Fix Features

Boston University

Via E! Online News:

While some may shriek with excitement at learning that Robin Thicke will perform at their school, a number of Boston University students are feeling quite the opposite.

In fact, members of the Humanists of Boston University have started a petition urging the school to cancel Thicke’s performance at their spring concert on March 4, at the Agganis Arena, arguing that “it is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our university.”

The Change.org petition, which as of (recently) had more than 1,500 names attached to it in support, also states, “Thicke’s hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ celebrates having sex with women against their will. Lyrics such as, “I know you want it,” explicitly use non-consensual language. And while watching the extremely explicit video, the insinuations grow from subtle to explicit to obnoxious.”

Read more.

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The Daily Free Press, the independent student newspaper at Boston University, has issued an apology and has made plans for its employees to undergo “mandatory sensitivity training” for its tradition of turning headlines on its campus crime blotter into jokes.

The tradition was deemed offensive because the paper made light of sexual assaults and rapes.

Editors wrote:

As illustrated by a posting on XOJane … the Crime Logs sections of The Daily Free Press have repeatedly published callous sub-headlines making light of serious issues and inadvertently exploiting victims of crime for humor. On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Daily Free Press, we sincerely apologize for these headlines and any other material that may have caused harm or offense.

Though Crime Logs have traditionally aimed to satirize harmless, victimless crimes, these examples demonstrate a lack of sensitivity and empathy on the part of several editors. … Going forward, the Free Press will publish Crime Logs with only serious headlines … (and) we are updating past sub-headlines to reflect our new standards.

In addition to changing Crime Logs, we plan to begin mandatory sensitivity training for new editors at the start of each semester. …

The anonymous XOJane column in question was titled “It happened to me: I was raped at Boston University and the student newspaper made a joke of it.” She declined to cite the headline referencing her case, but did cite other examples:

  • A man tried to break into a female BU student’s on-campus dorm via her balcony. The classy title of this traumatizing incident that could have ended in theft/rape/kidnapping/murder? “Where for art thou, creepy dude?”

  • A man was beaten to the ground and had his head stomped on until he was unconscious and bleeding. “Stomp the yard.” I am sure the victim and his family are touched by this sweet, concerned commentary on his life-threatening injuries in the form of a Ne-Yo movie.

  • A female BU student was pushed over on the street and held down to have her genitals photographed by a stranger. “Trashford.” You know, a fun, in-joke pun, because it happened on Ashford Street which is inhabited by many BU students and therefore said to be fratty/trashy?! So funny! Like, seriously, give this writer a promotion! The victim will totally forget her trauma and feelings of dehumanization to congratulate you on your funny thing!

  • A female BU student’s door to her dorm room was vandalized with racial slurs. “Haters gonna hate.” Yes, I do hate you, you ignorant, thoughtless person whom I refuse to call a “writer.”

Click here to read the full XOJane column.

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One of the three victims killed by the blasts at the Boston Marathon has been identified as a Boston University graduate student, campus officials said Tuesday.

The student’s name has not been released, pending permission from the family.

According to a campus press release, “the student was one of three friends who watched the race near the finish line. Another of the three students, also a BU grad student, was injured and is in stable condition at Boston Medical Center.”

The campus news release went on to say:

In a letter sent to the Boston University community Tuesday afternoon announcing the student’s death, President Robert A. Brown wrote that “our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims.”

Rev. Robert Hill, dean of Marsh Chapel, visited the injured student Monday evening and again yesterday afternoon. He reports that she underwent surgery on Monday and on Tuesday. “She is doing well,” says Hill. “She has her friends around her, and she will soon have family around her.”

The third BU student was unharmed.

The explosions, detonated seconds apart at about 3 p.m. near the finish line on Boylston Street, killed 3 people and injured more than 170. The Boston Globe identified two of the deceased as 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, Mass., and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Arlington, Mass.

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Boston University issued an emergency alert on its homepage this afternoon, in response to news that two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in close proximity to the Boston University campus.

Initial reports indicate a dozen people are dead, with many more seriously injured.

University police advised all students and faculty:

“BUPD working with BPD and are requesting all people to stay clear of Kenmore Sq. and surrounding areas. Please return to your residence and remain indoors. Report any suspicious articles or activity to police.”

The Telegraph is streaming live updates on the story as news of the deadly attack unfolds.

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Boston University professor Margaret A. Hagen was accused of uttering a politically incorrect sentence in the privacy of her office. Before long, she found herself in the Orwellian grasp of her campus’ liberal thought police–under investigation for possibly uttering words that offended a “protected class.”

Hagen tells her story today in an article for National Review Online.

‘F**k! The Maine same-sex-marriage initiative passed!”

This is what someone who does not know me and happened to be passing my university office the day after the fall elections allegedly heard me say on the telephone.

He filed a complaint with my employer’s Equal Opportunity Office.

On November 19, 2012, I was forced to meet with the executive director of the EOO, and with the chair of my department, to have a “conversation” about the complaint.

The director threatened to investigate on her own if I did not show up.

The complainant said that he found the allegedly overheard expression “offensive.” He said — or the director inferred — that he was gay, that the remark indicated a demeaning attitude toward his lifestyle and made him uncomfortable, and that believing that a senior professor felt vehement opposition to the passing of the Maine initiative created for him a “hostile work environment.”

The director assured me that the complaint was in an unspecified category that did not rise to the level of an actual legalcomplaint of harassment or discrimination.

I asked if she would investigate a complaint by someone with a traditional religious orientation who overheard a senior faculty member vehemently expressing joy that a state same-sex-marriage initiative had passed. She said, “No,” such a person would not be a member of a “protected class.”

Persevering, the director asked me again what I had said on the phone. I objected that she was inquiring about my political views. She denied that, saying she wanted to know what I had said only because a complainant’s knowing that a “senior faculty member” held a view different from his could make him “very uncomfortable.”

But only some discomfort-causing views are investigated by the university.

On April 29, 2009, my school’s official newspaper, BU Today, ran an interview with a Boston University law professor described as a gay-rights supporter and “an advisor for Outlaw, the law school’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender student group.” When asked about arguments against same-sex marriage, he replied, “Most of them are religiously based, but marriage is a civil institution. So I don’t think private morals have any place in this debate, and I don’t think I should have to live by someone else’s moral code or religion.”

I wrote to the university provost asking, “Is there a listing of political opinions that are acceptable to the university and/or to the EOO Director posted somewhere on our Web site to inform employees when they have the wrong views?” More than two months later, I got a reply stating that the university enforces all federal and state discrimination and harassment laws and, in addition, is a supporter of academic freedom.

Now, three and a half years later, the issue of political opinions acceptable to the university has arisen again. While there is no actual posting anywhere on the university website of political views that may not be expressed on the school campus, there is certainly an unwritten list that includes opposition to same-sex marriage, and there are real consequences to ignoring that list.

Accompanied as it was by the clear threat to undertake an “investigation” — presumably by questioning colleagues and students about my political beliefs — and the direct demand to know what political view I had expressed on the Maine marriage initiative, the EOO director ‘s coerced “conversation,” with the department chair present, was an unambiguous attempt to intimidate me…

Read professor Hagen’s full story, entitled “McCarthyism on Campus,” here.

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Getting naked, or just barely, in the name of charity or just plain fun is the latest trend on college campuses across America. Whether it’s a 5K run in bras and panties, posing in the buff for a fundraising calendar, or taking a Christmas card photo with Santa hats on and little else – coeds are getting naked nationwide.

More and more coeds, in fact.

Case in point: Arizona State University’s “Undie Run” Facebook page has more than 16,000“Likes,” and the upcoming run this year is already packed with pledged participants.

At the annual ASU run, female coeds don some of their best lingerie and their male counterparts don their own tighty whiteys. It draws thousands and has been described by at least one student as “a little freaky,” according to a local news report. The effort aids a variety of charities.

Similarly, the annual Nearly Naked Run at Boston University is so popular it had to change to a larger venue. It’s billed as a chance to “Undress, De-Stress and Do Good,” according to its Facebook page. The effort collects clothes for the homeless.

At Washington University in St. Louis, about 40 students took part in its inaugural Nearly Naked Run in December to raise money for an arts outreach program for underprivileged youth. Students ran around the campus in their underwear, sports bras and little else.

Many other campuses across the nation offer similar excuses to strip down for charity. But fun runs aren’t the only show around.

Yale University Men’s Freshman Heavyweight Crew in December took a Christmas card team photo in which they wore nothing but Santa hats and big grins, holding stockings over their privates.

Across the pond, both the male and female rowing teams at the UK-based University of Warwick took nude photos of themselves in which they were cleverly positioned or used props to show nearly everything, stopping just shy of the Full Monty, although there was plenty of buttocks to go around. The pictures, published in December, were taken to fundraise for their athletic programs as well as raise money for charity.

While some applaud the efforts or simply brush them off as youthful fun, others argue it’s an example of the sexualization of America’s youth and an abandonment of modesty.

Colleen Carroll Campbell, a prominent conservative commentator, said in an interview with The College Fix that these students have been raised in a sexualized culture and “absorbed its messages all too well, mistakenly equating exhibitionism with liberation and objectification with positive attention.”

The efforts are also misguided, added Campbell, a journalist, EWTN host, former presidential speechwriter, and author of “My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir” and “The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy.”

“College students have been pulling silly stunts and shocking pranks for generations, so that’s nothing new,” she said. “What is new, perhaps, is to try to recast group stripteases as evidence of altruism – as if scampering in your undies is somehow more selfless than serving in a soup kitchen, tutoring struggling students or helping build new homes for low-income families.”

She also questions whether students have thought longterm about their actions.

“This trend probably won’t be one that wears well,” Campbell said. “Romping in the nude may feel exciting when you’re 20, but when you’re 30 and job hunting – or spouse hunting – and trying to explain those compromising online photos, it’s another story.”

Fix contributor Judith Ayers is a student at York College of Pennsylvania.

IMAGE CREDIT: Huffington Post

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