The leaders of Kansas State University and the University of Kansas on Wednesday issued statements pledging to keep policies that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The statements followed the move on Tuesday by Governor Sam Brownback, a Republican, to revoke an executive order issued in 2007 by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, prohibiting discrimination against most state employees on the basis of sexual orientation. The statements from university leaders noted that their institutions had policies in place (beyond the revoked executive order) to bar discrimination, and those policies were not affected by Governor Brownback's action.
Thirteen protesters were arrested Monday evening following a daylong sit-in at the president's office of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Students and a few nonstudents organized the protest to demand changes that they said were needed to promote diversity and inclusiveness on campus. The group, known as Whose Diversity?, is seeking a range of changes, including increased financial support for Latino studies, a commitment to one all-gender bathroom in every building on campus and an end to crime alerts that note the race of suspects. The university released a statement Monday afternoon in which it said it supported the right of peaceful protest and expressed a willingness to join in discussions about the goals of the students who were protesting. On the students' Twitter feed, they said that the response was inadequate.
A statement released by the university Monday night said the students were warned repeatedly that remaining in the president's office after 6 p.m., when it closes, would constitute trespassing. "The university took this action [the arrests] as a last resort after trying to have a dialogue for nearly seven hours. We regret that individuals chose arrest over a peaceful conclusion. The protesters were cooperative and the arrests occurred without incident," the statement said. On the student protesters' Twitter feed, numerous comments criticized the decision to arrest students, and vowed that the movement would continue to push its demands.
The university has published a list of the demands and the university's responses.
Submitted by Paul Fain on February 4, 2015 - 3:00am
Rising costs and lower government aid have made it more difficult for lower-income students to earn a college degree, according to a new report from the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania. The study tracked data over 45 years. It found that students and families paid for one-third of the cost of the higher-education system in 1980. But that proportion grew to a little more than half in 2012.
A Jewish fraternity at the University of California at Davis was defaced with swastikas this weekend, The Los Angeles Times reported. Fraternity members said that they believed their house was a target because they had spoken out in defense of Israel when the student government at Davis recently called on the University of California Board of Regents to sell stocks in companies "that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories." But student groups pushing for divestment from Israel said it was unfair to blame their movement, and they too condemned the act of putting up the swastikas.
The enrollment of black freshmen at the University of Florida dropped 50 percent between 2007 and 2013, The Gainesville Sun reported. Part of the problem, university officials said, was the policy started by then Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican, to bar the university from considering race in admissions. In more recent years, however, university officials have found recruiting strategies that are permitted in their efforts to attract black students.
The University of California at Berkeley has found -- and pledged to take action on -- gaps in the average salaries of female and minority professors compared to white male professors. A university announcement said that the gaps are relatively small, and that the causes of the gaps are not yet clear. The gaps were found in an analysis that factored in professors' fields of study and years of experience. The university found that underrepresented minority faculty members trail their white male counterparts by 1 to 1.8 percent, on average. The gaps between women and white males were larger, between 1.8 and 4.3 percent.
"The Hunting Ground," a new documentary on sexual assaults on campus, had its debut Friday at Sundance and stunned many in the audience with the stories of women who had been sexually assaulted. The woman who without success has tried to bring charges against Jameis Winston, a football star at Florida State University, speaks publicly and at length for the first time.
The New York Times reported that "audience members repeatedly gasped as student after student spoke on camera about being sexually assaulted — and being subsequently ignored or run through endless hoops by college administrators concerned about keeping rape statistics low." The Los Angeles Times called the documentary "a devastating indictment of the plague of rapes on campuses." The Daily Beast detailed the portion of the film about the Winston case. (NOTE: This paragraph has been updated to remove a suggestion in the film, since determined to be incorrect, that no college presidents would agree to be interviewed on camera.)
The documentary will appear on CNN and also in theaters. The trailer follows.
Survey finds that U.S. students from majority religions feel more support on campuses than those from minority faith traditions -- and that very few students are frequently engaged in organized interfaith activities.