Category Archives: Education

Wheaton College ends student health insurance over Obamacare

obamacare

Campus Reform: Wheaton College (Ill.) will no longer offer its students health care coverage after being denied a temporary exemption from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.

“We regret that we were not able to provide earlier notice of this significant change, which affects roughly a quarter of our student body,” said vice president for student development Paul Chelsen in a July 22 statement. The college will not renew its student health insurance plan (SHIP) for the upcoming school year.

“The College is considering all of its options and will explore the possibility of again offering a SHIP in the future if circumstances allow us to do so in good conscience,” Chelsen said.

Additionally, Chelsen declared that the “College desires that every student have access to quality and affordable healthcare” but said an “unexpected notification” to comply with the contraceptive mandate “did not allow the College adequate time to make alternate plans to provide student coverage in line with its institutional convictions.”

As previously reported by Campus Reform, Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, denied the college’s request for a preliminary injunction earlier this month. If it had been granted, the college would have been given a temporary religious exemption until its lawsuit was decided.

Wheaton College is currently suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services because of religious objections to “emergency contraception” coverage as part of its student health plan. The private Christian liberal arts college holds that several act as abortifacients and being required to provide them would violate its religious convictions.

According to NBC 5, Chelsen said during a student information session that the school is attempting to protect its lawsuit against the Department of Human Services. The college said in a statement it would also assist students in “finding and signing up for a healthcare plan.”

DCG

NY cardinal who lives tax-free in $30M mansion scolds Americans for being against illegal immigration

In an op/ed, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan chastises Donald Trump and Americans who have problems with illegal immigration and illegals who commit heinous crimes of rape and murder, calling us “nativists.”

See:

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “nativism” as “The policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants.” In his op/ed, Dolan calls “nativism” an “ugly phenomenon,” and “nativists” as those “who see the unwashed, ignorant, bothersome brood as criminals and misfits who threaten ‘pure America,’ and are toxic to everything decent in the United States.”

Timothy Dolan

Dolan writes:

“[Nativism] flourished in our country during the 1840s and 1850s — actually becoming a popular political party, the Know-Nothings — and appeared again, in the 1870s, as the American Protective Association; in the 1920s, as the KKK; and during post-World War II America, as Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

These nativists believed the immigrant to be dangerous, and that America was better off without them. All these poor degenerates did, according to the nativists, was to dilute the clean, virtuous, upright citizenry of God-fearing true Americans.”

Dolan continues, referring to “those happy days decades ago” when he taught American religious history to university students:

“I made the point to my students that nativism never really did disappear completely, but was a continual virulent strain in the American psyche, which would probably sadly show up again.

This point my students would not buy. ‘Father Dolan,’ they would say, ‘there’s no denying that this bigotry was there in our past. But, come on! Who could ever believe now that immigrants are dirty, drunken, irresponsible, dangerous threats to clean, white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon America! Those days are gone.’

I wish I were in the college classroom again, so I could roll out my ‘Trump card’ to show the students that I was right. Nativism is alive, well — and apparently popular!

After slyly bashing Donald Trump — and by extension Trump’s supporters — with his “Trump card” reference, Dolan turns coy, insisting that “I am not in the business of telling people what candidates they should support or who deserves their vote.”

Then, this cardinal who lives in the lap of luxury (see below) goes all better-than-thou sanctimonious:

“But as a Catholic, I take seriously the Bible’s teaching that we are to welcome the stranger, one of the most frequently mentioned moral imperatives in both the Old and New Testament.”

illegal

Dolan, who once taught in a university, can’t seem to distinguish between LEGAL immigrants to the United States and ILLEGAL aliens who:

  • Disrespect this country’s laws and borders;
  • Make a mockery of millions of people across the world who actually respect our laws by applying to immigrate here;
  • Force taxpayers to pay for their welfare, medical care and education (k-12 and college!)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York leads the pack of Catholic archbishops and bishops who live in palatial mansions.

Dolan lives in a 15,000-square-foot mansion (below) on Madison Avenue in in one of the priciest corridors of Manhattan. The mansion reportedly is filled with thick red carpets and priceless antiques, and is estimated to be worth at least $30 million. Dolan shares the mansion with three other priests. (See “Pope Francis calls again for wealth redistribution, while U.S. archbishops live in palatial homes”)

archbishop homes

Cardinal Dolan lives here

Just four men live in a swanky mansion of 15 thousand sq. feet!

Hey, Dolan, let’s see you “take seriously the Bible’s teaching that we are to welcome the stranger” by sharing those 15,000 sq. ft. with illegal “immigrants”.

I dare you.

This is the same Archbishop Timothy Dolan who led this year’s New York St. Patrick’s Day parade as its Grand Marshal, despite the participation of a homosexual activist group, Out@NBCUniversal, and despite the parade’s rejection of an application from the pro-life adoption group Children First Foundation.

Contact info. for Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

1011 First Ave
New York, NY  10022
Phone: 212-371-1000

See also:

~Éowyn

Bias-Free Language Guide claims the word ‘American’ is ‘problematic’

tampon earrrings

Quote at the top of the page on the Bias-Free Language Guide, from one of our greatest philosophers:

In a democracy, recognition matters. Everyone wants to be seen as who they are. If they are not, then it’s impossible for them to enjoy the experience of being full citizens.  -Melissa Harris-Perry

Campus Reform: “American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.

According to the university’s website, the guide “is meant to invite inclusive excellence in [the] campus community.”

The guide defines words such as “homosexual” as “problematic,” offering “Same Gender Loving” as a more inclusive substitute. Similarly, a lack of gender-neutral bathrooms is, according to the university, “ciscentrism.”

The university defines “ciscentrism” as “[a] pervasive and institutionalized system that places transgender people in the ‘other’ category and treats their needs and identities as less important than those of cisgender people.” “Ciscentrism,” according to the university, “includes the lack of gender-neutral restrooms, locker rooms, and residences.”

This is problematic? Too bad, so sad!

This is problematic? Too bad, so sad!

Saying “American” to reference Americans is also problematic. The guide encourages the use of the more inclusive substitutes “U.S. citizen” or “Resident of the U.S.”

The guide notes that “American” is problematic because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside [the continents of North and South America].” (The guide doesn’t address whether or not the terms “Canadians” and “Mexicans” should be abandoned in favor of “Residents of Canada” and “Residents of Mexico,” respectively.)

illegal

The guide clarifies that saying “illegal alien” is also problematic. While “undocumented immigrant” is acceptable, the guide recommends saying “person seeking asylum,” or “refugee,” instead. Even saying “foreigners” is problematic; the preferred term is “international people.”

Using the word “Caucasian” is considered problematic as well, and should be discontinued in favor of “European-American individuals.” The guide also states that the notion of race is “a social construct…that was designed to maintain slavery.”

The guide also discourages the use of “mothering” or “fathering,” so as to “avoid gendering a non-gendered activity.”

Even saying the word “healthy” is problematic, the university says. The “preferred term for people without disabilities,” the university says, is “non-disabled.” Similarly, saying “handicapped” or “physically-challenged” is also problematic. Instead, the university wants people to use the more inclusive “wheelchair user,” or “person who is wheelchair mobile.”

Using the words “rich” or “poor” is also frowned upon. Instead of saying “rich,” the university encourages people to say “person of material wealth.” Rather than saying a person is “poor,” the university encourages its members to substitute “person who lacks advantages that others have” or “low economic status related to a person’s education, occupation and income.”

Terms also considered problematic include: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight” (which the guide says is “arbitrary”), “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman,” in addition to many others.

The Bias-Free Language Guide includes a link to the university’s “Gender Pronouns Guide,” which the university appears to have borrowed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. UNH offers the guide as “a starting point for using pronouns respectfully.”

are you serious

The Gender Pronouns Guide uses a chart to explain how to use “nonbinary pronouns” such as spivak pronouns or ze/zie/hir sets. For example, instead of saying the sentence “their eyes gleam” (using binary pronouns), the sentence would become “hir [pronounced identically to “here,” and “hear”] eyes gleam.” Nonbinary pronouns, the guide explains, “are often used by trans, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people.”

In addition to the guides on bias-free language and gender pronouns, the university also offers faculty training to combat microaggressions. The training, the university says, “explores the danger of microaggressions and the cumulating effects on those being discriminated against.”

Inviting “inclusive excellence” is apparently not all that abandoning the use of the word “American” will do for the university. In the university’s words, “Each step of inclusion moves us closer to a full democracy.”

The university defines “inclusive language” as “communication that does not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics.” The university website encourages readers to understand that the guide “is not a means to censor but rather to create dialogues of inclusion where all of us feel comfortable and welcomed.”

DCG

Calif. students now given six ‘gender identity’ choices on college admissions applications

genders

College Fix: Questions about gender identity and sexual orientation have been added to admissions applications used by the University of California system, including no less than six choices for students when checking off their “gender identity.”

One new question posed to those seeking admittance to the system – which educates 233,000 students enrolled in 10 campuses statewide – is “How do you describe yourself? (Mark one answer).”

The choices are: “male; female; trans male/trans man; trans female/trans woman; gender queer/gender non-conforming; and different identity.”

The application also asks “what sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?” and the two choices are: male or female.

The questions are voluntary and responses to the questions will not impact admissions decisions, Shelly Meron, a spokesperson for the UC Office of the President, told The College Fix via email.

The questions were added in response to legislation passed in 2011 that requested the system provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to report their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression on forms used to collect demographic data, Meron stated. Another question added to the application this year asks students’ sexual orientation, and offers “heterosexual or straight,” “gay or lesbian,” or a fill in the blank category.

“Allowing the LGBT community to self-identify also supports the university’s priority of creating an inclusive and welcoming campus environment,” Meron stated in an email to The Fix. “Responses will also provide UC campuses with data that will help us better understand and meet the diverse needs of our students.”

These changes underscore additional modifications made recently to accommodate LGBTQ students and faculty.

“In 2014, UC began adjusting its student record systems to allow students to indicate a preferred name to appear on campus records along with their legal name. And many campuses have already begun converting single-stall restrooms into gender-neutral facilities in existing buildings, where practicable,” according to UCR Today.

“In addition, the university is initiating a two-year project designed to coordinate and promote interdisciplinary study of genders and sexualities across the UC system,” UCR Today added.

The project will include convening UC stakeholders to identify ways to advance student learning about LGBT issues, and conclude with a systemwide symposium that will showcase research from students and faculty in the field of genders and sexualities.”

As for the application changes, student opinion on the issue is divided, with some students happy to see the amendments and others skeptical of the university’s intentions.

Shannon Frick, a senior aerospace engineering student at the University of California San Diego, told The College Fix in an email that “I think that putting it on there might actually open it up to claims of discrimination.” He also said he believes in a merit system, and he questioned how adding the question to the application could preserve such a system.

On the flipside, 2015 UCLA graduate and political science major Tyler Kroteskey told The College Fix, “Provided it is used for research purposes as opposed to influencing admissions decisions, I see the move to allow UC applicants to voluntarily list their gender and sexual orientation as a positive step.”

He went on to say that the demographic data could help the campuses better provide resources to students. Among solutions that could be proffered to “meet the diverse needs of students” are more “gender neutral” bathrooms. For example, the UC Berkeley “Bathroom Brigade” contends it is inconvenient for some students to use the restroom because only a third of Berkeley buildings have gender neutral restrooms.

There is a small but growing minority of colleges that have a sexual orientation question on their application.

The college to start the trend, Elmhurst College in Illinois, began listing a sexual orientation question in 2011. Since then, MIT, Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, and several others have hopped on the band wagon. This year Duke University and all UC campuses followed suit.

DCG

Feds Spend $125,000 Studying Sexist Adjectives

are you serious

FreeBeacon: The federal government is spending $125,000 to study adjectives that could be perceived as sexist or racist. The National Science Foundation (NSF) tasked the University of Kansas with conducting the study last year.

The proposed research predicts that stereotypes activate different standards of judgments for members of different groups; therefore, evaluations (adjectives) mean different things depending on the person described,” according to the grant for the study.

“For example, in a masculine work domain where women are stereotyped as less competent, ‘good’ for a woman may mean something objectively less good than ‘good’ for a man,” it said.

The project will examine letters of recommendation to see whether letters for women and minorities are “influenced by gender and racial stereotypes” that affect chances of admission into graduate school. “In everyday life, we often are asked to provide assessments or evaluations of others’ abilities,” the grant said. “Stereotypes can subtly shape these evaluations and judgments, even among those who view themselves as non-prejudiced.”

“This can be very consequential in certain contexts; for example, hiring and admissions decisions can be based in part on the evaluative language used in letters of recommendation, and the language used may be influenced by gender and racial stereotypes,” the grant continued. “Further, audiences may also interpret this language with reference to those negative stereotypes about women and ethnic minorities.”

The NSF project said it has major implications for “understanding bias in real world, evaluative settings.”

“Understanding how and when stereotyping can occur in evaluative contexts is a critical step towards reducing bias, prejudice, and discrimination,” the grant said.

Dr. Biernat

Dr. Biernat

Dr. Monica Biernat, a psychology professor at the University of Kansas, is leading the study. Biernat previously received $505,001 from the NSF, as well as $7,029 from the agency for a trip to Warsaw in 2006 for the “European Social Cognition Network.”

The prior NSF projects included “a meta-analysis” of stereotyping and judgments and the hypothesis that stereotypes “exert a wide-ranging influence on social life in that they pervade our language, our interpretations of what others say and do, our decisions about others, and our thoughts about ourselves.”

The latest project on stereotypes has cost $125,000. Biernat told the Washington Free Beacon that she would likely apply for additional funding in 2016, though “that by no means guarantees I’ll get it,” she said.

Aside from the adjective “good,” Biernat provided other examples from her research of the effects of stereotypes. “Because of shifting standards, a female chief of staff may be described as highly competent, a hit from a female softball player may generate more enthusiasm than the same hit from a male, and a Black student may receive more praise than a White student for an identical transcript,” she wrote in Volume 45 of Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. “In each case, the target is being judged relative to lower expectations or standards for their group.”

Biernat also suggested that men should think about using words such as “aggressive” when describing a woman. “This practice may be less practical in the kinds of social judgments we render as part of everyday social discourse—judging a female driver as ‘aggressive,’ a mediocre Black student as ‘really smart,’ or a father who walks his kids to school as a ‘great’ parent,” she wrote.

“But in these cases, awareness, education, and conscious self-correction may be important tools (‘I called her aggressive; would I have used the same label for a man?’),” Biernat continued. “This would of course require ability and motivation to correct on the part of the evaluator.”

DCG

Oregon State student ‘nothing short of heroic’ in burning car rescue

car burning

Oregon Live: It’s not every day that you see a car burning in front of you. So when Phillipe Bittar and his 16-year-old brother, Raphael, spotted flames and thick smoke rising from a sedan Saturday at a Raleigh Hills Chevron station, they stopped to take a picture. Then they noticed the woman inside.

Another woman ran up to the car and desperately tried to open the passenger side door as the fire spread to a gas pump and worked its way through the car’s trunk. The passenger, who firefighters say is in her 70s, was shaking in the seat. “Seeing her like that hit me in a certain way that just made me react,” said Bittar, 19, of Raleigh Hills.

Though a Chevron attendant scrambled to shut the lines that flow gasoline to the pumps, Bittar didn’t see anyone else trying to help and ran to the car. By this time the flames had reached the back seats, and the woman in the car was still frantically trying to free herself. Bittar looked for another way in.

Then with only one punch, the former Beaverton High School linebacker shattered the window. The 19-year-old told the woman he was going to get her out. He reached in and grabbed her under her armpits and pulled her through the window. “She was light in my arms,” he said.

Once out of the car, Bittar held her up and walked her over to two other women, who embraced her. Then they hugged and thanked him. By the time Bittar turned back to look at the car, it was engulfed in flames.

car burned

Adrenaline helped mask the heat of the fire and the initial pain of smashing the window with his bare fist, Bittar said. Firefighters responded around 2:15 p.m. to the station along Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, and paramedics treated the cuts on his hand.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, said Alisa Cour, a Tualatin Fire & Rescue spokeswoman. She was taken to a hospital as a precaution, but is expected to recover.

woman rescued

What caused the fire is still under investigation, Cour said. No one else was injured.

Firefighters likely would not have been able to reach the woman in time had Bittar not gotten her out, said Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Leonard Damian. “His actions were nothing short of heroic,” he said.

The Bittar brothers: (l) and Raphael (r)

The Bittar brothers: Phillipe (l) and Raphael (r)

The brothers had been leaving a nearby New Seasons Market to get some food when they drove toward the gas station and saw the burning car. Afterward, once the woman was safe, Bittar said that he felt dazed as he watched the flames consume the car.

“I didn’t really have much time to think and process everything as it was happening,” he said. “But seeing the fire and the car and knowing she was out, it really hit me that I saved her life, and it felt really good.”

Bittar, a pre-med student at Oregon State University who is on summer break, said he’s often seen videos on YouTube of people captured in life-or-death situations and always wondered how he would react if he happened upon one.

He comes from a family of people who work in the medical field and hopes to become a doctor one day. He said he’s relieved to know that he won’t shy away from a situation where someone needs help. “I just wanted to make sure she was safe,” Bittar said. “Now that I know she is, I know I’ll be able to rest a little easier tonight.”

DCG

Protestors Against Grocery Store and Senior Facility Knocked Down by Car

no sprouts

KTVU (Albany, CA): A protest march in Albany became even more impassioned Thursday evening, after a driver tore through the demonstration, knocking a few people to the ground.

It happened on San Pablo Avenue, as a group of about 60 Occupy the Farm” activists made their way back to two disputed lots slated for commercial development.  “Farm in, Sprouts out, farm in, Sprouts out,” the crowd chanted, declaring their opposition to a Sprouts grocery store on land owned by U.C. Berkeley. They have long lobbied for a community garden on the fenced-off plot.

U.C. Police were monitoring the gathering, and Albany Police were escorting the march, when a Cadillac blaring its horn drove into the midst of the group. When protesters reacted angrily, pounding on the car, the driver hit the gas and sent one woman tumbling. Emotions on both sides were already high.

“There’s a grocery store people can go to, two blocks down,” argued a young woman from Occupy, face to face with counter-protestors, who welcome Sprouts. “This isn’t a wild space, this is an urban area where we live,” insisted an Albany woman, holding her own sign supporting the store.

In addition to the retail space, a senior living facility is approved for a site across the street. Opponents sued to stop the development, but lost in court.

Many residents complain the protesters don’t live in Albany. “I know that having something in town that would bring in some taxes would be a wonderful boost,” Marsha Skinner told KTVU, “and I have friends who would like to live at the senior facility.”

Several years ago, about the time the Occupy movement emerged, the “Occupy the Farm” faction claimed the space as public farmland. It sits next to the Gill Tract, where U.C. already conducts agricultural research and community gardening. The area also has a large student housing complex, an elementary school, and Little League ball fields.

occupy the farm

“I want you to know this struggle right here matters,” shouted an activist into a bullhorn, as protestors cheered. “We are part of a global movement,” she continued, identifying herself as Alexandra from an organization called Food First.

The would-be occupiers say they want produce not pavement on the land, but city leaders say the decision, after a decade of planning, is final. “There’s lots of land they can occupy and grow vegetables on and be welcome to do that, in Oakland,” Albany council member Michael Barnes told KTVU, “but they have never persuaded anybody in Albany that this is a good idea.”

The protestors are hoping their presence will prompt Sprouts to pull out of the project, as Whole Foods did previously. But they were accompanied throughout their demonstration, by a smaller but vocal group of development supporters. “What do we want? Senior housing! When do we want it? Now,” they shouted from across the street.

There is antagonism on both sides, but the hit and run had more to do with impatience than ideology. Police chased the driver for several miles, then gave up the pursuit due to the danger.

The woman who was hit, once back on her feet, rallied fellow marchers. “If it takes getting run over to save the Gill Tract from development,” shouted Mindy Stone, “then I’m happy to throw myself in front of a car.” Witnesses told police there were two young men in the car. With their license plate clearly visible, they will likely be tracked easily.

The development is expected to break ground in the fall.

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG