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Short Takes

By Dan McGuire
News Editor

A masked gunman burst into an MCAT examination in San Francisco on Saturday shortly after the start of the afternoon session of the six-hour exam. Inspector Michael Maloney of the San Francisco Police Department's Robbery Division said the young man, whose age and identity have not yet been confirmed, entered the test room armed with a pellet gun and wearing a ski mask.

The suspect demanded a copy of the exam from the proctor, who gave him a writing sample. The gunman departed and returned shortly thereafter to demand the physical sciences section of the exam. The proctor told the gunman that the sections had been put away in a box under the desk.

Maloney said the would-be robber attempted to open the box, laying his gun down on the proctor's desk as he tried to get a better grip. The proctor "saw an opportunity to reduce harm," picked up the gun and moved away from the desk, he said.

When the gunman saw this, he lunged at the proctor, hitting her and attempting to take away the gun. At this point, a custodian entered the room, and, seeing the proctor with the gun, mistook her as the threat and struck her over the head with a metal folding chair.

Police then arrived and apprehended the subject. They have so far had difficulty identifying the gunman. The gunman did not reveal his name, telling them only that he was a high school dropout from Punjab, in northern India. Pending age verification, the suspect is being held at the Youth Guidance Center in San Francisco.

"We still don't know who this kid is," said Fred Virgilio, the center's director. "He said he had a friend who took the exam in the morning and did poorly, and he was trying to invalidate the exam."

"He said he met a girl on the street and she asked him to disrupt the test, but he only knew her first name, and it wasn't found on the test roster," said Maloney.

[The Stanford Daily, Aug 22]

Yale aid packages delayed

Changes in Yale University's Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid have left about 35 percent of financial aid students without packages at the start of the school year, said Jim Tilton, director of Yale's Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

But the elimination of the bursar's and financial aid fines this semester in the wake of the substantial backlog lessened the financial anxiety of many affected students, Tilton said. The financial aid office instructed students without packages to pay based on their previous years' statements.

Administrators blamed part of the slowdown on the consolidation of student administrative services initiated during the spring of 1995. The Office of the Bursar, student employment, student loan, and student loan collections offices were all incorporated into one large organization and moved to a new, larger application.

Students were angered by the change, which some felt was not widely publicized. "I think it's ridiculous that they didn't even tell me they moved the office," one student said.

Last winter's government shutdown, which delayed the processing of financial aid forms, and the implementation of a radical new accounting package which linked the offices were also blamed as causing the delays. The office is expected to clear out the backlog by the end of October.

[Yale Daily News, Sept 4]

Chelsea Clinton visits Brown

The Brown Daily Herald reported Sept. 4 that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton may attend Brown University as part of the Class of 2001.

Brown University was one of the colleges that Chelsea Clinton, a senior at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, visited as part of her August tour of New England colleges.

While she also visited Amherst College and Harvard University on that trip, rumors persist that she is considering Brown as her first choice school.

A staffer in the Brown Admissions office said that Chelsea Clinton was interviewed by Brown Director of Admissions Michael Goldberger, but Goldberger would not comment on that visit, or on the possibility that she would attend the university.

"Our policy does not permit us to talk about anybody who is a prospective or an applicant," he said. "So you may have read a lot about in the visit in the newspaper, but we wouldn't confirm or say anything about it."

[Brown Daily Herald, Sept 4]