Thursday, January 2, 2014

ASA Vote to Boycott Israel

The American Studies Association (ASA) is the nation's oldest organization involved in the interdisciplinary study of US culture and history. Members represent many academic disciplines. They include history, literature, religion, art, architecture, philosophy, music, science, ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, and gender studies among others. On December 16, ASA headlined "ASA Members Vote to Endorse Academic Boycott of Israel." They did so decisively. Over 66% of members support doing so. Less than 31% opposed. Another 3.4% abstained. Why?
Whereas the United States plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians;
There is certainly a level of American oppression implicitly on the Palestinian people, but to call the situation anything but exceptionally complex wouldn't do justice to the areas plight. ASA called its endorsement justified for the following reasons:

  • US military and other support for Israel;

  • Israel's systematic violation of international laws and UN resolutions;

  • the harsh impact of its longstanding occupation;

  • "the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights," and

  • strong ASA member support.
The symbolic move has lead to the denouncement by pro-Jewish Universities in the US. 91 have rejected the ASA stance.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Office of Civil Rights Moves to Trump Harassment Claims

The office of Civil Rights has released recommendations to Universities to enact measures to protect harassment complaints from the student body.
The policy, which expands the definition of sexual harassment and removes various procedural protections for those accused, was presented in a letter to the president of the University of Montana. The authors, however, declare that the rules imposed on Montana are meant to be a “blueprint” for colleges and universities nationwide.
Various associations are raising concerns with the 'sentencing first, then verdict'. The most bizarre response came from a blogger out of Montana essentially asking the question about race and whether there was a indirect correlation between student body average and the complainants. Nas surprisingly did some research and responded. Unfortunately to some the race of complainants isn't recorded since it may not be a factor in whether or not your claim is valid or not :rolleyes:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So left they're right?

Political donations from Ivy League profs around 96% says a recent study from CampusReform. Current NAS President Peter Wood laments that the this obvious bias is expectantly trickling down in the classroom. The top schools are undeniably left-wing. Now, is that a bad thing? Perhaps, albeit one can't imagine certain econ classes, typically right-wing in their position, exclusively reflecting a left bias. Certainly, some level of balance would be welcomed in the classroom, yet, the report is hardly a proof for left-wing liberal pinko commie teachings permeating our classes and inevitably to our country. Hardly.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Does anybody even watch CSPAN?

It's been around for a while, CSPAN is the cable option that permits everyone to watch certain public affairs proceedings on TV (generally not live, but usually within a day or two.) You can watch a number of proceedings live online too, the website is chalk full of resources.

Schools are certainly using the resources and options available through the CSPAN option.

But I'm curious how many people other than the odd house mom (this is a satirical over generalization) gunning for a particular lobby group, actually watch CSPAN on tv at home?

100 million have the option on their tvs, but I bet a fraction of that # even knows the channel exists. Too bad, because there's nothing like a rousing committee meeting to bide the afternoon siesta. .....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Racial Profiling in Admissions in California

Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have restored racial and ethnic preferences for admission to California’s public colleges and universities. Bill, SB 185, was in effect an attempt to undo what California voters accomplished in 1996, when they passed Proposition 209, the measure that amended the state’s constitution to read:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.


This isn't the first attempt to rescind the proposition.

This bill would authorize the University of California and the California State University to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, to the maximum extent permitted by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 31 of Article I of the California Constitution, and relevant case law.


Universities continue to work towards creative enrollment procedures to draw students from a variety of backgrounds into higher education. Others prefer to work with the distinctions of being intentional with identifying racial differences.

What are your thoughts on the attempts to re-introduce racial profiling in enrolment?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NAS Challenges Public Race-Based Admissions

The National Association of Scholars, along with others, filed an amicus brief with the High Court stating public universities violate the Constitution if they use applicants' race as a factor to decide on admissions.

The particular case in question stems from a University of Texas student Abigail Fisher who was denied admission to UT-Austin based, as she suggests, the university's admissions policy that screens applicants for racial background (she's Caucasian). UT-Austin considers an applicant's race, with favoritism for African-Americans and Hispanics.

"Judging applicants to a public university on the basis of their skin color isn't just unfair, it is unconstitu­tional," said Sharon L. Browne, a principal attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation. "Teaching students that they are defined not by their hard work, but by their skin color, violates core concepts of equal opportunity and core principles of the Equal Protection Clause."


On one hand you want a racially diverse group, initially rulings that permitted this type of 'discrimination' did so with the intent of increasing diversity in the classroom and attempting to enable? under privileged students to access post-secondary programs.

Conversely, race is not always an accurate determinant for diversity. Skin color does not necessarily imply very different socio-economic or even cultural backgrounds.

According to Browne applicants who are most discriminated against by UT-Austin's policy are Asians. "Admissions statistics bear this out," said Browne. "Asian Americans need an average SAT score of 1,322 to be admitted, compared to 1,193 for Hispanics.

Your thoughts?