Topic

Education

5,590 petitions

Update posted 6 hours ago

Petition to Kelli Linville, April Barker, Gene Knutson, Daniel Hammill, Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Michael Lilliquist, Pinky Vargas, Terry Bornemann, Roxanne Murphy

Bellingham Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Network

Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Internet As other cities embrace high-speed fiber broadband, Bellingham is getting left far behind. Our city has underutilized public fiber resources and several local Internet Service Providers eager to deploy high speed broadband, like they have in Mount Vernon, yet this is held back by rules and regulations that have not kept pace with technology. Fiber would: Create an opportunity for a public access component to make ultra high speed internet broadly accessible in public spaces, provide higher quality low-income connections to those in need, and guarantee a level of internet access to all. Give Bellingham a strong standing among Washington cities, and create valuable infrastructure that we could continue to build on in the long-term. Create jobs: Fiber would draw companies to the city, provide jobs for construction and maintenance, create new internet service providers and other innovative businesses that are made possible by ultra-fast broadband. Reduce Our Impact on the Environment: Fiber would reduce the need for travel to take place for meetings. It is also very durable and usually requires less maintenance than old infrastructure wiring, like copper wiring.   Increase property values: Wiring for fiber-optics has been shown to increase property value approximately 1% Provide a network our government could leverage to deliver data from current and future ‘smart grid’ sensors including those used for parking management, resource monitoring, air quality, muni and other needs. Over the long term smarter management could save the city money and increase our tax base without increasing taxes by reducing unemployment and creating good jobs.

Jon Humphrey
377 supporters
Update posted 21 hours ago

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

Justice for Emily: Help rape survivor fight university’s institutional abuse and cover-ups

Highlights:   A rape survivor encounters abuse and discrimination by a professor at the University of Amsterdam The university dismisses all of her complaints based on untruthful and slanderous testimonies 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, and she is abused and discriminated against relentlessly by her professor. When she plucks up all her courage to speak up, she is confronted with lies, cover-ups and retaliation by university staff. 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 and who belittled and tormented her 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”. Once again, she was denied her right to education based on her private matters that she had never confirmed, never consented to sharing or having assessed or used by faculty members. 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 my 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 friend, I find the whole situation outrageous beyond what words can describe. Instead of reflecting on and rectifying their actions, this “educational” institution has been doing what it takes to cover up their misconduct and circumvent responsibility. 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 in an environment where her fundamental rights are not violated by university staff. Therefore, with this petition, I 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, the university’s subsequent cover-ups and retaliation, 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 I saw Emily just before she left for the Netherlands, she was very vibrant and thrilled to finally complete her Master’s degree. I 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

Justice for Emily
1,616 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to CIIS community!

ICC CHANGE- diversity and recognition in the CIIS ICP program

Please sign, if you agree, and are a member of the CIIS community.  We want to engage in conscious dialogue.  Thank you! February 29, 2016 Dear President Subbiondo, and Barbara Morrill, Chair of ICP: We, the undersigned, are concerned members of the CIIS community. We are asking for: 1) Transparency in the CIIS Integral Counseling Centers (ICCs) selection and rejection process for practicum placement for Integral Counseling Psychology (ICP) students 2) Clear and detailed affirmative action policies to address the lack of racial diversity at the ICCs, especially of note is the low number of women of color born in the U.S. accepted to the ICCs 3) Investigation into possible racial discrimination regarding the high percentage of placement of people of color in the mandatory pre-practicum clinical lab course that a small number of students are required to take for practicum placement, and the development of a transparent and helpful process around the assigning of this course, if the course continues, and apologies and refunds for the hurt students who were forced to take the class 4) A list of approved program supervisors that are racial, diverse, Transgendered, Gender non-conformist/queer and of different sexual orientations. We need this information and more for students to aid them in selecting a supervisor for practicum. There is a clear lack of transparency in the CIIS Integral Counseling Centers selection and rejection process for practicum placement. It is a competitive process as there are limited spots available. Being rejected from the ICCs not only can create a huge emotional toll on the student-therapist rejected, negatively impact self-esteem, and send a message that the student is not ready or as competent as her/his/their peers to practice therapy, but also can delay graduation and cost a significant amount of money and time, since practicum placement is not guaranteed. The onus should not be on the rejected student, who is in the vulnerable position, to seek why they were rejected, but should be clearly communicated by the ICC directors. We are seeking attention be placed on the lack of racial diversity at the ICCs because it is a disservice to the community served by the ICCs to have clinics with limited cultural perspectives, and a lack of racial diversity in the clinicians. Some clients in the community want therapists who are people of color, in order to feel comfortable and safe. It is also a detriment to the white students to not be practicing in community with students of color at the ICCs. It prevents the enriching of their perspective, and the lack of diversity decreases cultural competence. There has been shared sentiment from some students of color that they would never apply to the ICCs because they don't feel safe and welcome there. There are few people of the color also available on the list of individual supervisors and students have to dig to find these names. This creates a need for more parity in services and support for students of color at the ICCs and external practicum sites. Finally, we have, either through our own observations or conversations, noticed a trend of a high percentage of people of color being placed in the pre-practium Clincal Lab course, which is mandatory only for some and required for practicum placement. We believe this could be demonstrative of racial prejudice, whether unconscious or not, and needs to be investigated and policies need to be put in place to prevent this trend from continuing. We are not sure if this class is continuing. If it is, we are asking that students who are placed in this pre-practicum lab class receive clear, on-going transparent evaluations and feedback, that are available on myCIIS, around why they are placed in this class, receive continuous support around the reasons they have been assigned to this class, and the option of appealing having to take the class. Students who take this class should be guaranteed placement at the ICCs, and the course fee should be waived. Even if this class is discontinued, hurt students deserve an apology from the school and a refund. Race is not the only issue of diversity concern at the ICCs. We hope that this petition will encourage further examination of the lack of diversity in other ways at the ICCs and contribute helping the ICC selection process be more in the spirit of the CIIS 7 ideals. We have been in conversation with the Dean of Diversity, Denise Boston, and the Dean of Students, Yunni Yip, and want to be in continued conversation. Thank you for your prompt attention to our concerns. In community,ICC CHANGE

naas siddiqui
175 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC)

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC): Stop the cover up and do the right thing.

I loved being a doctor.  It was my dream.  I was the first person in my family to go to medical school.  I was so excited about being able to help people through medicine. Just like any other doctor, I sacrificed and worked hard to get into a great radiology residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), in New Hampshire. My dream quickly became a nightmare once I arrived at DHMC. There are no words to fully explain the horrendous situation I had to endure while I was there. It was clear at some point that I was being treated differently than the rest of the residents and that I was no longer wanted in the program.  While this was unfortunate, things happen and this could have been dealt with professionally. However, what DHMC chose to do was to intimidate, harass and threaten me into leaving the residency program.  When I complained about it to Human Resources, they retaliated against me.  I was given an ultimatum; to resign without any assistance or help from them in finding another residency position or be terminated.  I refused to resign from a position that I knew I was capable of doing so they eventually terminated me.  It took them a few months and they even put me on “academic leave” without telling me exactly what that was or why I was on it. They basically needed time to come up with valid reasons to fire me. They never did. Their reasons for terminating my employment changed so many times.  I was told at first that it was because of my medical condition.  Then I was told it was because I was “unqualified” to perform the duties of a resident.  Even though I was never on probation, remediation or relieved of my on call duties. All of the excuses they gave me are unfair and untrue.   I strongly believe DHMC violated both my civil rights and my ADA rights through discrimination, harassment, retaliation and eventually wrongful termination. Unfortunately my dream became a nightmare and it was all 100 percent preventable.  It has been nearly two years and DHMC still continues to deny doing anything wrong.  At the very least, what they did was unprofessional, egregious and mean.  This constant denial makes me worried that they will do this again because you cannot change what you do not acknowledge.  Please take the time to read my petition letter and consider supporting my effort to bring awareness to what this hospital has done to me and my career.  I believe that it is too late to save my career but I hope that this petition will let DHMC know that what they did was WRONG.    

Christyna Faulkner, MD
256 supporters