Topic

Colleges and Universities

1,032 petitions

Update posted 22 hours ago

Petition to Bob Kustra, Curt Apsey, Idaho State Board of Education

Save Boise State Wrestling

Boise State University just announced that it is cutting its wrestling program, effective immediately. The Bronco wrestling program has been molding young men since 1959 and wrestling has a strong following in the Boise area and in the state of Idaho.Boise State had one of the top wrestling programs in the country up until a few years ago. The program was top-ten ranked in 2010-11 and had an NCAA finalist that season (and again in 2013). Since 1999, it has produced two NCAA champions, two Olympians, and six Pac-10 team championships. But the Boise State wrestling program doesn't just build winning wrestlers; it gives young men the foundation to be winners at life!!  Coach Mendoza, Riley Orozco, Levi Jones, Andrew Hochstrasser are exactly the type of young men I would want molding my son if he wrestled for them.If you don't know me, my name is Kevin Wood. I've been involved in wrestling for 50 years, 30 of them as a coach. I wrestled at Boise State University from 1979-82 and coached the high school wrestling teams at Mountain View, Eagle, Centennial, and Meridian.  Wrestling is the purest sport of intensity, endurance, mental toughness, camaraderie and simply "finding your true potential" sport that I have ever participated in. I owe the greatest moments and people in my life to the sport of wrestling. Every time I walk in and watch the BSU wrestlers work out, I am in awe of the hard work, determination, and true heart these guys put in every single day. A college wrestling room is truly "a jungle" of blood. sweat, incredible mental toughness and aspiring young athletes who don't know the word QUIT!! It is everything that is right about college athletics!! I didn't know much about the new Boise St. wrestling coaches when they were hired last year so I gave Head Coach Mike Mendoza a call before he even moved here last year and welcomed him. In the past year, I've come to know him much better and have an incredible amount of respect for Coach Mendoza and his entire staff!! To put it simply, "they get it"!! They want to build a national caliber wrestling program but they are more concerned with turning out outstanding young men first and foremost.I know wrestling and I know good coaches. The new staff are outstanding coaches!!  They are teaching these young men all of the right things. Work ethic, honor, integrity, being a competitor, being good citizens. I've watched their coaches first hand many times when I stop by after work, and each and every day the end of their practice was emphasized the mantra of "being a good person while being a good competitor!!!! Although Boise State has said it is eliminating the wrestling program to make way for baseball, this shouldn't be a competition between baseball and wrestling.  There is no need to pit two great sports against each other. Baseball is a great sport. So is wrestling.   If you know me, have heard of me, have been a wrestler, know a wrestler, respect wrestling, please voice your opinion to let Curt Apsey and Bob Kustra at Boise State know that this not right!!   I urge Boise State President Bob Kustra, Athletic Director Curt Apsey, and the Idaho State Board of Education to reconsider this huge mistake.

Kevin Wood
14,628 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to John G. Finneran Jr. & Trustees

Reverse decision to close Eckerd College's 39 year old Program for Experienced Learners

Since the decision was announced on Sept. 9, 2016 to discontinue the Program for Experienced Learners, a large number of students, faculty, and alumni have expressed grave concerns. Seeing a program as successful and long-running as PEL abruptly close because "it can no longer compete" immediately drew suspicion. After months of research, an increasing number of people are outright challenging the motives behind the closure.Eckerd College President, Dr. Donald Eastman took meetings with several students and alumni in an attempt to address our concerns surrounding the closure. However, most left with an even greater feeling of deceit. Upon receiving a signed declaration outlining concerns and suggestions, Dr. Eastman's first words were "I don't appreciate being lectured to." He and his staff then went on to make the case for closure, which does not hold up to scrutiny. After hundreds of hours of due diligence, there is strong reason to believe that PEL was targeted for closure years ago and intentionally starved of adequate resources until enrollments declined to a point where closure could be financially justified. The fact that PEL continued to deliver a superior academic experience to adult learners for so long and under such circumstances reinforces the need for such a program. Furthermore, it speaks to the quality of the amazing people responsible.   Public concerns regarding the actions of the administration include but are not limited to: Potential sabotage of a premier academic program due to underlying negative sentiment towards adult education. Possible misleading of the student body, faculty, and public as to the primary reasons for closure.  Continued enrollment of new students up until Aug. 2016 which could be a consumer protection issue. Unrealistic timeline (approx. 12 months) for currently enrolled students to complete degree plans. Students forced to enroll in more courses than they are capable of completing without significant reduction in academic performance or work/life/school balance. Capitalization on fees for increased CLEP/DSST testing and portfolio evaluations due to closure timeline. Inadequacy of teach out agreements with comparable programs. Lack of academic support for students rushing to graduate such as the premature termination of writing coaches during a period of record writing exhibit submissions. Potential misleading of accrediting body as it relates to the substantive change granted in 2015 for PEL to offer over 50% of classes through the Tampa campus (seemingly just for show). Potential misleading of accrediting body as it relates to the application for substantive change (program closure) and reasons for discontinuation. For 39 years PEL has served the community by offering a quality liberal arts bachelors degree to adults willing to put in the time, resources, and effort. We implore you to not let the mismanagement and evident negligence of a few adversely impact the many. With the proper integration of the residential program and PEL (as suggested in your strategic plan), there's no reason why Eckerd College cannot continue to be a pioneer and innovator in liberal arts education. We ask the Eckerd College Board of Trustees to take immediate action to halt this decision until an honest, independent audit and assessment of PEL can be conducted. We also ask that the administration be brought under review for breach of fiduciary duties to the College and its stakeholders. Furthermore, we ask the stewards of Eckerd College to embrace the concept of shared governance and begin operating in the spirit of full transparency.  To make a tax deductible donation or for more details please go to savingeckerdpel.com.  https://www.facebook.com/SavingEckerdPEL/ Questions or concerns about our efforts to save the program or information from confidential sources can be directed to admin@savingeckerdpel.com.  "If transformative change is to come from within the academy, it won't come from a great dinosaur of a university. The age of mammals originated with an agile shrew-like creature and occurred only after environmental disruption by a massive comet. I would say that if a new age comes to the academy, it too will come after disruption and originate with a Triton-like one."- Chairman, Eckerd College Board of Trustees (2013)

Saving Eckerd PEL
533 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Dr. Geert ten Dam, Dr. Jet Bussemaker, Mr. Ard van der Steur, Mr. Mark Rutte

Justice for Emily

-Important--------------------------------------------- Dear everyone, We have some very important news which we need to share with all of you. We would like to ask you to spend a couple of minutes to read our update below. The University of Amsterdam has threatened Change.org into editing and altering our petition. The university has done so by hiring a private law firm, presumably by spending the tax and tuition money of the Dutch citizens and the university students. The title, the main text, our requests, updates have been manipulated without our consent. Our accusations of the university's alleged cover-ups and our request for the government's independent investigation into them have now been forcibly removed from the petition. For our original petition, please read our note.  Since our petition has been altered without consent of any of the signatories, we regret our petition is and will remain invalid until we restore the original text that all the signatories have agreed to sign. Therefore, we regretfully ask our new supporters NOT to sign our petition until further announcement, as you would be signing the altered version of the petition, which does not accurately reflect the cause we have initiated and been supporting. We will continue posting updates to keep you informed regarding Emily's situation despite the circumstances. We sincerely apologize for having your trust and support compromised by this issue, and will do utmost our best to resolve the matter as soon as possible in order to continue supporting Emily and to restore your confidence in our cause. Please do feel free to contact us on Facebook for any questions or concerns. Thank you, and again, we deeply apologize. -----------------------------------------------------------     Disclaimer: This petition is about alleged psychological/verbal abuse of and discrimination against a rape survivor. It is not accusing the University of Amsterdam or its staff of rape or sexual abuse.   Highlights: A rape survivor alleged encounters abuse and discrimination The university dismisses all of her complaints  Soon afterward, the same professor impersonates the dean and sends a letter to the student forbidding her from conducting her graduation fieldwork project While she is appealing against the decision, the university invalidates all of her earned academic credits, stating she has made no progress in her graduation project Without her academic credits, she will lose her student visa and has to leave the Netherlands. Therefore, the university can circumvent the accusations altogether. Imagine you send your daughter to study abroad. One year later, she comes back with rape trauma without a Master’s degree. After spending three years overcoming her ordeal, she goes back to school to complete her studies. However, her past is held against her.  This is what has been happening to Emily (pseudonym). She is a Master’s student at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Five years ago, Emily had to give up her studies and leave the country due to rape trauma. In September 2014, she went back to Amsterdam to complete her degree. She decided not to let rape define her or dictate her future. She started the semester just like other students and did not ask for any special consideration. She did not share her past with her classmates in order to have a normal student life. Emily was happy to be back and continued working hard to successfully complete her studies. However, in October 2014, the director of her program (the only person who knew her from the previous time five years ago), approached her in class and made impudent and condescending comments about Emily’s private matters and health in front of her classmates. A few days later, Emily’s thesis supervisor informed her that the director had excluded her from a project because of “a concern for her wellbeing,” and she had to choose another one from other available projects. Emily felt utterly violated; she was not expecting a stranger to bring up her private matters, let alone tell her what she was allowed to do or not allowed to do based on her personal painful past that she had never consented to sharing. Her supervisor stated “I fully sympathise [with] you feeling you’re not treated like other students and feeling offended by that. At the same time, however, I also understand that what has happened has not only shaped you, but also UvA staff and that they do give [sic, recte: take] previous times into account.” Emily was never informed of any conditionalities when she was re-accepted into the Master’s program. The following week, the director of the program informed Emily that she was now allowed to participate in the project she was initially excluded from since budgetary issues were resolved. Now there was an additional position available. Realizing that her private information was not only inappropriately used, but also was exploited as a pretext for budgetary issues, she emailed her supervisor. She confirmed that the issue was indeed an administrative matter, stating “'using your rape experience against you for the sake of money' is not an accurate description of the decisions initially taken. Monetary issues played their part, but only b/c, in principle, the project had space for only two students. I.e. a decision had to be taken considering three students were interested.” After the series of events: 1. being publicly humiliated, 2. having her trauma exploited, and 3. being completely stripped of dignity and personal autonomy, Emily felt as though she was raped all over again. She filed complaints for harassment, privacy violations and discrimination. She specifically stated that she had never consented to disclosing her confidential information, let alone having it assessed or used for arbitrary and unilateral decisions by faculty members who had no medical qualifications. She requested that the university rectify the issues and ensure her that it would never happen again. In response to Emily’s complaints, the director relentlessly brought up Emily’s untruthful “mental problems” and undermined her credibility. The director claimed that Emily’s professors and classmates had reported that she had been “easily emotionally agitated” and expressed their concerns about her mental well-being at the beginning of the semester. The director used this story to justify her action in class. She claimed that she was not aware of the details of Emily’s private information, and therefore, was not capable of violating her privacy. She also claimed that there had never been a decision to exclude Emily from the project. Emily’s supervisor likewise testified that she had never told Emily that she had been excluded, and denied there had ever been such a decision. The University of Amsterdam officially supported all of the director’s claims and dismissed all of Emily’s complaints. Emily did not know what to believe after being told that her professors and classmates, behind her back, had reported her “mental problems”, which she herself had absolutely not been aware of. Moreover, Emily’s another professor, who had nothing to do with the complaints, showed up at the hearing in support of the director, thereby taking a stance against Emily, despite repeated pleas from Emily that the university handle the complaints confidentially and with sensitivity. Emily was also very puzzled by her supervisor’s testimony, especially since she had always shown sympathy for Emily’s trouble with the director. Furthermore, when Emily expressed her concern about her complaints putting her supervisor in a difficult position at the university, she responded “I would have no problems whatsoever.” Because Emily fully trusted her honesty, she believed this must have been some kind of mistake, and decided to ask her about the testimony. Her supervisor refused to explain and dismissed Emily from her supervision. After that series of events, Emily felt as though everyone was against her, and nobody would believe anything she would say. She felt completely isolated, powerless, worthless and hopeless. When she finally talked with her classmates in June 2015, they were completely shocked and assured her that they had never reported anything about her to the director. They had not noticed anything unusual about Emily, and besides, they would not have bothered to report anything to the director even if a new classmate had come off as different. They were never informed of or consented to their “testimony” which they had never provided. They also agreed that it would have been impossible for professors to pay attention to and observe one particular student among more than 30 students and determine her emotional state during the first few lectures. They signed to confirm that they had never reported anything about Emily, and also wrote supporting letters describing her with words such as: conscientious, hardworking, friendly, passionate, responsible and kind, and called her someone with integrity, diligence, respect, intelligence and empathy, and strongly asserted that the university’s claims had inconsistencies.   In July 2015, Emily received a letter from the dean of graduate school, informing her that she was not allowed to conduct any fieldwork project out of “a concern for her well-being”. She lodged an appeal against this decision. In response, the dean apologized for her feelings and misunderstandings, but denied any wrongful acts or discrimination. When she inquired about the letter, he informally admitted that the letter had actually been written by the director while he was on vacation, and therefore, he had not even read or approved the letter. When Emily asked him why he would not formally state so and why the director was not held accountable, he explained that it would affect his secretary because she helped the director send the letter. Emily has been contending that the dean’s explanations and excuses for “his decision” are pointless and nonsense especially since he is merely a scapegoat who has been cluelessly held responsible for the director’s actions. He is not capable of explaining “his decision” because he never made the decision to begin with. Emily is continuing to demand the issues be rectified based on the whole truth, with integrity, accountability and transparency. In September 2016, the university invalidated all of Emily’s earned academic credits stating that she made no academic progress in the past year. Emily could not make academic progress because the director forbade her from progressing. Furthermore, she was in the process of appealing against the decision, which has been taking significant amount of time and is still ongoing because the dean has been talking nonsense and refusing to provide the whole truth. Without her academic credits, she will lose her student visa, and will have to leave the country. In our opinion, this is whistleblower retaliation, which enables the university to remove her from the country and get rid of the accusations altogether. During the whole ordeal, Emily has been obliged to continue paying her tuition fees (14700 euros per year) even though she has been denied the education that she has been paying for. On the other hand, the university staff has been continuing with their lives and work without consequences, as if Emily does not exist. As Emily’s friends, we find the whole situation outrageous beyond what words can describe. Their actions make a mockery of not only Emily’s courage but also of the whole Dutch education system, whose members work hard to maintain a high standard of institutional diligence and integrity. Moreover, Emily went back to study and focus on topics such as human rights and education. The inhumane attitude and behavior of her professors, whose specializations include education rights, children’s rights and gender equality has been the ultimate betrayal to Emily’s hopes and desires to learn anything from these “experts”. After brutal rape, abuse, discrimination, injustices and retaliation, Emily has been through enough. She overcame horrific trauma she had never wished for. She decided to get her life back by finishing her Master’s degree. She stood up for herself only to ask to be treated like a normal human being. She continues to fight for justice, truth and integrity because that is what she believes in and stands for. She has done nothing to be ashamed of. She deserves justice and the completion of her Master's degree. Therefore, with this petition, we formally request the following.  Requests The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Government of the Netherlands:     Conduct an independent, thorough inquiry into Emily’s original complaints, and hold individuals accountable for their misconduct Immigration and Naturalisation Service, Ministry of Security and Justice of the Netherlands:     Ensure that Emily will not lose her student visa until her graduation The University of Amsterdam:     Retract the invalidation of Emily’s academic credits and exempt her from paying tuition until the ongoing situation is resolved When we saw Emily just before she left for the Netherlands, she was very vibrant and thrilled to finally complete her Master’s degree. We want to see her return with her same happy face with her diploma. Please imagine Emily is you or your loved one. If you are willing to support Emily, please sign this petition. Thank you.    #enoughbsUvA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enoughbsUvA/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/EnoughbsUvA

Justice for Emily
1,779 supporters