The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

Student activism has led Stanford‘s Board of Trustees to vote to stop investing in coal-mining companies. This action is a significant step in the ever-growing fossil fuel divesment movement on campuses across the country.

In the growingly visible national conversation on sexual assault on college campuses, including a recently launched campaign by the White House to confront the issue, many local movements have been getting increasing attention.Democracy Now spoke with Brown student Lena Sclove on her Justice for Lena and Survivors Everywhere campaign, and with Wagatwe Wanjuki, a former Tufts student, after the U.S. Department of Education has found Tufts to be in violation of Title IX. Katie Couric also sat down to talk about these issues with Sclove and others, including Chloe Murtagh ’15.

In a decision highlighting evolution in the political discourse, the Florida Senate passed legislation  that allows for children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates to state colleges.

The debate over the role of college athletes within the university system is increasingly coming to a head, now with possible federal intervention to try to come to clear terms on athletes’ agency, benefits and so on.  The National Labor Relations Board is currently weighing a key decision on the possibility of unionization of college athletes, with pressure coming from all sides.

As graduation ceremonies are fast approaching across the country, The Chronicle examines the politics of choosing a commencement speaker.

An article from a conservative journal at Princeton has been making the rounds, with a freshman’s attempt to combat the idea of checking one’s privilege, and seemingly completely failing to understand the concept entirely in doing so. The GroupThink page at Jezebel has an articulate rebuttal to the original article. Meanwhile, Zach Schonfeld ’13, writing for Newsweek, wonders why the article got the attention it did in the first place.

Elizabeth Warren has introduced a new bill to reform student loan systems to alleviate debt, although many discussions of the actions see it as a political play within the Senate as opposed to actual progress toward student debt reform.

The New York Times has a comprehensive examination of theins-and-outs of college financial aid, and how to negotiate it.

As always, The Nation’s StudentNation blog continues with their round-up of campus activism across the country, including details about May Day protests, anger at Rutgers over the possibility of Condoleezza Rice speaking at commencement, and more.

And finally, the Board of Trustees at Amherst has issued a statement banning student involvement in any off-campus Greek life. While official affiliation with fraternities and sororities ended in 1984 at Amherst, Greek life has continued to exist outside the confines of the college structure. This decision hopes to put an end to that.

  • Ross Levin

    Hey, it would be cool if you could report on other schools that have Palestine solidarity activism going on, too. I know that this past week at UCLA a bunch of student government candidates said that they wouldn’t take free or sponsored trips to Israel–after there was a 7-5 vote against divesting from five companies profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine in which four of the opponents had been on sponsored trips to Israel (ie, sponsored by AIPAC or Hasbarah or similar groups). Source: http://www.jta.org/2014/05/08/news-opinion/united-states/for-ucla-student-govt-candidates-free-trips-to-israel-are-out

    There was also big news a couple weeks ago that the students Northeastern had suspended for being part of Students for Justice in Palestine have come back to school and the group will be allowed on campus again: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/northeastern-lifts-suspension-students-justice-palestine

    • Ross Levin

      Also there’s a bunch of other stuff going on at lots of other campuses but that’s just a couple big examples.

    • ztevenz

      Thanks for sharing! I’ve included some information about these movements in the past, though didn’t come across anything in my usual go-to sources this week. I’ll add these to the roster for future installments though.