By Heather Szilagyi, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Emory University President James Wagner infuriated campus community members and scholars when he published a letter in the latest issue of Emory Magazine citing the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution as an example of people with different ideologies working together for “a common goal,” Inside Higher Ed reported. Wagner described the compromise, which stipulated that black slaves counted as three-fifth of a person when allocating seats in the House of Representatives, as one of the “pragmatic half-victories” that helped bring the United States together. After discussing the current fiscal stalemate in Washington, D.C., Wagner called for compromise at Emory, which has been polarized by the administration’s decision to eliminate some academic programs. Wagner released an apology on Saturday after a storm of social media criticism.
A bill passed this month by the Virginia State Senate would allow student organizations at public colleges to restrict their membership to students committed to the group’s mission and agenda, Inside Higher Ed reported. The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg., aims to prevent members who do not agree with an organization’s mission from undermining the group. Obenshain said that political and religious groups should not be forced to accept members who do not share their beliefs. The legislation’s critics argue that the bill threatens campus anti-bias policies and is unnecessary, since most students do not attempt to subvert groups with which they do not agree with. Additionally, some believe the bill could allow groups to discriminate based on sexual orientation and other characteristics.
The VTV Family Outreach Foundation, an organization representing victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, hosted a meeting of nine experts last weekend to create a new tool to measure and report on campus safety, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The goal of the 32 National Campus Safety Index, named in honor of the professors and students killed in the shooting, is to provide important safety information to students and institutions. The Clery Act, passed in 1990, requires colleges to record crimes in annual security reports, but these results are unreliable and often ignored. VTV and its advisers hope to create a tool to measure several aspects of campus safety and conduct a pilot test on multiple institutions this year, according to The Chronicle.