U. of Washington Pays up over Free Speech Lawsuit
The University of Washington will pay $127,000 in legal fees to lawyers for the university’s College Republicans to settle a free-speech lawsuit filed by the group, The Seattle Times reports. The College Republicans chapter sued after the university tried to charge a $17,000 security fee for the group to hold a campus rally in February with the conservative group Patriot Prayer. A federal district court judge blocked the fee.
U. of Michigan Responds to Speech First’s Suit
The University of Michigan is pushing back against a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the school’s “Bias Response Team” and policies that allegedly chill campus speech. In a court filing on Friday, the University said the lawsuit, filed last month by the watchdog group Speech First, presented a “false caricature” of school’s conduct code and how it is implemented. The lawsuit claimed the University of Michigan disciplinary code uses vague and broad definitions of “bullying” and “harassment,” effectively barring speech that other students might find “intimidating,” “demeaning,” “bothersome” or “hurtful.” “Under this regime, the most sensitive student on campus effectively dictates the terms under which others may speak,” the lawsuit said.
Portraits Taken Down at Harvard School—Too Male and White
A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School will take down portraits of prestigious white male doctors and scatter them throughout the grounds in a new diversity move. Of the 31 various doctors and department heads that have their paintings hung in the Louis Bornstein Family Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, all are men, 30 are white, and one is Chinese. They’ve been described as “pioneers of medicine,” and getting a portrait hung there is something great to aspire to, according to the white male doctor who most recently had his image installed, Dr. Ron Walls, founding chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.
But apparently having a cluster of white male doctors’ portraits — great as they may be — sends a message to employees and students that “white men are in charge,” Dr. Jeroan Allison, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School who researches health disparities, told the Boston Globe, which first reported the news. A hospital official told the Globe removing the portraits will create a “sense of belonging” for women.
Elite College Dumps SATs and ACTs Despite Grade Inflation
The University of Chicago is the first elite institution to make SAT/ACT test scores optional. In an effort to “level the playing field” for low-income students. Although they’re not the university to make that move – a few smaller colleges and universities have already made the tests optional – the University of Chicago can lead other elite schools to eliminate the tests or make them optional as well. The College Board, which administers the SATs, told USA Today, that “standardized tests remain pertinent because grade inflation in U.S. schools is higher than ever. From 1998-2016, high school GPA has increased by .11 GPA points, according to U.S. Department of Education data. At the same time, U.S. high school officials are less frequently disclosing students' class rank, adding another layer of fog for admissions counselors reviewing transcripts.
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