HC Wake-Up Call: New York State Senator Has Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Gym Chain Bans Cable News & Starbucks' Secret Menu Has Harry Potter-Themed Drinks

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

A New York State Senator Has Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The Huffington Post exclusively reports that a former staffer has accused Democratic New York state Sen. Jeff Klein of "forcibly kissing her." After working for the New York Senate from 2013 to 2015, Erica Vladimer claimed that Klein "shoved his tongue" down her throat while they were at a bar. The encounter led to Vladimer leaving her position as a policy analyst and Independent Democratic Conference counsel a month later.

"The fact that there was an environment that could make me doubt the self-confidence that I worked so hard to have ― that I got from the strong women in my life ― made me feel like it wasn't the place for me," she said, "and that maybe the government wasn't for me."

In April 2015, Klein and Vladimer joined a group of colleagues in an Albany bar to celebrate the passing of the state budget. Included among the co-workers was Klein's longtime girlfriend Sen. Diane Savino. When Vladimer and Klein began a casual conversation about her father going to the same high school as Klein, she interpreted their discussion as a networking opportunity. When they were outside smoking cigarettes, Klein allegedly forced himself on her. Vladimer refused to continue while Klein "played dumb."

Both Klein and Savino have denied Vladimer's claims.

A Gym Chain Has Banned Cable News Stations From Its TVs

Fitness chain Life Time has removed cable news stations from its large-screen TVs, the New York Times reports. Stations representing both sides of the political spectrum — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — will no longer appear, but local news station will still broadcast. 

Representatives at Life Time, which has 130 locations in 27 states, made the decision "based on many member requests received over time across the country," according to spokeswoman Natalie Bushaw. Removing cable news also maintains Life Time's "overall healthy way of life philosophy and commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of polarizing or politically charged content."

While many Life Time members have praised the decision because it promotes the concept of the gym as an escape, other clients believe that it prevents them from multitasking and keeping up with news and exercise. 

Starbucks Has a Secret Harry Potter Menu & I Need to Investigate

The amount of Starbucks secret menu items is seriously overwhelming, but it looks like I'll have to confuse yet another barista for these new drinks. There are two Harry Potter-themed drinks on the chain's secret menu, the Butterbeer Frappuccino and the Butterbeer Latte. Apparently, they've actually been around for awhile, but news of their existence has recently hit the media. These drinks seem to be heavy on the caramel and toffee nut syrups, so proceed with some caution!


A post shared by @top_osk on

What to look out for...

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which has actually only been around since 2010. In this era of #MeToo and Time's Up, fighting for an end to human trafficking should receive far more attention than it has. As said in the presidential proclamation explaining the special recognition, "let us declare as one that slavery has no place in our world, and let us finally restore to all people the most basic rights of freedom, dignity and justice."