Shapiro snags second place in 2017 Higher Ed Heroes awards

Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Wire and popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro has earned second place in Campus Reform’s 2017 Higher Ed Heroes awards.

Shapiro, founder of one of the most popular conservative websites in the country and host of The Ben Shapiro Show, one of the nation’s top podcasts, is known for his fiery style of argumentation and verbal takedowns of liberal college students.

[RELATED: Prof tells class he won’t debate Shapiro, suggests MMA fight instead]

He’s become one of the biggest fish in the conservative pond, partly by speaking on controversial topics across the country’s college campuses, where he is highly popular among conservative students, but despised by their liberal peers.

In one instance, the University of California, Berkeley had to fork over about $600,000 for security due to concerns that Shapiro’s presence on campus would lead to violent protests, even though the protests turned out to be peaceful.

As a result of his personal experiences speaking on college campuses, Shapiro was invited to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which asked him to “identify harms of infringing on the right to free speech on college campuses” and provide “recommendations on how to encourage and protect First Amendment rights.”

[RELATED: Student gov pulls Shapiro funding after students complain]

During his remarks, Shapiro explained that the current campus culture not only destroys “free speech,” but “just as importantly it turns students into snowflakes, craven and pathetic, looking for an excuse so they can earn points in the intersectionality Olympics, and then use those points as a club with which to beat opponents,” saying no views should ever “be banned on the grounds that they offend someone.”

Stay tuned as Campus Reform announces the first place prize in its Higher Ed Heroes competition.

Follow Campus Reform on Twitter: @CampusReform

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Prof Valuing emotion as knowledge fights white identity

A professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) has called for professors to value “emotion as knowledge” to fight white supremacy and promote social justice.

Writing in the journal Whiteness and Education, UNM Research Assistant Professor Hope Kitts argues that “valuing emotion as knowledge” is a key way professors can promote social justice, especially if and when students are made to feel “uncomfortable.”

Making students uncomfortable is a key strategy during the process of “interrogating whiteness” and “deconstructing hegemonic white identity,” she writes, asserting that the approach could be carried out in any class, regardless of subject matter.

“To begin to discuss critical race concepts on whiteness, it is first necessary to explore the dynamics of naming the problem, calling racism white supremacy, since, as Leonardo writes, ‘racism is a white problem,’” Kitts contends. “If the power of dominant ideology, in this case whiteness, rests in its invisibility and anonymity, identifying it and discussing it are initial steps towards its perception and subsequent deconstruction.”

[RELATED: Profs say classroom ‘civility’ promotes ‘white racial power’]

“Teachers interrogating whiteness critically must value emotion, particularly discomfort, and eschew the idea of a ‘safe space,’” she argues, adding that students “should all expect to be uncomfortable at times.”

Despite her emphasis on discomfort, though, Kitts is quick to note that she isn’t “advocating sadism or masochism.” In fact, she argues that this approach “can seek in-roads through less direct, aggressive routes” compared to other strategies of addressing whiteness with students.

Kitts also recommends that students sit in a circle when talking about whiteness, since doing so “forges community through confrontation, and disrupts the traditional performance of unequal power dynamics between teacher and student.”

[RELATED: Academic: Teachers must prevent ‘assimilation’ of ‘whiteness’]

By encouraging discomfort in white students, Kitts hopes they will eventually develop “a white identity that itself is critical of whiteness,” which she considers necessary for the eventual dismantling of white supremacy.Read more:

Antifa group torches ICE fliers at UT-San Antonio

A group of University of Texas at San Antonio students recently rounded up and torched promotional materials put out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The group in question, Revolutionary Horizon (RH), describes itself as a “revolutionary group that primarily consists of students at the University of Texas at San Antonio,” adding that it is “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist.”

[RELATED: Antifa group proposes ‘Law Enforcement Incineration Day’]

On January 18, the group posted a video of an individual, clad in black clothes and sporting a ski mask, placing approximately a dozen ICE pamphlets into a grill at an unknown location. The individual then lights the pamphlets on fire, dousing them in lighter fluid.

“Too often we find ourselves having to confront and address the UTSA administration for actively contributing to an unsafe and uncomfortable campus environment,” the video’s caption reads.

“Yesterday, comrades found dozens of propaganda pamphlets from I.C.E. that had been placed on a university-supervised flyer and advertising board, located immediately outside the offices of several department heads,” the caption continues, claiming the fliers “contained rhetorical, objectively false statements.”

The group further claims there have been “dozens of documented instances of rape, sexual assault, abuse, and torture in I.C.E. detention centers.”

[RELATED: Attorney for detained student admits he ‘doesn’t have DACA’]

“We would ask President Eighmy why he thinks that it is appropriate or acceptable for these flyers to be placed in advertising spaces monitored by the university, let alone on a majority non-white campus at all, but he'd probably just tell us to be patient and participate in the campus climate survey he hasn't gotten around to making yet,” the caption continues. “Instead, we took it upon ourselves to round up all of this disgusting propaganda and properly disposed of it. And by that we mean we set it on fire. #fighticewithfire.”

RH previously made headlines in December for demanding that the UTSA administration prohibit “law enforcement” and “military agencies” from attending careers fairs, cl

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UT rejects funding from group linked to Chinese Communists

The University of Texas at Austin will not be accepting funds from a group that has suspected ties to the Communist Party in China.

According to an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Sunday, the decision to reject the funding from China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) was made after a high-level investigation and a letter from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) expressing concerns about the proposed donation.

[RELATED: Harvard student scorns casual communism of classmates]

The funding was originally intended to go toward the school’s new interdisciplinary China Policy Center, which is part of UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, before being blocked by university President Gregory Fenves.

On January 2, Cruz penned a letter to Fenves expressing his “concern over the potential for Chinese governmental access to UT-Austin’s education system, which may lead to undue foreign influence and exploitation.”

Both the Chinese group and its leader, Tung Chee-hwa, were suspected of having strong ties to the Communist Party branch that is tasked with influence operations abroad. The connection quickly raised eyebrows among several university officials after the China Policy Center’s Executive Director David Firestein, who is a former foreign service officer, proposed to fund the project through CUSEF.

[RELATED: Chinese student scorned by peers for praising free speech]

According to the Post, Fenves then launched an investigation into the matter that lasted for several weeks, with experts probing the risks of accepting the Chinese group’s money to fund the initiative.

“Under the direction of Xi Jinping, the PRC and the CCP have initiated information operations throughout the entire world, most recently in Australia, Latin America, and the United States,” Cruz wrote in his letter to Fenves. “The PRC aims to gradually establish influence in policy debates abroad by shaping Americans’ perception of China.”

Fenves responded to the lawmaker’s concerns on Friday, outlining the lengthy investigation and assuring Cruz that he already made the call to reject the funding before the Senator’s warning.

“Based on that review, I had decided prior to receiving your letter that the university will not accept programmatic funding from CUSEF,” Fenves assured the senator. “Neither will we accept any funds for trav

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UCLA Social Justice Advocates program goes dark

The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) appears to have cancelled a program that sought to pay students to fight “whiteness, privilege, and heteronormativity.”

The “Social Justice Advocates” program was first reported on by Campus Reform last May, after UCLA posted a job listing seeking to hire 8-10 students to empower their peers by facilitating workshops about “systems of oppression” and how to fight “the status quo.”

[RELATED: UCLA paying students to fight ‘whiteness,’ ‘patriarchy’]

Students hired for the role would be remunerated with a quarterly stipend in exchange for working at least three hours per week hosting workshops such as “Social Justice Myths,” and “All Aboard The Struggle Bus,” according to the initial job posting.

Funding for the program was to come from the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program (BEST), a student-led initiative backed by taxpayer funding with the express purpose of promoting “social justice leadership among campus activists.”

However, UCLA no longer appears to be offering the program, as the Social Justice Advocates program’s Facebook page has been inactive for over a month, the program’s “workshop request” form is now defunct, and the UCLA website no longer maintains any active pages for the program.

In fact, UCLA gives no indication that it hired any students at all, which would make it the second public university to cancel a Social Justice Advocates program after the University of Arizona, where the program likewise disappeared following its exposure by Campus Reform.

[RELATED: U of Arizona to revise ‘Social Justice Advocates’ position]

Campus Reform reached out to UCLA about the lack of communication concerning the Social Justice Advocates program, but spokespersons for the university have not responded to either confirm or deny that the program has been eliminated.

Meanwhile, Washington State University is the only school that still appears to pay students to fulfill a similar role. Although the school’s Social Justice Peer Educator program did face backlash after Campus Reform reported on it last summer, it still remains active.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

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