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Mental and Behavioral Health

The University of Washington is offering a course called  “EDUC 200: Wellness and Resilience for College and Beyond.” Available to all students, the course provides tools to manage emotional issues that often come from new college responsibilities, friendship building, and/or trauma.

Diversity and Inclusion

In an op-ed for the Red and Black, the University of Georgia‘s student paper, Asher Beckner writes about the importance of all students and faculty on campus learning more about the LGBT community. The school’s LGBT Resource Center is holding Safe Space trainings throughout the summer, which provide information on gender and sexual identity, homophobia, heterosexism, as well as how to work towards being an ally for the LGBT community.

The University of Missouri‘s student government president Nathan Willett responds to last week’s New York Times article, which suggested that students are choosing not to go to the school because of aftermath of the 2015 protests, with an op-ed in the Kansas City Star. “Unfortunately, the article published in The New York Times this week would appear to be an example of a journalist who had already decided exactly what she was going to say before ever speaking to anyone actually here on campus. But Mizzou knows better,” he writes. In the school’s defense, he points out that Mizzou has since hired its first vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity, and equity and created mandatory diversity training for everyone on campus.

Mohamed Salem, a student at Washington State University, argues in The Daily Evergreen that the Muslim Student Association on campus needs more space. The Association is currently housed in a campus office, which serves as the group’s prayer room as well as its administrative office. Overall, the Association serves 150 students but can only fit seven in the room at a time.

At Harvard University, a faculty panel has issued a controversial new recommendation. Undergraduate social organizations like fraternities, sororities, and “final clubs” should be totally eliminated from campus life because they encourage exclusion and marginalization. According to the recently released report, “The Committee considered the importance of allowing our students to select their own social spaces and friends, but we also recognize principles such as inclusiveness and equality, which many members of the Harvard community consider of paramount importance to our mission.” In an op-ed in The Atlantic, Harvard professor Steven Pinker objects to the proposal, declaring that the recommendation is “at odds with the ideals of a university” and that a university’s primary responsibility is to provide students with an education, not to act as an arbiter over their lives.

In the New York Times, Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan, argues that administering the two standard college admission tests, the SAT and the ACT, universally and free of charge would remove one barrier to applying to college. Dynarski says this strategy could help identify talented disadvantaged students, and increase the likelihood that they will attend a good college.

Sexual Assault and Title IX

Former University of Oregon student Sean Donald Wood was sentenced to 16 months in prison for sexual assault.

Columbia University has settled a Title IX lawsuit filed by a former male student, Paul Nungesser. The case attracted national attention when his accuser protested against the administration’s handling of the case by carrying a 50-pound mattress around campus.

Last week, the Department of Education held a closed-door summit on sexual assault on college campuses in part to re-evaluate the increased enforcement that the Obama administration implemented. In addition to meeting with colleges and survivor advocates, the sessions included men’s rights groups who, in part, represent students who say they have been falsely accused and disciplined under the Title IX federal civil rights law. The inclusion of these groups has drawn criticism and concern from survivors and advocates.

Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, commented in a New York Times article that 90 percent of campus sexual-assault complaints “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk'” and involve a regretful female student. After the comment quickly provoked outrage on social media, Jackson apologized for the remarks, calling them “flippant.”

Drug Use

The Harvard Crimson does a deep dive on the history of weed on campus as Massachusetts prepares to implement recreational marijuana.

Ohio State University President Michael Drake has been supportive of combating drug addiction as a mental health issue. He spearheaded the OSU Extension, a mental health first aid program that educates people in all Ohio counties using research conducted at the university.

Hunger and Homelessness

A photo essay for the Spartan News shows how Grand Valley State University student Cahlan Gillard-Tucker shops for groceries on $20 a week.

Free Speech

Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro plans to speak at the University of California at Berkeley this fall, less than a year after the school became the the epicenter of clashes between the far left and the far right, with several highly charged controversies over politics and  freedom of speech. Shapiro was invited by the Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans to “bring ideological diversity” to a campus that, according to the Foundation, “rarely, if ever, is exposed to conservative ideas.”

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