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College dorms gender neutral

WORCESTER, Mass., April 2 (UPI) -- Colleges including the University of Pennsylvania, Clark University and Wesleyan University have begun allowing students of different sexes to share dorm rooms.


Oregon State University, Ithaca College and Clark University have also taken the step of allowing male and female students to room together in mixed-gender dormitories, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

"It's definitely a growing movement on campuses across the country," said Clark University Dean of Students Denise Darrigrand. "It's a new world, and gender has taken on all kinds of new definitions. It's about being more inclusive, and it's about keeping pace with the times."

Darrigrand said about 30 students at the school have taken advantage of the mixed-gender rooms.

Students and college officials said that while romantic partners sharing rooms is not unheard of, most of the male-female roommate pairings are just friends.


"The typical arrangement is friends, true friends who simply want to live together," said Jeffrey Chang, a Clark student who lives with a female friend. "They simply feel more comfortable together, and get along better day to day."

'Jaws' author widow protests shark hunting

OAK BLUFFS, Mass., April 2 (UPI) -- The widow of "Jaws" novelist Peter Benchley is working with the Humane Society of the United States to stop an Oak Bluffs, Mass., shark hunting tournament.

Wendy Benchley -- whose late husband wrote the 1974 best-seller, which was adapted into the blockbuster movie of the same name -- spoke on behalf the Humane Society to the Oak Bluffs Board of Selectmen to protest the planned Monster Shark Tournament, scheduled for July 17-19, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

"Shark fishing tournaments continue this image of the shark as some monster, and this is 35 years" after "Jaws," she told the Globe from her Princeton, N.J., home.

"To have a tournament is a throwback to when the ocean was brimming with life," she said. "It's a bit like people who used to go to Africa and hunt lions. We don't do that anymore."

Steven James, president of tournament sponsor Boston Big Game Fishing Club, said Benchley's involvement in the campaign against the event is "one of the most comical tactics I've ever heard of."


"She's inherited the fortune of the person most responsible for tainting the public perception of what sharks are about," he said. "You couldn't find anybody more ill prepared to discuss this topic."

New York Aquarium's oldest shark dies

NEW YORK, April 2 (UPI) -- The New York Aquarium has announced its oldest shark, a 43-year-old sand tiger, has been euthanized after a long illness.

Hans Walters, a shark specialist and Animal Department supervisor at the aquarium, said the shark, named Bertha, fell ill more than a month ago and was euthanized Saturday, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

"It was a real rough decision," Walters said.

He said a necropsy performed after the shark's death to discover the cause of its illness was inconclusive.

Bertha, who measured 8 feet long and weighed 250 pounds before her death, was brought to the aquarium in 1965 after she became ensnared in a fisherman's net.

Traffic-blocking gator to become shoes

MIAMI, April 2 (UPI) -- An alligator that was caught after blocking a Miami road has been sold to a processing facility to be killed and turned into consumer products.

Brian Wood, owner of All American Gator Products, said he paid $280 for the alligator, which was caught Tuesday after blocking traffic on U.S. 441, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.


Wood said the gator's skin will be used for shoes and wallets while its bones will be used to make soap and its meat will be breaded and deep fried for sale at the Islamorada Fish Company and Rustic Inn Crabhouse.

Gabriella Ferrero, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said large alligators that are considered to be a nuisance are often sold to processing plants.

The plant said about 100 of the 2,000 alligators processed annually are reptiles that have been branded a nuisance by the state.

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