student-politics

NEWSHOUR: Here’s what happened during Donald Trump’s Ask Me Anything on Reddit

As one might expect, questions included jokes — “Mr. Trump, Are you tired of winning?” — as well as those more focused on policy.

Here are some of the highlights:

Question: Mr. Trump, what do you feel is the greatest issue facing young Americans today?

Answer: the-realDonaldTrump45
The question most young people ask me is about the rising cost of education, terrible student debt and total lack of jobs. Youth unemployment is through the roof, and millions more are underemployed. It’s a total disaster! I will create millions of new jobs, reform our education system, and work to free young Americans from the awful burden of debt.

Question: Mr. Trump, what is your plan for reducing or removing the influence of money on politics? 

Answer: the-realDonaldTrump45
Keeping Crooked Hillary Clinton out of the White House! 

Read more

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Hello my name is Sammie, and most of my social media is @sagaofthequeer Tumblr Snapchat Kik Instagram Skype Fb messenger, all of it. I’m a trans girl looking for a girlfriend in my area, or girls from all over to be friends with and to. Be cute and giggly with. I. From Rhode island and I’m 19 looking for people who are 17-24 for a relationship, but friends can be any age. I love doctor who, oitnb, hero’s, art (my drawings are in the photos, I’m a college student studying french and politics. Um anything else just message me and ask

thinkprogress.org
Lawsuit: Trans Students Made To Wear Green Bracelets To ID Themselves
These trans students filed federal lawsuits saying their civil rights were violated after being denied access to bathrooms of their gender.

Two federal lawsuits, one from a transgender boy in Wisconsin and another from a transgender boy in Maryland, assert that schools are discriminating against trans students by making them use unisex bathrooms and locker rooms.

The lawsuits both describe the school administration’s decision to give trans students the option of either a unisex or girls bathroom or locker room as stigmatizing and humiliating. The Talbot County, Maryland student, called M.A.B. in the lawsuit, is interested in joining the school soccer team but said the lack of locker room access makes it difficult to participate or bond with other boys. The single-occupancy bathroom is also far from his classes, forcing him to wait longer to use the bathroom than other students and has made him late to physical education class. The Kenosha, Wisconsin student, Ash Whitaker, who, due to medical issues, has to drink a lot of water, tried to stop going to the bathroom at school, endangering his health.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

Quebec Student Protests

Hey so I just got this email from a friend of mine in Montreal:

“I know some of you are aware of the situation in Quebec at this moment, with a second wave of striking students mimicking the massive 2012 student uprising that toppled the government and rolled back tuition increases.  We are still in the early days of this new strike, pressuring the government to roll back austerity measures against universities, social services, and the environment.  Like 2012 students have already been severely injured due to police aggression, with one student recently shot in the face with a tear gas canister at point blank range.  Others have already faced administrative intimidation and expulsion for simply participating publicly in the strike.


Today, police stormed the University of Quebec at Montreal, violently assaulting striking students and arresting many. Brave professors formed a human chain around students to prevent further violence, and currently there is still a stand off at this very moment! Over the last three weeks there have been countless protests and night marches with thousands and/or tens of thousands of students in the streets–but we know little is being reported outside of Quebec–in part because we are a French province and anglos don’t know/don’t care what’s going on here.

So I’m writing to you to you all so that we aren’t disappeared and because I know many of you would stand with us if not in the streets, at least in spirit. So please, share the news about what is happening in Quebec with your friends, colleagues, and students. And to stay in the loop if you’re interested, you can always see what’s going on at this website which acts as a clearing house for anti-austerity related information.”

I hadn’t heard ANYTHING about this until they sent me this email so spread the news!

The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon, earns $650,000 to $660,000 a year in a remuneration package, making him the highest-paid public official in the country. His pay package increased by $20,000 from 2012 to 2013. If there is not enough ‘public funding’ to place a freeze on fees or to pay workers at the University an adequate wage then why is there enough to pay Professor McCutcheon’s salary?

How is this kind of salary possibly justified for any public official when between 500,000 and 750,000 people in New Zealand are living in households with incomes below the poverty line? As New Zealanders, we bare the unfortunate statistic of an estimated 270,000 children living in poverty. How does the University of Auckland contribute to the perpetuation of poverty? Cleaners at the University of Auckland are paid a minimum wage, some of whom have worked for the University six days a week for 30 years. Wages are out of step with the cost of living and an institution bound to be the conscience of society cannot defensibly continue paying below subsistence wages.

Last night I was at a panel discussion on “Should Universities be Safe Spaces?” and this happened...

So just a little context: my university has been called out several times in the national press recently as the most censorious campus in Britain, including on the front page of The Times. This panel discussion was the first event held by the new free speech society, which was set up only about a month ago in response to these concerns over campus censorship, but has already had to overcome a campaign by the Students’ Union to have it banned. 

One would hope that such a “free speech society” would push back a little against the idea that the whole university should be a “safe space”. Unfortunately though, all five people on the panel (plus the one faculty member who was required by the university rules to attend, to ensure a “safe and respectful environment”) all just spent the evening furiously agreeing with each other that safe spaces are a good idea, and they should be more strictly enforced.

I was sitting next to my friend and fellow libertarian society member, and we were both distraught by how bad some of the panellists’ opinions were, so when it came time for questions, he put up his hand to ask something of the Student Union’s Anti-Racism Officer™, who was part of the panel. This is the exchange that followed (paraphrased as closely as I can remember it):

Him [in his thick European accent]: “I understand that you think allowing full free speech on campus would lead to harassment and violence against certain people. But if you truly believe this, surely it’s a matter for the police? After all, there are already laws against such behaviour. Isn’t that enough? Why does the university then have to go further by limiting free speech?


Her: Well no, I don’t think that is enough. And, like, if you think about it, is what the government does ever enough? Like, I don’t know what country you’re from, but I’m sure the government never does enough there either.”


Him: “Actually, I’m from Germany.”


*total silence*


*the entire room erupts into laughter*


-Fin-

It almost made the event worth going to, but I still lost whatever shred of faith in humanity I had left, over the course of the rest of the evening.

At present, the real danger on campuses is not from plaintive student demands for safe-spaces and trigger warnings, but the systematic and often concerted efforts to avoid or prevent protests and demonstrations, to shame and bully radicals into silence, into acquiescence with their seniors and presumed betters. While for decades patronising old lefties have bemoaned the lack of radicalism and political consciousness among students, now many of the same old lefties bemoan its very existence.
The State of our Union

Ask most average Swansea students about their Students’ Union and I can almost guarantee they will have very little idea what it does or who is involved. 
Political apathy is rife.

…..so what DOES the Union do and who IS involved?

The answer to the latter point should be every student. We are all automatically a part of our Students’ Union and decisions made by it should benefit every student. Alas at the Student Forums held roughly every 3 weeks attendance is low and, in my opinion, far from represents the average student body; consisting mostly of political society committees, full-time (aka sabbatical) and part-time executive officers and wannabe executive officers (many attendees ticking more than one of these boxes).


A great supporter of widening participation within the SU, as it stands now I am not wholly surprised by the disinterest from students in Union goings on.

-Why is this? Do students really not care?-

Overheard on campus are various complaints; be it on the timing of their exams, the library, the prices in JCs and stock on offer - all of which could be raised to the Students’ Union.  To the more alert the Union appears to only exist for two weeks a year when the Sabbatical elections are in full swing and the walk from Singleton Park to Fulton house leaves the average student with a fistful of flyers, an awkwardly placed badge and let’s face it; a hell of a lot of confusion.

To outsiders  “Union people” are seen as a separate body- those who can be bothered to become involved as well as those who fancy themselves a career in politics and see the Students’ Union as a good CV filler and practise for campaigning.  From an inside perspective, it’s much worse.  What I had naively hoped was a collective of passionate activists genuinely wanting change for the better for students is instead a power struggle of aspirant politicians, complete with jargon and less than transparent policy.


Of course amongst this there are the few individuals with genuine concern for the Union and students' well-being, but their views are unfortunately overshadowed by the petty squabbles of political egoists and party activists. Motions at Student Forums are not understandable by the majority of students and generally passed easily based on the small turnout at meetings. 

Campaigns on occasion are successful (the likes of 2011’s Save Modern Foreign Languages campaign saw good student involvement and triumphed) yet the current academic years “Students not Consumers” rally failed to engage the student body with an unclear cause and target.  The Living Wage Campaign (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Swansea-University-Campaign-For-The-Living-Wage/313709175312287)  led by Labour Students sports a small committee and is yet to be launched to gain student interest, yet has great potential; only 202 members of staff are paid below Living Wage (what is deemed to be the minimum amount in order to provide a basic living, which based on a report by Loughborough University is around £7.20 and hour) and University of Kent and Manchester University have already successfully implemented this, but I already fear that the clear party politics behind this campaign will hinder its progress in a Union with openly party affiliated executive members.


Blog articles (eg. the recent by Labour Student, John Bayliss “http://johncbayliss.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/faking-and-hating-on-twitter/”)
and the numerous fake twitter accounts created mocking various students involved in the Students’ Union (@fudgeucation, @thebeccafront, @johncbaylols to name but a few) scatter my newsfeeds.  Such accounts are unknown to the majority of students, but for those starting to become involved with the Union are enough to deter involvement.  Speaking up for your views (whether left, right or centre) will inevitably face some criticism, but this is not political debate; this is personal disagreements and their online presence tarnishes the name of student politics and activism.

My message to the “Union”:
Focus on your ideas.   We have the potential to do so much and progress can be made if what is focused on is what is best for students.

Be remembered for what you have done and the changes you make, not forgotten as soon as the rumours and gossip become dull, as frankly we’re all getting bored.

Apathetic, in fact.

Keep reading

Watch on phlogiston.tumblr.com

There is massive amounts crap going on with student politics at my uni, and a guy who used to be a student wrote this and fuck I think it’s amazing. Even if you just ignore the student political undertones I think the general message is one which rings so true. So yeah, this shit matters - why did you come to university? 

Why did you come to university?

a) to get a good job

b) because all my friends were doing it

c) to get drunk and or high, play sport slash video games and meet aesthetically pleasing members of whatever sex i’m attracted to. 

But what about d? The idea that maybe it might be nice to learn something once in a while ,god-forbid expand your mind find someone who disagrees with you and have a serious rational conversation about something other than fashion or football teams. University is supposed to be somewhere where people learn to think, instead we learn to drink and judge people by how they’re dressed, as though the test of a persons character is whether they can form instead of how they perform in cognitive colosseums. We’ve turned tute rooms into mausoleums, where new ideas go to die, crushed by a culture of doing the bare minimum.

Get the grades, get the job, get the money. Get the grades, get the job, get the money. As though getting wisdom ain’t worth the time, as though standing out is a crime, as though speaking out is uncool as though this shit doesn’t matter when it does.

This shit matters because right now power hungry wannabe politicians have hijacked student politics and lobotomised campus culture. This shit matters because it’s your money their spending, this shit matters because of the messages it’s sending, this shit matters because corruption is a slippery slope and if we let this side we have little hope, because the ropes woven today becomes the nooses of tomorrow and we chastise our state and federal politicians but where do you think they learned their dirty tricks in the first place?

A wise women once said that democracy isn’t taken all in one go. They do it slow, sowing weeds, seeds of corruption grow until one day you wake and find yourself asking how come is was allowed to happen, who is making these decisions, why is no one listening, why is no one listening, why is no one listening, why is no one listening.

A word to the wise - they stopped listening when you stopped caring. And yes I know there are so many things we’re told to care about but right now we need to care about this, because a culture which tells students they should care more about toga parties than the quality of their education is the first piece of a puzzled, passive, primitive population. This shit matters because mental stagnation is rapidly reducing our classrooms to criteria sheets, our campuses to advertising billboards and our degrees to scrap paper.

So why did you come to university?

thinkprogress.org
Texas School Promises To Out Trans Kids To Their Parents
At Fort Worth ISD, parents will now get to decide if the school respects their transgender kids' identities.

Fort Worth Independent School District, the sixth largest school district in in Texas, has issued a new version of its guidance to protect transgender students from discrimination. Instead of eight pages outlining how the district will respect and accommodate students’ gender identity, the guidance is now just a two-page document about working with parents to create an individual education plan. If parents aren’t involved and supportive of their student’s identity, then the student will seemingly not be accommodated.

The abrupt change follows months of controversy, fanned by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick ®, who asked Attorney General Ken Paxton ® to issue a legal opinion assessing whether the Fort Worth ISD’s original guidance violated state law. Paxton concluded that it did because it instructed school personnel not to out students to their parents without their consent, which he interpreted as violating a statute that prohibits a school district employee from “encouraging or coercing” a child to withhold information from the child’s parents.

Paxton’s decision was non-binding, but it seems to have been the final nail in the coffin of the district’s original guidance. The new guideline, issued Wednesday, offers no provision for what happens if a trans student approaches a school official seeking guidance but is concerned that they will not be accepted at home.

CLICK THE HEADER LINK TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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Looking for support!

Hey tumblr! How’s it goin’?

I’m running for a position in student government at University of Oregon. The ASUO has control over a 13 million dollar fund every year and is incredibly important to the community at the University.

Our campaign focuses on progressive goals more specifically student safety, campus affordability, and cultural diversity. Sexual harassment/assault prevention and support, forming student renters coalitions to fight unfair rental prices, and diversifying student involvement are a few of the many ofgoals of our campaign.

We would love your support by liking our facebook page, all it takes is one click and would help us out an incredible amount. Sharing this post would also help us as well. Thanks a bunch for reading this!