New survey data on campus sexual assault

The results of a new student survey on sexual assault and sexual violence at elite American universities have been released. They suggest, in line with previous data, that sexual assault on college campuses is strikingly common. According to the Washington Post:

The survey from the Association of American Universities drew responses from 150,000 students at 27 schools, including most of the Ivy League. Researchers acknowledged the possibility of an overstated victimization rate, as there was evidence that hundreds of thousands of students who ignored the electronic questionnaire were less likely to have suffered an assault.

But the results add to growing indications that sexual assault is disturbingly commonplace at colleges and universities, especially among undergraduates living on their own for the first time. Though colleges already are on high alert to the problem — in part because of a White House task force formed last year to combat it — the survey findings underscore the seriousness and breadth of sexual assault’s impact, and how difficult it will be to curb it.

ETA: There’s also a further breakdown of the results via the Washington Post, for those who don’t want to read the full report.

CfA : New Narratives in Philosophy at Duke, April 14-27

A big conference on women in the history of philosophy!

Feminist History of Philosophy

New Narratives in Philosophy:
Rediscovering neglected works by early modern women

Co-Directed by Andrew Janiak and Marcy Lascano

Hosted at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University
Durham, NC, USA
April 14 – 17, 2016

The New Narratives in Philosophy conference will be held at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. The four day conference will focus on the early modern philosophers Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, and Emilie Du Châtelet and will explore the various aspects of each figure’s primary philosophical works, investigate the relationships between her works and those of her contemporaries, and examine her works in relation to the political, social, ethical, theological, and scientific works of the period. In addition, the final, fourth day of the conference will be devoted to methodological questions that are important for transforming the teaching and study of early modern philosophy. All conference proceedings and materials – video clips, sample syllabi…

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Viola Davis tells it like it is

“The only thing that separate women of color from anyone else is opportunity.”

That’s what Viola Davis said last night her her acceptance speech at the Emmy awards (after becoming the first woman of color to win an Emmy for a leading role in a drama). “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there” she said.

MUN Professor Refuses to Accommodate Disabled Student

A professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland has refused to wear an FM assistive listening device to accommodate hard of hearing student William Sears, citing religious grounds for her refusal. This is not a first occurrence: Professor Panjabi also refused a similar request from a student in 1996, telling CBC News that her religious beliefs prevented her from wearing an assistive listening device to accommodate a student with a hearing impairment. CBC also notes that in 1985 she was also reprimanded for a similar complaint.

Contrary to popular misconception, assistive listening devices (ALDs) are not recording devices, but merely amplify sound. The more sophisticated devices work with digital hearing aids to deliver custom amplification tailored to a hearing aid program designed for ALDs, which is far superior to the amplification of a standard microphone. One reason for this is that the background noise picked up by hearing aids is dampened if one has an ALD program — the primary sound that one hears is the speaker’s voice. The ALD amplification cannot be heard by people who are not wearing ALD receivers or hearing aids with telecoils.

(As a lifetime user of ALDs, my personal experience is that the amplification and clarity is significantly better than a house microphone — this assessment is shared by most of the ALD users I know, though as with any accommodation, the person with the disability is in the best position to judge whether this is a feasible accommodation for her.)

Over the 40+ years and thousands of hours of ALD use in my lifetime, I’ve had similar experiences of professors and (conference) lecturers refusing to wear an ALD transmitter. When queried, they usually explained their opposition was because they believed it was a recording device in addition to an amplification device. This is a false belief.Read More »