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california state university

A professor at a public university in California recently had his literature class read and discuss a book called “The Baby Jesus Butt Plug: A Fairy Tale,” TheBlaze.com reports.

“Professor Jordan Smith at California State University, Long Beach confirmed to TheBlaze in an email that he assigned the 104-page book to his Comic Spirit class after a student suggested they read it,” Oliver Darcy of TheBlaze.com reported Wednesday.

Smith, who added students in his class voted to read the book, defended the assignment as having academic value.book

The “conversation we had about the story was extremely productive, and brought us to analyze social constructions of definitions of ‘normalcy’ and the ‘natural’ and to explore psychological readings of the text in terms of sexual prohibitions, Christianity in American culture, comparative religious studies and much more,” he said in an email to TheBlaze.

A description of the book on Amazon.com describes it as “a dark and absurd world where human beings are slaves to corporations, people are photocopied instead of born, and the baby jesus is a very popular anal probe.”

Its author, Carlton Mellick III, is described on Amazon as “easily the craziest, weirdest, strangest, funniest, most obscene writer in America.”

The news report is so disgusting TheBlaze leads its article by warning readers: “The story below will undoubtedly shock many readers. Some might doubt its authenticity or suggest it is a hoax. It’s not.”

Read TheBlaze’s full report here.

The College Fix chronicles a lot of the garbage professors peddle in the name of scholarly pursuits - including pornography – but this ranks as one of the most offensive reading assignments we’ve ever come across, regardless of the professor’s claim it was students who clamored to read it.

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College Republicans at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this month launched a protest petition against a school policy that mandates campus groups open their membership to any and all students, something the political student organization contends is a violation of its First Amendment rights, as well as ludicrous and unacceptable.

“We believe … that university or system regulations on antidiscrimination cannot trump the protections of the First Amendment,” Nate Honeycutt, president of Cal Poly College Republicans, stated in a recent letter to campus officials.

“First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause combined with First Amendment protections for free speech and free association—not to mention decency and common sense—should permit our organization and other Cal Poly organizations to use the mission and principles of our groups to determine membership or at the very least select leaders.”

At issue is California State University Executive Order 1068, passed by former CSU Chancellor Charles Reed in 2011, which stated: “No campus shall recognize any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, or other student organization unless its membership and leadership are open to all currently enrolled students at that campus, except that a social fraternity or sorority or other university living group may impose a gender limitation as permitted by Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41500.”

Honeycutt pointed out in a letter to Cal Poly’s Associated Student government that the open membership rule is problematic for organizations, as it will compel them to allow in members with different belief systems.

For instance, Honeycutt stated: “Campus vegetarians (if they had a club) would be required to admit butchers and hunters to join their ranks, that the campus gay group allow students who oppose homosexuality, that honor societies allow students who do not meet required GPAs, and that libertarians allow communists to become members, or vice versa.”

The concern for Cal Poly College Republicans is that the open membership rule would mandate them to allow Democrats into the club as a member.

Its current members told The College Fix there is nothing wrong if a Democrat wants to come to a Republican club meeting if he or she wants to learn more about a differing point of view and engage in respectful, thoughtful debate – but they don’t need to be a member to do that.

Being a member means having voting rights on club business. And Democrats, as members of the College Republicans, could potentially vote in ways that are harmful to the club, they said.

There is precedent that already proves the detriment this CSU edict can cause, most notable among two Greek organizations from Cal Poly.

The Christian fraternity Alpha Gamma Omega allows non-Christians to be members, but the board members are required to give a statement of faith to Christianity. Members of Alpha Delta Chi are mandated to attend church every week and engage in abstinence until marriage.

This was considered to be a violation of a California law known as Title 5, which says that campus organizations can’t discriminate based on religion, and consequently AGO and ADC lost their affiliation with the Cal Poly campus.

As a result, neither organization can participate in Cal Poly events or use any of the campus buildings.

While AGO and ADC lost their affiliation due to Title 5, the same logic could be applied to the College Republicans if the group decided not to have Democrat members, or to the Muslim Student Association if they decided not to have any non-Muslim members, and so forth, some students argue.

What’s more, the petition states, the policy “impairs the intellectual diversity and cultural diversity among groups that is vital on campus, both of which are also key values of the university’s mission.”

The petition asks campus leaders to “use their influence and power to advocate for the removal of the ‘open membership’  requirement.”

Next month, Cal Poly College Republicans will push their student government to take action, as well as initiate talks with university administration.

Honeycutt said he hopes the movement spreads to other CSU campuses.

“I have been in contact with the statewide College Republican organization and they will be helping me contact other CRs across the state,” he said in an email. “I want to make sure other CRs are aware of this issue and encourage them to fight this-primarily groups at CSU campuses as this executive order only applies to the 23 CSU campuses, but there is a national trend toward implementing these types of policies at universities so it is important non-CSUs are vigilant about this as well.”

Fix contributor Aaron Bandler is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and vice president of the campus College Republicans. Associate editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this report.

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Many college students spend their free time playing video games or partying, but not Nate Honeycutt.

The 20-year-old psychology and political science major, who attends a highly regarded public university in central California, used most of his free time during his junior year to research academic bias, and over the last two semesters uncovered an extremely liberal bent among campus leaders and professors in his region.

Honeycutt, an incoming senior at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo – one of the top research institutions among the public system’s 23 campuses –documented widespread leftist political bias across a majority of academic disciplines at his and three other nearby universities through a large-scale online faculty survey and by looking up campus leaders’ party affiliations through the registrar of voters.

The research found conservative academics are outnumbered by liberal ones by a 5 to 1 margin.

What’s more, conservative professors surveyed reported that they experienced hostility from peers because of their viewpoints, and tended to avoid outing themselves as conservatives to ensure they were not harassed or intimidated.

The survey was massive in scope: of the 2,339 questionnaires sent out, 644 professors responded representing nearly 80 academic disciplines.

“This really stifles the discussion and education and learning about how other people think,”  Honeycutt said in an interview with The College Fix. “These results are really disheartening. I think the university should be a place where open discussion is encouraged and alternative view points are expressed.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Honeycutt’s findings were not reported on in his campus’ student newspaper. But his data – meticulously researched and scientifically presented – was touted at not one but two psychological conferences in recent months: the Western Psychological Association convention, held in April, and the Association for Psychological Science gathering last month.

Call Honeycutt’s research a hobby – with perks.

“I really enjoy politics, and at the same time I am looking to pursue a career in higher education,” he said. “This is good way to see what I am going to be getting myself into.”

As part of his research, he launched an investigation in August to determine the political leanings among Cal Poly’s faculty, administrators and student campus leaders via their party affiliations denoted at the Registrar of Voters office.

Of the 1,554 people Honeycutt looked up, 627 were registered Democrat while only 242 were registered Republican. Another 363 were unknown, 265 did not cite their party affiliation, and the rest were among the Libertarian, Green, Independent and other smaller parties.

His research found about 40 percent of the campus leadership is Democrat while only about 15 percent is Republican.

Soon after that project was completed last fall, Honeycutt took on the much larger online research project, launching the survey of faculty at Humboldt, Monterey Bay, San Luis Obispo and Stanislaus universities to determine their political leanings. Those results were released in early May.

Honeycutt undertook the efforts without the aid of a nonprofit or leadership from an activist group. He said he just wanted to do it.

He said he is glad he did, that the findings are important, as they prove discrimination occurs in higher education and dissenting voices do not have equal standing in the academe.

“This is a topic that a lot of faculty and administrators don’t really want to talk about,” he said. “It’s great to be able to start those conversations.”

For more on Honeycutt’s many and varied undertakings, visit his personal website.

Jennifer Kabbany is associate editor of The College Fix.

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IMAGE: Nate Honeycutt

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Under proposed legislation in California, public colleges would have to give students credit for online classes they take from private schools.

The bill, proposed by state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, aims to ease the state’s campus overcrowding issues, wherein thousands of students are shut out of packed classes they need to graduate.

“No college student should be denied the right to complete their education because they could not get a seat in the course they needed in order to graduate,” Steinberg said at a news teleconference. “This is not technology for technology’s sake. It addresses a real challenge.”

According to the Oakland Tribune, “SB520 would create approved online courses for the roughly 50 high-demand, lower-level classes that routinely put students on waiting lists.”

High-demand courses are in short supply, particularly at community colleges. Last fall, more than three-quarters of California’s 112 community colleges had wait lists, averaging 7,000 students each.

These new courses — which would be accepted by the UC, CSU and community college systems — would need approval by a faculty panel representing the three systems.

The law would apply only to students who otherwise would be put on waiting lists for courses at their home campuses. The bill is vague about the costs and who would bear them.

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A new law that took effect Jan. 1 in California allows students who are not in the country legally access to a variety of state-funded college tuition financial aid.

Assistance such as community college fee waivers, Cal Grants and similar aid is now open to non-legal residents, with awards of up to $12,200 a year for low- and middle-income students.

To be eligible for the money, students must graduate from a California high school after attending for at least three years, and meet financial and academic standards.

Supporters of the law downplay its financial significance in this cash-strapped state, citing widely circulated statistics that less than 1 percent of students in the California State University, University of California and community college systems are undocumented. They also insist that the new law, part of the California Dream Act, won’t eat into the pool of college aid given annually to legal citizens.

However the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analysis Office reports that the law will likely cost Californians $65 million a year by 2016. Critics say the law rewards breaking the rules and is an insult to foreign students who enter the country legally.

“We should reward those who respect our process instead of creating new incentives for those who don’t,” Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said in a statement to the Riverside-based Press-Enterprise, which reported that about 20,000 people – less than one percent of college students – are expected to apply for the state-funded Cal Grants.

But Donnelly told the newspaper the law will take away money from students who are U.S. citizens, and that it goes against the wishes of California voters, citing a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll which found 55 percent of voters opposed the law and 40 percent supported it.

The poll also showed a huge ethnic divide, with 79 percent of Latinos supporting the law, compared with 30 percent of white supporters, the Press-Enterprise notes.

The latest law granting undocumented students Cal Grants and similar aid joins a growing number of perks for illegal immigrants in California. They are already eligible for reduced in-state tuition at campuses statewide, as state law offers tuition breaks to any student who has attended a California high school for three years, regardless of their immigration status.

What’s more, as of Jan. 1, 2012, they were granted access to private college scholarships funneled through public universities.

State immigration advocates such as Luz Gallegos argue that children should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

“There’s so much potential for them,” she told the Press-Enterprise. “It’s not their fault their parents brought them here undocumented.”

Others see it differently.

Kristen Williamson, a spokeswoman for Federation for American Immigration Reform, told the Los Angeles Times the law is “a reckless use of taxpayer money.” And Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman told the newspaper it “absolutely sends the wrong message. It says if you violate the law, it’s OK.”

Fix contributor Nicole Swinford is a student at Chapman University.

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California’s massive public university systems are overseen by board members who tend to favor Democratic political campaigns over Republican ones, according to an analysis of recent donations.

Of the 16 appointed University of California regents, half of them reported political donations of $200 or more in 2011 and 2012, according to research by The College Fix using the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org database.

Among those eight contributors – six of them gave exclusively to President Barack Obama or other Democrats, while only one reported a donation to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the database shows. Another regent gave to both parties.

By the numbers, seven UC regents since 2011 have donated a total of $22,300 to Democratic political causes: $6,000 to Obama, and another $16,300 to various other Democrats’ political campaigns in California and across the nation, according to the database’s most recent records.

In that same two-year period, Republican politicians did not fare so well, with far fewer regents in support – only two – and much less cash received at $12,000. The Romney camp gained $7,500 thanks to one UC regent, while another regent who gave to Democrats also gifted $4,500 to various Republicans’ political campaigns, according to the database.

A somewhat similar pattern could be found among the 16 appointed California University System trustees who reported political donations of $200 or more in 2011 and this year, the database shows.

Of that group, five made such donations:  three of whom gave exclusively to Obama and other Democrats; a fourth who gave to Republican political action groups; and a final trustee offering a nod to Republican/Libertarian Ron Paul.

Specifically, the three Democrat-supporting trustees gave a total of $1,000 to Obama and another $3,250 to various Democratic campaigns in that time span, while the Republican supporter came in at $1,900 in donations. The Paul fan on the dais gave $200 to that campaign.

Combining stats from both boards, of the 32 campus leaders, 13 – or about 40 percent – made political contributions of $200 or more since 2011, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Of those donators, roughly 70 percent supported Obama and the Democrats, about 23 percent backed Romney and Republicans, and one appointee gave to both parties.

The California State University board of trustees oversees curricular development and other broad policy and financial matters for the 23-campus system and its nearly 427,000 students. The regents of the University of California system are charged with similar oversight of their 10-campus, 220,000-student system.

The analysis only included the 32 currently appointed UC/CSU regents and trustees listed on the systems’ websites, and did not take into account vacancies, the boards’ ex officio members, or faculty, staff and student representatives.

The OpenSecrets.org database includes Federal Election Commission records of receipts from individuals who contribute at least $200. Smaller contributions are not part of the public record.

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