The U Experience, a startup focused on providing university students a traditional college experience with bubble-style resort campus, moves to Boca Raton Florida (Waterstone Resort & Marina) for fall semester after local outrage from Hawaii bubble hotel plans

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Editor’s Note: On August 17, one day after this story was published, The U Experience announced it would host its program at the Waterstone Resort & Marina in Boca Raton, FL.

Last week, two Princeton alumni garnered national attention for plans to create two ‘bubble’ campuses in Hawaiʻi and Arkansas, just as the University announced that all fall instruction would be remote.

After widespread backlash from local Hawaiʻi residents, the alumni’s business idea, titled ‘The U Experience,’ will no longer come to fruition at either property.

Lane Russell ’18 and Adam Bragg ’16 started The U Experience in response to many colleges’ decisions to conduct fully virtual fall semesters. They planned to house about 150 college students, who would take classes online in a ‘bubble’ hotel, where they could “come to live out the college experience with total peace of mind,” according to the company’s website.

On the same day Russell appeared on CNN, a seven-member team of Hawaiʻi residents published a Change.org petition titled “Stop Bringing Nonresident Students to Hawaiʻi During a Pandemic,” which garnered over 11,000 signatures in just three days.

According to Lexi Figueroa, who helped write the petition, the authors also received an outpouring of support from non-residents, including University alumni, who expressed opposition to The U Experience, citing the “selfish, irresponsible, and disrespectful nature of this project.”

“We only have 340 ICU beds to service the entire population of Oʻahu,” the team behind the petition wrote to the ‘Prince.’ “A single outbreak in a The U Experience ‘bubble’ would deplete nearly half of our health resources.” In total, Oʻahu has a population of nearly one million.

On Aug. 11, the U Experience announced that it had suspended plans with Park Shore Waikīkī and Graduate Fayetteville — just four days after the Business Insider feature.

In their Aug. 11 update, The U Experience team maintained, “our goal is to disrupt education, not local communities.”

Source: Business Insider

2009 – Minneapolis Police Officer Jason Anderson Cleared in Wrongful Death Trial of Fong Lee

Minneapolis police officer Jason Anderson has been cleared in the wrongful death trial of Fong Lee. The jury at the U.S. District Court in St. Paul found Anderson did not use exessive force, and therefore no damages will be awarded to Fong Lee’s family.

Officer Andersen shot and killed Lee, 19, on July 22, 2006. Some video of the incident was captured on surveillance cameras Cityview Elementary School in north Minneapolis.

The 12-member jury deliberated for roughly six hours between Wednesday and Thursday, after hearing five days of testimony.

During his closing argument Wednesday, Assistant City Attorney Jim Moore played an image at the start of the chase, asking jurors to look in the very lower right corner of the screen as Lee begins to run from police.

He said, “It looks like a gun to him.” Moore also told jurors they may not see the gun in other images because Lee may have had it cupped in his hand.

Lee’s family had argued their son was unarmed, and alleged police planted the gun.

Before deliberating, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson instructed the jury to first decide, unanimously, whether Andersen used excessive force. If they decided he did not, they would return with their decision. If they decided he did, they had to decide if he was malicious in his use of force, and if so, how much to award the Lee family in damages.

Statement from Police Chief Tim Dolan

Officer Andersen acted with courage and integrity in fulfilling his duty to serve and protect the people of Minneapolis. Unfortunately, in return, the department and Officer Andersen have had to endure highly inflammatory accusations that have unfairly caused hardship for him and his family. We are pleased that Officer Andersen has been vindicated, and now hope that we can all move forward and heal as a community.