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UC Davis Students Get $1 Million Settlement; Man Denied In-State Tuition Because He’s Gay

Settlement for Pepper-Sprayed Students. The pepper-sprayed students from UC Davis and the University of California came to a $1 million settlement this week. The University of California will pay $630,000 to the 21 students who were pepper-sprayed last November by campus police during an Occupy protest. Each student will receive $30,000, and the University set aside $100,000 for any other students who can prove to have been sprayed during the clash. Some UC students had hoped for harsher punishment and for seeping reform on campus, such as making the campus police-free. However, a spokesman for UC Davis described the settlement saying, “‘When one looks back at the totality of this, […] what it led to was a difficult lesson that the campus took to heart, that the university took to heart and (one that) allows the campus to refocus on the things that make it great.’” [San Francisco Chronicle]

Man Denied In-State Tuition Because He's Gay. When Robert Schneidewend’s husband Jorge Quintero applied to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Peck School of the Arts, they were both expecting to pay in-state tuition. Quintero, a professional ballet dancer of 15 years and a talented vocalist, was not granted in-state tuition because Wisconsin does not recognize same-sex marriage. The couple got married in New York, and they have been living together in Milwaukee for a year. Enacted as a constitutional amendment in 2006, Wisconsin’s restrictions on same-sex couples have made the state a hostile destination for talented young people like Schneidewend and Quintero to settle down. [Chicago Pride]

Big Win for Free Speech at Christopher Newport University. When vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited Christopher Newport University (CNU) last week, the Feminist Alliance planned on being there to greet him–and to protest his visit. However, a CNU '10-day rule' which requires student groups to sign up to protest at least 10 days before the event, prevented the demonstration from ever happening. Ryan's visit was announced just the day before he arrived. The students of CNU, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia (ACLU) all expressed outrage at the campus policy, and on Wednesday the school's president, Paul Trible, modified it so protest organizers would have to sign up only 24-hours in advance. In a letter, Trible said "[t]he request for an exception to our ten day rule for demonstrations should have been granted for the Ryan rally and underscores the need to change our University policies regarding freedom of speech and the right to assemble." Props to Mr. Trible and the CNU community for creating a free-speech friendly campus.
[The Moral Liberal]

ND Staff, Faculty Reach Out to LGBT Community. This week, over 600 members of the University of Notre Dame’s faculty and staff signed onto a declaration asking the University “‘to make the protection, recognition, and equal treatment’ of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people an official part of school policy.” Professor Richard Williams said that the statement reflected a change both within the Notre Dame community and across the country. Students at the University have discussed the importance of a gay-straight alliance on campus, and have formed groups like Alliance ND to promote equality. In 1997, Notre Dame added a “‘statement of inclusion’ describing the university’s regard for all people, with specific reference to lesbians and gays." If Notre Dame adds sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, it will be the second Holy Cross institution to do so this month, after Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. [South Florida Gay News]


Sydney Hofferth is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress. You can follow her on twitter at @squidhoff10.

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