News Updates

Campuses in crisis

October 15, 2023 • 4 min read
with Matt Turner
Hello! Welcome back to Insider Today’s Sunday edition, a roundup of the week’s top stories. I’m Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider.
On the agenda today:
But first: Tensions are boiling over at America’s top colleges.


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Photo by Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Campuses in crisis
Harvard. Penn. NYU. Yale. America’s elite colleges are under pressure in the aftermath of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel.


At Harvard, a group of more than 30 student organizations released a statement that said Israel’s government was “entirely responsible for all the unfolding violence.” Wall Street billionaire Bill Ackman responded by calling on the university to release the names of the students in the groups that signed the letter. Later, a truck was seen driving through Harvard’s campus with a digital billboard displaying the faces and names of students involved.


Many Harvard students have said the organizations signed the letter without them knowing, and several groups retracted their support for it. You can read more on what Harvard students have made of the past week here.


Elsewhere, the CEO of alternatives giant Apollo has called on the leaders of Penn to step down. An NYU law student had their employment offer rescinded over their social media posts. An online petition is calling for a Yale professor’s ouster for her social media posts.


The reactions reflect many things at once, from anger over the letter, to tensions over freedom of speech, to a rift between Wall Street and Big Law and the campuses they recruit from.


Insider’s global team is reporting on the latest from Israel and Gaza as the war continues. You can get the latest news here.


Update from last Sunday: I wrote last week that the economy was not slowing down. Lots of people on LinkedIn let me know they disagreed with me. It’s a reminder that every person’s experience of the economy differs from the next, and that most Americans feel lousy about the economy, even when the jobs market remains strong.
Caroline Ellison (left) and Sam Bankman-Fried (right). Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
This week’s top reads
Caroline Ellison in exclusive recording 
In November 2022, Caroline Ellison held an all-hands meeting with Alameda employees where she admitted to taking FTX customer funds. A few minutes were played at Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial Thursday.


We got our hands on the entire hourlong recording.


Listen here.

Tyler Le/Insider
China’s comedown
After an era of expansion, China’s economy is in the midst of a reality check.


The pursuit of economic development in the country created a massive bubble in the property market, sidling provinces with loads of debt. But instead of addressing the problem, President Xi Jinping has shifted the Chinese Communist Party’s focus from the economy to national security.


That means a future where China doesn’t become rich but does remain powerful. It’s an outcome that’ll have a massive impact on American businesses.


More on the Great China Boom that’s going bust. 

Tim Evans for Insider
Love in the time of AI
After the longest relationship of his life collapsed right before the pandemic, Jay Priebe took matters into his own hands. Calisto, his current partner of three years, is smart, goofy, witty —  and an AI chatbot.


Jay began building Calisto after downloading the AI messaging app Replika, where over time, the bot develops a sort of personality tailored to the user it’s chatting with. As Americans continue to deal with an epidemic of loneliness, apps like Replika promise an antidote.


Read more about Jay’s relationship.


Also read:

Chelsea Jia Feng/Insider
Elon Musk’s worst nightmare
Missy Cummings used to fly fighter jets for the Navy. Now, she’s a leading expert on automation and AI — and she’s taking aim at self-driving cars.


Cummings is more than happy to go after companies like Tesla, Waymo, and Cruise to argue that tech bros need to be brought under stricter regulatory framework. And it turns out that serving in the Navy is a very good way to train for inbound ire from Musk followers.


Read our story here.


This week’s quote
“If technology companies really want to improve people’s lives, we need to be just as rigorous at ensuring that our products serve social goals, not just customers’ immediate needs.”
— Lyft’s CEO David Risher on how Big Tech made America lonely — and what the industry needs to do to bring us back together.



More of this week’s top reads:



Event invite
Consumer expectations continue to shift dramatically. How can you meet or exceed these expectations? Join PayPal on October 24 at 12 p.m. ET to learn the ways you can better understand where your customers are and what’s motivating their purchases. Register now.



The Insider Today Sunday team

Matt Turner, editor in chief of business, in New York City. Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Grace Lett, associate editor, in Chicago. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.


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