Jennifer Kabbany - Fix Editor

A group of UC San Diego students decided to line up and create a blockade in the center of a major freeway in San Diego early Wednesday morning, halting motorists on one of the busiest travel days of the year and on one of the busiest interstates in the region.

The protest against the Ferguson decision included roughly 40 people – most of whom are UCSD students. Some held signs such as “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Others used a bullhorn to yell at the already irritated motorists snarled in traffic along the northbound I-5 near campus.

“I am really enraged,” UC San Diego student and Black Student Coalition Chair Jazzalyn Livingston told NBC San Diego. “People of color, students of color, often times we don’t have a voice. This is our way to demand that ya’ll listen.”

But the protest didn’t appear to create empathy for their cause among the thousands of drivers stuck in the gridlock.

“The frustration was apparent as drivers got out of their vehicles and began taking images and video of those holding up traffic,” NBC San Diego reports. “Some took the red cones put up in front of the line of protesters and threw them to the side of the highway. One man appeared to be screaming and threatening several protesters including one holding a bullhorn. He then wrangled the bullhorn away.”

Roughly 40 minutes into the protest, police finally got the demonstrators off the freeway, yet did not arrest or cite anyoneU-T San Diego reports.

“When police finally arrived to escort the students off of the freeway, the protesters complied and marched off peacefully while continuing their chants,” the UCSD Guardian student newspaper reports. “The police continued to closely monitor the protesters as they marched on surface streets, which attracted a blend of supportive fists and dissenting middle fingers from drivers passing by.”

Comments under articles about the blockade and among San Diego social media posters were mostly seriously annoyed with the students.

“I wish people would focus on the evidence rather than the black and white of it… So proof he attacked Wilson in his car and proof he was charging Wilson in the end. Can you idiots get off the freeway now?” declared one San Diego resident on Facebook.

Many commenters also called the protest dumb and reckless. UCSD is surrounded by several hospitals and medical centers.

“There is nothing peaceful about keeping doctors, teachers, and other caregivers from their jobs,” posted one woman under the NBC San Diego article. “There is nothing peaceful about preventing people from getting to the hospital. There is nothing peaceful about potentially killing or injuring people in traffic accidents.”

Others got a little blunt with their thoughts, with one Marine posting: “Run them over.”

This is the second such freeway blockage in San Diego in as many days. On Monday night, people upset with the Ferguson decision also blocked  Interstate 15 at University Avenue, NBC San Diego reports.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. 

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This past week has seen the University of Virginia endure a hard, jarring fall from grace.

The venerable campus has been rocked and tarnished by a lengthy investigative piece in Rolling Stone that details an alleged gang rape of a freshman while she attended a frat party in 2012:

Jackie had taken three hours getting ready, straightening her long, dark, wavy hair. She’d congratulated herself on her choice of a tasteful red dress with a high neckline. Now, climbing the frat-house stairs with Drew, Jackie felt excited. Drew ushered Jackie into a bedroom, shutting the door behind them. The room was pitch-black inside. Jackie blindly turned toward Drew, uttering his name. At that same moment, she says, she detected movement in the room – and felt someone bump into her. Jackie began to scream.

“Shut up,” she heard a man’s voice say as a body barreled into her, tripping her backward and sending them both crashing through a low glass table. There was a heavy person on top of her, spreading open her thighs, and another person kneeling on her hair, hands pinning down her arms, sharp shards digging into her back, and excited male voices rising all around her. When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. The men surrounding her began to laugh. For a hopeful moment Jackie wondered if this wasn’t some collegiate prank. Perhaps at any second someone would flick on the lights and they’d return to the party.

“Grab its motherfucking leg,” she heard a voice say. And that’s when Jackie knew she was going to be raped.

She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement. She remembers how the spectators swigged beers, and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket. She remembers the men’s heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana. Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on.

The story – which at this point has been shared on social media nearly 200,000 times – proceeds to interweave nationwide campus sexual assault statistics with details on how UVA leaders have allegedly swept such allegations under the rug for years, even decades, to maintain its distinguished reputation. The narrative paints a picture of a university that is numb and unsympathetic to students’ allegations of rape and a fraternity culture that celebrates getting girls drunk and taking advantage of all their orifices.

The article’s compelling tone has swept the university into the glare of the national spotlight. Stories linked on the Drudge Report reference the controversy, and the New York Times reported on it. The pressure has been so great that UVA suspended all fraternities and related activities for the next couple months, and on Tuesday campus officials apologized.

Administrators have also asked police to investigate the reported gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house, suggesting new details have emerged as a result of the article that they where unaware of, The Associated Press reports, adding campus officials also plan to target underage drinking in their quest to quell the problem, and have pledged to enforce a zero-tolerance sexual assault policy.

“I’d like to say to [the victim] and her parents I am sorry, and to all survivors of sexual assault, I am sorry,” stated George Martin, the board’s rector. “As we said last week, this type of conduct will not be tolerated at the University of Virginia. The status quo is not acceptable. Like all of you gathered here today, I am appalled.”

After reading the story, it’s easy to be appalled. Although many comments under it are furious at the author, suggesting the piece includes unbelievable details and unfairly paints the university as an elitist institution with a well-hidden rape culture.

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IMAGE: Phil Roeder/Flickr

#FergusonSyllabus.

It’s the way many educators across the nation communicated Monday night in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Educators talked about bringing up racism in America in their classrooms, and bemoaned how to explain to students this “injustice.”

They Tweeted out progressive curricula. They spoke of anger and pain. They prepped for their lesson plans.

Here’s a taste of what students in kindergarten through college may get Tuesday as the nation awakens to a post-Ferguson world:

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Social media screenshots/embeds

Thousands of students across the nation took part in marches, moments of silence and other demonstrations on their respective campuses late Monday night to protest the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.

At Princeton University, hundreds of students marched through the campus chanting “no justice no peace” and “hands up don’t shoot.”

At the University of Oklahoma, students gathered at 12:30 a.m. for a moment of silence.

At Ohio State University, there was talk of a prayer vigil. Meanwhile, students at Ohio University (seen below) chose to “occupy” a building on campus in a show of solidarity, a demonstration that included signs stating “disarm the police” and “stop killing us.”

The Hoya reports that about 20 Georgetown University students marched down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” joining a larger protest at the White House that included students from Howard University and other nearby colleges from the region.

On the other side of the nation, students at UCLA has this to chant:

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGES: Social media screenshots/embeds

Another “John Doe” is suing another university for violating his rights.

The Denver Post reports that “his lawyers write in the complaint that CU’s ‘investigation was slanted in favor of Jane Doe and took her statements at face-value, while mischaracterizing John Doe’s statements.'”

The student’s lawsuit contends his civil rights were violated under Title IX, and that he was “wrongfully accused and suspended for three semesters after a night of consensual sex,” the Post reports.

The Post adds:

In the complaint against CU-Boulder, the male student’s attorneys write that investigators from CU’s Office of Student Conduct were employed to prosecute campus sexual assault, not to gather evidence in an unbiased way.

“When questioning John Doe throughout the process, their line of questioning was hostile in nature, more akin to cross-examination in tenor, and desired to (elicit) a confession, rather than an objective attempt to factually reconstruct an event,” according to the complaint.

CU officials have defended campus investigatory processes in the past as neutral and fact-finding in nature.

Add this lawsuit to the very long and continually growing list of complaints against universities for violating young men’s due process rights and railroading them after dubious and flimsy allegations of sexual assault.

Even the New York Times is getting on the bandwagon, reporting last week that a “database maintained by a group called A Voice for Male Students counted 11 lawsuits this year in which male students ‘wrongly accused of sex crimes found themselves hustled through a vague and misshapen adjudication process with slipshod checks and balances and Kafkaesque standards of evidence.'”

“At a moment when students who have been sexually assaulted are finding new ways to make their voices heard, and as college officials across the country are rushing to meet new government standards, a specialized class of lawyers is raising its voice, too. They are speaking out on behalf of the students they describe as most vulnerable: not those who might be subjected to sexual assault, but those who have been accused of it,” the Times reports. “To do so, they have appropriated the legal tools most commonly used to fight sexual misconduct and turned them against the prosecution, confronting higher education’s whole approach to the issue, which they describe as a civil rights disaster.”

Civil rights disaster indeed. Until campuses stop trivializing rape, more and more lawsuits like this will be filed.

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An astute reader of The College Fix at North Carolina State University recently spotted these alleged words of wisdom printed on a piece of paper hung up near a male professor’s office door:

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them.”door

He snapped a picture, bemused by the message, and moved on. But a few days later he noticed he wasn’t the only student who disagreed with the professor’s message, telling The College Fix:

Ok, so I think you will appreciate these updated pictures. First, since I took the first picture, someone else noticed the quote and made their opinion known. As I was standing in front of the door preparing to take the pic, a group of three or four girls walked by and got a chuckle out of the quote and the response written on the quote.

Quote

What’s more, there’s an additional adornment now affixed to the good professor’s door:

Logic101

Our student posits:

At least the first four commandments apply directly to the Atwood quote less than three feet to the left. Kind of makes me wonder if someone pasted the quotes on the door in response to the Atwood quote.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. (@JenniferKabbany)

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