Campus briefs

Photo of Burton Memorial Tower in blue and gold light
Rising over Central Campus in the deepening twilight, lights from Burton Memorial Tower shine with U-M’s maize and blue colors that also serve as a tribute to Ukraine and its defense against the ongoing invasion by Russia. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

U-M to exit Russian investment; lights bell tower with Ukrainian colors

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate, the University of Michigan said March 14 it will make no further investments in Russia and will move as quickly as is practical to exit its remaining investments. At the same time, the university said it would light the Burton Memorial Tower on Central Campus for a week in U-M’s colors of maize and blue, which also will symbolize solidarity with the democratic nation of Ukraine. The Ukrainian flag features the colors of blue and gold. Regarding its approach to Russian investments, the university said it was taking the action in light of increasing financial risks associated with such investments. The move also is consistent with the March 7 statement from President Mary Sue Coleman condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a “ruthless attack on freedom.”

Virtual event addresses sexual harassment prevention, education for faculty, staff

Kaaren Williamsen, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and soon to be the inaugural director of Prevention Education, Assistance, Resources in U-M’s Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office will share her vision for this new unit that will focus on serving faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus. Joining her at the virtual event at noon March 23 will be Kelly Schweda, executive director of the prevention, outreach and education at Michigan State University, and Liat Wexler, prevention manager for staff and faculty programs at the PATH to Care Center, University of California, Berkeley. Both have innovated and expanded efforts to prevent and educate faculty and staff on their campuses. The three will talk about the importance of taking this work to a new level, and the sharing of ideas across campuses. Session participants will have the opportunity to share ideas and concerns. PEAR will launch in the fall at U-M. Register for the Zoom session and go to to submit questions in advance.

Safe Medication Disposal Event scheduled for March 29 at two campus locations

The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy will host another Safe Medication Disposal Event from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. March 29 at two locations: Ingalls Mall across from the Rackham Graduate Building, 915 E. Washington St., and on the Medical Campus in the triangle area between University Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Taubman Health Care Center. People will be able to drive up and drop off their old or unused medications. Accepted items include prescription and over-the-counter medications, medicine samples, vitamins, ointments, lotions, inhalers, antibiotics, steroids, veterinary medicine items and controlled medications. Sharps and sharps containers will also be accepted. For more information, visit the College of Pharmacy website.

Data on the Russian invasion of Ukraine available in near-real time

In order to track and share data on violent events unfolding in Ukraine, a U-M researcher has developed a platform that collects this information in almost real time. Political scientist Yuri Zhukov has launched VIINA: Violent Incident Information from News Articles on the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. VIINA is a near-real time multisource event data system for the invasion. While different media cover different types of events, VIINA’s multisource approach will capture a more accurate picture of events as they unfold. The platform allows researchers to access data based on news reports from Ukrainian and Russian media, which have been geocoded and classified into standard conflict event categories through machine learning. VIINA is freely available for use by students, journalists, policymakers and researchers. Using an automated web scraping routine that runs every six hours, VIINA extracts the text of news reports published by each source and their associated metadata, including publication time, date and web URLs. GIS-ready data can be downloaded from VIINA, with temporal precision down to the minute. Access VIINA at

— Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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