Tags Posts tagged with "College"

College

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Campus Activists
Hey, can you redistribute some good grades my way, comrade?

A recent research has concluded that more than 100 colleges and universities are now offering students, both undergraduate and graduate, the option of studying “social justice” as a major or minor degree, or earning a “concentration” or “certificate” in the subject.

The report by College Fix’s Toni Airaksinen analyzed social justice academic programs being offered at major US universities and colleges, determined that more than 100 institutions now offer students the option to specialize in what can be considered left-wing social justice academic programs.

According to the study, “The Fix found at least 64 American colleges that offer minors in social justice or a substantially similar field, such as social justice leadership. At least 18 offer four-year degrees in the field, and at least 15 offer master’s degrees.”

In addition to that, two colleges also offered students doctoral programs with a focus on social justice.

However, what is noteworthy here is that while a few of the colleges surveyed by College Fix are private institutions, most of them are public colleges that receive a whole lot of state funding.

For example, a public university in New Jersey, Rutgers University, offers a minor degree in social justice. But to complete the program, students must complete a variety of leftist courses. The courses range from “Practicing Social Justice” to other courses which require students to participate in left-wing causes.

The course, “Practicing Social Justice” will introduce “students to diverse practices of social justice activism including grassroots organizing, labor organizing, political organizing, and transnational organizing. Readings about social change efforts are combined with student participation in community mobilizations, labor organizing efforts, political campaigns, and transnational social movement and NGO activism.”

Furthermore, the University of Missouri also offers a minor in social justice. According to the university, the course, “involves the idea that in a perfect world all citizens would have identical social benefits, rights, protections, and opportunities regardless of their backgrounds and membership in diverse groups. Recognizing that the world is not perfect, the primary goals for the minor in social justice are to enhance sensitivity to vulnerable and at-risk populations, to provide opportunity for critical review of social policies and the allocation of societal resources; to stimulate interest in advocacy and the planned change process.”

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At least they graduated.

Numerous Notre Dame Graduates left their commencement ceremony on Sunday, in a show of protest against the commencement speaker, Vice President Mike Pence.

A video shows that as soon as a university administrator finished introducing Pence, several students, most of whom were seen wearing some form of rainbow colors, the universal mark of LGBT people, started walking out of graduates’ seating area.

Almost immediately, people could be heard booing and cheering as noise from the crowd increased. However, it’s unclear if the booing was aimed at the students leaving the area or at Pence.

Pence started his speech in the meanwhile, undeterred by the student protestors.

“It’s deeply humbling for me to participate in the 172nd commencement in Notre Dame’s 175th year,” Pence said as students walked out of the college’s football stadium, where the ceremony was being held.

However, the walk out didn’t come as a surprise. WeStandforND, a campus group, promised to walk out and protest quite some time before the ceremony. In a statement, they said they intended to protest against Pence primarily over his stance on immigration, same-sex marriage, and his support for President Trump, which they claim doesn’t align with their Catholic faith.

“The participation and degree-conferring of VP Pence stand as an endorsement of policies and actions which directly contradict Catholic social teachings and values and target vulnerable members of the University’s community,” Notre Dame student Xitlaly Estrada of WeStandforND said in a statement.

It is to be noted that Catholics strongly believe that God designed marriage as a sacred bond between one man and one woman.

Pence slammed the progressive ideas and policies sweeping schools and colleges across the country in his speech.

He criticized “speech codes” and “safe zones” as “destructive of learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and they are wholly outside the American tradition.”

“As you, our youth, are the future, and universities the bellwether of thought and culture, I would submit that the increasing intolerance and suppression of the time-honored tradition of free expression on our campuses jeopardizes the liberties of every American,” Pence said. “This should not and must not be met with silence.”

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Next time keep your freedoms to yourself!

Professor Paul Griffiths, 61, who teaches Catholic theology at Duke Divinity School has resigned after facing action for calling an anti-racism program “intellectually flaccid.”

Griffiths reportedly made some controversial comments, as revealed by a published string of emails that began in February, when Duke’s administration called the faculty to participate in racial equity training.

An associate professor of Old Testament, Anathea Portier-Young was noted saying that those who have never taken a course like this before, described it as transformative, powerful, and life-changing.” She said she believes “it will have great dividends for our community.”

Griffiths, on the other hand, had an entirely different view. On his email that went out to all faculty members, he described the training as a waste of time.

“I exhort you not to attend this training,” Griffiths wrote in his email on Feb. 6. “Don’t lay [sic] waste your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty.”

“When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show,” he continued. “Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual.”

A few hours later, the school’s dean Elaine Heat reprimanded Griffiths for such strong criticism of the training in an open forum. In her email, Dean Heath wrote: ““It is inappropriate and unprofessional to use mass emails to make disparaging statements — including arguments ad hominem — in order to humiliate or undermine individual colleagues or groups of colleagues with whom we disagree.”

“The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution,” she added.

As per the email exchange the two had, Heath requested a meeting with Griffiths. However, the two failed to agree on the conditions of the sit-down and thus, it never quite happened.

In his emails, Griffiths had claimed that “intellectual freedom — freedom to speak and write without fear of discipline and punishment — is under pressure at Duke Divinity these days.”

He went on to express that he had been a subject of two separate disciplinary proceedings.

“Duke Divinity is now a place in which too many thoughts can’t be spoken and too many disagreements remain veiled because of fear,” the professor wrote. “I commend a renunciation of fear-based discipline to those who deploy and advocate it, and its replacement with confidence in speech.”

Thomas Pfau, a member of the Duke Divinity School faculty for 26 years further emphasized on Griffith’s point, by writing in his email that he is “fundamentally in agreement” with Griffith and that a school is an “intellectual asylum.”

“Any academic unit, DDS included, can only flourish if differences of opinion on any variety of subjects are respected and engaged on their intrinsic merits,” Pfau wrote. “Having reviewed Paul Griffiths’ note several times, I find nothing in it that could even remotely be said to ‘express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry.’

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College

The Obama administration has ordered the nation’s colleges and universities to stop asking applicants about criminal and school disciplinary history because it discriminates against minorities. Institutions are also being asked to offer those with criminal records special support services such as counseling, mentoring and legal aid once enrolled. The government’s official term for these perspective students is “justice-involved individuals” and the new directive aims to remove barriers to higher education for the overwhelmingly minority population that’s had encounters with the law or disciplinary issues through high school.

Instructions are outlined in a cumbersome document (Beyond the Box) issued by the U.S Department of Education (ED) this month. It says that “data show plainly that people of color are more likely to come in contact with the justice system due, in part, to punitive school disciplinary policies that disproportionately impact certain student groups and racial profiling.” Because education can be a powerful pathway to transition out of prison and into the workforce, it’s critical to ensure that admissions practices don’t disproportionately disadvantage justice involved individuals, the directive states. Colleges and universities should also refrain from inquiring about a student’s school disciplinary history—including past academic dishonesty—because that too discriminates against minorities. Civil rights data compiled by ED show “black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students and often for the same types of infractions.”

Therefore colleges and universities should consider designing admissions policies that don’t include disciplinary history so they don’t have the “unjustified effect of discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion and disability,” the new ED guidelines state. Three out of four colleges and universities collect high school disciplinary information and 89% of those institutions use the information to make admissions decisions, according to the order. That needs to change, according to the administration. A few years ago it warned public elementary and high schools to administer student discipline without discriminating on the bases of race, color or national origin because too many minority students—especially blacks—were getting suspended. The feds assert they issued the directive after reports of “racial disparities” in “exclusionary discipline policies” that created a “school to prison pipeline.”

Colleges and universities are to take it a step further by offering students with criminal histories special support services. This is to include targeted academic and career guidance as well as counseling, legal aid services, mentoring and coaching. “Institutions should recruit and train peer mentors with previous justice involvement to work with justice-involved students to ensure a smooth transition to postsecondary education and provide support and resources throughout their time at the college or university,” the new directive states. “These peer mentors could begin their work by acting as navigators who help acclimate justice-involved students to the educational institutions.” Perhaps colleges and universities should also start sending recruiters to jails across the country.

This is part of a broader effort by the administration to even the playing field for convicts. Earlier this month Judicial Watch reported that the president issued an order prohibiting federal agencies from asking job applicants about criminal history. The measure will ensure that hiring managers are making selection decisions based solely on qualifications, according to a White House announcement. “Early inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history may discourage motivated, well-qualified individuals who have served their time from applying for a federal job,” the announcement says, adding that “early inquiries could also lead to the disqualification of otherwise eligible candidates.”

Years ago the administration tried slamming the private sector with a ban on job applicant background checks by claiming that they discriminate against all minority candidates, not just ex-cons. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws, wasted taxpayer dollars suing companies for checking criminal histories asserting that it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The apparent intent was to discourage other businesses from checking criminal histories out of fear of getting sued by the government, but it didn’t quite work out that way. A federal judge eventually blasted the EEOC’s claims, calling them laughable, distorted, cherry-picked, worthless and an egregious example of scientific dishonesty. Of interesting note is that the EEOC conducts criminal background checks as a condition of employment.

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Cruz

After a video was released days ago showing an 18 year-old Ted Cruz admitting his aspiration in life was “world domination,” a closer look has been taken at Cruz’s earlier life and relations.

While the half-hearted words of an 18 year old should be taken lightly, the presidential candidate has an odd consistency in his beliefs and goals.

In late 2015, a longtime friend of Cruz, David Panton, told the Daily Beast, “He’s not someone who shifts in the wind. The Ted Cruz that I knew at 17 years old is exactly the same as the Ted Cruz I know at 42 years old.”

The statement, combined with Cruz’s through-the-roof ambition is a dangerous combination for a possible future president.

Other classmates of the Texas senator described him as, “abrasive,” “arrogant,” “crank” and “creepy.”

The harshest criticism comes from Cruz’ old college roomy, Craig Mazin.

Mazin lived with Cruz for a year and has taken to Twitter to give outsiders a glimpse at the character of Cruz:

In fairness, Mazin is also no fan of Donald Trump:

While the first video of a young Ted Cruz has been released to a political operative, expect many more to come.

In case you missed it, here’s the video:

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