On Friday, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney sent an all-campus email about various campus efforts to promote inclusion and to support those angered by the recent decisions of grand juries in Missouri and New York not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men. The email's substance was well-received on campus, but McCartney's subject line -- "All Lives Matter" -- was not. Many of those protesting the grand jury decisions have taken to using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, while some of those criticizing the protest movement have been using #AllLivesMatter instead. Students told McCartney that her heading was being used elsewhere in this way. That prompted another email from the president. "I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag “all lives matter” has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against black people," she wrote, thanking students for sharing the information. The original email and the follow-up email may both be found here.
Scripps College has become the latest women's college to adopt policies explicitly allowing the admission of transgender women. Under a shift announced last week, the college will admit applicants who are identified on their birth certificates as women, or who self-identify as women. The college also will not require government issued documentation to verify sex or gender identity. A statement from the college said that the board's new policy "reiterates Scripps’ identity as a women’s college and commits to uphold its legacy as a 'community of women' for current and prospective students, graduates, and partners while recognizing gender as a social construct that has evolved over time."
A visiting fellow at the University of Iowa placed a sculpture that he views as a critique of racism on the campus last week, but removed it when the university noted that he didn't have permission and many students said that they found the work offensive,The Des Moines Register reported. The sculpture is of a Ku Klux Klan member, but rather than wearing white robes, the clothing is made of newspaper articles about racist atrocities committed by the Klan. The artist said he wanted to show solidarity with those protesting the killings of unarmed black men by police officers, but the Klan image was seen by many on campus as offensive.
Students on many campuses on Thursday walked out of classes or held protests over the decision in New York City not to indict a police officer in the death of an unarmed black man -- an outcome that rekindled anger over a similar decision last month in Ferguson, Missouri. Here are some local press reports about protests involving students of Clemson University, Hamilton College, Hampton University, Princeton University and Temple University.
The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa plans to review the use of the song "Dixieland Delight" in athletic events, AL.com reported. Critics have suggested that Dixie-focused music can be less than inclusive to black students and fans. At the same time, the university denied rumors -- which have angered many Alabama fans -- that the university has already decided to ban the song from official events.
Tiger Inn, an eating club at Princeton University, has removed two officers following an investigation into offensive emails they sent to members, The New York Times reported. One email showed a woman and a man engaged in a sexual act at the club, and the email included a joke and a reference to the woman as an "Asian chick." The other email, prompted by a lecture at Princeton by the alumna who sued to force the eating clubs to admit women, said: "Ever wonder who we have to thank (blame) for gender equality. Looking for someone to blame for the influx of girls? Come tomorrow and help boo Sally Frank.”
In the wake of last week's decision by the grand jury in Missouri not to issue an indictment for the shooting of Michael Brown, Howard University students were involved in several protests. While Howard officials praised the activism, President Wayne A.I. Frederick issued a statement taking issue with whoever put up a Pan-African flag on the university's flagpole. "While I openly support freedom of expression on our campus, I do not support unauthorized use of University property or official platforms to transmit these expressions of thought and ideas. The flag was removed. Our flagpole is reserved for the American and official Howard University flags," Frederick wrote. "The events in Ferguson, Mo., have resulted in the loss of a young African-American's life. That remains the primary concern of the Howard University community. The social construct that exists in our country, which has led to this loss, is one that fortifies why Howard University exists. The core values of our University include truth, service, justice and freedom, which are the same values embodied in the American flag. Howard University must and will lead in finding solutions through our research and scholarship that contributes to our Nation's betterment."
Comments about the statement on the university's Facebook page were mixed -- with some praising the president, others saying that his statement was pragmatic (in light of how the flag protest would look to potential funders), and others saying he shouldn't have objected to using the flagpole for the Ferguson protests.