Proposed legislation against “divisive” courses or events at public colleges and universities in Arizona alarmed scholars in that state and elsewhere before the bill reportedly died a quick death Tuesday. The bill was prompted by a course on white studies at Arizona State University and came after a spate of controversies involving scholars of race, many of them white, commenting on white people.
I do think there are a number of concerning parallels and many lessons for our current moment. By the end of the 19th century, a rather chaotic array of colleges and universities had developed into an organizational field with a shared logic: to compete against an ever-increasing number of colleges, types of education should be matched to particular groupings of people as a means to attract donors. Characterized in broad strokes, this resulted in a segmented system of higher education by race, class and gen
The Center for Advancing Opportunity is being established in Washington, D.C., to act as a coordinating body and grant administrator. Three HBCUs will be selected in the future to host research centers. The number of on-campus research centers could grow if they’re successful. But mechanisms have not been developed for deciding which institutions receive research centers, which professors receive funding or which students receive scholarship money.
“In the immediate aftermath of the protests at Mizzou and Yale, there were days when the phones were ringing almost nonstop,” Shaun Harper, the center’s executive director, said. “We were getting so many calls from leaders asking, ‘Can you come and do a climate study?’ Spending four days on a campus interviewing hundreds of people is intense. It was getting to the point that we were exceeding our capacity.”
As a student at New York University and the daughter of a civil servant at the United States Department of State, I am familiar with political unrest and its potentially disastrous outcomes in the arms of ignorance and hysteria. I did not hold any particularly strong opinions about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. If I had voted, however, I would have picked Mr. Trump. I was focused on school. I had no idea that a few days later I would be dismissed as a “Trump supporter” and a person of “privilege” who “reflected an us versus them mind-set” in an essay by my college roommate in this publication — an essay that would go viral and change my life.
“We’ve got to stand up on behalf of our students who are the most vulnerable,” King said. “We’ve got to stand up for our students of color and insist on safe environments for them. We’ve got to stand up for our female students and insist on environments free of sexism. We’ve got to stand up for our students who are in religious minority groups who may be wrongly persecuted based on their religion. We’ve got to stand up for our students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We’ve got to stand
I cannot say enough how much of a difference having adequate financial aid makes to a student’s experience. I’ve seen countless students take leave and never return to school because of unyielding financial obligations. And those who do stay are often stressed out by thought that this safety net can be pulled out from under their feet at any moment. Many students need more than Pell, but few can afford to without what Pell offers and anything that bolster’s Pell funding is welcomed.
College students can receive up to $5,815 annually in Pell funding. Advocates said the grant is vital in making higher education affordable and preventing students from being forced to take out loans to pay for a degree. But the Obama administration reached a bipartisan agreement in 2011 to cut year-round Pell grants in response to funding shortfalls. Now the program has amassed a large surplus, which higher education advocates want to see dedicated to strengthening and expanding it.
It is imperative that our colleagues stop being surprised when students of color are able to thoughtfully articulate themselves in their writing and in class discussions. Such low expectations of students of color who have, at minimum, earned admission to our institutions effectively erases their demonstrated capabilities and ongoing potential to meet subjective academic standards.
Reading Hillbilly Elegy, I thought about how much time we spend imploring students to seek guidance for obstacles of our own devising. We produce bureaucratic hurdles, then ask students to assume good faith and a willingness to help on the part of professors and administrators who don’t always exhibit such openness.