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Higher Education Tag

I will never fully understand the irrational fear of inanimate objects that leads people to do things like this. A handful of instructors, mostly grad students, from the University of Texas are holding office hours in a bar after the state implemented campus carry laws. They're hoping gun-free zones will keep them safe. Under the Lone Star State's campus carry laws, only licensed concealed carry permit holders are legally allowed to pack heat on participating college campuses, and even then, only on certain parts of campus.

Joe Scarborough went on an epic rant this morning against liberal academia and the way it shuts down and ultimately radicalizes conservative students who grow frustrated with being stifled in the classroom. The segment began as an effort to explain Stephen Miller's personality, as Morning Joe cited a column by Andrew Sullivan in which he speaks of conservative students who are often "mocked, isolated, and anathematized on campus" and often react by adopting "brattish and obnoxious positions just to tick off their SJW peers and teachers."

The Department of Education and its sub-agencies appear here to stay (alas), but there is good news.   The "reforms" the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has inflicted—particularly on higher education—over the past eight years may well be in danger. The Office of Civil Rights is a sub-agency within the Department of Education that oversees a range of issues, some invented, that affect K-12 and higher education (and some that don't like ensuring "equal access" to the Boy Scouts and other youth groups.).

Democrats are going after Trump's pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos because she made financial contributions to FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE is an outstanding non-partisan organization which defends free speech and due process, among other things, for college students and faculty. Democrats have picked the wrong target. In the words of Professor Jacobson, "That they would try to defame such a great organization to get at her is a sign of how pathetic and dangerous they are."

We all complain about how leftism has penetrated and taken over just about every conceivable institution, from the media to academia to the federal bureaucracy and political structure. It seems unstoppable. As leftists like to say, it's the arc of history. The writer who uses the pseudonym Zombie at Zombieblog disagrees, and the Trump election is the proof, Trump’s Victory Is a Pivotal Turning Point in Human History.
It's lengthy, and definitely read the whole thing. Here's an excerpt (bold in original):

Two Florida universities and the University of Illinois have been battling outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease that involve about three dozen cases in the last couple of months.
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 200,000 people in the U.S. get the disease each year, but Dr. Fenyong Liu, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley, says a lot more than that carry the viruses associated with the disease. “This represents a silent epidemic because people don’t know they have the virus, and we don’t know these people have the virus,” Dr. Liu said. Doctors say the disease is highly contagious, making daycare centers, and now colleges, ideal breeding grounds. “This fecal or oral transmission is really an issue when you have dining hall and all this share the dorm,” Dr. Liu said.

Author and commentator Christopher Hitchens passed away in 2011, but his work is still highly revered. Hitchens was smart and walked a fine line between the right and left. He began his career describing himself as a socialist but became very conservative on some issues over time. In terms of academia, he pretty much predicted where we are now all the way back in 1994. In the clip below, he's making an appearance on the Charlie Rose show and he warns of a time when students will think of the university as their mother and father. He also warns against the culture of victimhood. Again, he was way ahead of his time. This is a short but very enlightening clip.

Last week, we posted a story about Clemson University in which a student and a man who was not a student were stopped while praying on campus. The administrator who stopped them claimed they weren't in a free speech area. The story went national because free speech is an ongoing issue on college campuses and also because Clemson is a public university, meaning the whole campus is a free speech zone. Campus Reform reports that some students organized to speak out:
Clemson students rally against ‘free speech zones’ Several dozen students and local community members gathered at Clemson University Friday afternoon to protest against the administration for not allowing a man to pray with students.

Microaggressions are apparently a big problem at the University of Iowa, especially for black students. That's the only conclusion one could reach based on a new support group offered at the school. The Daily Caller reports:
Iowa Offers Black Students Support Group To Deal With Microaggressions This fall, the University of Iowa is offering black students a weekly support group to help them deal with microaggressions and “deepen their resilient qualities.”

The College Republicans at Cornell University have endorsed the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson. They announced their support for Johnson in a post on Facebook:
Dear Members and Alumni, The Cornell Republicans, as the official representatives of the Republican Party at Cornell, are dedicated to promoting limited government and individual freedom. But our organization does not solely represent the Republican Party. Our first responsibility is to our members: libertarians, moderates, neoconservatives, and everyone in between. We value our ideological diversity and welcome differing perspectives.

Young America's Foundation recently visited the campus of George Washington University and asked students if they thought assault weapons should be banned. While students believed strongly that they should be banned, none of them seemed to be able to describe what an assault weapon actually is. From the YAF blog:
College Students Know Nothing About the Guns They Want Banned [VIDEO] Curious as to how fellow millennials would react when questioned about the proposed “assault weapons ban,” I took to the campus of The George Washington University to ask their opinions.

Remember the whole Rolling Stone/University of Virginia/faux rape story?
An investigation conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department found no evidence of rape at the accused University of Virginia fraternity. Months ago, Rolling Stone broke Jackie’s story. Jackie claimed she’d been gang raped by members of Phi Kappa Psi in 2012. When the Rolling Stone article sparked national outrage, UVA’s administration acted swiftly and without facts, punishing Greek life on campus. Then the Washington Post began to dig deeper into the Rolling Stone shocker. And that’s when the story began to quickly unravel and was eventually debunked in entirety.

As a Jesuit institution, Georgetown may technically be a Catholic school but it is decidedly progressive in its politics. The school also has a slavery related stain in its past for which it is now trying to atone. CBS News in Washington, DC reports:
Georgetown to Give Slave Descendants Priority for Admission Georgetown University will give preference in admissions to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits as part of its effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people.

The University of North Dakota is offering progressive social justice warriors the opportunity to live in special housing where their views will never be challenged by those who disagree with them. Imagine a dorm which functions as one big safe space. Can you imagine what a fun living environment this will be? Heat Street reports:
University of North Dakota to Offer ‘Social Justice’ Themed Student Housing The newly established Social Justice Living-Learning Community will endeavor to provide social justice-oriented students with opportunities for “creating and leading positive social change,” according to its website.
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