Posts tagged higher education
Posts tagged higher education
Was wondering if you could help get the word out about this.
This past weekend, on February 1, a fraternity at Duke University (my alma mater) called Kappa Sigma held an Asian-themed party called Asia Prime. The original invite (screen-capped above) includes the phrases ”Herro Nice Duke Peopre” and “Chank You.” Pictures from the event itself are also above. (More information here; student protest page here.)
Even more frustrating, fraternities at Duke has a history of hosting these sorts of offensive, insulting, marginalizing, dehumanizing themed parties, and a history of offering lame non-apologies for doing so.
Is this shit unbelievable, or is it unbelievable?
To all the privileged assholes I went to school with who told me that racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. were no longer a problem, especially on our college campus: What the hell were you talking about? Are you seeing this? Did we even go to the same school?
Here’s to hoping something will change here and on other college campuses too. In the meantime, please spread the word!
I’m a current Duke student and this morning I went with a group of other students to flyer the campus in protest of Kappa Sigma’s racist party. However, we were met with a coordinated effort to take the pictures down. Some of us had cameras confiscated by campus police and were forced by them to delete pictures. Almost within an hour, our nearly 1200 flyers were torn down.
[11:30 AM - reported gone by 11:00 AM]
This absolutely cannot stand. That’s why this protest is so important. Even on our facebook page, people are telling us to be quiet, to shut up, to keep from bringing this issue and our university to ‘national attention.’ They tell us not to make such a big deal about it, that ‘it is understandable that some might be offended.’ By ripping down our flyers, they’re telling us to mute our voices because they’ll just be silenced anyway.
But we won’t. We won’t back down. This deserves attention and it deserves to be talked about. Duke’s history of demeaning and racist frat parties can’t be swept under the rug just so a school’s reputation can sit falsely pretty and pristine.
Some tell us to hush up and keep the peace. But this is my campus too, and I’m not about to clip my own vocal cords to keep you comfortable.
To those on tumblr and twitter: tag your posts about this with #racistrager so we can track ‘em! Let your voices be heard.
- - - - - -
From the Protest Against Racist Kappa Sigma Party Page:
If you’re SICK AND TIRED of ASIANS BEING MARGINALIZED, and INFURIATED that RACIAL, SEXUAL, AND SES MINORITIES continue getting stomped on Duke’s campus, then come to the WEST CAMPUS BUS STOP to participate in a protest against Kappa Sigma’s “Asia Prime” party and ALL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST and SILENCING OF Asians at Duke.
***** Be at the West Campus Bus Stop at 1:00 pm sharp for a protest of Kappa Sigma’s repulsive party. *****
DO NOT BE SILENT.
OUR CAMPUS NEEDS TO KNOW.
2012 party invitation: http://bit.ly/VH6l4m
2011 party invitation: http://bit.ly/VR89o9
History of frat party themes: http://bit.ly/VRPato
Student fliers protesting the party: http://bit.ly/VRMHzd
Kappa Sigma’s condescending NON APOLOGY: http://bit.ly/YBaIuW
DSG and The Asian Students Association (ASA) are co-hosting a dialogue TOMORROW in the UCAE for those who want to make their VOICES HEARD:
The Chronicle’s coverage of the controversy: http://bit.ly/WN9C00
Angry Asian Man coverage: http://bit.ly/XmwzDA
Gawker coverage: http://gaw.kr/X0pFrb
Bro Bible coverage: http://bit.ly/12qXIN9
Black Student Alliance (BSA) support : http://bit.ly/XLatfE
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) support: http://bit.ly/XLdL2D
Center for Race Relations (CRR) support: http://bit.ly/14QjJVg
Students are supposed to feel safe and valued in school, at ANY level — and this is NOT a campus environment conducive to learning. Duke isn’t the first institution of higher learning to have an incident like this, but they could focus on sending a message - that they do not condone racism, and will not allow one group of students to so disrupt the learning environment for another - rather than confiscating cameras.
How does this “disrupt the learning environment,” some may ask? After all, it was just a party. But if you think I’m exaggerating, consider this: a group of students have a party with the purpose of making fun of you — playing on misconceptions about you, mocking you in language and costumes. It isn’t something that happens by accident, it is the central theme of the party. How comfortable would you be on campus after that?
That doesn’t even begin to explain what’s happened here in terms of magnitude. But maybe, for those who otherwise wouldn’t see why it’s a big deal, it’s at least a start. And for those who do, let’s see that this group, and this university, is held accountable.
It’s a two-parter, and I want to hear your opinions — reblogging might be better for an answer for this one:
What is college for? What do YOU think the purpose of a higher education is right now? What do you think it SHOULD be? Do they match?
No professional feels completely prepared on her first day of work, but while a new lawyer might work under the tutelage of a seasoned partner, a first-year teacher usually takes charge of her classroom from the very first day. One survivor of this trial by fire is Amy Treadwell, a teacher for 10 years who received her master’s degree in education from DePaul University, one of the largest private universities in the Chicago area. She took courses in children’s literature and on “Race, Culture and Class”; one on the history of education, another on research, several on teaching methods. She even spent one semester as a student teacher at a Chicago elementary school. But when she walked into her first job, teaching first graders on the city’s South Side, she discovered a major shortcoming: She had no idea how to teach children to read. “I was certified and stamped with a mark of approval, and I couldn’t teach them the one thing they most needed to know how to do,” she told me.
This is something I felt myself, and which I hear from almost every Education student I’ve ever had contact with. The article is a long, sometimes frustrating, but very interesting read — one that you may find yourself nodding along with from time to time, depending on your background experiences.
A very interesting piece of the Boston University School of Social Work application. Trying to decide what I think of it. Part of me thinks some third option in addition to the blank box would have been better if you genuinely do not identify as either male or female — but what would that be? “Other?” That doesn’t work.
Maybe a “see below” radio button.
At any rate I do love that they offered a self-identification option, and just wanted to highlight that.
When saving a large amount of research and reference articles to your computer or thumb drive, there are a number of things you can do to make life much easier for yourself in the long run.
Another helpful tip:
Consider where your attention lies in references or citations both when you save your sources and when you organize them. Long titles will be far easier to scan in the “List” view of a folder, as opposed to the “Tile” or “Thumbnail” settings many people use as a default. If your files have other pertinent information in its properties — publication, tags or keywords, authors, etc. — the “Details” view can allow you to sort files by those pieces of information as well as by the typical file name, date modified, or other basics.
For example: I write using APA style, where the researchers take front and center; after a few years of it, I’m far more likely to remember the names of the authors of an article than I am the title. Certain properties of the PDFs I work with are unalterable and don’t always include the correct authors, but if they did I could arrange them alphabetically by author in the “Details” view. Instead, my file names include the author’s name before the title. Beginning each file name with the last name of the first researcher that would be listed in the references page and in-document citations means I can find the work I’m referencing almost immediately from there.
I worked with a professor and researcher who couldn’t necessarily remember either, but could tell you the year it was published because the research was all very current and every new finding was substantial. She and I would have greatly benefited from including publication years in the titles, if we’d thought of it at the time. This is especially helpful when working with news articles, historical texts, or court documents.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to taking my own advice a little too late. Over sixty articles and only a handful of the names tell me what they actually are…maybe I need to find myself a research assistant.
It’s an interesting point to bring up in the higher education classroom, and I’ve been thinking on this for at least the past hour in the back of my head.
I really do feel that a professor still has some responsibility, if not to teach (though I believe they do in fact have a responsibility to teach, despite what I’ve seen in some of the lecture halls and classes I’ve had to attend myself), then to create an environment in which students can learn.
I don’t believe that an environment in which the classroom or group discussion is hijacked by a majority of students who claim that a female character’s own actions led to her rape is an environment in which all students can feel comfortable expressing their own opinions. There may be a vocal few who stand up and say “That is an absolutely false or unfair idea,” but in the middle will be students who leave the classroom with a sour taste in their mouth and a churned stomach.
So what tasks does this delegate to a professor? If not teacher, then perhaps at least moderator?
Another example — I was in a relatively small writing class in my first year of my first college (I later transferred in part because my subject interests changed, and weren’t available there, but in part because too many of my courses were 100-to-300-student lectures during which professors used powerpoints that came with the textbook, and absolutely nothing was gleaned from attending the lecture that wasn’t by reading the textbook; books are cheaper than tuition). One of the readings was on rape culture, feminism, and sexism.
The writer insisted that media was to blame for rape culture because men could not help themselves around women once they saw them half-naked on billboards, and strongly suggested that all men in general were just biologically predisposed to be rapists and needed to be shielded from provocative advertising.
It was a predominantly female class. All of the women in the class except for myself supported the article loudly and enthusiastically in class discussion, and the men were either unsure of what they could say, afraid to say it, or so embarrassed or disgusted that they didn’t want to say anything — they were just biding their time until they could leave. When I spoke up it was expected that I was going to be in agreement, and when I criticized the writer, the article, and these ideas that men were all rapists and all women were potential victims, all incapable of having any power over their own fate, the next ten minutes of class was an attack and defense situation.
The professor called on people to speak, but never leant her own comments. For the entirety of that unit, I was almost afraid to speak up, because every time I did I was met with a hoard of angry voices declaring I was not a feminist, that I was on “their side,” and that I was wrong, ignorant, or shouldn’t speak any more. After the unit, at least three women in the class no longer spoke to me. Speaking to the professor after classes yielded nothing more than that made good points in class. It felt like both a responsibility and a burden to speak, because when I didn’t, no one else did — not even the professor.
Maybe this is a forced introduction into the “real world,” where unpopular opinions can lead to shunning and aggression. At the end of the class, everyone got a postcard from the professor’s collection, and mine remarked that the image was of a “strong woman, just like you!” It was a nice sentiment, but didn’t make up for one of the most uncomfortable courses of my academic career.
On the other hand, when we discussed perceptions of and barriers faced by LGBTQ individuals in my Adolescent Pschology II class, the professor had a slightly different handle. He too let it fall primarily to student discussion, calling on people to speak, sometimes letting us regulate ourselves — it was an even smaller class than the writing at the other school and we were familiar enough with one another to fall into respectful patterns of sharing. Then, somehow, the conversation turned to several students in the class swearing that literature and research backed up the idea that gay men were most likely to be pedophiles, that the AIDS epidemic was primarily the fault of the gay community and was a good thing, etc.
The professor stepped in, pointed out some faulty logic, helped divide (or tried to help divide) the fact from the opinion for students who cited one as the other. Students on both sides had to concede some things — it wasn’t a matter of a liberal agenda or the forcing of opinions on others (actually, the professor is a devout Catholic who helps oversee, at a local institution, who does and does not advance from their studies to the priesthood).
I felt awful at the end of the class, but I wasn’t dreading going back, because I felt like the professor was taking some kind of responsibility for making it a place where anyone was welcome to learn. He didn’t give his own opinions on the matter, he didn’t silence anyone, he didn’t tell anyone they were wrong — he simply noted that some things were actually factually inaccurate, misconceptions perpetuated by a popular culture of misinformation. It wasn’t a debate class, it was a class about fact and theory — and when opinions got in the way of either of those two things, he believed it was his job to clear that up.
And I am of the opinion that even higher education students need that. So maybe it isn’t a matter of preparing other educational materials, or even giving students additional resources, when it comes to a higher level of learning — I concede that. I’m used to the responsibilities of Elementary and Secondary Ed, and of being a general advocate for marginalized groups in environments where what needs to be resolved is a lack of information. On the college level, students are supposed to, to some degree, be able to learn for themselves — though one should still keep in mind that everyone comes in at different levels.
Maybe it’s just a matter of being sure to moderate discussion, as would be done in any good debate at any age, to be certain that people know the difference between good information and misinformation, opinion and fact, and to be sure that conversations do not become so inflamed that learning cannot happen.
I agree with this post only if she is speaking about high school. Once a student gets to college, they ARE expected to educate themselves. In college, students are expected to be self-motivated and exploratory, and be able to bring up suggestions in class when they see a gap in the professor’s thinking. I have issue, not with the topic this post deals with, because she is absolutely correct, but with the level she is pointing it to. I’m not going to make assumptions about her daughter, because if the topic of rape is so disturbing to her, then obviously there is some other issue at hand that needs to be dealt with on a personal level that I am certainly not going to judge on.
However, in college, just like so-called “real life”, students need to be self-advocating. No one is going to be careful of their feelings or troubles unless they happen to be a nice person. So if something a professor says in discussion or lecture comes up with holes, like here where their wasn’t any sort of rape victim advocacy, then it is up to the student to bring it up at that time.
Now, it sounds to me like in this particular situation, it was the student who emailed the professor, to which I applaud, but there are SO MANY parents out there who are still hovering over their students in college the way they hovered in high school. Remember that Alexander the Great wasn’t even 20 when he began one of the greatest military campaigns in history. If we start to treat our teenagers as adults, they will begin to act to act like them. A parent’s job (I’m saying this as a teacher) is to bring a child up to be a successful adult in society and give them the tools they will need to DO IT BY THEMSELVES. By college, unless there is some overwhelming issue, parents should not be involving themselves in their child’s academic affairs…they should be dealing with it by themselves.
One more example, before I step off my soapbox, I have a friend who didn’t know she was supposed to file for income tax because her parents always did it for her without telling her about it. So she turns 18 and moves out, and two years later, she gets a notice from the IRS saying she will have wages garnished and faces heavy fines for not filing. She never knew she had to do anything. THAT, my friends, is irresponsible parenting under the guise of good parents “just helping their kid out”.
Just saying. </soapbox>
it’s a poor idea to leave it to the students to figure them out and react to it as they will, with no guidance. New and complex issues should be dealt with as thoroughly as possible both in the context of the literature at hand as well as that of the students’ experiences, society, and sometimes…
These are a lot of very good points, though I might disagree with a few of them. Though I will clarify one thing — she has been advocating for herself, and for the subjects of these topics, tirelessly, and is just exhausted. She isn’t even sure what to do in regards to bringing it up to the professor, because it seems she has to do so with everything, all the time.
As for self-education…yes. Higher education means that students are supposed to be taking an initiative. But if it was entirely self-driven, we wouldn’t need professors. With some topics, even the adults of the world are still ignorant — whether willfully, or because those topics are so muddied by prejudicial thinking and popular misrepresentation that it takes a vocal minority to help people “know better.” When it comes to things like victim-blaming and trans rights, if we allow people to educate themselves, they may well find more misinformation than anything else.
Certain topics require students to step out of their own shoes and into someone else’s. Many people don’t even have that capacity, psychologically, until their twenties, and it is something that, for many people, has to be taught. So I agree that in college, students need to be self-directed to a degree, but I do not agree that there is so little responsibility on the professor to teach. And that has nothing to do with who’s involved in this particular situation, that’s just my own soapbox.
There are two people (of more than two) from my alma mater that really changed my life: Dr. Suzanne Johnson and Elizabeth O’Connor.
I had never considered psychology until I took Dr. Johnson’s Developmental Psych course. These women are dynamic, intelligent, and took me under their wing for all manner of things, giving me the chance to help them with an article on lesbian mothers and a chapter about LGBTQ family law for a legal textbook; to write my own article on LGBTQ issues on campuses (which had been meant for a call for papers by Division 44 of the APA, but for a deadline confusion); and to see what a functional, LGBTQ-headed family looked like in practice. Before these two professors, I had never had any older LGBTQ role models — the only people I knew were my peers. It was profound.
I’ve met their teenaged daughters on multiple occasions and heard about one’s college search and the other’s foray into boys. I’ve cat-sit at their house for a weekend. I’ve spent as much time in the closets of offices in the psychology wing with them as I probably have with my students.
And last weekend, after over two decades of a committed relationship in which they have raised two wonderful children, THEY FINALLY GOT MARRIED IN NY. Because they finally could.
I just wanted to brag about that a little, because I was so very excited for them, we were back and forth on the phone when the decision was still being argued on the floor, and because now I can say that I know two of the coolest people in the world — and that they’re married to each other.
(If Mom and Dad are reading this — you’re also two of the coolest people in the world who are married to each other. Don’t worry, you’re not being supplanted.)
The Open Society Youth Initiative’s Great Debates program is offering funding to “projects designed to develop, enhance, and support higher education debate programs and help students realize a vision of global public policy engagement.”
What does that mean for you?
$50,000 is up for grabs.
For high school teachers, while you might not be able to get a grant from Open Society Foundations to start or pep up your debate team, but a search on the site for “high school” noted some youth forums and conferences that could be of interest.
In general, their education and youth page looks like a good potential resource for thoughts on the subject in general. I would take a look.