Thursday, January 10, 2019

Students hate Trump's immigration, border wall quotes, don’t realize they’re from Dems

This month, the federal government entered a partial shutdown after Congress was unable to reach a budget agreement, primarily on funding for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the southern border.

The wall, a key talking point for Trump throughout the campaign, has been decried by leaders in the Democrat party as anti-American and immoral, among other things.

But their opposition to the wall and embrace of looser immigration laws seems to be a new development.

In recent years, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Barack Obama, and Secretary Hillary Clinton have all stated the danger in embracing illegal immigration and ignoring the laws we have on the books.

“Illegal Immigration is wrong, plain and simple. Until the American people are convinced we will stop future flows of illegal immigration, we will make no progress.” -Senator Chuck Schumer, 2009

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented and unchecked” -Barack Obama, 2005

“I voted numerous times… to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.” -Hillary Clinton, 2008

Wanting to know if opponents of Trump’s border wall had opinions on these past quotes from Democrat leaders, Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips headed to American University.

But there’s a catch… the students were told the quotes actually came from President Trump.

Upon hearing the quotes, students said Trump’s words were “dehumanizing,” “problematic,” and “jingoist.” “I just really think it’s hateful speech,” one student said, while another added, “the way he’s referring to people across the wall is dehumanizing.”

One student said the comments held racist undertones, claiming “there are racial biases deeply embedded in there.”

But this was all before they knew these quotes were actually coming from political idols of theirs.


Pricey campus housing triggers a debate in Boston

At the newest residence hall for Northeastern University students, kitchens come with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe rooms in sunshine, and residents can exercise in a state-of-the-art fitness center or study by a fireplace in the lobby.

The dorm room has gone upscale.

But when they open this fall, units at LightView Apartments will come at a price, one likely out of reach for many low-income Northeastern students or those on financial aid.

Run by a private developer, LightView requires an annual lease that makes it more expensive than traditional campus housing with eight-month terms: beginning at $16,008 a year for a shared room, and $19,068 for a single, compared to $12,504 for the most expensive on-campus shared dorm, and $14,698 for a single.

Meanwhile, students on full financial aid at Northeastern receive about $15,660 for room and board, leaving them far short of LightView’s annual costs.

“This is luxury-style housing,” said Nick Boyd, 22, a senior at Northeastern studying electrical engineering and member of the Northeastern Housing Justice Coalition. “They should be building housing at price points that students across the income spectrum can afford.”

But Northeastern officials hail LightView as a major saving because the costs were shouldered by a private company, one of the first such partnerships between local universities and developers. The apartments are proving popular among juniors and seniors; nearly 85 percent of the 825 beds are already leased.

“This novel approach means that the university didn’t have to spend in excess of $100 million to build a new residence hall,” said Michael Armini, Northeastern’s senior vice president for external affairs. “Those funds can now be invested in our core mission of teaching, research, and providing even more financial aid.”

Across the country, universities facing financial constraints and pressure to cater to higher-income students are increasingly turning to these private partnerships. Institutions can also make additional money charging for amenities such as air-conditioning, kitchens, and views of the city.

Critics argue this stratification of university housing erodes one of the key aspirations of higher education: to create environments where the students live with and learn from peers of diverse backgrounds and incomes and take those lessons after they graduate into wider society. Instead, they argue, universities are building communities of haves and have-nots, mirroring the income divides that have split much of the country in recent years, sparking conflict and fraying common bonds.

“There is reason to think it was an equal experience when the campus housing was much more homogenous,” said Kevin McClure, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, who has studied university partnerships with private developers.

At Tufts University this coming fall, students will no longer pay a flat rate for housing. Instead, the university is offering multiple tiers, ranging from $8,220 to $10,220 for the academic year, depending on whether it’s a single, has a kitchen, is apartment style or newer construction. Tufts officials said the university is following the example of many peers, including Boston University, Babson College, and George Washington University, but students on the Medford campus have been protesting the move.

“It seems to be classist, with rich kids staying in the nicer housing, but the poor kids staying in other housing,” said Mauri Trimmer, 22, a junior anthropology major at Tufts. “We understand the tiered housing is like the market setup, but a university should be trying to create the best possible world.”

Several area schools are exploring partnerships similar to Northeastern’s deal with American Campus Communities, an Austin, Texas-based student housing developer. ACC built the $153.4 million LightView on Northeastern land that it leases from the school just off campus on Columbus Avenue. Suffolk University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst are also in discussions with ACC. UMass Boston’s first dormitory, which opened last fall, was built under a public-private partnership.

These partnerships allow universities to provide more housing options without taking on additional debt, McClure said. The buildings tend to be close to campus and offer appealing amenities, he said, but charge slightly higher rents.

And in cases where developers pay the upfront costs and control the building, they can dictate rent levels in order to recoup their investments, McClure said.

Students with less money, McClure added, may be left to choose between more bare-bones residence halls or cheaper off-campus housing farther from campus.

“My fear is what we’re seeing is a steady uptick in pricing for housing,” he said. “It’s kind of an upscaling effect. You start to create pockets of affluence around campus that only certain students can take part in it.”

Housing has long been central to the college experience, with many institutions controlling where and with whom students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, spend their out-of-class time.

Some don’t allow students to choose roommates, to ensure they mix with peers from a variety of perspectives, places, income levels, and races. Some schools reserve floors or entire buildings for students studying the same subjects, to foster networks and support systems that can help them succeed academically.

“It’s the informal part of learning,” said Bob Gonyea, associate director of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, who has studied student engagement.

But colleges also need housing that will attract and retain students, Gonyea said, and that will make money to help fund education and services.

“You want students to be satisfied, you want to give them choices. On the other hand, you want them to learn and have different experiences,” Gonyea said. “There’s always been a tension.”

Tufts officials said they considered the effect on campus culture and the university’s mission as they debated switching to tiered housing. But the university wants to add 600 more beds and update its existing dormitories to entice students back on campus from the surrounding residential neighborhoods, said James Glaser, Tufts dean for the school of arts and sciences.

The new plan would increase housing costs for some Tufts students anywhere from $285 to $1,485, depending on their living arrangement. Tufts expects that tiered prices, along with new beds on campus, will yield millions of dollars more annually.

The university does plan to increase financial aid so lower-income students can access the pricier units with kitchens and other amenities, Glaser said.

“We do not want to have a stratified campus,” he said “We really do try to make values-based decisions; we try to make financial-based decisions too.”

The variety of housing, universities say, also gives students more choices. Northeastern’s options range from traditional dorms to pricier, apartment-style suites with kitchens and more privacy. Undergraduate tuition and fees currently run around $51,000, and food plans vary, from as little as $445 for a small block of meals to $7,940 a school year for the top plan. The university also provides $280 million a year in financial aid, mostly based on need.

“We are creating equity,” said Robert Reddy, Northeastern dean of student financial services. “We have housing options that we think are livable, that aren’t substandard that we can offer students. . . . Is it any university’s responsibility in some senses to subsidize to a level they [the students] want to be subsidized at? The business we’re in is to provide access to education and that includes living somewhere, in a standard that is livable.”

LightView is also an effort by Northeastern to steer juniors and seniors away from residential neighborhoods where they contribute to Boston’s ever-higher housing costs.

American Campus Communities consulted with Northeastern on LightView and held focus groups to determine what students wanted, said ACC senior vice president Jason Wills.

Early indications are that ACC succeeded. The building is nearly full, with only about 120 beds still available, all in the lower-cost shared rooms, Wills said.

While the annual cost of LightView is more expensive than campus options, on a monthly basis its rents are comparable and even cheaper than Northeastern’s, Wills said.

“Our goal is to have the communities full,” he said. “I don’t think they’re overpriced . . . We’re very focused on affordability and maintaining occupancy.”

Seth Freedman, a 19-year-old sophomore and chemistry major, said he and his roommates could get lower-cost housing in Mission Hill about a mile from campus. But LightView’s proximity to campus and association with the university, its amenities, as well as ACC’s offer to find someone to rent his room if he decides to do a semester-long internship outside Boston next year, were too appealing.

“It’s going to be the nicest housing that I’ll be living in,” Freedman said. “It’s just a one-year lease, so I decided to splurge.”


Australia: Leftist bias at a university law school

The University of Sydney was last night forced to delete a Facebook post in which it pledged support for left-wing activist group GetUp’s new campaign to target 18 conservative MPs in the lead-up to the federal election.

In a post yesterday that drew angry responses before it was ­removed, the university’s law school publicised an article by The Guardian about GetUp’s push for the public to name the “worst” Coalition MPs so the group could finalise its targets for the election.

“New Year fun: GetUp asking you to nominate which conservative Coalition MP you would most like to see out of Parliament,” the University of Sydney Law School said on its Facebook page.

The article provided a link to GetUp’s website in which it asks supporters to each choose three MPs they believe should lose their seats based on their “hard-right” views on climate change, immigration policy and social ­justice issues.

Among the Coalition MPs that can be nominated are Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott, Josh Frydenberg, Christian Porter, Greg Hunt, Barnaby Joyce, Alan Tudge, George Christensen and Michael Sukkar.

Facebook users, some of them former University of Sydney law students, were highly critical of the post.

“I wouldn’t call myself a ­defender of the far Right, but it’s completely inappropriate for the law school, as a body, to engage in such flagrantly biased political advocacy,” one wrote.

Another responded: “At least the law school is open about its bias now.”

After being alerted by The Australian, the University of ­Sydney last night investigated how the post was published.

A spokeswoman said the university did not support GetUp’s campaign to remove some ­Coalition MPs from parliament.

“A junior staff member posted this in error and the post has been removed,” she said.

On its website, the union-backed GetUp said Mr Dutton, who holds his Queensland seat of Dickson on a margin of 1.7 per cent, would be targeted for leading last year’s leadership coup against Malcolm Turnbull, as well as overseeing immigration detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Federal Attorney-General Mr Porter is blamed for the robo-debt scandal, authorising the prosecution of an ex-spy known as Witness K and for instructing Liberal MPs to vote for Pauline Hanson’s “OK to be white” ­motion in the Senate. Mr Porter is already under severe pressure to retain his West Australian seat of Pearce, which he holds on a margin of 3.6 per cent.

GetUp blamed Mr Abbott for his “destructive” campaign to reinstall himself as prime minister, along with his comments questioning climate change.

Mr Abbott, who holds the NSW seat of Warringah with a margin of 11.6 per cent, is under attack from some within the Liberal Party who want him replaced. He is also facing a challenge in the seat from ­independent candidate Susan ­Moylan-Coombs, an indigenous broadcaster.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott, who earned degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, said last night the former prime minister was unavailable to comment on his alma mater’s Facebook post.

The influential GetUp is fighting attempts to have its independent status revoked and to force its registration as an affiliated ­entity of Labor.


No comments: