Colleges and Universities
Petition to Lee Bollinger
Tell Columbia University to Condemn Anti-Semitism, Disclose Foreign Donations
Watch Video about Anti-Semitism at Columbia Visit our website at Stopantisemitism.org For years, Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), has been criticized for its anti-Israel sentiment and academic intimidation of Jewish and pro-Israel students. Columbia University officials still stood by them. Not only did the university continue hiring professors with well-documented histories of demonizing Israel and the Jewish people, it also allowed these professors to freely spread their hateful propaganda without leaving any room for more balanced opinions. As a result, many of MESAAS’ professors: Support the Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) against IsraelEndorsed anti-Israel petitionsSupport anti-Israel resolutionsDeny Israel’s right to exist and call for its destruction.Express blunt anti-Semitic viewsThe message is clear and it is disheartening: any student who takes a class on the Middle East at MESAAS at Columbia University is guaranteed to be bombarded with one-sided anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda. HERE ARE OUR CALLS FOR ACTION: We call on Columbia University to condemn anti-Semitism, to remove professors who bluntly promote anti-Israel propaganda, and to hire professors who will provide their students with balanced views of the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and will teach them to respect other cultures and religions, including Judaism. We call on Columbia University to publicly disclose the annual amounts the university in general and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), are receiving from foreign foundations, or from American foundations funded by foreign foundations. Sign our petition and your signatures will be sent to administration officials, including University President Lee Bollinger and Columbia’s Board of Trustees, and to Columbia’s major donors. If you know of any major donor you want us to include, please email us their name and contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are inspired by this call for action, please visit the following website: Columbia University Monitor Project and click here to donate.
Petition to Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders
Deny Betsy DeVos' New Rules for Sexual Assault
Betsy DeVos proposed a plan to narrow the definition of Sexual assault on college campus' and make it harder for victims to find justice in such a gruesome situation. She wants to take liability away from the college campus. In a world where only 2% of rapists are actually convicted and only 12% of student victims actually report their assaults due to fear of retaliation as well as fear of judgement from the criminal law system, we do not need things in place to make it harder on these survivors. Think of your children, your siblings, your best friends. One in five women and one in 16 men are assaulted on their college campus, a place that is supposed to be safe and feel like home. Every day 1,152 women are raped. That's 48 women per hour. This is not a situation that will affect few people. Assault should be taken seriously and we should not punish the victims. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you're not alone. Please don't be afraid to speak up. You can make a difference. Being surrounded by those who have gone through similar experiences is so helpful. If you need to speak to somebody immediately: National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1-800-656-4673 https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Student debt will be the next bubble to burst. Tell Congress to forgive student debt
Student loan debt in America is the largest form of any debt, other than home mortgages. Many student loan borrowers are defaulting. If nothing is done, this could be the next bubble to burst, propelling the economy into another recession. It doesn’t help that overall earnings for young people is substantially lower than past generations. With rising cost of living, the burden of student loans, and the reality of lower wages - recent graduates are struggling for the basics. It’s only a matter of time before more student loan borrowers default on their loans. Congress could do something about it, they could forgive student loan debt by passing the Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Tell Congress to help reinvigorate the economy and simultaneously avert the next financial crisis - forgive all federal student loan debt and pass the House Student Loan Forgiveness Act. Across the U.S., student debt is holding an entire generation back from life’s major milestones; from buying a first home to starting a family. Some states are starting to take notice. Maine is one of the first U.S. states trying to help student loan borrowers. Over one-third of Maine’s population is at or near-retirement. In an effort to attract young Mainers who’ve left the state for higher paying jobs elsewhere - while also reinvigorating the state’s economy - Maine is giving student borrowers a second chance. In the state’s new program, the state will help recent grads pay off their student loan debt through a state-tax reimbursement, ranging from $3,500 to $5,000 a year over a ten-year period. States shouldn’t have to go it alone. Tell Congress to forgive federal student loan debt. Large student loan burdens have meant graduates aren’t investing in themselves or the economy like past generations of Americans. It’s easy to see why. Forty-four million Americans are carrying the burden of student loan debt, amounting to a whopping $1.5 trillion. For perspective, America’s credit card debt was $1 trillion in 2017. Only one-third of student loans are in repayment, the rest has essentially been put on hold or is in default. Across the U.S., 1 million Americans default on their student loans every year. By 2023, 40% of borrowers will default on their student loans - pushing us all into the next recession and shrinking the middle class. Whether or not you have student loan debt, student loan defaults will devastate the economy - hurling us all into the next recession. Tell Congress to prevent the next recession before it happens, forgive student loan debt.
Petition to Mike Honda, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Mike Honda
Save the Perkins Loan Program
Please note that collection of your street address is strictly for the purpose of notifying your representative of your support for the Save Perkins Now petition. We do not harvest or collect address or other contact information for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails, unsolicited communication, or selling or trading contact lists. STUDENTS, PARENTS, HIGHER EDUCATION ADVOCATES, ADMINISTRATORS AND SUPPORTERS Did the Federal Perkins Loan Program help you afford a college education? Have you worked with or do you know students that have benefited from a Perkins loan? If so, please help save the Perkins Loan Program by signing our petition today. This proven and longstanding loan program is in jeopardy. In order for the program to continue beyond the 2016-17 award year, Congress must reauthorize the program or extend the September 30, 2017 sunset date. Perkins Loans provide critical support to students with economic need, offering low-cost loans with flexible repayment terms and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented. In 2013-2014, close to 500,000 students with need were awarded nearly $1.1 billion in Perkins loans, with an average amount of $2,014 awarded per student. This funding is critical to students who may not qualify for any other financing options, including more costly private loans, and therefore would be unable to complete their education.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives
Change the Selective Service requirement for Transgender and nonbinary Individuals
I am a 24-year-old transgender nonbinary individual born biologically male. I reside in the Portland metro area here in Oregon. I am living at home with family who is low-income, so I have limited resources when it comes to getting vocational opportunities. I am totally blind and hard-of-hearing. Although I am petitioning a problem that has been around for a long time, I am not arguing on the basis of disability. About six years ago, when I graduated high school and attempted to get federal student aid through the FAFSA web-site in the fall of 2012, I was informed by a community college financial aid office that I wouldn’t be able to make progress until I had registered with selective service. What is Selective Service? The Military Selective Service Act, passed and signed on May 18, 1917, was designed to require people who identify as male, or are assigned male at birth to register upon reaching the age of 18 and no later than their twenty-sixth birthday. Why did Congress pass this law, and why did they only require males to register? At the time that this went into effect, people who identified as female had little freedom to work outside the house and perform manual labour. At that time, it was believed that females were incapable of fulfilling combat roles the way males could. So, the military began putting restriction on these roles for females. Given the ten major wars we fought, our country has developed strategies to call people to do their duty for Uncle Sam, even if they didn't agree with it. Failure to register for Selective Service would result in a huge fine, or five years imprisonment. Also, considering the recent wars in Vietnam and Korea, some people expressed their beliefs that the draft has been overused rather than being reserved for actual emergencies. Although this is my opinion, I feel that we as a country have lost almost every good value today. The only thing we're good at is war. If there hasn't been a draft in a long time, why should males still have to register? Certain benefits are gained by being registered for Selective Service. If you got a job at a federal government agency, you might be required to register for selective service. Likewise, if you attempted to get financial aid to attend college, you will most likely be required to register, as well. Since I do not consider myself to be male, even though I am still considered to be male by the government, I decided, from this point forward, that I would boycott financial aid and other services that depend on Selective Service until they either A. Eliminate the selective service Act altogether, or B. Require that everyone sign up no matter what sex or gender they were assigned at birth. Here's some of the problems we're dealing with, at the moment. The federal government is still based on the gender binary. Oregon, and probably Washington, are two of the first states to legally recognise gender non-binary individuals. I changed my gender on my new state ID card to reflect this new law early this year.The other problem is that this society, like most societies, is male-dominated, especially by cisgender heterosexual males, which means that this is probably going to be harder to fight. Before making this petition, I attempted to find out whether I would have a legal argument to file litigation with the Selective Service or any other branch of the United States government on the basis that selecting, picking out, or subjecting a specific group of individuals on the basis of sex and gender constituted as discrimination, which is illegal in almost all jurisdictions. In this last round of contacting different legal organisations, an attorney informed me that this matter of a substantially similar nature has already been addressed by the United States Supreme court in the case of Rostker v. Goldberg, 448 U.S. 1306, 101 S.Ct. 1, 65 L.Ed.2d 1098 (1980). This is part of what my attorney said.At that time, the Court held in a six to three decision that Congress's decision to exempt women from registration 'was not the "accidental by-product of a traditional way of thinking about females"'. The Court found that men and women, because of combat restrictions on the latter, were not 'similarly situated' for the purposes of draft registration. The Court also upheld Congress's judgment that the administrative and military problems that would be created by drafting women for noncombat roles were sufficient to justify the Military Selective Service Act. Although the military has been relenting on this position in recent years, there is no legal precedent stating that the Constitution requires it to do so. One of the members of the National Centre for Transgender and Intersex equality informed one of the queer resource centre's coordinators a year ago that there have been some effort made by congress to eliminate Selective Service, but as of today, it still remains unclear what the future will hold. They might either eliminate it, or expand the registration to females. They might forget about it and keep things as they are. I decided that if they weren't going to change this policy, we would have to petition them. So, What's the next step? I think that you (and I) as private citizens, should come together and make our voices heard and redefine what America was meant to be, a country where all human beings, not men, are created equal. The supreme court ruled in favour of same sex marriage in 2016, and as a result, people of the same sex can legally marry in all fifty states including the territories.. Judges have been working on blocking Trump’s attempts at banning transgender service members from joining the military. We would need to work at lifting the combat restrictions on female soldiers so Congress would be forced to reconsider mandatory registrations for everybody. The only time people should be excluded or exempted is if they were full-time parents or if they had a disability or chronic illness, but it should never be based on gender or sex. Those belong in the nineteenth century, and it's already the twenty-first century. A little over a hundred-one years and we're still dealing with this problem. If we can change this for future LGBTQIA community, you can help me out by being one of the first to help make change to allow anyone, not just transgender individuals, who are male or were assigned male at birth, to attend the college of their choice and receive financial student aid, if they can't afford paying for college, without having to worry that they will have to sign up for selective service simply because they were told that only males are required to register. If Selective Service is here to stay, then people should get assurance that everyone would be required to register. If jury duty does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender, Selective Service ought to be the same. I had a great chance to go to college and pursue a career in biotechnology to help develop new methods for transgender reproduction and reassignment several years ago, but because of this unequal treatment and ideologies I disagree with, all of my plans came to naught. I don't want others in my position to experience what I went through. For now, I plan to make a living by being an advocate for my people and my community. Please share his petition far and wide. Get the media involved. Send this to any political advocacy organisations and help bring this to victory.
Petition to Walsh University
Keep all Dorms Co-Ed at Walsh University
This morning, all residential students of Walsh university received an email informing them that as of Fall 2019, certain dorms - Alexis (Seanor) Hall, Menard Hall, and Betzler Towers will be made single-sex dorms. Instead of there being clear upperclassman dorms and underclassman dorms, now there will be single-sex dorms and co-ed dorms. Alexis (Seanor) and Betzler have been designated for men, and Menard has been designated for women. This change will impact many students negatively if it comes to fruition. Currently, all these buildings are co-ed dorms, and by changing them to single-sex, many students will lose their current housing assignments. By designating these buildings single-sex, the demand for housing in other buildings will rise, and this demand will not be met - thus there will be a significant amount of students in single-sex housing who will be placed there against their will due to housing overflow. Menard and Alexis were also previously underclassman dorms, in which many freshmen and sophomores lived in living learning communities (designated for special groups on campus like the Honors College) and made friendships with their fellow classmates. This change will eliminate any true freshman dorm and prevent freshmen from getting to know one another through community living, specifically members of the opposite sex. Many students at Walsh cite the community living, specifically in the underclassman dorms, as a large positive - this community would be irreversibly changed upon the institution of this new policy. All in all, this change will result in numerous discontent, upset, and lonely students. There have been many students who have expressed a wish to transfer schools or drop out of campus housing should this decision be finalized. Finally, the main reasons cited by the notifying email for this change are Catholic Identity and increasing demand for this type of housing. The first reason has no backing. Catholic teaching does not and never has argued for single-sex dorm housing, and does not teach that the sexes must be segregated in this way in order to follow teachings - thus, this argument is completely invalid. Walsh already observes privacy hours and has sex-designated floors and wings - which ensure privacy without damaging community. In addition, Walsh University is a Catholic institution, but only 50% of its students are Catholic, meaning that this will cause a negative view of Catholicism and its teachings throughout the university, not to mention a great divide between the university's administration and the students. As for the increasing demand, this was not something which I have observed. All the students I have talked to think that this is an unfair and outdated policy - and especially unfair is the imposition of such a thing on short notice. I chose Walsh because it was a good university without exaggerated rules which aim to show "Catholicism", unlike some other schools. One of Walsh's best qualities is its community living and sense of belonging. With single-sex dorms, campus will become more divided, classmates will be alienated, and the opportunity for healthy relationships with the opposite sex will diminish. This change is unfair to all students, as it limits their choices and goes against what so many love about their university. At a Catholic University, men and women should live in community with one another without worrying about puritanical lines drawn between sexes like entirely separate dorms. Single-sex dorms are not the solution to residence hall problems, and they will create more trouble than they are worth. Privacy is one thing. Lumping residents into single-sex dorms and citing "Catholicism" is another.
Petition to Brother Ed, siena college
Get back the Assistant Director Position for the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center
I am writing to you on this beautiful day, filled with sunshine, to talk about a rather dark and overarching issue – the lack of representation of minority students at Siena College. Being approximately 20% of the student body’s population, we are growing in numbers; subsequently, it would make sense that the administration and staff reflect this increase in diversity as well. However, this is not the case. Administrators, Full Time and Part Time Faculty, and Staff have lower percentages of racial diversity in Siena College when compared to the student body. a major position within the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center has recently been cut, as part of budget-related accommodations. This leaves the responsibilities of the advisor to our school’s numerous Affinity Clubs in the hands of a single person – a clear demonstration of underrepresentation. Diversity and overall inclusion are part of the DORS Initiative of Siena College. The removal of this position within a department, which had already been limited in terms of resources, does not reflect that initiative’s goals nor does it send a positive message to the minority students on campus; ethnic, religious, and gender minorities, among many other students, are disheartened and outraged that this sort of injustice is manifesting itself within Damietta, a safe haven to many students struggling to assimilate into a new, different atmosphere. All of our students are aware that Diversity is a core Franciscan value, thanks to our First-Year Seminar curriculum; nevertheless, the vast majority are unaware of the existence of the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center and what it offers. We do not keep the door locked, or even closed for that matter, yet the level of importance placed on this limited department’s expansion and resources is little to nonexistent. Not only does this issue affect our student’s sentiments, but it takes a significant toll on our administration and faculty members as well. As aforementioned, there is now ONE position within Damietta to represent all of our Affinity Clubs and their interests. Running effective, diversity-promoting programs, job training, mentoring, and more was difficult with only two directors; asking one person to be accountable for all these duties is simply overbearing. The administration loses when one considers the prominence of Damietta and Diversity on college tours and advertisements for prospective students. Promoting an inclusive, diverse environment is pivotal to the recruitment of many students, a substantial incentive to expand our Cross-Cultural Center. Lastly, we are drawn to friars and the concept of community as soon as we touch down on campus as freshmen. The absence of a friar in this advising position removes the key, interfaith aspect of Damietta, which contributes to the limited expansion issue and detracts the potential for connections to other members and organizations in the Siena community. Diversity matters and the Damietta Cross-Cultural Center is instrumental in providing that core Franciscan value to our students. There is a bitter taste within the mouths of many minority students, who have recurringly had their mouths shut by systemic suppression. You can ameliorate the damage done that influences this sort of sentiment; we can help. Damietta holds a special place in our hearts; the Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, Muslim Students Association, Latinos Unificando Nuestra América, PRIDE Gay-Straight Alliance, and Jewish student association club stand strong in solidarity. This is a fundamental issue of a caliber with which we are too familiar as minority students. Siena College as a whole will benefit from increased minority representation and the addition of the previously-cut Damietta Advisor position. Please let us know what, if anything, can be done on our part to assist in this effort. Thank you for your time and understanding.
Petition to Dean of Students Office, Adam Jussel, Barbara Wilson
Expel UW-Milwaukee Student for Attacking Jewish Students
This week at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a student disrupted an event celebrating Israel’s independence with a Nazi propaganda poster. His hateful sign featured a large swastika and a call to “gas” his Jewish classmates. The student has been identified as Kristian Gresham, a 26-year-old man with a documented history of aggressive, racist, and criminal behavior - including arrests for graffiti and “obstructing an officer”. He even served time in jail and the county house of corrections. His fellow students testified to his character on social media - commenting on the “offensive and unwarranted” things he said in class, how he berated professors, and how he was often kicked out of class for this behavior. In a statement following the incident, the school’s administration said that “as a public university, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee respects everyone’s right to free speech, even when it is speech that we disagree with.” What Kristian Gresham did was not just an expression of speech. He threatened the safety and education of his fellow students. “Gas the Jews” is not protected free speech. It’s incitement of violence against the Jewish community on campus. Kristian’s actions also violated the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Code of Conduct Policy 18.11: “No person may engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct to cause or provoke a disturbance, in university buildings or on university lands.” Sign the petition NOW to tell the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to protect Jewish students and kick Kristian Gresham off campus for his aggressive anti-Semitic behavior.