Student activist Brooke Paz tops list of Higher Ed Heroes

Pro-life activist and College Republicans leader Brooke Paz took first place in the voting for Campus Reform’s inaugural Higher Ed Heroes competition.

As president of the California State University, Fullerton College Republicans chapter, Paz led the group in an effort to recall California State Senator Josh Newman after the Democratic supermajority passed what conservatives deemed a “significant increase to car and gas taxes.”

[RELATED: Shapiro snags second in Higher Ed Heroes competition]

As a result, she and her peers were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by the California Democratic Party to block the recall efforts.

Undaunted, Paz retorted in a press release that this was just “the latest in a long list of attempts by Newman and California Democrats to subvert the will of voters.”

Additionally, in her capacity as a member of the College Republicans Executive Board, Paz took a stand against attempts at censorship after more than 70 CSUF faculty members urged the administration to “reconsider” a scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos.

[RELATED: Troy Worden takes third among Higher Ed Heroes]

In addition to her work with the College Republicans, Paz is highly active as the president of the school’s Students for Life chapter, which provides a consistent voice for pro-life values on a highly liberal campus.

As determined by the votes of readers, Paz edged out fellow Californian Troy Worden, the former president of the UC-Berkeley College Republicans, as well as such high-profile figures as Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, and Jordan Peterson.

Congratulations to Paz and all the other winners of Campus Reform’s Higher Ed Heroes competition!

Follow Campus Reform on Twitter: @CampusReform

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Colleges dropping Fat Studies courses in 2018

The recent proliferation of “fat studies” courses appears to be running out of steam, with many colleges nixing the classes from their curricula after media backlash.  

Within the last two years, Oregon State University (OSU), Tufts University, Dickinson College, Willamette College, the University of Maryland-College Park, and Portland State University have all offered at least one fat studies course.  

[RELATED: PhD claims small desks cause ‘hostile’ environment for fat students]

The courses, typically taught in women’s studies or sociology departments, teach students about issues such as “weight justice,” “fat liberation,” and “fatness as a social construct.”

But in the wake of widespread criticism of such courses, Campus Reform has discovered that only two of those colleges continue to teach fat studies—Dickinson and OSU.

OSU professor Patti Lou Watkins continues to teach her annual spring “Fat Studies” class examining “weight-based oppression as a social justice issue,” which has only three students currently enrolled.

[RELATED: College provides safe space for ‘fat-identified’ LGBT students]

Meanwhile, the description of the spring 2018 “Fat Studies” class taught by Dickinson College Professor Amy Farrell states that students “will examine the development of fat stigma and the ways it intersects with gendered, racial, ethnic, and class constructions.”

Farrell, who is the author of the 2011 book Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture, also plans to teach students to “become familiar with the wide range of activists whose work has challenged fat stigma,” the course description notes.

Meanwhile, the other colleges that previously offered fat studies courses no longer appear to be doing so, though academic theories related to fat studies continue to gain traction, bolstered by ongoing media attention and the journal Fat Studies.

Edited by San Diego State University Professor Esther Rothblum, the journal has provided a platform for dozens of like-minded professors to share their research with colleagues.

[RELATED: TA calls for more ‘size acceptance’ on campus]

Fat Studies recently published an article claiming that small desks cause a “hostile” environment to fat students, ano

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Clemson makes senators sign NDA before impeachment trial

Student senators at Clemson University say they were forced to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to participate in the impeachment trial of their vice president.

Some Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) senators who took part in the 11-hour impeachment trial expressed that they feel “betrayed” by Clemson’s handling of the case, saying the university’s requirement that they sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) in order to participate in the trial was fundamentally unfair.

“I feel betrayed by my own university,” CUSG Senator Samuel Thompson told Campus Reform.

Allegations of severe misconduct were leveled against CUSG Vice President Jaren Stewart during his time as a Resident Assistant, according to a leaked Clemson University incident report released by FitsNews in October 2017.

According to the report, “there were moments when RA Stewart would enter [the room] while the women were changing their clothes. When they asked him to leave, he would not remove himself from the room.”

[RELATED: Student gov VP calls peeping allegations a ‘social lynching’]

A total of 44 votes were needed for a successful impeachment, and Stewart ultimately retained his position by just two votes, with a final count of 42 CUSG senators in favor of impeachment.

Some CUSG Senators took particular issue with the NDA that they were forced to sign during the proceedings. Obtained by Campus Reform via a public records request, the document’s title reads, “Undergraduate Student Government Confidentiality Pledge.”

“I, ____________________________, am a member of Undergraduate Student Government. In that capacity, I will be participating in an impeachment special meeting on Monday November 6, 2017,” the document reads.

“I agree that I will not share any records or information provided during the special meeting,” the document continues, making an exception for Clemson University employees and students who require the information to perform “employment duties” or “functions within student government.”

“I understand that if I violate this confidentiality pledge, Student Government may refer the matter to the Clemson University Office of Community and Ethical Standards for possible disciplinary action,” the document concludes.

UC-Berkeley sued for failing to intervene in violent riots

Four California residents recently sued the University of California, Berkeley and the surrounding city for failing to protect them during the Milo Yiannopoulos riots last year.

According to the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by FreedomX law group, the University of California Police Department (UCPD) was “responsible for creating and exposing the plaintiffs to the unlawful actions of an angry mob of violent anarchists,” causing all four to sustain various injuries.

[RELATED: Berkeley riot shows conservatives aren’t welcome on campus]

“By their failure to intervene or employ reasonable tactical methods to ensure the safety of the plaintiffs and the public, government actors conducted their official duties with deliberate indifference to the plaintiffs’ safety, permitting hordes of violent rioters to swarm the university campus in a violent rage,” the lawsuit contends.

Additionally, the suit claims that UCPD violated its own “Crowd Management Policy” by failing to remove disruptive attendees from the February 2017 riots, instead choosing to stand down in the face of violent protesters.

“Why do we need a police department then? That’s like a fire department standing there in the street with their hoses saying ‘I’m not going in there, I might get hurt,’” FreedomX President Bill Becker told Campus Reform.

“The Yiannopoulos protests are an example of the new normal on college campuses with the growth of these anarchist/anti-fascist groups,” he continued. “It’s particularly noticeable at Berkeley, which has a long history of anarchy and resistance to conservative visitors.”

[RELATED: Berkeley students condone violent reactions to ‘hate speech’]

The lawsuit also contains images of injuries sustained by the plaintiffs (John Jennings, Katrina Redelsheimer, Trever Hatch, and Donald Fletcher), with one showing Jennings “lying unconscious” on the ground, and another of Redelsheimer “receiving treatment after being pepper-sprayed.”

Another image shows Redelsheimer and Hatch “after being pepper-sprayed and hit multiple times with flag poles.”

The four have listed several high-level university officials as defendants, including University of California System President Janet Napolitano, former UC-Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dir

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Course explores appropriate whiteness in the age of Trump

Hampshire College is offering a course this semester exploring how to respond to white supremacy in the “Age of Trump.”

The course description for “White Supremacy and Appropriate Whiteness in the Age of Trump” poses questions such as whether “white supremacy is a permanent feature of modern society” and how to “appropriately respond to its ideology and political power in the Age of Trump.”

The description elaborates that the class will “research and discuss the relationship between white supremacy and white privilege, and explore how to build a human rights movement to counter the white supremacist movement in the U.S.”

[RELATED: ‘Leftist Fight Club’ trains UCF students to fight Republicans]

The goal of the class, according to the course description, is to learn how to counter white supremacy and “understand the range of possible responses to white supremacy, both its legal and extralegal forms.”

The course will be taught by Loretta Ross, a visiting assistant professor at Hampshire College who last year was embroiled in controversy after claiming that “abortion, like childbirth, can be a joyful experience when achieving reproductive justice through human rights.”

Earlier this year, Ross shared an article on Twitter along with her own commentary, arguing that “Faculty trained to speak about systems of oppression should not be required to be neutral in the classroom (opinion).”

[RELATED: Prof accuses Trump voters of ‘authoritarianism,’ ‘prejudice’]

Shortly after the inauguration of President Trump, Ross also tweeted an article about disillusioned Trump voters, commenting, “People regret voting for Trump—oh, I mean white supremacy in a Cheeto-colored con man?”

There are no textbooks listed on the course description.

Campus Reform reached out to both Ross and Hampshire College for comment, but has not received a response apart from a blank email from Ross’ account.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kassydillon

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