Judge Rules in Favor of Occupy Protestors; New Supreme Court Term Plans to Take on LGBTQ Benefits
Judge Drops Charges on Chicago Occupy Protestors. Judge Thomas Donnelly of Illinois dismissed charges against 92 Occupy Wall Street protestors last Thursday. According to city representatives, the protestors were in violation of the city's park 11:00pm curfew when they were arrested late last year. However, Judge Donnelly noted in his 37-page response that there were no arrests when 500,000 people rallied in the park for President Obama's victory in the 2008 election, and that the Occupy arrests seemed to discriminate particularly against the mission of Occupy Wall Street. He called the arrests "unconstitutional both on its face and as applied" and that the cases would be "dismissed with prejudice." Opposition intends to appeal the ruling. [Infoshop]
Dean Resigns Over Immigrant Debate. The associate dean of San Francisco’s School of Management, Dayle Smith, resigned after a heated spat concerning the school’s vigorous recruitment of Chinese students. 781 Chinese students currently attend USF, some of whom have such limited English speaking skills that headsets are required to translate English to Mandarin, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. The debate centered around whether extra help should be provided through the university’s individual schools or through a central help center, although underlying tensions on the university’s understanding of language barrier challenges incited her resignation last Tuesday. [Inside Higher Ed]
Supreme Court Reopening LGBTQ Benefits Discussion. With the beginning of its new term, the Supreme Court is expected to reopen discussion on the constitutionality of federal laws denying financial benefits to LGBTQ couples. The issue in particular is whether the US Constitution's "equal protection" clause should override California law and the Defense of Marriage Act, especially for same-sex couples that are legally married according to laws in their respective states. Justices are expected to address President Obama's assertion that DOMA is unconstitutional, although they may put off these larger issues until all pending same-sex marriage cases have been debated. Spectators don’t expect a ruling until 2013, but the fact that the court may reopen this highly-contested issue is a sign of progress. [CNN]
Uprooting Hazing Traditions. After vicious recounts of hazing, including the death of drum major Robert Champion, on Florida A&M University’s campus, the administration and students are taking the problem into their own hands. The University released its newly developed anti-hazing policy and, as of Spring 2013, all FAMU students must sign the policy in order to register for classes. In conjunction to the anti-hazing policy, FAMU will be launching "stophazingfamu.com", an online resource for students and faculty. FAMU policy initiatives may be the beginning of a nation-wide movement to end dangerous college hazing rituals. [HuffPost College]
Jennifer Hicks is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress.