arizona state university

So argues Arizona State’s Desiree Pharias in her State Press op-ed:

[Cole] Swindell sings to a girl and proposes a “little late-night pick me up.” He then openly tells her if she is lonely, and quite frankly, vulnerable enough tonight, she can go ahead and give him a call. He goes far enough to say if she’s “in the mood for a little regret” his offer stands evermore. Truthfully, when this song comes on, I instantly change the station, as I don’t appreciate his allusion to a one-night stand by saying, “We ain’t gotta make up, just kiss me, we could straight up blame it on the whiskey.” Bravo, Mr. Swindell! You disguised a proposition for a one-night stand in such a way that it almost sounds romantic.

While rap can be disregarded by those who are uncomfortable with its blatant misogyny, country music has a more subtle approach towards disrespecting women. It is precisely because of this that it is a more powerful vehicle of sexism. The singers of these songs are wholesome, respectful, country boys that your mom would want you to marry. In fact, she might be listening to them in her Toyota minivan right now.

Gosh, subtle (suggestive) messages in popular country music? And even more powerful than rap where demeaning, misogynist vulgarities fly out every few seconds? Who knew?

Unlike Ms. Pharias, I can’t stomach country music. I frequently playfully mock my fiancée — a big country music fan — about how you’re guaranteed to hear the following in every country song’s lyrics: truck, dog, beer, and whiskey.

About the most suggestive thing I’ve heard in a country song is when David Nail (yes, I had to look it up) sings “She’s got the blue jeans painted on tight …” Wha … how dare he objectify women like that!

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Kegs, beer bongs and flip cup will no longer be staples of tailgating at Arizona State University Sun Devil football games under new rules approved by the school last month.

ASU joined its neighboring public universities in banning such activities in tailgating areas at games, citing public safety. The rules ban kegs or any other “common source of alcohol,” “drinking apparatuses” such as beer bongs and “drinking games” such as “beer pong, shot gunning, and flip cup.”

The university and Sun Devil Athletics said in a joint statement that the keg ban would “improve the experience for students, residents in surrounding communities and Sun Devil Nation.”

The new rules were recommended by the Statewide Student Safety Task Force to the Arizona Board of Regents, which set up the task force last fall to devise “new ways to promote healthy behaviors and activities for students,” the statement said.

ASU said it was “aligning itself” with Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona, which have similar policies.

The new rules let fans “have a great atmosphere inside and outside of Sun Devil Stadium for home football games,” ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told The College Fix in an e-mailed statement. They are intended to cut down on drinking-related injuries and accidents, as well as promote healthy choices, she said.

Keeler and Margaret Emmons, another ASU spokeswoman, declined to tell The College Fix whether Northern Arizona or UA had seen a reduction in drinking-related incidents following their restrictions on tailgating. ASU did not say whether it would revisit the ban in the future.

Neither Northern Arizona nor UA responded to requests for comment.

tailgating2.BlakePatterson.flickrAlumni and students had mixed reactions to the ban in comments on a Facebook post by ASU’s State Press campus newspaper . Multiple commenters said the new restrictions would encourage students to enjoy the games for the football, not for drinking. (The post is only visible by clicking the “all stories” tab on the State Press Facebook timeline.)

Others thought that without kegs and drinking games the pre-game atmosphere would be ruined and drive students and other fans away from the games. One alumnus commented that as a “season ticket holder (40+ years for my family) this is angering.”

“College football is about the entire experience,” a commenter named Eric Johnson wrote. “If the administration makes it ‘just about football’ then people will watch from home instead of coming to the stadium.”

Schools in other states have also banned kegs during tailgating after an accident or death.

Yale’s ban in 2012 followed the death of a woman struck by a U-Haul truck that a student was driving to a tailgating party outside the Yale Bowl, according to the New Haven Register.  Oversized vehicles, along with kegs, were banned in an attempt to make the pre-game atmosphere safer and more family-friendly.

This year, California Polytechnic State University implemented a new alcohol-availability policy for sorority and fraternity parties that “reinforces a ban on hard alcohol, kegs and other large-volume containers,” the University Herald reported. A first-year student “died from alcohol poisoning during a fraternity ritual” in 2008, leading to increased scrutiny of fraternity and sorority parties.

College Fix contributor Matt Lamb is a student at Loyola University-Chicago.

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The National Security Agency, now defined largely by Edward Snowden’s revelations about its pervasive reach into every sphere of digital life, is aiming to put a positive light on its work by growing its educational presence in universities nationwide.

Five new universities were added to the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program. New York University, Towson University, West Point, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans qualified to receive the designation for the 2014-2019 academic years, the NSA said last month.

The effort is designed “to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in IA [information assurance] and producing a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines,” the NSA said.

The program has stirred controversy, though.

Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward, a Republican, introduced a bill to ban the NSA from recruiting at state university campuses, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act (SB-1156), as The College Fix reported in January. Arizona State and the University of Arizona both work with the NSA under the National Centers of Academic Excellence Program.

SB-1156, the first to be introduced based on model NSA legislation from the Tenth Amendment Center, was not approved before the Legislature adjourned for the year. An Arizona State law professor told the ASU State Press that the bill, which also bars state cooperation with the NSA in legal and financial matters, would violate the federal Supremacy Clause if enacted.

While several other states’ lawmakers have jumped on board, the model legislation has yet to be approved anywhere, according to the Tenth Amendment Center’s tally.

One enthusiastic participant in the NSA Cyber Operations Program is Auburn University, whose computer science and software engineering department has worked with the NSA since the early 2000s and was accepted with the program’s establishment in 2013.

Madeline Duncan, a junior at Auburn, told The College Fix she hopes that the Fourth Amendment Protection Act does not make its way into law.

“If the NSA programs are kept out of schools, students are deprived of an opportunity,” Duncan said. “If the NSA is allowed on campuses, than students are given a choice. No one is being forced to take a job with the NSA or involuntarily being educated by the NSA. When choice is taken away, that’s when it becomes a concern.”

Kai Chang, department chair, has watched the program grow for more than a decade.

“Well, I think it has done a great job for us, especially attracting our students to participate in cyber security,” Chang said. “I think the reason we have success is … faculty members [are] very aggressive in attracting students to the program.” The NSA also provides support to faculty and students through scholarships, he added.

No outside work for the NSA is performed on the campus, with Auburn sticking to a strict program that has pleased both the faculty and students, Chang said.

“As college students, we should be able to make our own decisions regarding what’s best for ourselves, education and careerwise,” Duncan said.

College Fix contributor Courtney Such is a student at Furman University.

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Update on this story from two weeks ago: The Arizona State University professor whose videotaped arrest drew national attention and claims of racial profiling has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of resisting arrest.

Reuters reports that English professor Ersula Ore accepted a plea deal in Maricopa County Superior Court in which her aggravated-assault charge was dropped. The county attorney’s spokesman said she’ll probably get probation when she’s sentenced Aug. 1.

Some Ore supporters claimed she was targeted for jaywalking on a street where everyone had to cross to avoid construction, and that she defended herself from the arresting officer’s “grabbing” while her dress was up.

The FBI will continue its civil-rights investigation into the incident, requested by the school, despite Ore’s plea deal, Reuters said.

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Starbucks’ recently announced partnership with Arizona State University to help its employees pay for an online degree will be funded by the taxpayer, rather than from the global coffee chain itself.

While it was billed as “free tuition” by some when the partnership was first announced, in reality ASU is offering Starbucks employees a reduced tuition rate, while the students are expected to cover the rest of the cost with federal student aid or from their own pockets.

The “scholarship” portion in the form of a discount is essentially funded by taxpayers, as the university is funded by public coffers.

Starbucks will largely cover the costs of juniors and seniors completing their degrees if they take a full load of classes. Freshmen and sophomores, however, pay the reduced tuition themselves.

Last month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, ASU President Michael Crow, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met to launch the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Crow had told USA Today that Starbucks is “investing” in human capital, and a Starbucks spokesperson said the Seattle-based company’s total investment in the program won’t be known until the company sees how many students sign up.

These statements suggest that Starbucks would end up footing the bill for the program and the resulting scholarships. Many headlines implied the coffee company was paying the full cost of tuition.

Yet those initial claims were overstated.

Following the initial announcement, Crow told The Chronicle of Higher Education that Starbucks is contributing “none” of the money toward the scholarship portion of the program. Instead, ASU will simply charge eligible workers less for tuition.

The Chronicle itself labeled the initial claims “misinformation.”

A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed to The College Fix that Crow’s comments were not a “revelation” but rather meant to “help clarify any misconceptions or confusion” about the program.

“In this partnership, ASU offers an upfront tuition scholarship … and Starbucks offers complete reimbursement for juniors and seniors as students progress,” Starbucks spokesperson Jaime Riley said.

Riley also said that ASU is “embracing this program with overwhelming excitement” and “has seen an enormous rise in interest since the announcement.”

ASU officials did not immediately return requests for comment to confirm that claim.

Riley defended the decision to only offer 100 percent tuition coverage to juniors and seniors.

“We chose to apply full tuition coverage to junior/senior year students since they have the highest success rates with academic study online, but also have a higher risk of dropping out due to student debt,” she said.

Riley also said the school wants to create an “on-ramp” for younger students, who receive just a 22 percent tuition scholarship from ASU.

The Associated Press reported that Starbucks would not bear any costs to cover the remaining 78 percent of tuition, and instead the students would have to apply for financial aid in the form of Pell grants or pay the rest out of pocket.

For juniors and seniors, Starbucks would reimburse the remaining tuition of up to 58 percent for each time the student completes 21 credits.

College Fix contributor Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.

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Breanne Fahs, an associate professor of women and gender studies at ASU, is offering her students extra credit for challenging societal norms regarding body hair. Girls let the hair grow on their legs and underarms, while guys have to shave those areas (and their chests, too, if applicable). ASU News reports:

“There’s no better way to learn about societal norms than to violate them and see how people react,” said Fahs. “There’s really no reason why the choice to shave, or not, should be a big deal. But it is, as the students tend to find out quickly.”

That act of rebellion isn’t quite the same for males as females, according to Fahs. It’s not uncommon in our society for some men to engage in “manscaping,” removing hair from some parts of their bodies. For the extra-credit assignment, she asks male students to shave everything below the neck and maintain it for ten weeks. This makes the process labor-intensive and gives men some insight into what women who shave go through, she said.

Some male students have come up with strategies to add a “macho” element to the project. “One guy did his shaving with a buck knife,” Fahs said. “Male students tend to adopt the attitude of, ‘I’m a man; I can do what I want.’”

One student, Jaqueline Gonzalez, “credits the body hair project with helping to shape her into the activist she is today.” It gave her a better grasp on how prevalent “gendered socialization” is in our contemporary society.

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