Columbia University

According to one Columbia University professor, the United States’ effort to stop barbarians from slaughtering and beheading people in the name of Allah is the same as Russia invading and taking over a sovereign, Democratic country that is not currently killing people en masse.

As Young Conservatives reported via Truth Revolt:“Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, has officially lost it, claiming U.S. bombing ISIS is equivalent to Russia invading Ukraine.”

That he’s “lost it” is one way of putting it. But the truth is professors such as Sachs actually BELIEVE that the two actions are equivalent – and they teach students that, too.

Professor Sachs told Ronan Farrow on MSNBC that it’s all about a “power game” and that U.S. actions against ISIS break “international law.”

Says Sachs:

And in the Middle East, the United States is bombing. We’re engaged in operations to overthrow a government in Syria. And so the messages that are being sent by both these powers are this is a power game. The United States and its allies are going to do what they want to do militarily in the Middle East. Russia is going to do militarily in Ukraine. Each side stands for principle. Neither side is really respecting international law especially and each side is claiming the mantel of international law.

Watch the video:

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Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz has a twofold purpose in carrying around her twin mattress everywhere on campus: It’s her senior thesis (performance art) and an attempt to shame the school into punishing her alleged rapist.

New York reports:

Sulkowicz is one of 23 students who are part of a federal Title IX complaint filed against Columbia in April for mishandling sexual-assault cases. Though she and two other students reported that the same student had assaulted them, all of their claims were swept under the rug, and the male student was not expelled from campus.

Sulkowicz said in a Time essay in May she was raped on her own bed during her sophomore year. She talks about her project in a Columbia Spectator video. (Sulkowicz actually had consensual sex twice before with her alleged rapist, according to the police report, noted in the Spectator’s original report.)

In a new interview with The Cut, the fashion site for New York, the student blames the media – the lawsuit and her performance art drew wide coverage -  for making her relive the horror of rape:

The reporter response has been really aggressive and not what I expected. It is a sensitive subject, and I can’t be accosted in the middle of campus to talk about it. One guy, while I was carrying the mattress, he just opened up my backpack and threw his business card in, which was a real violation of my space and made me really upset and triggered a lot of memories of being raped.

Yesterday was really stressful because of the reporters on campus. I had a class at 8:40, so my boyfriend helped me carry the mattress to class — we slid it along the sidewall so it wasn’t distracting. Then my next class was at 2 p.m. and that was when two news stations started following me and taking pictures of me. I finally got to class and the people waited outside. I received an email from one reporter, “Subject line: Mattress Girl. Content: I have her contact info and I am going to get her.” I didn’t know that he was a reporter at first so I thought I was going to die, and so I was so scared and really fearing for my life. My boyfriend came and picked me up because I was so afraid of the reporters. [emphasis added]

As dumb as that reporter’s email phrasing was, it’s a little hard to take Sulkowicz’s media criticism seriously when she acknowledges the point of performance art:

I thought about how I was raped in my own bed at Columbia; and how the mattress represents a private place where a lot of your intimate life happens; and how I have brought my life out in front for the public to see; and the act of bringing something private and intimate out into the public mirrors the way my life has been. Also the mattress as a burden, because of what has happened there, that has turned my own relationship with my bed into something fraught. [emphasis added]

Sulkowicz has revealing thoughts about the police investigation into the alleged rape and why she’s not pursuing criminal charges or a civil suit. She also criticizes Columbia’s new sexual-assault policy, which as noted by The College Fix allows both parties to retain lawyers and seeks judges to serve on hearing panels:

Columbia just released a new policy, but in the new Columbia policy it is even harder than it was before to try a serial rapist, and have him expelled. Now they have explicitly stated that each case will be treated separately until the first one has closed. If one person rapes three girls in one night, those girls won’t be able to testify at each other’s cases, the way it currently stands. That to me is really sickening. 

She’d still rather have the school lead rape investigations than law enforcement:

The police don’t seem very well equipped either. It is going to take an administration that is willing to admit that they have done wrong, and make real tangible changes. I think administrations are actually in a better place to make these changes than the police right now. …

I feel like it would take that much longer for [the police to] change, but the universities are filled with people who are progressive thinkers, and who can come up with creative strategies to solve these problems. We have so many intelligent students who think about and care about this issue way more than any of the administration. [emphasis added]

Read the full Cut interview here, and earlier New York article here.

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IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

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Columbia University student radicals published an activist manifesto for the new school year that declared capitalism is “responsible for countless wars, endless poverty, and mass exploitation and oppression for the sake of profit.”

The manifesto goes on to note that capitalism ultimately establishes and encourages “racist, sexist, classist and homophobic conditions.”

But it’s communism/socialism that is responsible for countless deaths – 100 million murdered and counting!

And endless poverty? Have they checked out Venezuela lately – depleted of its resources and suffering from a stagnant economy, horrific crime, and extreme poverty thanks to its embrace of socialism.

And don’t get me started on that mass exploitation and oppression bit. To suggest socialism is less exploitative and oppressive than capitalism is to ignore history and shun reality.ObamaChavez.Templar1307.Flickr

But this idiocy isn’t just at the Ivy League schools. An event tonight at the University of Texas aims to recruit students to the International Socialist Organization.

“Capitalism has failed humanity,” the invite states. “It is a system based on profit rather than human need, and time and time again, this has led to war, poverty, racism, and environmental catastrophe.”

“Socialism is the alternative, and the International Socialist Organization is committed to fighting for that,” it adds. “Every poll on the subject shows that a majority of young people are in favor of this alternative. We have the chance to send capitalism and all its destruction into the annals of history.”

If only we could brush this off as youthful ignorance. But no, these students are pushing an agenda that could destroy the country, and it’s promulgated by their leftist professors first and foremost.

A professor at the most recent and infamous White Privilege Conference declared that capitalism causes racism and she wants to see a revolution. And a survey last year by The College Fix of 31 public and private universities across the nation found that the subject of capitalism is often either maligned, ignored, or taught from a perspective other than objective economics.

“It’s not shocking that we are seeing a rise of support for socialism and ‘socialist policies’ across campuses nationwide, seeing as many professors bring their viewpoints and opinions into the classroom,” said Ashley Pratte, spokeswoman for Young America’s Foundation, in an email interview with The College Fix on Tuesday.

“We have heard from many students that professors condemn capitalism as ‘greedy and selfish’ and that collectivism has always positively helped people,” Pratte said. “Our students are being indoctrinated at many colleges and are learning that capitalism works to the detriment of society.”

But is this passion for communism just misplaced youthful ignorance, or something more insidious?capitalism3.environmentblog.flickr

“I don’t think that this is an example of a current trend which shows that young people distrust big government—I think this is a direct result of revisionist history being taught in the classroom,” Pratte said. “We have often heard that in economics classes students are learning more about the benefits of Marxist policies rather than the work of Friedman or Hayek.”

Indeed, the College Fix survey backs that up, too.

Of the universities that did offer a class on capitalism, the survey found, they were often either: negative in tone; focused on capitalism in countries other than the United States; or were takes on the economic system from perspectives other than a business one, such as through the lenses of the humanities.

Some of the most egregious examples of a slanted look at capitalism included:

Magical Money and Enchanted Capitalism, a Religion course at Wesleyan University
Global Capitalism Racial Society, an Afroamerican and African Studies class at University of Michigan
Markets, Morality and the Future of Capitalism, a Philosophy course at the University of Pennsylvania
Poverty under Post Industrial Capitalism, a joint Economics and African American Studies course at Yale University

Thankfully, brave students involved in groups such as Young America’s Foundation take a stand against such biases on campus. YAF’s Freedom Week and No More Che Day expose the evils of communism through tabling, posters, speakers and similar outreach.

During Freedom Week, students construct mock Berlin Walls and celebrate the anniversary of the fall of communism, for example.

“Socialism isn’t cool, socialism restricts freedom,” Pratte said. “Many students have yet to hear that communism and communist regimes committed horrible atrocities that led to the murder of many innocent people. These communist leaders are not ones to be emulated.”poster

Thankfully, there are also a few professors out there who do still teach the truth, most notably, Professor Simon Bilo, who can speak to the many shortfalls of socialism because he was raised under such a regime.

Bilo says “socialist countries had a very inefficient set of social institutions which impoverished their citizens.”

“Without the ability to keep the benefits of their efforts, people do not have the incentives to be entrepreneurial and to work hard,” he told The College Fix earlier this year.

The lack of appropriate incentives and the lack of information, Bilo says, “jointly lead to high economic inefficiencies in the socialist countries,” and eventually led to the downfall of socialism in Eastern Europe.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( follow Jenn on Twitter: @JenniferKabbany )

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Via Bwog: Activist groups at Columbia University have created a new “Disorientation Guide,” in order to “inform new students about activist and left-wing issues surrounding the university.”

Some of the topics included within:

  • Columbia: A Brief (Colonialist) History
  • Smiles and Lies: Tips for Dealing with your Administration
  • Columbia, Capitalism and You
  • Student Worker Solidarity
  • The Perks of a Hostile Environment: Students for Justice in Palestine
  • On “Leaning In” and Corporate Feminism
  • Womanhood and Women’s Colleges: The Trans* Reality at Barnard
  • Divest for Climate Justice

Bwog notes that there have been previous guides created in 2000 and 2002, but this current edition “includes more about history than the previous guides,” and features “several perspectives on the core curriculum, and warnings about ‘corporate feminism.’”

Perhaps most notably, the 2014 version “takes a more oppositional approach” towards the college’s administration, stating (among other things) “Administrators are not your friends … ever …”

Read the full guide here.

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Columbia University’s new “gender-based misconduct policy” and associated procedures for responding to campus sexual-assault allegations have garnered criticism from a coalition of victim advocacy groups.

The groups claim they were not consulted during the revision process despite their efforts for at least a year pushing the university to alter how it responds to sexual assault.

The revised policy stands out for allowing both accuser and accused to retain advisers such as lawyers, and for seeking to get people with “relevant legal training” – such as judges – to serve on hearing panels.

The Huffington Post reported that “a small collection of students” met with the university president’s special adviser in early August and was “informed a new policy would be unveiled” that same week. “Students were not given copies of the policy and not provided an opportunity to give feedback.”

rapeGroups “submitted pages of policy proposals … made pleas for reform on national television and the front pages of newspapers,” said No Red Tape Columbia, the Coalition Against Sexual Violence, Columbia Alumni Allied Against Sexual Assault, Title IX Team and Take Back The Night of Barnard College in a statement published in the Columbia Spectator.

“We have repeatedly requested meetings with top administrators,” yet all such efforts “have been rejected or ignored,” they said.

The changes to the policy are “largely an effort to ensure their baseline compliance with the recently enacted” Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act and Department of Education regulations, the group said, but “does not reflect students’ needs, and changes made are not adequate to ensure student safety.”

Most of the changes to the policy modify the previous adjudication and sanctioning processes for sexual assault cases.

One of the most notable changes is the removal of students from hearing panels, which were previously comprised of one student and two university officials.

Under the new rules, panels “will generally have three members drawn from a small group of specially-trained University student affairs administrators,” and “in certain matters, the University may include retired judges, lawyers or other individuals with relevant experience and special training.”

Another new stipulation allows for both the victim and alleged assailant to choose an adviser, which can even be an attorney, to “support the student and provide advice about the investigation and disciplinary process.”

The renamed Gender-Based Misconduct Office gets several new positions under the revision: three case managers “who will serve as a neutral point person for both complainants and respondents throughout the adjudication process”;  six new staff positions in the Office of Sexual Violence Response;  and two more Title IX investigators, for four total, according to the Spectator.

One thing that remains unchanged is the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof that hearing panels use to determine violations. This means an alleged assailant can be found responsible if the hearing panel is “convinced based on the information it considers that the respondent was more likely than not to have engaged in the conduct at issue.”

The coalition’s letter in the Spectator, among other things, faults the lack of “clear or useful sanctioning guidelines” in the new procedures, failure to “sufficiently improve the training for staff members who interact with survivors,” and the decision to leave appeals “in the hands of Deans with no expertise, inadequate training, and a clear bias.”

columbia-commencement.llee_wu.flickrVarious student groups have been pushing Columbia to revise how the university deals with sexual assault allegations at least since October, when the Columbia Democrats circulated a petition calling for the release of anonymous, aggregated campus sexual assault statistics.

Initially, officials from the university refused to disclose the statistics, but ultimately reversed its decision in January under pressure from students and the advocacy groups.

The Student Action Committee of Columbia University issued a statement in January requesting the university “clarify and initiate any needed reforms to the adjudication process within the Office of Gender-Based Misconduct,” and the university agreed to a town hall on March 14 with the advocacy groups, students, faculty and administrators.

Further, in April, a group of 23 Columbia and Barnard students jointly filed a federal complaint against the university for violating Title IX, Title II and the Clery Act.

Despite these allegations, Columbia is not one of the 72 universities and colleges currently being investigated by the Department of Education, according to statistics released to The College Fix.

The new policy notes that student groups “may provide additional input throughout the coming academic year.”

The Columbia policy follows a bevy of recent federal legislation addressing sexual-assault investigations on campus, most prominently the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act , as The College Fix has reported.

Critics of the legislation, such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, argue that the bill does not protect due process rights of alleged sexual assaulters or provide them with equal resources as victims of alleged sexual violence.

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

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IMAGES: Ville Miettinen/Flickr, llee_wu/Flickr

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As higher education faces a crisis of epic proportions, a group of respected campus leaders from across the nation have called on their peers to proactively address the many issues plaguing universities today, saying in a detailed report that “the failure of higher education governance” has helped create the current debacle.

Problems cited in the report include: a lack of a return-on-investment with college degrees; a tenure system that “adds to cost and compromises quality”; political correctness run amok, “undermining the free exchange of ideas”; never-ending collegiate athletic scandals and binge drinking woes; studies that find grads do not leave college prepared for the real world; curriculum requirements that leave students with a “lack a fundamental understanding of their history and heritage”; tuitions that continue to soar far above inflation; and student debt that today tops $1 trillion.

Ultimately, its authors argue, the buck stops with college trustees, who need to take seriously their oversight roles.

“Too many have seen their role narrowly defined as boosters, cheerleaders, and donors,” states the report, titled Governance for a New Era: A Blueprint for Higher Education Trustees. “They should ask the questions that need to be asked and exercise due diligence.”governance

The report, released Tuesday, was the result of a project led by Benno Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York Board of Trustees and former president of Yale University. He and 21 others – accomplished and respected college trustees, presidents, chancellors and business leaders – signed on.

One area of concern is academic freedom. The report notes that while teachers have academic freedoms, they often lack accountability, and students’ rights suffer as a result.

“Governing boards should monitor academic freedom and intellectual diversity through campus self-studies, as the University of Colorado has recently done,” the blueprint states. “They should put in place, as has the City University of New York, student grievance policies which allow for students to speak out without fear of reprisal when they believe that the institution is failing to protect the students’ freedom to learn.”

The report’s authors also called on trustees to stop kowtowing to complaints over controversial commencement speakers, and to acknowledge and address the lack of intellectual diversity on campus.

“The public is increasingly concerned that students are failing to receive exposure to a range of disciplines and a range of viewpoints,” the report states, adding trustees should annually ask for a report outlining academic diversity.

“This report can include a list of new hires and tenure and promotion decisions in each department (and their disciplines and fields),” the blueprint suggests. “Does the history department, for example, have  expertise and offer coursework on the Founders, the American Revolution, and the Constitution?”

If a lack of intellectual and academic diversity is identified, trustees must have the courage to demand change, the report advises. Moreover, trustees must demand a strong general education framework, or a core curriculum, and stop allowing students to meet requirements with esoteric and bizarre classes.

“Sometimes these courses will be exotic and narrowly focused, including topics such as zombie movies or similar elements of popular entertainment,” the blueprint states. “Governance for a new era demands that trustees, working with their president and provost, reexamine their general education programs with an eye to ensuring that general education promotes preparation for a major and skills and knowledge for life after graduation.”

Additional suggestions for improvement outlined in the blueprint include: improving the presidential selection process; insisting on evidence of student learning; making decisions based on data; demand transparency in performance and results; and creating strategic plans.

“Both trustees—and those who appoint them—must reject the belief that university trusteeships are sinecures or seats of honor,” the report states, adding that the public must join the cause as well.

“Just as trustees must insist on real and concrete institutional accountability,” the blueprint states, “the public must demand the same of governing boards.”

The report was released in conjunction with the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

Additional signers include: Hank Brown, President emeritus, University of Colorado and former U.S. Senator; José Cabranes, former trustee of Yale, Columbia and Colgate universities; Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University; Peter Hans, immediate past chair of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors; Stephen Smith, trustee emeritus, Dartmouth College; and sociologist Jonathan Cole, the John Mitchell Mason professor Columbia University.

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( Follow Jenn on Twitter: @JenniferKabbany )

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IMAGE: Maximus Prime/Flickr; Inside – Courtesy art

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