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Saying she just wanted to give all state colleges the same treatment, a Santa Barbara Democrat introduced a bill to let community colleges punish students for off-campus sexual assaults.

University of California and California State University campuses already have “extended jurisdictions” in place, according to state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson:

Senate Bill 186 will allow community college districts to use their disciplinary process to expel or suspend students for sexual assault and sexual battery. …

“I have heard from community college leaders that this is a tool they would like to have in place so they can keep their students and communities safe. This is particularly important in a place such as Isla Vista, where we have UC students and community colleges students living next to each other, but being held to different standards, “ said Jackson.

That Isla Vista reference apparently alludes to the shooting and stabbing spree by community college student Elliot Rodger last spring. Rodger said in a YouTube he had planned a “day of retribution” because women didn’t find him attractive.

Jackson said the bill would “complement but not supersede the criminal justice process.”

College Fix readers may recognize Jackson’s name – she cosponsored the state’s pioneering “yes means yes” affirmative consent measure with Sen. Kevin de Leon, which became law last fall.

Read Jackson’s statement.

h/t StudentDefend

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The George Washington University chapter of Young America’s Foundation is predicting protests at its Monday event hosting Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and past (and possibly future) presidential candidate.

The group notes in its press release that it was accused of being a “hate group” for objecting to “mandatory LGBT sensitivity training,” and its school funding has been targeted as a result.

Inviting Santorum to speak “underscores their intolerance and pattern of hate,” according to unnamed “classmates,” YAF said.

Santorum will address YAF’s stance on sensitivity training, among other subjects, the press release says.

YAF announced a sort of bury-the-hatchet agreement with one of its antagonists, Allied in Pride, on Monday, blaming “the media” for inaccurately reporting who must take the sensitivity training and what exactly it will encompass.

 

PressReleaseI.docx-page-0

 

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The president of the group Students for Fair Admissions has sent a request to the president of Princeton, Christopher Eisgruber, asking the school to “preserve its student admission records and to restore these documents if any part had been destroyed.”

This comes on the heels of a report by the New Republic which notes that fellow Ivy League Yale Law School has deleted students’ educational records.

According to the NR, apparently there is nothing unlawful about Yale’s actions. But Edward Blum of Students for Fair Admissions says schools should not be able to “destroy evidence essential to judicial review of its admissions policies,” especially if such policies were racially discriminatory.

Blum’s group has sent a similar request to all other Ivy League colleges except Harvard (as SFA is currently involved in a suit against the school).

From The Daily Princetonian:

“It should go without saying that Princeton cannot destroy evidence essential to judicial review of its admissions policies and expect to withstand strict scrutiny if and when its admissions policies are challenged in court,” the [SFA] letter read, particularly for “racially discriminatory policies and procedures in administering undergraduate admissions.”

“The question of diversity is one that needs some explanation,” Blum said. “Is there some benefit in extending cosmetic diversity among the student body? I think my answer is that cosmetic diversity doesn’t mean anything, if it does, then our civil rights movement has regressed.”

Making decisions based on the color of students’ skin when they have the same socioeconomic background brings only a minute benefit to campuses, Blum said.

SFA’s suit against Harvard claims the school discriminates against Asian students in its admissions procedures.

As reported by The College Fix last November, that suit says that Harvard is “’strictly limiting’ the number of Asian-American students it admits each year and [is] ‘engaging in racial balancing year after year.’”

It also says that Harvard is “not in compliance with the new Fisher strict scrutiny requirements.”

In asking about the so-called “benefits” of diversity, Blum seems to be taking a page from the National Association of Scholars’ report on the subject from the Gratz v. Bollinger case. The NAS contends there are no measurable academic benefits to campus racial/ethnic diversity.

The SFA may face an uphill battle in obtaining any requested records. The guiding statute, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) currently “contains no guidelines for document retention or destruction,” according to the New Republic.

Read the full Daily Princetonian story.

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A swath of students at one of the nation’s most prominent universities stand accused of cheating.

At Stanford University – considered an unofficial Ivy League school on the West Coast – Provost John Etchemendy reports that “an unusually high number of troubling allegations of academic dishonesty [were] reported to our Office of Community Standards at the end of winter quarter.”

The winter quarter there began in early January and ended March 13.

“Among a smattering of concerns from a number of winter courses, one faculty member reported allegations that may involve as many as 20 percent of the students in one large introductory course,” Etchemendy stated in his memo, published Tuesday. “While OCS investigates the larger matter and students are being notified, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of our role in helping students understand the seriousness of academic dishonesty.”

Etchemendy warned technology may be at the root of some of the problems.

“At the beginning of our students’ Stanford careers, they are introduced to the Honor Code and agree to abide by it,” he stated. “But with the ease of technology and widespread sharing that is now part of a collaborative culture, students need to recognize and be reminded that it is dishonest to appropriate the work of others. …”

“I ask you to continue to reflect on ways to discuss the importance of academic integrity frankly and openly with our students. When collaboration in a class is encouraged, as I do in my classes, do we make certain that the parameters for collaboration are clear to the students? Do we provide guidance for the use of technology? And are students aware that we really will seek to identify and report concerns that may arise?”

It’s not unheard of for students at prominent universities to use technology to cheat.

Earlier this year, Dartmouth College charged 64 students with honor code violations following allegations of widespread cheating in a sports ethics class. In that case, the class reportedly used tech called “clickers” to engage students during class – and apparently to check for attendance – and students were pretending to be their absent peers. Last May at Barnard College, a private women’s liberal arts college in New York that’s affiliated with Columbia University, students allegedly used their smartphones to pass answers back and forth.

It’s also not unheard of for students at prominent universities to cheat without using tech. Harvard University, for example, was hit with a massive cheating scandal in 2013. In that case, dozens of student athletes collaborated on a take-home exam.

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The documentary The Hunting Ground, which purports to show a rape epidemic on college campuses and indifferent administrator responses, is getting unexpected scrutiny at Harvard.

The Crimson reports that the film “misrepresents statistics on instances of reported sexual assault at Harvard, calling the rigor of the film’s fact-checking process into question”:

In one sequence, a series of slides lists various schools and the number of sexual assaults reported there in a given time period compared to the number that led to expulsion. The film lists that from 2009-2013, Harvard College saw 135 cases of reported sexual assault, but only 10 expulsions.

Those numbers are misleading.

The article explains that those figures might also apply to incidents outside of Harvard College, leading to a sharply lower assault rate: “Harvard College has roughly 6,400 students, while Harvard University as a whole includes about 20,000.”

The film also misrepresents who has authority over expulsions:

According to five-year statistics that are currently available online, the Ad[ministrative] Board required 10 students to withdraw from the College between the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2014 in disciplinary cases under the general category of “social behavior – sexual.”

Those students, however, were not necessarily expelled, but rather required to leave the College temporarily with the possibility of readmittance. In fact, the Ad Board cannot expel students. Only a vote of the Faculty Council can, and it happens rarely.

Furthermore, cases listed under the broad “social behavior – sexual” category are not necessarily sexual assault cases; the case statistics are not so specific.

The film includes a “prank” clip that is clearly fake, The Crimson says:

The student in the film, Nicole C. Hirschhorn ’16, was a sophomore at Harvard when she acted out the scene for campus comedy group On Harvard Time. After viewing that segment of the film, she confirmed that the clip in “The Hunting Ground” is from the prank video. She called the video “definitely fake.”

The short clip is included in the film with no indication that it is not authentic.

Read the story.

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Among the hubbub over a just-signed law in Indiana concerning the role of religious wedding professionals in same-sex weddings – including a threatened cancellation of a gamer convention – one professor is asking everyone to chill.

Mark Silk, professor of religion in public life at Trinity College, writes at Religion News Service that the law – modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act – and other states’ legislation are “far from guarantees of a religious right to discriminate”:

[State] RFRAs would have courts apply the standard of “strict scrutiny” when free exercise claims are made, meaning that when someone asks for a religious exemption from a law the government must demonstrate that it has a “compelling interest” and that it has advanced that interest by the “least restrictive means.” Thus, a sincerely cannibalistic sect could be prevented from exercising its faith by the compelling government interest in protecting human life and the least restrictive means of forbidding the killing and eating of people.

The same principle holds when it comes to serving mixed-race couples, another bogeyman of Indiana RFRA opponents:

As the Court made clear when it banned anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia (1967), the government has a compelling interest in prohibiting racial discrimination with respect to marriage. And the least restrictive means of prohibiting it is, simply, not to permit religious exceptions to laws banning racial discrimination in matters related to marriage. So even though it was once common to cite Scripture as the basis for opposing “race mixing,” the courts won’t give florists, bakers etc. the religious right to refuse their services to mixed-race couples.

What we should all be focused on, Silk says, is whether the Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans – in which case the state RFRAs will be pointless regarding gay marriage.

Read the column.

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