DeVos looks at sexual assault

Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing
Betsy DeVos, courtesy of TIME.com

ELIZABETH STRICKER | stric001@rangers.uwp.edu

The opinions of others could not clash more when discussing Betsy DeVos’ plan to focus on amending Title IX on sexual harassment for campuses policies. DeVos is taking a break from other secretary of education duties and focusing on a subject she might not be familiar with. There are many flawed approaches with Title IX that must be addressed she urges. But is she flawed in her approach?

 

What is Title IX?

Title IX addresses sexual orientation discrimination in educational institutions as well as a broad scope of sexual harassment or violence. Regardless of your sexual orientation, you cannot be denied federal financial assistance. It also holds the institutions accountable for sexual harassment cases, because without their cooperation, they could be revoked of federal funding. In 2011, Obama’s administration emphasized the importance for schools to follow a set of procedures protecting the institution, the victim and the accused. The people involved in creating these policies have been involved in a case regarding sexual harassment.

 

She is implying that they treat these cases as overtly severe; therefore, sending them right to the court systems. Because these cases are being treated so delicately, it eludes to the idea that discrimination is being tolerated.

 

Which “side” are you on?

In her speech on Sept. 7, she explained that school systems are only considering one side of the story and are not giving a fair trial—which is discrimination. DeVos says, “We can do a better job of making sure the handling of complaints is fair and accurate.”

 

However, there is question in her sudden focus on Title IX. Do not forget that her role as Secretary of Education is to see that the money for loans and grants in higher education be protected against fraud and distributed accurately. With an understanding that she had no experience whatsoever in public schooling, grants/loans and managing money, she was still elected for the position. They way she communicated her thoughts on Sept. 7 contradicted herself in saying that she wants to remove discrimination, even though her actions are discriminatory. This begs the question, can she be making amendments to Title IX having no experience within this topic? Is she qualified to be making decisions in public school settings, when she has conflicting views between public and private schooling systems?

 

 

The future concerns

Betsy DeVos wants to give more “balance” to the accused and victims of sexual harassment/violence cases. This could be horrifying for victims, as their rights do not matter anymore. She would be in more support of rapists rather than the victims. Why is this? 2-10% of sexual harassment/violent cases are falsified, and someone is wrongly accused, which is what she is basing the new procedure on. However, these are the statistics she is using for making such drastic changes to the policy. Since this policy “fails” a small percentage, it has failed everyone. She confuses civil rights procedures with procedures in federal court. This would send the public into panic because it misleads and is illegal. This is not the kind of decision making we should be seeing taking place in higher government.

 

On activism, protesting the presidency

ETHAN COSTELLO |coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

On Tuesday April 18, the President of the United States visited Kenosha. That is the first time that the President has visited the area since his inauguration into office. His visit meant a great deal to a great many people: for him and against him. For myself, I saw no other option but to publicly voice my dissent.

Why we protest

The reason for our protest is not entirely arbitrary to his visit. The opportunity in him coming to our city opened up doors for many progressives to get out and show the nation that we are not okay with his presidency.

We protest because the president has shown an increasing trend towards opacity of his administration: his slander of journalists and the media—of whose purpose is to hold those in power accountable—and his refusal to release the White House guest list, which was general procedure.

We protest because he has taken measures to slash funding for vital programs from the arts to the sciences. According to the Trump administration’s official proposed budget titled “America First”, there is a $54 billion increase in defense spending, meaning the same amount is being reduced in non-defense related departments.

A March 16 report by NPR notes that the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities—which could be eliminated entirely—and the National Institutes of Health are all looking at massive cuts in funding.

We protest because his stance on women’s rights(the defunding of Planned Parenthood which provides vital services to women and which none of state and federal funding was allocated for abortions) and LGBTQ rights is unsupportive and in fact harmful.

Civil disobedience

Environmentalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau calls us to resist unjust law in his essay Civil Disobedience. I call all of you to do the same.

“Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?” Thoreau questions. It is up to the individual whether one sees it necessary to protest. It is another question to decide whether it is worth breaking the law to affect that good change.

Whatever it be, never settle for complacency. Stay active, get involved, change policy and resist.

Kenosha fails in caring for its homeless

JOSEPH CANNING | canni001@rangers.uwp.edu

Desperation, uncertainty, fearthese are the daily realities of America’s homeless who are all too often turned away, neglected or reviled by their communities. Sadly, the

Joey
Joseph Canning

homeless population of Kenosha has been forced to accept that they may have nowhere to go come May 1 when one of the only two homeless shelters, First Step and The Shalom Center, in town, located at 1017 63rd street, will be forced to close its doors.

A popular, but unfair decision

First Step’s eviction follows a series of complaints from nearby businesses and residents that claim First Step has been disruptive and unwelcome in its current location. The Kenosha municipal government responded by calling a hearing on whether or not the homeless shelter would maintain its license on Monday, April 17, resulting in the unanimous decision to revoke its license after nearly 14 years of operation.

While First Step’s location may not have been ideal, it is inexcusable to shut them down with no plan to accommodate the needy of Kenosha. Kenosha News reported that complaints mentioned loitering around First Step and drug paraphernalia scattered on the ground.

Nowhere to go

Those who filed these complaints seem to think that these loiterers and drug users will simply vanish once First Step does. Of course, they will not and will be left to go elsewhere, where no one is likely to provide them any service or guidance. Instead of loitering on 63rd street, they will do so on Sheridan road; instead of tossing their needles in front of First Step, they will toss them wherever they wander.

The Shalom Center remains in Kenosha, but they have only a limited capacity and do not accept all people as First Step did. Closing First Step as suddenly as the Kenosha government has shows a plain disrespect for human life.

Kenosha’s decision is immoral

Caring for the homeless population is something that every community is responsible for. In an immensely prosperous country such as the United States, where more people eat themselves to death than starve, one must pity the few that still suffer. Despite what some may say, these people are not ungracious freeloaders: they cannot just get a job. Many suffer from illnesses and circumstances in their lives that preclude them from living a normal life.

It should then come from a fundamental concern for the well-being and value of all human life—regardless of their wealth—that all responsible citizens of Kenosha urge their government to allow First Step to operate until a more suitable location and/or organization can be found for these indispensable services.

Question of the Issue

Q: “What are your thoughts on the Think About It course required of students in order to register for classes next semester?”

HUNTER FRENCH | frenc019@rangers.uwp.edu

MOLLY WRIGHT | wrigh082@rangers.uwp.edu

 

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Jennifer Cruz

Jennifer Cruz
Freshman, Business Major

“I think that it’s a really good thing that we have to do it because there are a lot of problems in today’s society that it covers.”

Lisandra Saldivar

Freshman, Undecided

“To us [students], we probably think it’s stupid, but I think that it opens our eyes to these things that do happen and that we really do need to be responsible about it. Even though we think that we know what to do, we still need to be conscious and be smart about what we do.”

 

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Bailie Crawford

Bailie Crawford
Freshman, Psychology Major

“I think that if it was necessary for some people, then that’s good, but it wasn’t necessary for me and it did nothing for me.”

 

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Madeline Bellow

 

Madeline Bellow
Freshman, Criminal Justice Major

“It took way longer than it should have, and it kind of repeated the same lessons over and over again.”

 

 

 

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Anica Djukanovic

Anica Djukanovic
Freshman, Undecided

“I thought the intentions were good, but I felt like it didn’t apply to me, so I didn’t think it was necessary for everyone.”

 

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Victor Vera

Victor Vera
Junior, Human Resource Management

“I think it’s just common sense. Idon’t think we needed to do two hours of it. I think it was a bit too much.”

 

 

 

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Issey Valadez

 

 

Issey Valadez
Freshman, Graphic Design Major

“I feel like everyone should have basic knowledge on it. It’s good that they’re doing it, but they shouldn’t require it in order to be able to sign up for classes.”

 

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Burim Huceini

 

Burim Huceini
Freshman, Marketing Major

“I didn’t know I had to.”

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Mesele Runland

 

Mesele Runland
Freshman, Management

“I didn’t know about it at first, and it took too long to do.”

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Lindsey Chmielewski

Lindsey Chmielewski
Freshman, Elementary Education

“I think it’s kind of stupid. I guess it’s a good thing for us to watch the video because it gets a good message out to students.”

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Jocelyn Mendoza

Jocelyn Mendoza

Freshman, Elementary Education

“I feel like it’s mostly common sense that everybody should know already. They just reinforce it more, but it’s basically common sense for everyone.

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Madison Hogard

Madison Hogard
Freshman, Biological Science Major

“I think it’s a good thing Parkside is doing, but I don’t think they should require it for registration of classes. Some people have time to do it, some people don’t.”

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Aqib Alchtar

 

Aqib Alchtar
Sophomore, Biological Science Major

“It’s a sort of guideline thing, so you know what to do or what not to do.”

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Think About It online course is REQUIRED of all students in order to register for classes in the Fall 2017 semester. It can be accessed via an email sent to all Rangermail accounts.

Walker’s budget is unfair to Parkside

JOSEPH CANNING | canni001@rangers.uwp.edu

Wisconsin state Governor, Scott Walker, has recently unveiled his proposals for the 2017-2019 state budget. The proposals have proven to be divisive, with as many outspoken supporters as dissenters. The University of Wisconsin system is at the heart of much of the debate, and nearly all UW schools stand to gain or lose funding should the proposal go through.

A matter of metrics

Walker’s budget calls for a shift in how funding is allocated to state universities: in a method reminiscent of former United States President George Bush’s abortive No Child Left Behind, schools will be compared to one another based on a system of standards and will then be funded accordingly. Unfortunately—though funding for education is planned to be increased overall in Wisconsin and a $42.5 million performance incentive is being set aside—this is not a fair system.

While it is not yet clear exactly what standards UW schools will be judged by, metrics such as graduation rates, number of internships and average time to earn a degree are likely to significantly influence the amount of funding a university will receive. According to these metrics, UW-Parkside places dead last among the UW schools.  

UW-Parkside is not treated fairly

UW-Parkside’s chancellor, Debbie Ford, expressed worry about how UW-Parkside’s graduation rate will affect the school’s funding; she noted that a large number of the students that attend UW-Parkside are transfer students, many coming from community colleges in the area. Only full-time students who graduate from the school they started at are counted in the graduation rate metric, much to UW-Parkside’s disadvantage.

The new measures put forward in by Governor Walker are plainly made to benefit schools larger than UW-Parkside, such as UW-Madison. Small commuter schools whose students often work full-time, alongside trying to get their degree, do not benefit from the proposed changes in funding.

UW-Parkside stands to be wrongly punished for serving a different and broader body of students who would otherwise be left without any accommodating and convenient options. Additionally, schools that are performing poorly should not be punished by having their funding reduced: a school might be underperforming due to a lack of adequate resources or staff, and reducing the funding by which they could remedy these shortcomings is less than helpful.

Walker’s proposed budget poses some worrying issues for the future of UW-Parkside and the existence of any similar Wisconsin schools in the near future. Hopefully, the funding for UW schools will change to reflect the unique situation of UW-Parkside and to bring funding to the schools that need it the most.