Simmons College, in Massachusetts, has become the third women's college to announce that it will admit transgender applicants, The Boston Globe reported. Many women's colleges, formally or informally, have not taken action against students who enroll as women and who later determine that they identify as male. Simmons is now formally stating that such student are welcome. In addition, Simmons will now admit those who are born biologically male but who identify as women.
Faculty members at Brock University, in Canada, are angry that the winners of a student costume contest for Halloween were four students who put on blackface as part of their portrayal of the Jamaican bobsled team, CBC News reported. The university has said that it will consider ways to screen offensive costumes, but some faculty members consider that response to be insufficient.
Brock's student body president said that the contest was judged by audience applause, and that participants were not seeking to offend. But critics said that it should be well-known by now that blackface is not acceptable humor.
The British Columbia Law Society, reversing an earlier decision, has revoked recognition of the new law school at Trinity Western University, The Globe and Mail reported. At issue is Trinity Western's ban on students and faculty members having sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage. Critics say that the policy violates principles of equal rights for gay people. Earlier this year, in a non-binding referendum, members of the law society recommended that its governing council withdraw recognition, and it has now done so. A legal fight could follow. Trinity Western has argued that it should be allowed to have rules consistent with its Christian beliefs. A statement from the university said that it was reviewing its options.
Faculty members in the main undergraduate college at the University of California at Los Angeles voted narrowly on Friday -- 332 to 303 -- to require all undergraduates in the college to take a course on diversity. In 2012 and 2004, the faculty rejected diversity requirements. Additional reviews are necessary before Friday's vote becomes final, but this takes the idea further than has been the case previously. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has endorsed the idea and issued this statement: “A diversity-related course requirement for UCLA College undergraduates is an important component of our commitment to expose students to beliefs and backgrounds other than their own. It would help prepare our students for work in a multicultural world, in part by engaging them in difficult but crucial conversations for our campus and society as a whole.”
Alumni and other supporters of Cheyney University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania, filed a federal suit charging decades of discrimination in funding, programs and facilities, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Decades of litigation over state treatment of historically black colleges largely ended in the 1990s, but Cheyney's suit is similar to one brought by supporters of historically black colleges in Maryland, a suit in which they won on some issues, setting up negotiations over a settlement. A statement released by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, of which Cheyney is a part, said that it was system policy not to comment on litigation, but that the system has been focused on helping Cheyney improve.