charley victims need your help! Volunteer Services has set up a variety of locations throughout campus where students can donate water and hygiene products. For more info call Volunteer Services Center at 305-284-GIVE.