U Oregon students demand removal of pioneer statue

University of Oregon students and faculty are demanding the removal of an American pioneer statue on its 100-year anniversary.

The statue depicts a pioneer standing on a rock with a rifle slung over its shoulder and a whip in its right hand. Although no suspects were identified, the statue was vandalized in April with red spray paint on its crotch and whip, according to the Daily Emerald.

[RELATED: Founding Fathers under attack: Students demand Thomas Jefferson statue removal]

Sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor, who designed the statue installed at the university in 1919, aimed to celebrate the achievements of pioneers, according to the University of Oregon.

Daily Emerald reported the U Oregon Native American Student Union (NASU) protested for the removal of the Pioneer statue in May on the 100-year anniversary of the statue’s installation on campus. According to the Daily Emerald, Bret Gilbert, co-leader of NASU, organized a protest with the hope of getting a list of signatures in support of the statue’s removal.

“A lot of our students feel oppressed by the statue. I know when I walk under it I feel very inferior,” Gilbert said. “I don’t feel that way when I’m at other places on campus. I don’t think that’s what the university community wants us to feel like when we’re here.”

[RELATED: UCSC students say historical mission bell 'represents genocide']

NASU member Ryan Reed suggested that the rifle slung over the Pioneer’s shoulder made him feel uncomfortable.

“A lot of people think a pioneer is a frontiersman — an explorer. For us, it’s a totally different definition,” Reed said, according to the Daily Emerald. “That feeling comes from what he’s carrying on his shoulder and what he’s carrying on his belt.”

"The UO fully appreciates that to many Oregonians, including those of Native American ancestry, it stands for something very different, the framing of history from only one culture’s perspective," UO spokeswoman Molly Blancett told KLCC. "We take those views very seriously. Last winter, the UO established a presidential working group – led by Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim and Professor Dean Livelybrooks – to audit and review campus monuments, plaques, and public art installations and recommend whether any changes need to be made to those features to recognize th

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13357

VIDEO: Even students say AOC's 'concentration camps' comment too 'extreme'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) stirred up controversy Tuesday after referring to migrant detention facilities as “concentration camps.” 

“This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border,” she said, before doubling down in an Instagram live video. 

The comments immediately sparked outrage from many, including the World Center For Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem. 

[RELATED: VIDEO: Students say offensive speech is not free speech]

The group responded to Ocasio-Cortez by saying “concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor.'"

Wanting to know what college students thought of the comments, Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips went to George Washington University in Washington, D.C. with a copy of Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet. 

It soon became clear that students on both sides of the aisle found the congresswoman's comparison appalling. 

[RELATED: VIDEO: Students SHOCKED to learn Biden, not Trump, said these 'racist' quotes]

“I think she owes a major apology to the American people for comparing detainment camps to one of the most horrific events ever in human history,” one student said, while another added, simply, “you can’t be throwing that word around.”

“I think it’s a bit extreme,” one concerned student said.

Another student admitted the phrase might cost her supporters, saying “concentration camp might make people who would normally support her be a little annoyed.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Cabot_Phillips

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13354

'Reproductive ethics' course gives feminist views 'special consideration'

Dartmouth College offers a course on “Reproductive Ethics” that introduces feminist perspectives and gives “special consideration” to feminist viewpoints.

The class, titled “Feminist Perspectives on Reproductive Ethics,” was most recently offered during the spring semester. It focuses on numerous topics ranging from whether abortion is moral to whether it is ethical to “‘outsource’ pregnancy to Indian surrogates."

“Does prenatal testing express a negative message about living with disability? Is there anything wrong with aiming to have a deaf child?” the course description reads. “Other issues have arisen with the commercialization and globalization of reproduction: Is there anything wrong with selling one’s reproductive labor?"

[RELATED: Penn. college offers 'Queering God' course]

The course description also states that, while numerous viewpoints are considered in the class, feminist viewpoints are given “special consideration” during the discussion.

The professor, Ann E. Bumpus, has researched and taught courses at Dartmouth regarding bioethics, and her areas of interest include “the commercialization of reproduction and the ethics of physician-assisted suicide.”

Campus Reform reached out to Bumpus for more information regarding the course and differing viewpoints within the class, but did not get a response in time for publication.

Dartmouth College, while not hosting the course in the fall semester, is offering new courses such as “#MeToo: Intersectionality, Hashtag Activism, and Our Lives,” which aims to examine the #MeToo movement through campus outreach activities and group work. 

[RELATED: UC System bashes Trump admin after losing $2 million fetal tissue research grant]

Another course being offered in the fall is “Women and the Bible,” which will study the role of women in the Bible and “look at differing ways that modern feminist biblical scholars have engaged in the enterprise of interpreting the biblical text.”

A spokeswoman for Dartmouth College declined to comment to Campus Reform regarding "Reproductive Ethics."

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JesseStiller3

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13353

Librarian punished after exposing school's blackface history

A Nebraska university temporarily suspended a librarian for displaying the school’s historical blackface photos.

Doane University punished faculty librarian Melissa Gomis in April after she compiled a picture display entitled “Parties of the Past” by using photos from the school’s archives. The two photos that sparked the controversy appeared to show a pair of Doane students wearing blackface at a masquerade party back in 1926, as reported by the free speech nonprofit Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). 

“Doane University’s punishment of a faculty librarian for refusing to censor the school’s difficult past is one of the worst academic freedom violations we’ve seen this year,” said Alex Morey, a FIRE program officer, in a FIRE news release. “The university is effectively preventing people from confronting its history by labeling it ‘harassment.’”

[RELATED: Berkeley researchers offer social media platforms easier way to censor]

After a student voiced complaints to her, Gomis removed the photos out of concern for that student, being aware that sensitivity has grown on college campuses, according to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Shortly afterward, Doane’s administration censored the rest of the display, suspended Gomis, and investigated her for “discriminatory harassment.”

“Marching Melissa off campus and forbidding her to step foot on campus or use university email even after she removed the offending photographs was an extraordinarily damaging action on the part of the administration,” Doane physics professor and AAUP chapter president Chris Wentworth told FIRE. “My best guess is that our administrators just were not thinking very deeply or carefully about the issues involved. We clearly have much work to do in restoring trust.”

Wentworth was not the only professor who questioned how the administration handled the situation.

“Were some of our students genuinely offended or hurt by the library display? Yes. Was suspending the librarian in response to that hurt heavy-handed and in violation of the academic freedom that is necessary to do her difficult job every day?” Brian Pauwels, Doane psychology professor and vice president of the school’s AAUP chapter, said in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. “Can’t the answer to both quest

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13352

You've got mail: U Colorado has novel free speech idea

The University of Colorado (UC) Board of Regents voted in mid-June to approve a plan to send a letter about free expression to all incoming students across the UC system.

Regents voted unanimously to approve the plan to send the letter emphasizing the board’s commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression, according to the UC System.

“The mission is quite simple,” Republican Regent Chance Hill said, according to the press release. “Its primary purpose and aim is to demonstrate and signal to all first-year undergrad students at all four campuses the first week of the academic year, that the senior leadership is committed to building a campus culture that values free speech in all its forms and diversity in all its forms.”

“The University of Colorado is one of only a few universities that have recognized that students have rights of academic freedom in the classroom,” the letter states. “Your classes should challenge you intellectually and expose you to new ideas. Within the framework of how your faculty members conduct their classes, we hope that you engage each other, raise questions, and develop reasoned opinions.”

[RELATED: Major win for free speech in Florida as Gov. gets campus heads to sign resolution]

Interestingly, the letter has a section that states that the university will “uphold our students’ ability to voice their beliefs, even when others construe their speech as wrong or insensitive.”

Instead of “attempting to interfere with or suppress ideas” that students find offensive, the board expects them to “challenge them through the exercise of reason and debate.” 

The board also states that, with its commitment to freedom of expression, it does not “confine expression to free speech zones that shield individuals from perspectives different from their own.”

“We fundamentally believe more communication and a greater exchange of ideas between people of diverse backgrounds makes our constitutional republic stronger,” the letter states.

[RELATED: ‘Shouldn’t have to do it’: Texas Gov. records himself signing campus free speech bill (VIDEO)]

Ray Reyes, president of the College Republicans at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs told Campus Reform that he believes this is a good start for the UC Board of Regents, as everyone should kno

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13351

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