Bowdoin College is punishing 14 members of its lacrosse team for dressing as Native Americans for a "Cracksgiving" party held at a house -- known as "Crack House" -- in which many of the athletes live, The Bangor Daily News reported. The college has had several recent programs about the insensitivity of costumes based on race or ethnicity.
Deborah O'Connor, a senior lecturer at Florida State University, has resigned after using a slur in a Facebook post, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. O'Connor said she was urged to resign but not forced to do so. She made the comment on the Facebook page of a consultant who has praised the Justice Department for investigating a police shooting of a 12-year-old black boy. The newspaper account of the comments, some of which are left out: "Take your Northern [anti-gay slur] elitism and shove it up your [expletive]. I teach at a university, you [expletive]. What do you do? You are an intellectual fraud, just like your Messiah. Obama has single-handedly turned our once great society into a Ghetto Culture, rivaling that of Europe."
She said of the incident: "I've learned my lesson about Facebook; let's just leave it at that. I decided to resign because I didn't think it was feasible to drag myself and Florida State through this kind of mud."
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.