You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Campus Press’ category.

A vice president of the Binghamton University Student Association has been the target of racist taunts from members of her own student government twice in the last week.

Last Sunday night, according to witnesses, Binghamton SA Vice President for Finance Alice Liou, who is Asian-American, was arguing with Elahd Bar-Shai, a member of the university’s Student Assembly, in the Student Association offices. After she made a disparaging remark about his appearance, he said he was surprised she could “see anything with those squinty eyes.”

At a meeting of the Student Assembly the following night, Bar-Shai, who last semester sponsored an SA constitutional amendment to eliminate the student government’s Vice President of Multicultural Affairs position, stood for election as chair of the Assembly, winning in a 14-11 vote.

After that vote, several of Bar-Shai’s supporters left the meeting, causing the Assembly to lose quorum. An SA officer followed them out, attempting to convince them to return, and the group’s discussion got heated. Eventually Liou became involved, and Assembly representative Mike Lombardi, a supporter of Bar-Shai, told her to “go eat a dog.” (In one account, he told her to “shut up and go eat a fucking dog.”) At that point, Liou says, she called him a “white bastard,” and had to be restrained by friends. 

Campus police were called to the Assembly meeting as a result of the disturbance, and the Binghamton administration is now investigating the incident, but no disciplinary action has yet been taken. Lombardi, who is the former business manager of the Binghamton Review, a conservative newspaper on campus, resigned from the Assembly on Wednesday. 

A group calling itself “A Coalition of Angry Students” is planning a protest rally on campus this afternoon (Facebook Event page here). They are demanding that Bar-Shai and Lombardi “be suspended for a semester, stripped of their SA positions and sign written apologies” to Liou.

May 4 update: This post is still getting a lot of hits, and I’ll be following up as I get more information. In the meantime, if you attended the Saturday protest, or have other news to share, please leave a comment or send me an email.

May 5 update: The Student Assembly ousted Bar-Shai as its chair at a meeting last night.

The New School Free Press has published a full transcript of an interview it conducted with New School president Bob Kerrey last month. In it, Kerrey talks about how officials monitor Twitter during protests, says that someone getting “knocked to the ground” isn’t police brutality, and appears to promise that a student will be seated on the New School board of trustees before long.

Kerrey has been the subject of intense criticism from students and faculty alike during his tenure at the New School, and the NSFP interview took place just twelve days after a student occupation of a campus building that was aimed — in part — at forcing his resignation. That occupation, the second at the New School in the last six months, ended in nearly two dozen arrests.

Extended excerpts follow…

Read the rest of this entry »

No one likes to be a rat,” University of Minnesota vice provost for student affairs Jerry Rinehart said today. But he’s hoping at least a few students will do it anyway.

The U of M plans to put up a website featuring recognizeable photographs and video of participants in last weekend’s off-campus riot, and will encourage students to anonymously identify those pictured. The information gathered in this way will be turned over to the police.  (see update below)

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Daily, the U of M student newspaper, does not intend to grant the university access to the more than one thousand photos its staff photographers took at the riot.

April 29 update: University officials are giving varying statements about whether website IDs would be turned over to the cops. The Minnesota Daily says Rinehart told them that such students “would most likely face University code of conduct punishment, not criminal charges,” but says that the campus police intend to “forward any information they receive from the website that involves criminal activity to [the Minneapolis Police Department].”

May 9 update: Police search teams have found a corpse a little over a mile from where George Zinkhan’s Jeep was abandoned after the April 25th shootings discussed below. The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the body has been tentatively identified as Zinkhan’s.

Earlier today, three people were shot to death in Athens, Georgia, and UGA marketing professor George M. Zinkhan III has been identified as the alleged shooter.

The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s website has a mostly straightforward article up on the incident, linking to local media coverage and noting the steps that the university has taken to inform the campus community.

At the bottom of the piece, however, the Chronicle added an eyebrow-raising passage. After noting that students had been quoted in the UGA student newspaper the Red and Black saying that the news of the shooting was “hard to believe” and that Zinkhan was a “nice guy,” the article concluded with this:

“His ratings on the Rate My Professors Web site, however, were mixed. One commenter described him as ‘brilliant and really funny,’ but others said he was ‘cold hearted’ and a ‘creep.’ “

I’m a big proponent of student evaluation of faculty, but this strikes me as wildly inappropriate.


8:30 pm update: Via Womanist Musings, a reminder that the obligatory “nice guy” quote in articles about white middle-class men accused of murder is problematic too.

10:45 am update: Comments at the Chronicle are running heavily against the decision to include the Rate My Professor quotes in the article, and many of them are based on the premise that RMP is inherently worthless as a source.

I just posted this over there:

“If commenters at Rate My Professor had posted that Zinkhan had been violent or bizarrely aggressive toward them, that would have been something to at least consider mentioning in this article. Such comments would have been relevant to what he is accused of now, and might have raised the question of whether there were warning signs in Zinkhan’s relationship with students that UGA should have been aware of.

“But the comments posted weren’t those kinds of comments — they barely rose above the level of generic insults. Even if one believes, as I do, that RMP ratings can provide real information about a professor, these particular comments did not, and they should not have been quoted here.”

1:00 pm update: Huh. The Chronicle has now eliminated the references to RateMyProfessor from the article, and deleted all eighteen of the reader comments that criticized their decision to include the quotes. No note, no explanation, no other changes to the article.

9:00 pm update: The Chronicle has now posted an explanation of their decision to excise the Rate My Professor quotes and conducted another purge of the comments to the article, removing about half a dozen new comments critical of their original decision. They’ve also closed comments on the article, so that nobody can post criticizing their decision to censor the comments thread a second time.


11:00 pm update: It just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. The Chronicle has disabled comments on its follow-up article on the Zinkhan case, apparently because people were using that comment thread to air their grievances about the previous thread. As of this writing, the sole comment on the Chronicle’s article on another recent campus shooting, from commenter “Bing,” reads as follows:

“I am disgusted that all comments critical of the Chronicle’s decision to use anonymous RateMyProfessor screeds in reporting of the Georgia shooting have been taken down and that commenting has been disabled. It’s sad that I have to let the Chronicle know how disappointed I am through another posting. I have no doubt that this one will disappear too, thereby making it perfectly relevant to the article. The irony.”

As long as they keep doing this, I’ll keep updating this post, I guess.

11:20 pm update: And now that newest comment has been taken down too.

In Wednesday’s edition of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Royal Purple, managing editor Michael Daly slammed the “preferential treatment” some athletes consider their due, and “the coaches and administrators who send the message it’s acceptable to behave how you want because you can run fast or jump high.” As an example, he cited a recent incident in which police had to be called to the campus campus weight room to deal with an athlete who refused to show ID on entry.

Whitewater football coach Lance Leipold wasn’t happy.

“This is fucking bullshit,” Leipold told Purple sports editor Christopher Kuhagen (see note below). In an email, he said the paper would “no longer have access to student-athletes or coaches in the football program,” and in a phone call he told Kuhagen to “go cover soccer.”

After the Purple published a story on Leipold’s outbursts, however, he quickly issued an apology by email. “I want to sincerely apologize for my recent behavior,” he wrote. “Some of the language I used with you was inappropriate and I am very sorry. You, UW-Whitewater campus community and alumni expect and deserve better from me as the Head Football Coach and the example I need to set for our program. I am open to meeting with you anytime to discuss this further.”

He and his team would, he said, continue to make themselves available to the Purple‘s reporters.


Note: In the Purple article on Leipold’s tirades, the expletive before “bullshit” was deleted. It’s possible, but unlikely, that it was something other than “fucking.”

About This Blog

n7772graysmall is the work of Angus Johnston, a historian and advocate of American student organizing.

To contact Angus, click here. For more about him, check out

Twitter Updates

%d bloggers like this: