Swastika found on Columbia professor’s door

Another hate crime occurred at Columbia University on Wednesday morning when a swastika was discovered on the door of Elizabeth Mildarsky, a professor at Teachers College who is known for her research on the Holocaust. Mildarsky, who is Jewish, is not the first professor at the University to be the target of a hate crime in recent weeks. An African American professor at the Teachers College found a noose hanging from her door, and two other Jewish professors received anti-Semitic materials last week.

The president and the provost of Teachers College sent an e-mail Wednesday afternoon informing the campus of the most recent hate crime. The e-mail explained that Teachers College had been victimized because it is recognized as “a center for deep multicultural work.” Yet the incidents have also occurred outside the Teachers College, with anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic graffiti found in various buildings around the campus.

The e-mail also assured the campus that the perpetrators would be caught and brought to justice. It reaffirmed the stand that the College as a whole takes against such actions, speaking of a community that “values inclusion and respect.”

Teachers College was, as of Wednesday, not taking questions from the press, but members of groups who have suffered discrimination felt attacked. Mildarsky said of the most recent incident, “It’s not going to stop me but I’m certainly shaken. I go back and forth between being frightened and furious.”

The Columbia Spectator

UW profs ban laptops in class

In response to the growing number of students using laptops to surf the Internet instead of taking notes, professors at the University of Washington have begun to implement no-technology policies in their classes. The accessibility of wireless Internet throughout campus has made it possible for students to surf the Web during lectures under the guise of note-taking. Some students have complained about being distracted by seeing their peers checking e-mail and Facebook instead of paying attention.

While many agree that taking notes by hand allows students to learn and retain information better, no-technology policies have had a negative effect on students who believe that they are better served by typing their notes. As a result, professors are trying to find ways to allow for laptops in the classroom while still maintaining an environment conducive to learning. One professor allows students to use laptops only in the first five rows of her lectures.

Many laptop-using students are surprised by the number of classmates who navigate the Internet during class, and believe that even professors who do not currently have no-technology policies will have to implement them in the future.

The University of Washington Daily

Masked Harvard students

confront senator

On Monday, masked student protestors interrupted a speech at Harvard given by Rick Santorum, the controversial former Republican senator from Pennsylvania. During the speech, Santorum characterized political Islam as “the most difficult enemy the West has ever faced.”

Five students wearing masks from the film V for Vendetta, as well as three others carrying signs, confronted the politician during the question and answer portion of the talk. When one student, a Muslim, questioned Santorum’s facts on Islam and its link to terrorism, the senator told him to “stop apologizing for Osama bin Laden.” Many of the protestors took this as a personal attack, escalating the intensity of the confrontation.

“The overwhelming answer is that we’re at war with radical Islam,” Santorum said. “If Islam does not confront and deal with its radical elements, then we are going to be on a tough collision course.”

In reaction to the lecture, students were upset that Santorum’s words had implied a lack of compatibility between Islam and peaceful ideals. “We think that there is a fundamental disagreement over what we believe the religion to be and what he interprets it as,” said Fauzia Shaikh, a Harvard sophomore. “He seems to believe that Islam requires a reformation for these problems to be fixed. We want to achieve the same ends … but we don’t want to lose our Islamic identity.”

The Harvard Crimson