A politics professor whose op-ed in The New York Times in October helped spark protests among liberal students at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., now claims the college and faculty have left him to fight the backlash alone.
Samuel J. Abrams, who has a PhD from Harvard University and an AB from Stanford University, told Fox News via email Monday evening: “Faculty have to hold the line on free speech and promote discourse. That didn’t happen at Sarah Lawrence, and I hope that my story is a warning that is heard around the country.”
Students claimed they were offended by the supposed “anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry” of Abrams, professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College, and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and staged a large sit-in. They also presented demands, such as a “tenure review.”
He said Monday evening that his philosophy was not an attack on students: “Viewpoint diversity is asking that multiple viewpoints are considered on campus and in the classroom. So that means rather than simply attack capitalism and free markets without a deep understanding of history and teach socialism, we also teach the value of markets, choice and individualism.”
He said his ideology has been to teach students the realities of adult life: “Rather than teach that government needs to get bigger, and is the solution to poverty and improving the welfare of Americans, and this is often the only view taught, we need to also teach how capitalism has lifted millions up, and allowed markets to make the nation efficient.”
Abrams said 40 professors endorsed the demand list, and 12 percent of the faculty “endorsed the students’ demand to challenge my tenure and my right to free speech and the expression of ideas.”
The college didn’t return Fox News’ request for comment.
“…With the (students’) latest attempt to attack academic freedom, the Sarah Lawrence faculty could have redeemed themselves and been galvanized to support free expression. Instead, they opted for silence — and, what’s worse, many of them were supportive of the student protesters’ demands,” Abrams wrote in The Spectator over the weekend.
He also wrote about the repercussions he received for the original opinion piece last fall: “There was a national media storm in which I was slandered and defamed, my family’s safety was threatened, and my personal property was destroyed on campus.”
In the Times, Abrams wrote about original survey data of a “nationally representative sample of roughly 900 ‘student-facing’ administrators” which found “liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-1. Only 6 percent of campus administrators identified as conservative to some degree, while 71 percent classified themselves as liberal or very liberal.”
He added in the October opinion piece, “It’s no wonder so much of the nonacademic programming on college campuses is politically one-sided. … It appears that a fairly liberal student body is being taught by a very liberal professoriate — and socialized by an incredibly liberal group of administrators.”
Source: Fox News National
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Three University of Kansas fraternity brothers on a spring break trip to Florida are credited with rescuing a young boy from a riptide.
The Kansas City Star reports that Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers Jared Cox, of Overland Park; Connor Churchill, of Olathe; and Cole Firmature, of Omaha, Nebraska, went to a beach on March 11 in Destin, Florida. They were at a beach bar when they heard a woman cry out for a lifeguard and point to the water.
There was no lifeguard patrolling the beach at the time and the three men sprinted to the water.
They spotted a young boy drifting on a boogie board 40 yards out into the ocean. The three men swam out and brought the child to shore by pushing him on the board.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com
Source: Fox News National
The bill that’s been coined as the Youth Employment Act would allow employers to pay less than the current state’s minimum wage of $11 to full-time students younger than 22 working 20 hours or less weekly. Though this wouldn’t be a requirement for employers, it would open the doors for them to pay students the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
State Rep. Travis Grantham sponsored the bill, which passed in the State House with a vote of 31-29. Grantham said they’re not attempting to cut anyone’s pay but instead to open up entry-level jobs that “went away” when the minimum wage was raised after a proposition that raised Arizona’s minimum wage up to $12 an hour by 2020 was passed by voters in 2016.
“The Youth Employment Act is a bill that I think deals with some of the unintended consequences of our state’s minimum wage law here,” Grantham said. “What we have going on in Arizona is there’s a lot of folks who can’t get a job in that age range of like 16 to 22 years old. Many of these people are full-time students, many of them it may be their first job they’re trying to get and unfortunately a lot of employers can’t pay the individuals the mandated high minimum wage numbers because these are entry-level jobs.”
But full-time students like Lorena Austin say the proposal amounts to age discrimination.
Austin is a full-time student at Arizona State University on a full-ride scholarship. She has four part-time jobs that she relies on to get by. She works 30 to 40 hours a week and spends about 30 hours a week studying and going to class. Though she’s over 22, she worries for her many peers who this bill would affect directly.
“Already there’s a huge disparity between wages and the cost of education. And students literally simply can’t afford it,” Austin said. “…I think it is a matter of livelihood, it’s a matter of being able—do I choose between having a roof over my head or doing well on this course? Do I choose between having food or supplies that I need for this education?”
Austin argues that while her father was able to attend college and pay for his tuition by working part-time, that’s not the case anymore today. Austin said if a student was to work the federal minimum wage rate and pay for a semester of college, which for her is about $12,800 tuition a semester, it would take a student almost 22 months to pay it off.
Ruby Hernandez, 18, and Blanca Collazo, 17, both high school seniors, worry about the bill affecting their families and their freshman year of college in the fall. Collazo plans on attending Grand Canyon University and said her family relies on her and her father’s income. In her home of six, it’s just her and her dad working, she said.
“I know so many people who will be struggling with paying for different things like school… I don’t think I’ll be able to pay it off with $7.25, like, if I barely can’t even pay it off with $11 that we’re earning right now,” Collazo said.
For Hernandez, she said she has to work to pay off her tuition because right now, only her mom has a job.
“If it was to go down to $7.25, I would have to worry about finding multiple jobs, not just one, because it wouldn’t be enough hours to support myself, so maybe like finding side jobs…like Lyft or Uber, anything…just to help me get by to support myself," Hernandez said. "(The bill) is very discriminative towards young people and it just shows that our lawmakers are not really concerned about like how it would affect the students because they’re not under the age of 22.”
Cesar Aguilar, who is executive director of the Arizona Students Association, which represents the over 580,000 university and community college students in the state, said this is a “direct attack on students.”
“If you can fight and die for your country, you should be getting the same pay as everyone else, doing the same work,” Aguilar said.
Grantham disagrees it will hurt students. In fact, he said, it will help them.
“To say that that this discriminates against somebody is actually, I find that to be quite offensive,” Grantham said. “I kind of feel like the high minimum wage standard we have discriminated against people who can’t show they have the experience needed to get a job. How do we give people that first experience? We allow them to work for these companies, allow them to work for the small businesses, allow them to work in the mom and pop shops, and get that vital experience so that they can add to our economy and grow with our state.”
Grantham said “more youth will get more jobs.” Some of those jobs Grantham mentioned were grocery baggers or car dealership lot attendants. Grantham said he also wants entry jobs to be available for his daughters when they’re ready for their first job.
“It’s unfortunate that a lot of our youth are being denied the opportunity to build that character, to get that first job because the job is just not available,” Grantham said.
Chad Heinrich is the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Arizona director and said small businesses employ around 1 million people, which makes up more than 40-percent of the state’s workforce.
“The youth unemployment rate is roughly 12 percent nationally,” Heinrich said. “In Arizona, we have a minimum wage that is about 50 percent higher than the federal minimum wage. That really prohibits small businesses and businesses of any size from hiring folks that don’t really have any work experience.”
Heinrich said hiring levels from small businesses are at a 45-year high. The problem, he said, is small businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers.
“Next year, (the minimum wage) will be $12 an hour,” Heinrich said. “So, at $12 an hour, it will be 65 percent higher than the federal minimum wage. So, that’s a barrier for students that want to enter the workforce. If I’m an employer, I don’t have much of an incentive to take on a potential employee that has zero job experience and does not have the hard skills because they haven’t completed their education.”
Economist and University of Miami professor, Michael Szanto, said he understands both sides of the issue. He said it will particularly hurt poorer students who need the money to pay their tuition and to feed themselves.
“We don’t want this to become predatory and preying on students who are already disadvantaged, and making the situation worse,” Szanto said.
The student association and the American Civil Liberties Union are already threatening to sue if the bill passes.
Szanto said there needs to be a balance when it comes to the minimum wage that considers both small businesses and workers. But he said Arizona voters spoke their minds when they voted to raise the minimum wage in 2016—so the bill would be legal, but only “in a very narrow sense.”
“It’s in the interest of the state of Arizona and the United States as a whole, that we do everything we can to get our future leaders, engineers, doctors, etc. to be huge successes,” Szanto said. “So, we want to do everything we can to boost the chances of young adults in this country because they’re a big part of the future.”
Source: Fox News National
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee will begin providing free tuition to Tennessee residents starting in the fall of 2020.
Interim university President Randy Boyd announced Thursday that tuition and fees will be covered for students with household incomes of less than $50,000 a year.
Boyd said the university isn’t "just for the wealthy or the elite. This is a school for everyone."
Qualifying students will be matched with volunteer mentors and need to complete service-learning hours. Both incoming students and those already enrolled in 2020 will be eligible.
Tennessee five years ago became the first state to make community college tuition-free for new high school graduates. It later expanded that program to allow older adults. State commitments have enabled 46 percent of UT students to graduate without debt.
Source: Fox News National
SALAMANCA, N.Y. – A long-missing peace pipe tomahawk President George Washington gave to a Seneca leader in the late 18th century has been returned to the tribe in western New York.
Washington gave the combination tobacco-smoking pipe and weapon to Cornplanter as the United States negotiated a peace treaty with the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
The artifact eventually wound up at the State Museum in Albany, where it remained until being stolen in the late 1940s.
Last year, an anonymous collector returned the artifact to the museum. Officials there decided to give it back to the Senecas.
Cornplanter’s pipe tomahawk was presented Thursday to the Seneca Nation of Indians, who have put the artifact on display in the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca, near the Pennsylvania border 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Buffalo.
Source: Fox News National
In the wake of a college admissions scandal rocking the nation, a New Jersey teen who was once homeless has been accepted into 17 colleges, overcoming his obstacles with hard work and perseverance, reports said Thursday.
Dylan Chidick, 17, is student council president and a member of the National Honor Society at Henry Synder High School in Jersey City. Going to college is his dream, and now he’s gotten accepted into 17 out of the 18 colleges he’s applied to.
"I wasn’t really sure if I wasn’t going to get into college because I don’t have the perfect grades or perfect GPA or perfect SAT score," Dylan told the North Jersey Record. "But I knew that when college admissions read my essay and see me as a whole person, I’d be OK."
One of his most trying family obstacles included coping with his twin brother’s heart condition called aortic stenosis, which restricts blood flow from the left side of the heart to the right side, the report said.
Adding to Dylan’s family struggles, his mother, Khadine Phillip, fell ill and was unable to work to pay the bills, which prompted the landlord to evict the family.
"It was a very dark time and I did not want to end back up in that situation again, so I worked harder," Dylan told Fox 35 Orlando.
In 2017, Phillip was able to get help for her family. She connected with Village of Families, a HUD-funded housing program, which is part of WomenRising, a nonprofit that offers aid to women and families. The center has helped put the family up in permanent supportive housing — a safe place for Dylan to study and wait for his final acceptance letter, New York’s WCBS-TV reported. The costs for all the college applications were waived, the report said.
“The College of New Jersey. I haven’t heard back yet, but that is my top school right now,” the honor student said.
Dylan moved from Trinidad to the U.S. at seven years old and became a citizen, the station reported. He will be the first in his family to attend college.
Dylan hopes to study political science and go to law school. He hopes his story will inspire others to pursue their dreams despite hardships.
"I would say, just keep pushing through. What you’re going through now should not define you in any way and you should keep working hard. The work you put in now you will foresee in the future," he told Fox 35.
Source: Fox News National
The indictments of celebrities and CEOs in a sweeping FBI investigation into a college admissions scandal has raised questions about the advantages – on both sides of the law – that exist for the children of moneyed parents.
Beyond bribes and admissions fraud, a network of legal options has long existed for parents who aim to leverage their wealth into their children’s success.
“You can turn wealth and money into better higher education,” Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, said. “By the time some of these kids are applying to college, their resume, quite frankly, looks better than mine.”
The advantages begin at birth, Reeves said. Families who have the means can afford private schools or the costs of moving to a district with elite public schools — a cost working class families often struggle to bear.
It means that if you win the lottery of birth, you’re going to be way more college ready at 18 than a kid born into a less affluent background.
Reeves says that school choice, coupled with private tutoring and test preparation, gives the students a demonstrable advantage before they’ve even begun applying to elite institutions.
“It means that if you win the lottery of birth, you’re going to be way more college ready at 18 than a kid born into a less affluent background,” Reeves said.
Coming from a family of means is the first in a series of cascading advantages and tools that wealthy parents leverage for their children’s benefit.
Private test preparation for K-12 students in the United States is an $8.29 billion industry, according to the market research firm Technavio. The industry, which is legal, often helps students understand how to take standardized tests, like the ACT and SAT, and develop test-taking strategies.
Even institutions like The New York Times cash in on the college prep meal ticket. The legacy newspaper charges between $5,150 and $5,750 for its two-week summer program, The School of The New York Times. Reeves said wealthy families use extracurricular activities like this to separate their children from the pack when applying to colleges.
Private K-12 schools in New York City often have tuition rates that mirror or even exceed their Ivy League counterparts. The Trinity School costs more than $52,000 per academic year. Riverdale will run a family as much as $54,000. The Brearley School costs $49,000.
Harvard University’s tuition, by comparison, costs more than $46,000 without fees, room and board. After tallying those expenses, students can expect to spend upwards of $67,000.
One tutoring industry insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve his New York City clientele, said families of all economic backgrounds spend money on their kids’ education, but it’s more prevalent among families who can afford the extra investment.
A specific tool often used by parents hoping to get their children special academic attention is neuropsychological evaluations, which test for learning disabilities or other deficiencies – and can be used to secure extra time or special proctors on standardized tests. This was a key tool utilized in the admission scam.
“It’s the kind of thing that is going to be used more by people with resources and time,” he said. “Both for its impact on your ability to get extra time on a test and ability to get custom tutoring.”
Often, the testing is used to help legitimize mental illnesses or learning disabilities that keep them from performing as well as they could. Huffman, Loughlin and the other defendants allegedly used neuropsychological tests to fraudulently obtain extra time for their kids, or their stand-ins, to take their ACT and SAT tests.
Most often, the insider said parents and students use his services to prepare for standardized tests and entrance exams. The rates of his company run about $150 per hour, which is higher than average but not exorbitant.
On the high end are places like Advantage Testing, which charges anywhere from $550 to $1590 per session for test preparation, according to an employee who answered the phone when Fox News called. She said most of the students who engage their services are looking to gain admission to Ivy League schools.
“A huge part of the work we do is working with kids from private schools who are looking for test prep and academic support,” the industry insider said.
Of course, there still exists more apparent outright quid pro quo in higher education than test preparation or private tutoring. One such potential example is the $2.5 million donated to Harvard University by Charles Kushner shortly before his son, Jared, was accepted.
The admissions to our elite colleges is softly corrupt, and if not illegal, in many cases, immoral.
Also jumping the steadily-decreasing line for acceptance are “legacy” students, whose parents and grandparents attended the elite school to which their offspring applies.
The 2021 class at Harvard is comprised of legacy students at a startling rate – nearly 30 percent of the class is descended from Harvard alumni. Compared with their record low acceptance rate of just 5 percent in 2015-2016, you have a picture of access by way of bloodline.
The myriad ways in which the wealthy game the college admission system “blows the lid off the idea that these are meritocratic systems,” according to Reeves.
“The admissions to our elite colleges is softly corrupt, and if not illegal, in many cases, immoral,” he said.
In the zero-sum game where every student who is admitted negates one who is not, Reeves said college admissions beg the question of who the elite institutions exist to serve. Legacy admissions, expensive college test preparation and private tutoring help these admissions act as a “farm team” for tomorrow’s elite.
What elite schools gain in endowments and donations that pave the way for wealthy students to follow their parents’ paths, they lose in diversity of experience, region and background, Reeves said.
“I think they’re missing a very important element of diversity, which is diversity of experience and diversity of background,” he said.
Reeves, who explored the growing inequality between the upper middle class and the rest of America in his book “Dream Hoarders,” said these institutions can exist to cultivate groups of tomorrow’s leaders that look and feel like the rest of the country, or they can continue to serve exclusively the same elite families they have for decades.
Increasingly, regular Americans are feeling ostracized from higher education. A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that 58 percent of Republicans feel that colleges have a negative impact on the country. This cuts to the heart of the admissions scandal, where Reeves said the indicted parents may have felt they weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary to give their kids an advantage.
“This scandal cast a light on how much these institutions are serving the elite rather than serving America,” he said.
Fox News’ Lydia Culp contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News National
The son of Jane Buckingham, a marketing executive and parenting book author, said he didn’t know his mother allegedly paid bribes to help him get into college as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme.
Jack Buckingham told the Hollywood Reporter that although he was told not to speak about the incident, he felt the need to release a statement “to get that off my chest.”
"I know there are millions of kids out there both wealthy and less fortunate who grind their ass off just to have a shot at the college of their dreams. I am upset that I was unknowingly involved in a large scheme that helps give kids who may not work as hard as others an advantage over those who truly deserve those spots,” Buckingham said.
"For that I am sorry though I know my word does not mean much to many people at the moment. While the situation I am going through is not a pleasant one, I take comfort in the fact that this might help finally cut down on money and wealth being such a heavy factor in college admissions,” he continued. “Instead, I hope colleges may prioritize [looking at] an applicants’ character, intellect and other qualities over everything else.”
Jane Buckingham, who founded the firm Trendera, was one of 50 people charged because of their alleged involvement in William “Rick” Singer’s scheme to help their children get into elite colleges by cheating on the school admissions exams or faking athlete profiles.
Buckingham allegedly paid $50,000 to Singer to have someone take the ACT exam on behalf of his son in July 2018. The marketing exec was initially supposed to fly her son to Houston to take the exam at a testing center, but the plan fell through because Jack had tonsillitis, the complaint stated. Singer then had Mark Riddell, dubbed the “best test-taker,” take the exam on behalf of Buckingham’s son.
“I know this is craziness, I know it is. And then I need you to get him into USC, and then I need you to cure cancer and [make peace] in the Middle East,” Buckingham told Singer in a phone call.
Buckingham also sent a sample of her son’s handwriting so Riddell would be able to replicate it for the exam, authorities stated.
Buckingham also allegedly discussed paying Singer to help her daughter, Lilia Buckingham, because she is “not a great test taker,” according to the indictment.
Source: Fox News National
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. –– A party on South Beach last week turned into a massive brawl, with a young woman repeatedly getting kicked by a large group of rowdy spring breakers as teens yelled and filmed the scuffle with their phones.
In another fight two days earlier, a group dragged a woman out of a car on South Beach as more than a dozen barefoot women pummeled her in the middle of nighttime traffic.
Miami Beach has always been a popular spot for spring breakers, but local police say the college crowd descending in the city have become rowdier, more violent and have little respect for rules and authority.
And officials say they have had it.
Miami Beach this year is shelling out $30,000 on a marketing campaign that basically tells spring breakers that their shenanigans will not be tolerated — either behave or be hauled to jail. The city also set aside roughly $700,000 for police overtime to specifically address and control rowdy spring breakers.
Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates said the department has had almost 2,000 combined arrests over the last three years during the spring break season. The unruliness, he said, is putting lives at risk and straining police resources.
“Spring break has become rowdier as crowds grow larger, by the tens of thousands this year — especially with Miami being a top spring break destination,” Oates said.
Miami Beach Police historically deal with an uptick in crime during this time of year, when college students are on Spring Break and want a warm place to let loose. Last March, police reported 561 arrests, compared to about 400 in both January and February. The months following spring break showed a steady decrease in arrests.
Other top spring break destinations are also experiencing an uptick in rowdiness among spring breakers, including Texas, and foreign spring break hotspots, like Mexico and the Bahamas, have issued travel advisories, according to the Washington Post.
Miami Beach said it will step up enforcement and make sure spring breakers are held accountable.
“Come on vacation, don’t leave on probation,” one sign tells tourists. Another, which shows a pair of hands gripping the bars of a jail cell, tells readers to “choose your bars wisely.”
Some of the department’s campaign signs can be found in tourist destinations such as on Ocean Drive.
The ads are also digital. Police are targeting social-media users based on their location, directing them to a new website explaining what rule-breaking will get them arrested.
“Very frankly, we want the students to know that if they misbehave, there is a very good chance they will get arrested,” Oates said.
The police chief said that this year, the departments will report student arrests to their schools to ensure there are consequences for bad behavior and a new level of accountability for students.
“If you are coming here because you think the rules don’t apply, you should go somewhere else. It is that simple,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
Miami Beach police said, in total, they are spending about $1.5 million to police spring break. They said they want to make sure that if anyone starts getting out of hand, police will be there stop them.
“If you are coming here to make your own episode of the hangover — don’t come,” Gelber said.
Some spring breakers say this year’s in-your-face message is having an effect.
“It is kind of intense,” said Aleson Ali-Elnour, a Tennessean who was in the city for spring break. "It is hard to ignore when you see it all over the beach. That’s what they want."
Nationally, the Transportation Security Administration is preparing for a record number of travelers to fly between late February to April. TSA officials announced they would screen an estimated 107 million passengers and crew members between March 14 to April 28, an increase of more than 3 percent compared to the same time the year prior.
Officials said spring break has changed. With a spike in arrests in 2017 — including over 200 drug arrests in both 2017 and 2018, compared to just 127 in 2016 — police say the issue lies with some vacationers who believe the rules are only written in the sand.
The chief said public officials and the police department are working together to make sure there are no rule breakers.
“We’ll be strictly enforcing a lot of our rules, like drinking in public,” Oates said.
According to a 2017 survey from Project Know, an online substance abuse resource, the top three cities for alcohol poisoning are all in Florida. They include Tampa, Daytona Beach and Miami Beach.
“There is also a misconception that smoking marijuana is legal here, which it is not,” Oates added.
Many spring breakers seem to overlook the state’s marijuana law, a reality evident from the strong smell of pot hanging in the air on South Beach.
Spring breakers are also getting more creative. In order to skirt laws banning alcohol along the shore, a group of college kids passed around half-naked, full-sized mannequins filled with alcohol. The students filled the mannequin with liquor and drank from a filter cup placed upside down on the neck of the mannequin, taking turns drinking out of it.
Police said they will target spring breakers both on and off the beach. Many students have been stopped for drinking and driving and even for riding on top of vehicles.
Police say the new campaign will run through the start of April, but they hope it will serve as a lasting message to future spring breakers hoping to make Miami their destination of choice.
“It’s a tough message," Oates said. "But we think we have to do it. It is a matter of public safety.”
Source: Fox News National
A Connecticut university has denied wrongdoing in the choking death of a 20-year-old student, who died during a pancake-eating contest on campus in 2017.
Caitlin Nelson, a student at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., was participating in a charity fundraiser when she allegedly began to shake uncontrollably and fell to the floor after eating multiple pancakes in a short period of time. She died three days later at a New York City hospital.
Lawyers for the university blamed Nelson’s own actions for her death, according to court documents filed Tuesday in response to a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the student’s mother.
Nelson’s “injuries and damages were caused in whole or in part by Caitlin Nelson’s own carelessness and negligence,” the filing stated, according to CT Post.
Her mother, Roseanne Nelson, of Clark, N.J., is seeking an undisclosed amount of money and accused the school of approving the contest despite the dangers, and failing to provide adequate medical personnel.
The student planned to get her master’s degree in social work, the lawsuit stated.
The family, who had lost Caitlin Nelson’s dad, a Port Authority officer, in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, donated the 20-year-old’s organs after her death.
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News National