Students stand up to political correctness

Marketwatch: November 24, 2015

While students from Yale University in Connecticut to Claremont McKenna in California are protesting, demanding more cultural sensitivity, safe spaces and trigger warnings, some students at Princeton University in New Jersey are fighting back.

In response to a sit-in of the university president’s office by 200 members of the Black Justice League, over 1,300 members of the university community signed a petition to ensure that Princeton “maintains its commitment to free speech and open dialogue and condemns political correctness to the extent that it infringes upon those fundamental academic values.”

As signatures on the petition climbed, students formed the Princeton Open Campus Coalition. They wrote to Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber and asked to meet with him to discuss preserving the freedom of speech and civil debate that are the hallmarks of a classicalMW-DZ928_pocc_20151124111828_MG education. Evan Draim, a Princeton senior and one of the group’s founders, told me in an email: “We hope that our peers at other colleges gain inspiration from what we are doing at Princeton.”

The Black Justice League’s demands include a dorm for those who want to celebrate black affinity; mandatory diversity training; and a requirement that students take a course on so-called marginalized peoples. They also want the renaming of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the removal of a mural of President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson, who graduated from Princeton in 1879 and who served as the university’s president from 1902 until 1910, formally segregated the federal workforce.

Campus protests are the latest in many students’ efforts to be protected from situations that they find difficult.

Eisgruber has agreed to set aside four rooms on campus for the use of students of different cultures, and to consult with faculty and the board of trustees on other demands.

Asanni York, a junior who helped organize the protests, said the university was not doing enough to address racial problems on campus, and that “black students on this campus feel uncomfortable every day.” York told me: “I’m focused less on how President Eisgruber resolved the sit-in and more on how campus will change in the next two semesters.”

Wilson was a racist by today’s standards, but he was hardly a reactionary figure in his time. As university president, he tried unsuccessfully to disband Princeton’s now-famous eating clubs on the grounds that they were elitist, and he pioneered the idea that Princeton should be a university “in the nation’s service.” As America’s president, Wilson substantially expanded the size and scope of the federal government including such institutions as the Federal Reserve Board.

Campus protests are the latest in many students’ efforts to be protected from situations that they find difficult. Some students are concerned about eliminating “micro-aggressions” — speech that might, intentionally or not, be offensive. They are asking for “trigger warnings” so they can avoid material that might upset them. All of that results in limiting speech because, if something is potentially offensive, then, according to the new campus fads, it should not be said. And practically everything is potentially offensive to someone.

The fear of limiting speech is what led to the Princeton petition countering the Black Justice League’s demands. The petition’s signatories are concerned that eliminating any mention of Wilson constitutes “historical revisionism”; that mandating what courses students have to take would allow the BJL undue power over the curriculum; and that having black-affinity housing would result in de facto campus segregation.

They suggest that a “diversity requirement” should permit students to study any minority culture, not just a marginalized one, and that students should also have to take a course in Western civilization.

One of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition’s members, Beni Snow, a freshman from Massachusetts, told me: “I don’t think of myself as fighting against the Black Justice League. I agree wholeheartedly that racism is an issue that needs to be addressed. I simply feel that the way to fight racism should not include methods that limit anyone’s academic freedom.”

Not only is the Black Justice League trying to squelch academic freedom, but it falsely added the signature of politics professor Robert George to the letter sent to President Eisgruber. George is the founder of the James Madison Society, which provides intellectual diversity by bringing conservative speakers to campus.

George wrote in a Facebook post: “In what is the most underhanded tactic I have encountered in 31 years in academic life, my name was fraudulently added to a petition supporting student protestors at Princeton. … Needless to say, this is extremely distressing — especially because the issue concerns values I cherish and that I believe are being placed in peril on campuses around the country, including my own.”

It used to be that education was about being challenged. Now some students want to be shielded from different views and debates. That will not prepare them for life after college. Let’s hope that the example of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition will be emulated by students in universities around the country.

MSU Book Club Explores Muslim Experience

muslimjourneysLearn more about the experiences of Muslims in this scholar-led book group. We will begin with an introduction to the Qur’an and its place in the lives of Muslims. Then we will read four memoirs exploring the authors’ paths in countries including Egypt, France, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and the United States. Each session will start with a short lecture, followed by facilitated book discussion, and finish with a question and answer period.

All are invited to participate. Drop-in for one or attend all five sessions. No signup is required and the event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will also be served.

Wednesday, November 18

7:00 pm
MSU Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor West wing
Jyotsna Singh, Professor of English, will lead a discussion on Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk.

Wednesday, January 20

7:00 pm
MSU Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor West wing
Salah Hassan, Associate Professor of English, will lead a discussion on House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid.

Wednesday, February 17

7:00 pm
MSU Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor West wing
Emine Evered, Associate Professor of History, will lead a discussion on Persepolis: The Story of A Childhood (Graphic Novel) by Marjane Satrapi.

Wednesday, March 16

7:00 pm
**East Lansing Public Library**
Leila Tarakji, Graduate Student in English, will lead a discussion on The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.

Thursday, February 25 

8:00 pm
**B122 Wells Hall**
Persepolis (Animated Feature Film)

Cosponsored by the MSU Libraries, MSU Comics Forum and MSU Film Collective. With discussion by Kaveh Askari of Western Washington University.

NewsCenter Attracts Record Social Media Audience

Our videographers, writers and web programers created a video news department that micro-targets our client’s social media audiences. Our NewsCenter’s interview style broadcasts on multiple social media channels. 

Each news cast reaches 10,000 to 45,000 targeted viewers, beating Michigan network affiliates including NBC, CBS and ABC on a market by market basis.“Those are some big numbers when you realize our newscasts target geo’s as small as Zeeland Michigan,” said C&R partner Joe Ross. 

Three small, powerful HD Cameras, a Teleprompter and a wide screen backdrop give this traveling NewsCenter the ability to broadcast where the news is happening. In the pictured NewsCast we featured our client ACD at the Connect Michigan Tech-Conference.

Topics range from local technology breakthroughs to local market economic reports.

The C&R NewsCenter’s biggest show to date is its exclusive interview with the creator of Apple’s Corporation’s culture,  Jay Elliot.  He’s also known as Steve Jobs’ “right hand man.”

When Elliot was Senior Vice President at Apple, he was responsible for all corporate operations. During his time there, sales grew from $150 million to more than $3 billion.

Elliot discussed driverless cars during his interview. He predicts these cars, whether accepted by everyone or not, would quite literally drive employment in the automotive sector.

C&R Chosen to Beta Test Apple TV


C&R was given a “Developers” version a month before the new Apple TV product was released to the public in November. 

C&R’s little app company, Ingenious Robot, was picked to try it out and give Apple feedback. We’ll be on Midwest talk shows giving our explanation of this game changer technology.  Think of Apple TV as a massive iPad, with all the cool apps to go along with it. The Siri function is very cool.

We think Apple TV will entice more people to unplug from cable and dish services. Apple TV streams TV programs through the Internet allowing users to pick and choose the programs they want and only pay for those.

So if you already have broadband, you’ll likely only be paying an extra $20 to $40 bucks a month for paid services such HBO, ShowTime, ect. A bunch of network programs from NBC, ABC and CBS come free with Apple TV.

We think cable will be around for a long time, but Apple TV could put a dent in the cable business over the next 10 to 20 years.

Ingenious Launch: C&R’s New App Company

The tiny company builds Apps and mobile websites for smartphones and tablets.

Our small group of experts deliver complex mobile messaging and mobile services to small target audiences.

Communications & Research is the parent company, serving the Midwest firm with iIngenious Robotn-house video, web development, photography, graphic design and other creative services. For content rich Apps and mobile websites we pull in C&R to do the heavy lifting on creating content.

Kathy Schaefer manages the work flow of most Ingenious Robot projects.

Joe Ross is the web based companies creative director as well as our marketing strategist.

Programming, Web Development & Data Analytics is accomplished by Matt Williams who works with the latest programming and server-side technologies to deliver modern and maintainable websites and web applications.

Matt’s diverse programming and web development background helps to strengthen C&R’s core web development strategies. Matt has worked as a programmer for the last 3 years at MSU Geological Sciences, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics.

C&R Interviews A Guy That Helped Change the World

At the Connect Michigan Technology Conference our C&R NewsCenter got a surprise visit from Jay Elliot.
The former Senior Vice President of Apple Computer and close colleague of Steve Jobs’s throughout his tenure, Jay Elliot takes readers on a remarkable tour through Jobs’s astonishing career. From the inception of game-changing products like the Apple II and the Macintosh, to his stunning fall from grace,
and on to his rebirth at the helm of Apple, his involvem32857115_20110412130656_ent with Pixar, and the development of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and much more. His new book The Steve Jobs Way presents real-life examples of Jobs’s leadership challenges and triumphs, showing readers how to apply these principles to their own lives and careers.
Packed with exclusive interviews from key figures in Apple Computer’s history, this revealing account provides a rarely seen, intimate glimpse into the  Steve Jobs you won’t see on stage, thoroughly exploring his management and leadership principles. From product development meetings to design labs, through
executive boardroom showdowns to the world outside of Silicon Valley, readers will see the real Steve Jobs, the “Boy Genius” who forever transformed technology and the way we work, play, consume, and communicate—all through the eyes of someone who worked side by side with Jobs.
Written in partnership with William L. Simon, coauthor of the bestselling Jobs biography iConThe Steve Jobs Way is the “how to be like Steve” book that readers have been waiting for.

Less Color, But Better Hiking… Yea!

When to plan your leaf viewing

Upper Peninsula – October 7-10
Northern Lower Michigan – October 13-19
Central Lower Michigan – October 16-22
Southern Lower Michigan – October 24-2

This year seems like it is going to be a week behind unless something changes rapidly. There isn’t much color showing for two reasons. We haven’t had many cool nights, and there has been ample rainfall.

This past weekend had the first few nights of temperatures in the 30s in northern Lower Michigan, and 40s in southern Michigan. Now warmer weather has moved back in and looks to stay for another 10 days. So there won’t be any cool nights until late September at earliest.

The ample rainfall plays a part in the delay also. Trees are lush in Michigan now without any drought stress. This affects fall color in two ways. First it can delay fall color some, as leaves stay greener longer. But eventually it can help our fall color. The lush leaves eventually turn color. Since they aren’t drought-stressed and dry, the trees tend to hold onto the leaves longer. Barring any strong windstorm, this could make for an extended time of peak color in Michigan.

When to plan your leaf viewing
This year I’d plan a trip to your favorite Michigan fall color spot about a week later than normal. So look at the map above and add seven days. This should put you into at least some color, and possibly peak color. So here is a range of dates for various locations.

Upper Peninsula – October 7-10
Northern Lower Michigan – October 13-19
Central Lower Michigan – October 16-22
Southern Lower Michigan – October 24-29

Source: MLive