Last year, two athletes at Erskine College, a Christian institution affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, came out as gay. That news prompted antigay church members to demand that the college take action against gay people at the college. The college's board has now done so, adopting a policy saying that any sexuality that is not based on marriage (defined as between a man and a woman) is banned.
"We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of Scripture concerning matters of human sexuality, and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position."
Outsports quoted one of the gay athletes as saying of the new policy: "It just made me sad and worried for other gay people who might be struggling with confidence to come out."
The board of East Carolina University voted Friday to remove the name of Charles Aycock, a former North Carolina governor who was for years a leader of the segregationist white supremacist movement in the state, from a dormitory (at right). Student and faculty groups have been pushing for the move. The university said that it would create a new Heritage Hall, in which contributions to the university by a number of individuals -- including Aycock -- could be acknowledged with context.
Wright State University has apologized for a menu last week to mark Black History Month. The Dayton Daily News reported that students complained that the menu, which featured fried chicken, collard greens and corn bread next to a photograph of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reinforced stereotypes. Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, which manages dining at Wright State and posted the menu, released a statement that said: "Chartwells celebrates many national events on campus and tries to provide authentic and traditional cuisine to reflect each theme. In no way was the promotion associated with Black History Month meant to be insensitive. We could have done a better job putting this in context of a cultural dining experience. We sincerely apologize.”
A new research collaborative was announced Thursday to promote academic study of efforts that promote success for minority boys and men. The effort is called RISE, for Research, Integration, Strategy and Evaluation. The codirectors are Shaun Harper of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and Sharon Norris-Shelton of Equal Measure.
Boston College is facing federal and state investigations of whether it has done enough to make its campus accessible to people with disabilities, The Boston Globe reported. Campus officials say that they are regularly making improvements but that the hilly campus creates challenges. But students and faculty members with disabilities point to numerous places on campus where those in wheelchairs or who have difficulty with stairs feel they have few good options to get from one place to another. A Facebook page features photographs (such as the one at right) of such spots.
Current and former students at South Carolina State University have filed a federal lawsuit against the state, accusing it of illegal discrimination against the institution and the black students it serves, The State reported. The lawsuit argues that the state of South Carolina caused enrollment declines by failing to provide enough money to the university, and by approving duplicative programs at other public colleges. Last week, a legislative committee in South Carolina approved a measure to shut the historically black university for two years, saying that its financial problems required a fresh start. Critics said that the plan would effectively kill the institution and that even floating it could scare away some prospective students.
More than 1,000 supporters of the university rallied Monday at the State House against the closure plan -- vowing that the university would not be closed.