UW-Madison Says Racist Behaviors, Stereotyping, ‘Are Not Tolerated’

After racist, anti-Chinese graffiti appeared on University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus earlier this week, the university on Thursday issued a statement saying racist behaviors “are not tolerated” at the institution, reported Wisconsin State Journal.

The graffiti targeted people from or perceived to be from China and East Asia, and blamed China for the coronavirus, calling it “#CHINESEVIRUS.”

“It’s important to remember: No one person, country, or ethnicity created this pandemic — disease does not discriminate,” the university statement said. “We want to be clear that racist behaviors or stereotyping of any kind are not tolerated at UW–Madison — no matter if we are online, passing others in public, or quarantined at home.”

At a virtual town hall called Thursday, university officials said recent graffiti prompted 25 bias incident reports. And this semester, as many as 81 such reports have been filed, more than half of which allege discrimination against Asian or international students.

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/171157/

Yale University Press Makes Digital Textbooks Temporarily Free For All Students

Yale University Press (YUP) has made its ebooks and digital textbooks free for all students until the end of the semester to help them transition to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic, reported Yale News.

“This is a challenging period for students as they finish their courses remotely without access to library stacks or textbooks that were left behind on campus,” YUP director John Donatich said. “It is our mission to inform and educate a diverse audience of readers, and we’re very happy to do our part to ease the transition to remote teaching and learning.”

YUP has arranged with digital content providers EBSCO, ProQuest, UPSO (Oxford) and De Gruyter to make a wide selection of ebooks accessible to students at no cost through their institutions’ libraries. It also has agreements with popular online textbook rental stores VitalSource and Chegg to give students access to electronic versions of textbooks they had purchased but can’t access due to the pandemic.

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/171159/

Iowa State University Cuts Ties With Aide Involved in Blackface Controversy

Iowa State University has let go the student government’s staff adviser who posted a picture of himself in blackface on social media, said an Associated Press (AP) report on We Are Iowa.

(Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

The adviser, Alex Krumm, resigned March 1 and received a $47,000 severance payout, weeks after student activists demanded his firing over a 2015 Instagram post in which he’s shown with his face painted black when playing a mime in a student production.

A separation agreement accessed by AP shows that Krumm and university president Wendy Wintersteen agreed that his continued employment was no longer “in their best interests.”

Read more: https://diverseeducation.com/article/171163/

Higher Ed Groups: $14 Billion for Colleges, Universities in Stimulus Package Insufficient

Higher education groups aren’t happy with the $14 billion earmarked for colleges and universities in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by the Senate late on Wednesday, saying institutions are facing severe cash flow problems and have been hit hard financially due to closures necessitated by the pandemic.

One group also said the absence of any measures to reduce student debt will not help borrowers’ mental and financial security.

The American Council on Education (ACE) and 10 other higher education groups had called for $50 billion in emergency aid for colleges and universities.

“While this legislation is an improvement from where the Senate started, the amount of money it provides to students and higher education institutions remains woefully inadequate,” said Ted Mitchell, ACE president, in a statement.

The Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU) echoed Mitchell’s sentiments.

“We appreciate that the agreed upon bill evolved from its initial form, which included no direct funding to students and universities, to then $6 billion, and now a minimum of $14 billion for all of higher education with the possibility for some additional funds at the discretion of states. … However, the $14 billion provided for higher education falls far short of what is needed,” said the association in a statement.

Higher education groups have said that moving classes online – to eliminate in-person interactions – has and will continue to eat into institutions’ finances. Meanwhile, universities’ bottom lines are stressed as many are offering room and board refunds for students who have been asked to evacuate dormitories. College athletics have been canceled, which has meant another dependable revenue source is stymied. And many colleges, especially minority serving institutions (MSIs) like HBCUs, are taking on the responsibility of covering expenses for students from low-income backgrounds.

“It is critical that students receive support for needs such as finding housing, technology assistance for online learning, or to travel home,” said Mitchell. “Campuses are losing staggering sums after closing for safety reasons and refunding tuition, room and board, and other auxiliary revenues. If these needs are not met, students are going to suffer financially and may drop out.”


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