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Harvard’s Dining Services Admits Politics went into SodaStream Decision

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 5:00pm

Harvard’s Dining Services is now admitting the obvious.

In the face of criticism over a spring decision to suspend purchases from an Israeli soda water company with a presence in the West Bank, a Harvard University Dining Services spokesperson wrote in a statement Thursday that HUDS “mistakenly factored political concerns” into the controversial decision.

“As the President and Provost have made clear, our procurement decisions should not be driven by community members’ views on matters of political controversy,” HUDS spokesperson Crista Martin wrote in an email.

Last spring, HUDS suspended its purchase of water machines from soda water company SodaStream, whose primary factory is currently located in the West Bank, following complaints raised by members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Harvard Islamic Society that the appliances could offend Palestinian students.

University President Drew G. Faust requested an investigation into the decision in response to learning of the decision to suspend purchases of the machines from The Crimson this week, and Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 wrote a statement reiterating the University’s stance against basing purchasing decisions on political considerations.

“Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy,” Garber wrote Wednesday in an email. “If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now.”

In the past, Faust has argued against using Harvard’s endowment for political purposes in issues such as divesting from fossil fuel companies.

This is not the first time that HUDS has made purchasing decisions in response to political concerns. In 2013, the dining service stopped serving Barilla pasta after the company’s chairperson told an Italian radio station that the company would not feature gay families in its advertising.

Andrew W. Schutts ’16, a member of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, expressed disappointment with HUDS’ statement Thursday, writing in an email that he was “devastated that HUDS has rejected the progress that was made last semester” on the SodaStream issue.

“A lot of people maybe think it’s just a soda machine, it’s not a huge deal, it shouldn’t be politicized, but for a lot of students at Harvard, this is a huge deal that’s significantly related to their experience at the University,” he added.

Still, earlier Thursday, students from several Jewish and pro-Israel organizations criticized HUDS’ original decision to suspend purchases from SodaStream, arguing that their groups had been left out...

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‘Framework’ for Higher Ed Rating System Released by Education Department

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 3:30pm

The framework is short on details and transparency but this is the Obama administration we’re talking about here.

FOX News reported.

Education Department releases ‘framework’ for higher-ed rating system

The Education Department released a “framework” Friday for how it will rate more than 7,000 colleges and universities across the nation.

The institutions were hoping the department would release the actual system President Obama announced last year that hopes to encourage transparency and affordability. However, the wait for the ratings system will continue.

Much of the focus is on access, affordability and outcomes — particularly the number of students completing their degree. Although graduates’ salaries would be considered, the administration said the salary-specific data would be focused on seeing if graduates are able to pay for basic needs. It does not say how each of the metrics it’s considering would be weighted, although it’s possible an institution could receive more than one rating under different categories. Schools would not be ranked.

Obama received much criticism upon the announcement of the system from the higher education community and Republicans. Critics say the system could provide a disincentive for colleges to accept students considered high-risk.

Congress does not need to approve the system, but it needs to pass legislation if it is used to parcel out financial aid.


 
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Emerson College Offers Minor in Comedy

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:00pm

This is not a joke.

Andrew Desiderio at The College Fix has the story:

That degree is a joke: You can minor in comedy at Emerson College

Boston’s Emerson College, the alma mater of comedy kings such as Jay Leno, is now offering its students the opportunity to minor in comedy.

According to a release...

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Prof: Trigger Warnings are Preventing Rape Law From Being Taught

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 12:30pm

So leftist tropes like “trigger warnings” are now interfering in the process of education. Who could have guessed such a thing would happen?

Ashley Dobson of Red Alert Politics reports.

‘Trigger warnings’ prevent professors from teaching rape law

The anti-rape culture movement and an excessive need for “trigger warnings” are preventing law professors from...

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U. of Chicago Black Co-ed Offers Glimpse into “Black Rage”

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 11:00am

University of Chicago student Nina Katemauswa offers a glimpse into the race-based thinking fueling many of the campus protests that are occurring nationwide.

…Black is still black.

For once you are born black, there is no growing up—only growing in. Every year you are encouraged to retreat more and more into yourself and...

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U. Michigan’s Anti-Discrimination Policy Doesn’t Cover Students’ Political Views

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 9:30am

But maybe it should. Do you think Republican students feel comfortable after a member of the faculty wrote that it’s OK to hate Republicans?

Greg Piper of the College Fix:

The University of Michigan is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to buffoonish attacks on anyone who departs from progressive orthodoxy.

Today’s...

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U. New Mexico Football Players Plan to Sue University Over Sexual Assault Investigation

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Posted by    Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 8:00am

These cases just keep on piling up:

Stephen Edwards at The College Fix has the story:

Football players plan to sue university for ‘shoddy’ sexual-assault investigation

Two University of New Mexico football players and another student plan to sue the school for how it investigated sexual-assault allegations against...

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Civil Rights Group Outraged at Bowdoin’s ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Outrage

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 6:30pm

One civil rights group is outraged at Bowdoin College’s outrageous punishment of students who dressed up as pilgrims and American Indians for a Thanksgiving party – calling it “cultural appropriation”

In an email shared with The College Fix, Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, wrote to...

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Debunking the Myth of Evil Fraternities

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:00pm

In a recent column for Politico, writer Peg Tyre defended fraternities from the many stereotypes which are heaped upon them.

Don’t Blame the Frats

This year’s monster: Fraternities. As Gawker put it, “No fraternity, no gang rape.” As the Guardian said, “It’s time to talk about banning fraternities.” Bloomberg View decided: “On balance,...

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Michigan Daily Student Columnist Gets Fired for Satirical Article

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 3:30pm

This is an update to this story. All of a sudden, the editors decided that the writer’s long running columns in both the Michigan Daily and The Michigan Review were a “conflict of interest.”

Greg Piper at The College Fix has the story:

‘Michigan Daily’: We fired column...

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America’s Oldest Black College on the Brink of Financial Collapse

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 2:00pm

Cheyney University is about to succumb to the effects of the higher ed bubble.

David Dekok of Reuters reports.

Oldest U.S. black college on verge of financial collapse

The nation’s oldest black college, Cheyney University, one of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-run universities, is on the verge of a financial meltdown that threatens its ability to...

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UCLA Students Hold Town Hall About Alleged Police Brutality and to Draft Demands

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 12:30pm

About this time of year, most college students are focused on finals.

However, at the University of California – Los Angeles, many of them are drafting grievance demands instead.

I wonder if the grades they get this semester are dependent on the quality of their grievances.

More than 100 individuals at a student-led town...

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George Mason U. Students Sign Petition to Make Jon Gruber Secretary of Defense

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 11:00am

Dan Joseph of MRCTV recently visited George Mason University and asked students to sign a petition supporting Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber for secretary of defense.

Not all the students he asked would sign but 12 of them did.

From CNS News.

 
 
 
 

UC San Diego Researchers Say Minimum Wage Increase Cost 1.4 Million Jobs

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 9:30am

“Wow, I never expected that!” said the federal government, who apparently do not have a single economist on staff.

Here’s more from the College Fix:

UC-San Diego researchers: 1.4 million jobs lost because of minimum-wage hikes

The federal minimum-wage hikes between 2007 and 2009 were accompanied by severe drops in the “employment-to-population ratio” for...

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Marquette University Suspends Conservative Prof From Campus Over Gay Marriage Flap

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Posted by    Friday, December 19, 2014 at 8:00am

Dissent from the liberal position will not be tolerated.

Turning Point USA reported.

BREAKING: Conservative professor banned from campus!

Marquette University has banned a tenured professor, John McAdams, from Marquette University until further notice. This is because he published a controversial blog post about another professor, Cheryl Abbate, who told a student, “If you...

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WSJ Finance Expert: College Kids Should Have Some “Skin in the Game”

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 6:30pm

Darla Kashian is vice president-financial adviser at RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

In The Wall Street Journal, she offers some sage advice about students’ education costs.

…Children are more likely to value the educational opportunity they’ve been given if they have some skin in the game. Taking responsibility for funding part of one’s...

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Does Higher Ed Have an ‘Adjunctification’ Problem?

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:00pm

Rob Jenkins of the Chronicle of Higher Education seems to think so.

Straight Talk About ‘Adjunctification’

It’s unclear precisely when the term “adjunctification” was borne. It’s mentioned as far back as 2000 in articles about the job market in the humanities. Linda Collins used the phrase in a speech in 2002 when she...

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Oberlin Prof Gives Brilliant Response to a Ferguson Related Request for Exam Delays

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 3:30pm

To summarize: “No.”

Dave Huber at The College Fix has the story:

Prof’s epic response to Ferguson-related exam delay request

It’s probably safe to assume to that Oberlin student Della Kurzer-Zlotnick was not prepared for her professor’s response when she asked him about delaying exams due to Ferguson-related stress.

Seemingly anointing herself a (white) spokesperson...

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Swastikas Painted on Building at Tufts University

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 2:00pm

This is the second such incident in two months.

Chris Caesar of Boston.com reported.

Police Investigate ‘Several’ Swastikas Painted on Tufts Campus Building

Police are investigating “several” swastikas painted on the south side of a Tufts University campus building Saturday morning.

The markings were seen on the rear of Lewis Hall along Powderhouse Blvd. and...

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Playing Southern Anthem During “Black Lives Matter” Rally Gets Cop Suspended

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:30pm

Truly, timing is everything in life.

This may be the first time Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” got an on-duty cop in trouble.

The Chicago Police Department has suspended a cop for 10 days who says he was honoring the University of Alabama by playing the Southern anthem in his patrol car on Saturday. (UA...

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Liberal Bias in Academia is Affecting Social Science

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 11:00am

Nothing gets challenged or debated when everyone agrees with each other.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes at The Week.

How academia’s liberal bias is killing social science

I have had the following experience more than once: I am speaking with a professional academic who is a liberal. The subject of the underrepresentation of conservatives in academia...

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New York Senator Pushes for Nationwide Adoption of ‘Yes Means Yes’ Laws

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Posted by    Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 9:30am

Damn the facts, let’s keep this legislation going!

Dave Huber at The College Fix has the story

NY Senator Gillibrand: ‘Yes means yes’ should go nationwide

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing to make affirmative consent laws — figuratively known as “only yes means yes” when engaging in any kind of sexual activity...

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