SHORT TAKES


December 5, 2008

Campus Madness, Part 346

- A leader of Michigan State's student government could be suspended for emailing a critique of changes in campus policies to faculty members and asking for their views. Kara Spencer wrote an analysis of the university's proposed changes in the academic calendar and freshman orientation and emailed it to 391 members of the faculty. As a result, she was called to a disciplinary hearing and charged with sending unauthorized "spam" to faculty members. She was told that her message was "considered a disruption of the activities of the person receiving the email." The results of the hearing are expected next week.

- The University of Ottawa "social justice agency" refused to fund a speech sponsored by the campus Hillel Society on grounds that Hillel has a "relationship to apartheid Israel." The agency, the University of Ottawa Public Research Interest Group, added that "Zionist ideology does not fit within OPIRG's mandate of human rights, social justice." The speech had nothing to do with Israel. It was given by Israel Sariri, head of a Ugandan group working on sustainable development projects. He talked about schools that feed and educate 500 Jewish, Muslim and Christian children in Africa. This is the second strange recent decision at an Ontario university. A week ago, the students' association at Carleton University voted to drop cystic fibrosis as the beneficiary of its annual fundraiser because the disease is not multicultural enough---most of its victims are white males. Stricken by second thoughts and bad publicity, the association reversed its decision.

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