Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Intolerance Exposed: Liberal UCSB Professor Cites Slavery and Pregnancy for Her Assault of Pro-life Student

The baggage concerned

In a world where students are no longer allowed to speak freely on campus and are limited to designated “free speech zones,” students still aren’t safe to express their opinions.

Back in March, a feminist studies professor at University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) assaulted a 16 year-old pro-life activist who was displaying literature on campus. The professor, Mireille Miller-Young, called the pro-life group members “terrorists” after she stole their poster displaying graphic abortion images.

Let’s be clear—the students had every right to be on campus educating their peers about a cause they are passionate about. The violence and intolerance that ensued from Professor Miller-Young was unacceptable.

Just last week Professor Miller-Young issued an apology saying that she is “invested in her community, in education, in women’s rights, and in free speech and social justice issues.” What’s interesting is that apparently her involvement and investment in these issues only apply to progressive concepts.

Furthermore, letters of support were written by colleagues on her behalf and were obtained by the Santa Barbara News Press. These letters cited that Professor Miller-Young was pregnant at the time and that the graphic images she saw were “deeply offensive” to her and that due to her pregnancy she was “not one’s self fully.” Other letters cited that the “right-wing” media sought to portray Professor Miller-Young as an “angry black woman” and that was the only reason for outrage behind her violent and intolerant behavior.

All logic seems to have gone out the window in this case. How can Professor Miller-Young and her colleagues defend her violent actions against a student? How is it that they can’t see the irony in blaming her “pregnancy” as a reason for attacking a pro-life activist? As a feminist studies professor who claims she seizes every opportunity to promote equality and free speech—why is it that she neglected to understand this female student’s pro-life views and respect her values?

The feminist movement in our country seems to ignore the effects of abortion as well as the emotional impact of the procedure on the women who undergo it. Instead they advocate for women’s rights, social justice, and equality—yet they forget about the rights of the unborn. Abortion is an epidemic in our country and more has to be done on college campuses to educate young women about it. The students who were passing out literature at UCSB had every right to be there no matter how “deeply offensive” their literature was to Professor Miller-Young.

A Young America’s Foundation (YAF) poll shows that 52 percent of students agree that professors do not present alternative viewpoints when there are different sides to an issue. This is a sad reality of the state of higher education in our country. When more than half of college students recognize that their professors are biased on a wide variety of topics. We need to do more to embrace differing viewpoints in academia and create an environment where all views are encouraged and respected.

UCSB has yet to officially condemn the actions of Professor Miller-Young. Michael Young, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs sent out a school-wide email titled “Students and Free Speech at UCSB” back in March saying that “we are tested once again, outsiders coming into our midst to provoke us, to taunt us and attempt to turn us against one another as they promote personal causes and agendas.” His words prove that tolerance toward conservative values doesn’t exist on the UCSB campus and condemns the pro-life activists for their “extreme” agenda.

Sadly, this is all too common in liberal academia. Professors have an agenda in and outside of the classroom. Tolerance only extends to their beliefs and if students have a differing opinion they may face unfair treatment—or violence in this case. University and college campuses should be places of tolerance where all opinions are respected and valued. Students should feel safe in expressing their beliefs and should never feel threatened in their environment.


Cool: Mitch Daniels teams with Amazon to bring down textbook costs for Purdue students

After having passed on the possibility of running for President of the United States, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is entering his second year as president of Purdue University in Indiana. Though the former governor has his eggheaded bona fides—a Princeton grad and former Director of OMB—many thought it was an odd match to have the famously conservative (especially fiscally) governor at the helm of a university. The move sparked a few protests from former students and wariness from faculty, many of whom were colorful with their predictions of doom.

Heading into the 2014 school year, Purdue students are enjoying the first tuition freeze in 36 years, a 10-percent drop in their dining hall prices, and now the possibility of a bunch of text book savings. If you have recently been in college or have kids who are, you know the serious chunk rising text book costs can take out of one’s income.

    As he did when he gambled that three years of tuition freezes could be done with the existing budget — all in the name of student affordability — Daniels found what he thinks is a better way. West Lafayette book store owners took exception to claims that Amazon can deliver the 30 percent savings Purdue predicts, saying Daniels is getting a bigger splash than he is a big bargain.

    But in that standoff, Daniels can count on little sympathy for the existing retail textbook system from students who already have been scouting secondary markets to beat an annual load that Purdue estimated climbed from $890 a year in 2002-03 to $1,370 in 2012-13. (That increase of 54 percent was better, believe it or not, than the national average increase of 82 percent during the same time, according to the Government Accountability Office.)

Daniels is engaging in an experimental partnership with Amazon, figuring the giant bookseller can offer students better prices and inject much-needed competition in the campus bookselling market, which has been pretty insular until now. This is from the Purdue press release, not a news source, but it just explains the basics:

    "Purdue and Amazon have launched the Purdue Student Store on Amazon, a new, co-branded experience where students can purchase lower-cost textbooks and other college essentials.

    And for the first time ever, Amazon also will bring staffed customer order pickup and drop-off locations to Purdue’s campus, as well as expedited shipping benefits phased in over the course of the 2014-2015 academic year.

    The Purdue Student Store on Amazon, found at, launched Tuesday (Aug. 12). The first campus pickup location is expected to be open in early 2015."

The Chicago Tribune wrote glowingly about Daniels’ efforts recently. His hallmark fat-cutting is in full effect:

    "In 19 months as president of Purdue University, the former Indiana governor has frozen base tuition after 36 straight years of increases. The freeze lasts at least through the 2015-16 academic year.

    Along the way, Daniels cut the cost of student dining services food by 10 percent. He’s saved big money by streamlining purchasing and finding other economies of scale. No saving is too small: He sold 10 school cars (about $10,000 each), cut rental storage in half ($160,000 saved) and repurposed used office furniture instead of buying new ($28,000 saved). “This place was not built to be efficient,” he told The Wall Street Journal. But “you’re not going to find many places where you just take a cleaver and hack off a big piece of fat. Just like a cow, it’s marbled through the whole enterprise.”

    When Daniels arrived on campus 19 months ago, we said his tenure would test the business-as-usual, soak-the-middle-class-with-rising-tuition ethos that passes for leadership at most American universities. For openers, Daniels’ pay is based on performance. He is judged on whether he makes Purdue more affordable for students, hikes graduation rates and, of course, excels at the key mission of a university president: fundraising."

The university also won a $500,000 award this year for creating a 3-year bachelors degree program that could save undergrads about $10K.

    "Purdue University will offer some of its students a chance to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years.

    University President Mitch Daniels announced Monday that the school won a $500,000 incentive award for developing a program that will allow communications students to complete the same courses as their peers within 36 months.

    “This is another way to make college more affordable,” Daniels said. “Purdue needs to think innovatively to help young people get the full value out of their education experience.”

    The program requires communication students to take a heavier course load for four semesters, and to take courses during two summers.

    Students will save $9,290, roughly the cost of one year of in-state tuition, said Marifran Mattson, professor and head of Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication."

Mitch Daniels is doing the work tackling a giant national problem on a small scale. It’s not sexy. It doesn’t come with nearly the national headlines that his former profession brought. It likely requires hanging out with not a small number of people who detest his ideology and his career before he got to Purdue. And yet, he’s trying new things and making college more affordable for students.

He’s picking the right targets, creating support for his moves, cutting where necessary, and most importantly, showing results in a way that matters to students. Not every experiment will work perfectly, but colleges have got to start trying something other than begging for easier credit to compensate for their inability to save and prioritize. If Daniels is able to forge a new path at Purdue without sacrificing respect or quality, maybe others will try, too. In doing so, he’ll have done a hell of a lot more for college affordability than any number of national politicians who talk about it all the time.

When asked by the Tribune if he worried about losing students to other colleges in the amenities race, Daniels replied:

    “It could be that we’ll still lose students to someone with a higher climbing wall, but we are prepared to take that chance.”

Take heed, other college presidents. This is what an academic looks like.


Australia: Proposed speech by Muslim activist Uthman Badar at UWA cancelled

A speech by a controversial Muslim activist planned to be held at UWA has been cancelled by organisers, who claimed they were misled by an outside party.

On Tuesday morning, UWA's Muslim Students Association cancelled the speech by Uthman Badar after Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson declared the activist had to renounce his alleged view that honour killings were morally justified.

Mr Badar attracted significant media attention earlier this year when he was booked to speak on morally justifying honour killing at Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Negative feedback forced the seminar to be called off.

Now the Australian spokesman for Hizb Ut-Tahrir - an international Islamic group that advocates sharia law - Mr Badar had been invited to speak at a forum at UWA held by the university's Muslim Students Association titled "Gaza Crisis".

The university's Muslim Students Association cancelled the forum, shortly after Mr Johnson said he required a written undertaking that Mr Badar abide by the university's code of ethics and conduct and renounce his views on honour killings "in all contexts".

Muslim Students Association executive officer Nazim Khan, an assistant professor at UWA’s Department of Applied Statistics, said the association had been misguided by a party outside the university.

He refused to name the man who booked Mr Badar but said they would not deal with him in the future.

“When we organised it, it was organised through one of our partners. We didn’t know who the speaker was, we just knew the topic,” he said.

“When it came to light who the speaker was, I didn’t recognise the name but once we discovered who he was, as an association we took the steps to cancel it.

“We have had some dealings with [the booker] before so we took it in good faith but we weren’t told who the speaker was, although this person did know.

“We trusted his judgement to get a speaker on the topic but when it came to light he had misguided us...we will be more vigilant in the future.

“We took the steps to make sure we didn’t damage our reputation within the university or the reputation of the university”

Vice-Chancellor Johnson had earlier labelled Mr Badar's purported views to be incompatible with UWA principles.

"Mr Badar has been reported to hold the view that so-called honour killings are morally justified," he said in a statement.

"This view is completely incompatible with the university’s principles.

"[Mr Johnson] requires Mr Badar to give an explicit, written public assurance that he is opposed to the cowardly and barbaric act of so-called honour killings."

Although Mr Badar was booked to speak at the Sydney festival, it was unclear if he held a view that honour killings were justified.

Mr Nazim said the Gaza Crisis forum may go ahead at a later date with more moderate speakers.


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