diversity

Swastikas at 3 Student Residences at Stanford

Stanford University authorities are investigating and condemning the spray painting of swastikas and anarchy symbols on three student residences at the university. The three houses -- a co-op, Casa Italiana and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity -- likely have or had some Jewish residents over the years, but are not identified as Jewish institutions or notably popular with Jewish students. Stanford President John Hennessy issued a statement in which he said in part: "I am deeply troubled by the act of vandalism, including symbols of hate, that has marred our campus. The university will not tolerate hate crimes and this incident will be fully investigated, both by campus police and by the university."

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Women in gaming discuss role of academics in understanding Gamergate

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At a conference for women in gaming, speakers debate the role of academics in understanding movements such as Gamergate and the harassment some scholars face.

Obama Urged to Add Sex Assault Protections at Military Academies

The Service Women's Action Network sent a proposed executive order to the White House Monday, urging President Obama to create protections against gender discrimination at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and the Military Academy at West Point. Unlike other higher education institutions, military service academics are exempt from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which -- among other protections -- mandates that colleges quickly and competently investigate and adjudicate claims of sexual assault. The proposed executive action would explicitly bar gender and sex discrimination and empower the U.S. Department of Defense to enforce the order in a way similar to how the Department of Education enforces Title IX.

The prevalent argument now is that military academies are different enough from colleges that it doesn't make sense to apply a law meant for civilian institutions. Cadets, like all members of the armed services, are already subject to the uniform code of military justice. As the code is the foundation of military law, academy cadets can face much harsher punishments than typical college students. Colleges can suspend or expel a student they believe committed a sexual assault. Academy cadets can be court-martialed. But victims' advocates say there are few sanctions for academies that mishandle cases of sexual assault.

"Currently, victims of sex discrimination at service academies can complain only to their commanding officers and service academies’ administrations by appealing up the chain of command, and cannot seek relief outside of the military system," SWAN said in a statement. "This process provides no option to challenge discriminatory academy policies or a school’s inadequate procedures to address sexual assault and harassment reports. The lack of protections for cadets and midshipmen contrasts sharply with the array of sex discrimination prohibitions that protect civilian students, including Title IX, which does not apply to the service academies."

Essay on how departments and conferences can welcome transgender academics

Lisa Hager offers advice on how to create an inclusive environment for departmental colleagues and conference attendees.

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Screening of 'American Sniper' at U of Maryland called off after outcry

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Film called off at U of Maryland. Unlike debate at Michigan, the senior administration declines to step in.

Report Cites Low-Income Students' Success at Small Private Colleges

Nonwealthy private colleges are often left out of the discussion about how low-income students can get access to and succeed in higher education, with policy makers putting most of their focus on the institutions that disproportionately enroll those students (community colleges and for-profit institutions) and those that they think should enroll more -- flagship public and wealthy private universities. That rankles officials at small private colleges, who argue that their institutions provide more access to those students (and turn them out with better outcomes) than do many other types of colleges.

A group representing those institutions, the Council of Independent Colleges, makes that case formally in a report released Wednesday. The association's report presents data showing that small and midsize private colleges enroll first-generation and low-income students at higher proportions than do public and private research universities, and that those students are likelier to graduate from the private institutions than they are from public doctoral universities. The report also urges school counselors to encourage more students to attend "the institutions where they are most likely to flourish, namely, smaller private colleges," and asks state and federal policy makers to recognize the role these institutions play as they allocate financial aid and other dollars to maximize student success in college.

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Unusual Protest for More Gender-Neutral Restrooms

California Polytechnic University's Queer Student Union organized a demonstration (please be warned that link features an image of excrement) Thursday to protest the university's lack of restrooms that can safely be used by transgender students. The demonstration, in which students were encouraged to use only gender-neutral restrooms on campus, was called a "shit-in."

The demonstrators also circulated a petition urging the university to create more gender-neutral restrooms and encouraged students to sign a fake toilet to show their support. "Trans/gender nonconforming students often cite a lack of all-gender bathrooms as a top concern," the petition reads. "Gendered bathrooms pose a threat to the emotional and physical well-being of this demographic, and often force awkward and uncomfortable encounters for non-cisgender-identifying students. Of the 17 all-gender bathrooms listed on the Pride Center's website, the Queer Student Union has identified only five bathrooms that are reasonably accessible, leaving non-cisgender students with a paltry amount of options when it comes to using the bathroom."

Essay on what to do when you are told you are not a team player

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Dear Kerry Ann

Kerry Ann Rockquemore offers advice on how to handle a criticism that many receive on the road to tenure -- and a perception that needs to be faced promptly.

 

 

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Cancellation of Drag Show Spurs Debate at St. Thomas Aquinas

A decision by administrators at St. Thomas Aquinas College to cancel a drag show planned by the campus Gender and Sexuality Alliance club has prompted debate at the New York Roman Catholic institution, The Journal News reported. The Student Government Association had approved the event (and allocated $150 in student activities funds for it) but campus officials quashed it this month, saying they worried that without educating students ahead of time, the event would result in participating students being made fun of. But students and faculty members said the administrators' decision belied the campus's reputation for being welcoming and supportive of gay students and staff members.

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New research on which groups are more likely to be hired and receive tenure in STEM

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In hiring of tenure-track STEM instructors, female, black and Latino academics have an edge, while Asians are at a disadvantage. But the picture for tenure is more nuanced -- and women with young children lose out.

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