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‘Stand for free speech or don’t. But do not say one thing and do another.’

USC recently removed pro-life banners showing fetuses in utero from several lightposts on campus. The banners had been hung Tuesday morning, and were taken down Tuesday afternoon, with campus officials calling the initial installation an “error.”

“The banners did not identify an academic event but instead advertised the services of an external organization,” which runs afoul of university policy, officials stated. And yet students did not buy that explanation, as they have seen other banners promoting other causes hung from their campus lightposts as well.

The pro-life community at USC has since expressed heartache over the decision, and many of their peers – even those who are not card-carrying members of USC Students for Life – are on their side. USCPOSTER

One such student is Remaya Campbell, a freshman who has written an open letter to administrators about their recent decision. Campbell, who is involved in many campus groups – the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, the Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, the Daily Trojan, Thematic Option, the Trojan Scholar Society – tells The College Fix “this issue is particularly relevant to me as a freshman Film Production major in the School of Cinematic Arts-a famously liberal environment.”

“Having only just arrived at USC some eight months ago, I find this incident of selective censorship and others I’ve witnessed on campus to be particularly disheartening,” she said.

Here is her letter:

University of Southern California,

I would like to preface this letter by stating that this is neither a personal attack on you or on the administration responsible for the “error” involved with the removal of USC Students for Life’s pro-life themed banners. However, as I’m sure you know, many students from the conservative USC community feel as though the removal of their message is a personal attack on their freedom of expression.

I’m well aware that you have been presented with this issue prior to my composing this message, however I do feel it is my duty and right as a USC student protected under the Constitution of the United States to speak my humble piece.

USC is pointedly vocal about its support of students’ right to free expression, and yet the university’s actions regarding the pro-life banners speaks strictly to the contrary. While there are legal grounds for the removal of the banners based on the university’s policy not to display banners unassociated with a specific campus event, the selective enforcement of this dormant rule would point to a major shortcoming in ethical principle.

I am not asking why the banners were removed—that has already been put in writing. I am asking why, of all the banners, were those that express a conservative viewpoint targeted? I do not expect an answer, but if you could provide feasible reasoning, I would be pleasantly surprised.

So let’s move beyond the façade of “policy” and address the veiled issue at hand: USC Students for Life, and anyone associated with their political and/or moral views—feel personally attacked, and that is a problem no refund can repair.

I live on a campus where conservative views are kept in secret, having been deemed unfit for the public eye and ear. For a campus that prides itself on being “a diverse community based on the free exchange of ideas,” I am feeling curiously stifled—and I’m relatively moderate.

Is it of any concern to you that I feel uncomfortable speaking what I believe aloud? USC places great value upon its name, but does this university value its name over the rights of its students? No matter what eloquent statement is released to the media over this controversy, actions will always speak louder than words.

I understand that your hands are tied; that’s the nature of a “neutral” institution caught between the passions of two extremes. But understand that the removal of those banners was and is unacceptable. Whether or not the banners are replaced, I ask only this: Stand for free speech or don’t. But do not say one thing and do another. That is a trick for the politicians, not the academics. As a university, we can do better.

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The incoming student senate at the University of California-Berkeley will have just about every population represented – except Jews.

The Daily Californian reports that the current crop of three Jewish senators won’t have anyone to follow their lead next year, while women gained three seats to take a majority of the senate.

Two new senators are “undocumented or previously undocumented,” and the new class includes “an officially queer-endorsed senator,” another change from the current year.

Senator Ori Herschmann isn’t worried about Jewish representation next year, though:

“The community wasn’t mobilized into getting people ready,” Herschmann said. “It seemed like there was a sort of apathy.”

But Herschmann said he believes the Jewish community will step up and mobilize next year.

Some believe that because the Jewish community is proactive and senators-elect have reached out to the community, they will find other ways to bring forth their perspectives to the senate.

“The three Jewish senators (this year) were very vocal, and I don’t think their involvement will stop with their term,” said Student Action Senator Tanay Nandgaonkar.

Read the story.

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A “woman of color” professor at Ohio University who just got poached by Northwestern University is throwing shade at her employer on her way out.

The Post reports that the school’s black student population is growing but its percentage of black faculty has fallen, and the most recent to depart is political science professor Debra Thompson:

“Faculty of color generally face pretty obvious institutional discrimination — good old-fashioned racism,” Thompson said. “This is my fourth year, and this is the most racist place I’ve ever lived in my life.”

Thompson said the university puts on a good face for the public, like many institutions.

 “Yeah, we have a black president, but no black faculty, and the numbers are diminishing,” Thompson said. “We have no efforts to recruit faculty of color. We have no efforts to retain faculty of color. We have no diversity plan.”

The school’s president is Roderick McDavis, who has been jousting with the student government all year. A recent anti-McDavis campaign led by progressive students included “memes that portrayed President McDavis in an extremely radicalized manner,” as one critic put it.

Thompson doesn’t actually give any examples of the racism she’s faced, and the article provides no specific incidents of racism at the school.

Another recently departed black administrator told The Post that he gets “stopped by police, often,” but “Those are common things that happen anywhere” – not just Athens, Ohio.

Read the story.

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The student who led a group of protesters’ stomp fest on an American flag — the flag which was rescued by military veteran Michelle Manhart — is now considered “armed and dangerous” and wanted by police.

Eric Sheppard, who on Tuesday was noted by several witnesses as “making threats” to people in front of the Valdosta State University library, was confronted by police shortly thereafter.

But prior to the encounter and then-unknown to the police, Sheppard had dropped a backpack, authorities said, which contained a gun and two clips. Once the cops let Sheppard go after the library encounter, the student went into hiding.

MyFoxAtlanta.com reports:

Just minutes after dozens of police officers intensified their manhunt for Eric Sheppard, around a Valdosta neighborhood Wednesday afternoon; Sheppard’s father went in front of a FOX 5 camera and made a plea to his son.

“Son, you know we love you and have always taught you to do the right thing,” Eric Sheppard Sr. said. “Please make the right decision and turn yourself in to either the authorities or to me.”

The 22-year-old Valdosta State University student is considered by police to be in hiding, and “armed and dangerous.” Police say he is from College Park and could be headed toward the Atlanta area.

Wednesday afternoon a resident in a neighborhood just off campus, reported seeing Sheppard in a backyard. Dozens of officers and a K9 searched the area, but found nothing.

And that is only adding to the anxiety many on campus are feeling. Several students tell FOX 5, they didn’t go to classWednesday out of fear.

“My girlfriend was scared to walk across campus alone, I’ve been with her all day,” VSU student Trae Bryant said. “I think everybody’s on edge.”

During Sheppard’s American flag stomp-and-burn protest, he yammered that Old Glory “represented ‘white supremacy and racism.'”

In a video he made, he said “I’m a terrorist towards lies … I’m a terrorist toward lairs and those who are weak. So yes I am a terrorist toward white people.”

Read the full story.

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If you’re a member of a federally recognized tribe or a “direct descendant” of one, you qualify for free tuition at the University of Minnesota-Morris, one of two schools in the country with such a provision for American Indians.

That’s proving problematic for the school, whose tuition-free tribal population has doubled in the past decade to more than 17 percent and is “expected to grow,” Minnesota Daily reports:

“It’s unusual for families to be able to find a college where Native culture is reflected as much,” said Sandy Olson-Loy, Morris’ vice chancellor for student affairs. “Especially sitting on a campus site that was home to an American Indian boarding school, which really tried to wipe out American Indian culture.”

Federal officials have offered a proposal in the House to “reimburse schools’ tuition waivers for out-of-state Native American students,” who are about a quarter of the tribal population at Morris.

One student getting free tuition says the school isn’t advertising the program enough:

Trey Goodsell, an environmental studies sophomore, is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe, whose reservation lies on land in both North Dakota and South Dakota. He said by not paying tuition, he’s avoiding debt after college.

Goodsell is also the co-chair of Morris’ Circle of Nations Indigenous Association. He said the group wants to educate more students about the tuition waiver, which has recently generated a lot of discussion among current and prospective students.

Read the story.

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The University of North Dakota may be full of tension as the administration faces a second no-confidence vote tonight, but students accused of wrongdoing in the state higher education system now have a fairer system to go through.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a bill (previously covered by The College Fix) giving students the right to pay for a lawyer at their own expense in “non-academic suspension and expulsion hearings,” the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education says.

The overwhelming vote totals – unanimous in the House and a single dissenting vote in the Senate – should convince administrators and campus activists that such obvious tilting of the field against accused students won’t be tolerated in the real world.

The state’s bill came out of a particularly egregious case against Caleb Warner, as FIRE recounts:

In 2010, former University of North Dakota (UND) student Caleb Warner was expelled after being found guilty of sexual assault by a campus court, despite evidence of his innocence that should have been impossible to ignore. Indeed, the evidence clearing Warner was so powerful that the local district attorney filed criminal charges against his accuser for filing a false report to police.

Warner’s mother went on to found Families Advocating for Campus Equality, which agitates for due process in campus disciplinary proceedings.

Read FIRE’s post.

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