Monday, December 14, 2015

American Indian Students Bully Marquette With Discrimination Charge / Marquette Panders

We’ve blogged about the Coalition of and for Students of Color at Marquette University which blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue, and produced an absurd list of demands on the University.

The group that demonstrated was a coalition of leftist activists, with a rather diverse set of grievances.

They claimed “poor treatment of students of color on campus, the university’s racist seal, the accreditation of DPS campus police, and the university’s investments in companies that explicitly commit human rights violations and enable occupation and and violence in Palestine.”

That’s right: a hodgepodge of the standard leftist campus grievances.

But some of the activists had gone further, and (back in November, 2014) lodged a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education, claiming:
  1. in the 2014-2015 academic year, the University subjected a Native American student (Student A) and other Native American students to discrimination based on race by creating or tolerating a racially hostile environment of which it had notice but failed to respond adequately to redress the racially hostile environment; and
  2. in November 2014, the University subjected Student A. and other students to retaliation for complaining about the University’s seal when the University’s President made a sarcastic comment to them at an open forum.
So what was this all about? Some clues can be found by looking further into the letter. A list of things the University had to provide included some boilerplate items, and then:
  1. A copy of the University’s seal, the date the current seal was first used, and a copy of any paintings or illustrations from which the seal is derived.
  2. A copy of all University policies regarding the use of the term “Warrior” and/or concerning use of images of Native Americans.
  3. A copy of all written reports of mistreatment or harassment of Native American students in the last three years, and a narrative description of all verbal reports of mistreatment or harassment of Native American students in the last three years.
  4. With regard to each written or verbal report of mistreatment or harassment referenced in the response to item #6:
    1. A description with supporting documentation of any actions taken by the University to investigate and, if appropriate, respond to the written or verbal report;
    2. Copies of all notes, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents regarding the report of mistreatment or harassment and investigation, including but not limited to letters, internal memoranda, complaint forms, reports, electronic-mail communications and notes of meetings;
    3. A list of individuals interviewed in response to the allegation(s), and the notes of any such interviews;
    4. A copy of any findings and statements of fact; and
    5. A description of any action taken as a result of the investigation, and, if applicable, a written explanation of the reason(s) for not taking any action in response to the allegation(s).
  5. If not included in the response to items #6 and #7, all information in the University’s possession concerning a class presentation in a Culture and Health course in November 2014 in which derogatory comments were made regarding health of Native Americans.
  6. The name of the professor of the course referenced in the response to item #8 and the name, race, and contact information of all students enrolled in the course.
  7. If not included in the response to items #6 and #7, all information in the University’s possession concerning a planned party with a theme of “Pilgrims vs. Indians” in fall 2014, including all actions taken by the University in response to the planned party and the names of all University officials involved in responding to concerns about the planned party.
  8. A copy of all materials related to the open forum held by the University President in November 2014, including a copy of all notes taken by University officials and a copy of all audiotapes and/or videotapes of the open forum.
  9. A description of any training provided by the University in the past three years to students or employees regarding discrimination based on race and in particular, discrimination against Native American students.
  10. If not included in the responses to the above, a copy of all other documents in the University’s possession related to the complaint.
We lack the entire case file on this. Such files take a long time to get and typically cost a lot of money. But we do have the Resolution Agreement that Marquette signed. The point of the agreement was to placate the activists, who if sufficiently placated, would withdraw the complaint. In fact, they were sufficiently placated and did indeed withdraw the complaint.
Early Complaint Resolution Agreement

Marquette University

Docket No. 05-15-2039
Marquette University (hereafter University or Recipient), and Laree Pourier (Complainant) agree to enter into this Resolution Agreement (Agreement) as part of the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Early Complaint Resolution (ECR) process, to resolve the issues the Complainant raised in OCR Complaint# 05-15-2039 (the “Complaint”). The Parties agree to the following:
  1. The University agrees to create a standing Committee to be called the Committee for the Recruitment and Retention of Native American and Underrepresented Minority Students to address the recruitment and retention of a more diverse student body, with particular attention given to Native American students, recognizing Father Marquette’s deep historical relationship with to Native People.
    1. The Committee will include at least one representative from each of the following: the Office of the Provost, University Advancement, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of Admissions, the Center for Intercultural Engagement, the Native American Student Association faculty advisor, the Native American Student Association, and other representatives as appropriate. When appropriate, the Committee may also invite Alumni to serve on the Committee;
    2. The Committee will meet a minimum of twice per semester for three academic years;
    3. Once per academic year, at a regularly scheduled meeting, a representative(s) of the Committee shall update the University Leadership Council on the progress and recommendations of the Committee;
    4. Once per academic year, the Committee will make a public report on its progress and recommendations; and
    5. The Committee will discuss and consider issues relating to the recruitment and retention of diverse student populations, with particular attention to Native American students, including but not limited to seeking additional financial support for these diverse student populations and increasing academic support and co-curricular services to improve student retention. The Committee will discuss and consider the following, non-exhaustive list of goals:
    1. The endowment of a scholarship(s) for Native American students;
    2. The creation of a faculty position dedicated to Native American studies;
    3. The creation of Native American Studies program;
    4. The creation of a Native American community in a residence hall or other University housing;
    5. Hosting academic career fairs in professional areas for Native American students;
    6. Participating in college fairs which target diverse student populations, such as the annual Oneida Nation College Fair; and
    7. The development of a relationship with the Milwaukee Public Schools First Nations Studies Program.
  2. The University agrees to continue efforts to fund a position within the Center for Intercultural Engagement dedicated, in part, to providing support for Native American students.
  3. The University agrees that the Center for Intercultural Engagement, in consultation with the University’s Native American Student Association, and others as appropriate, will develop a training program dedicated to raising awareness of harassment and discrimination faced by Native Americans and other diverse student populations. The program shall be mandatory for all resident assistants, resident hall directors, first-year students, and transfer students. The training shall include, but not be limited to, information about bystander awareness, the University’s bias incident reporting system, and offensive imagery (e.g., use of the “Warrior” logo).
  4. The University agrees to place a reproduction of the 1869 painting entitled, “Father Marquette and the Indians” by Wilhelm Lamprecht, which was used as inspiration for the University’s seal, in the following locations:
    1. The University’s web-page regarding the University seal;
    2. The Alumni Memorial Student Union; and
    3. Cudahy Hall.
    The University agrees further that each reproduction, and the original painting which is displayed in the Raynor Library, will be accompanied by a paragraph of historical information about the painting that does not use the words “discover” or “discovery.” Prior to July 15, 2015, the Complainant will submit a proposed paragraph to the University, through University counsel, which the University shall consider in drafting the paragraph.
  5. The University agrees to assign to University Advancement the responsibility of soliciting philanthropic support for the proposals of the Committee described in agreement item 1. University Advancement will ensure that fundraising staff members have the information necessary to effectively solicit support from donors who have an interest in funding programs that provide assistance to diverse student populations, including Native American students. University Advancement agrees to discuss with potential scholarship donors, the option to fund scholarships for students from underrepresented and minority populations, which include but are not limited to Native American students. In addition, University Advancement agrees to include references to such scholarships in its written informational materials that it provides to potential scholarship donors. The University Advancement representative to the Committee will provide a written report to the Committee once per semester describing the efforts made by University Advancement in connection with this agreement item.
  6. The University agrees to discourage students from wearing clothing with the “Warriors” logo through the program described in item 3 and by holding an open forum prior to the start of the basketball season to raise awareness about the University’s commitment to diversity. In addition, the University agrees to create a message/banner on an appropriate Athletics website which encourages students to wear Golden Eagles apparel/gear while attending athletic events (something to the effect of: Show your Golden Eagles pride, wear Golden Eagles gear).
  7. The University agrees that it will revise its web page containing its Harassment Policy, as follows:
    1. The web page will include a link to the Bias Incident Reporting system, which allows online reporting of such incidents;
    2. The web page will clearly set forth the procedures under which a person may report harassment to the Office of Student Development (and also note that harassment based on sex should be reported to the University’s Title IX team). In addition, the web page will additional information about procedures related to investigating and resolving such complaints, including a description of any services offered by the University to students who have experienced harassment or discrimination.
The Parties stipulate that the Agreement resolves the Complainant’s allegations. The parties understand that OCR will close the complaint and if the Agreement is breached, the Complainant has a right to file another complaint with OCR. If the Complainant files a new complaint, OCR will address the original complaint allegation(s) and not the alleged breach of the Agreement. To be considered timely, the Complainant must file the new complaint either within 180 days of the date of the original discrimination or within 60 days of the date the Complainant obtains information that a breach of the Agreement occurred, whichever is later.

The Parties agree that this Agreement addresses all of the Complainant’s claims and concerns regarding this matter and the Complainant will not pursue any other court case or litigation related to the allegations raised in this Complaint. The Parties agree that this Agreement does not bind any parties other than the Recipient and the Complainant.

The Parties acknowledge and agree that they have read and understand the terms of this Agreement and enter into it voluntarily and without any duress or undue influence on the part of or on behalf of any party. The University’s signatory to this Agreement represents that he has actual authority to act on behalf of the University in consummating this Agreement, and the parties acknowledge that execution of this Agreement by the Interim Provost shall not be a basis to void this Agreement. The parties may execute this Agreement by sending the signature page by facsimile or electronic mail to OCR. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which shall be considered an original, and all of which taken together shall be considered one and the same document.

This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the Complainant and the University with regard to the matters set forth in it, supersedes any prior negotiations, agreements or representations, whether oral or written. This Agreement may be amended or modified only by a written document signed by the Parties.
What are we to make of all this? Marquette has pandered a lot. But it has failed to concede a couple of things that would be highly visible and controversial. In the first place, it has refused to recrop the Marquette seal, something that would immediately advertise “we caved.” Instead, we get copies of the uncropped painting posted around campus. And the words “discover” or “discovery” are banned. Don’t the activists have something more substantial to complain about? It’s true the term is Eurocentric, but the Jesuit order was Eurocentric at the time, and Marquette’s intellectual tradition (to the extent that any remains other than 21st Century political correctness) is Eurocentric.

We wonder if Marquette is going to rename the Père Marquette Discovery Award.

Marquette also refused the demand for a “zero tolerance” policy toward Warrior insignia and apparel. Of course, the mandatory  “training program” (read:  Stalinist reeducation) coupled with the bias incident reporting system may have the same effect.  Students will get the message:  if you say something some member of a favored minority group objects to, you will be called on the carpet.

A lot of the other stuff consists of bureaucratic initiatives that are not terrible in themselves, but create a lot of bureaucratic busywork, and may eventually result in more busywork and more initiatives that drain resources and distract from the task of providing a good education for all students — and not just politically correct victim groups.

Diversity Bureaucrat

Promising another diversity bureaucrat in the Center for Intercultural Engagement falls into this category. The money could be used for another faculty line, or for scholarships based on need (or academic merit) rather than race. Eva Martinez Powless, Director for Intercultural Engagement, did not respond to an e-mail asking whether such a position has been funded.

But note the tactic used here: filing a discrimination complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in order to coerce concessions from Marquette.  Even a complaint that lacks merit provides the aggrieved with leverage to demand concessions. This is another case where “the process is the punishment.”

Bureaucratic Politics

Not that Marquette’s administration particularly minds having demands made on it. College administrators are always looking for initiatives to pad their résumés and provide favorable media coverage. Diversity initiatives fill the bill nicely, as well as justifying building up their bureaucratic empires with people who have “diversity” or “inclusion” or “multicultural” in their titles.

Things they can do to actually improve the quality of education — raising money and allocating it for faculty lines, scholarships, scholarly resources, making good decisions on hiring and promotion and tenure cases, etc. — lack such a payoff.

Thus we have at Marquette what exists most other places in academia: a de facto alliance between the racial grievance mongers and the campus bureaucrats.

Marquette Conceals Resolution Agreement

Many of the concessions to the Indian activists are discussed in a recent article in the Marquette Tribune. But what was not revealed? The discrimination complaint and Resolution Agreement.

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Blogger G. B. Miller said...

It is my sincere hope and belief that these "adults" receive a much needed reality check once they enter the real world and attempt to find worthwhile employment. They'll quickly find that "grievances/demands" such of these will quickly fall on deaf ears.

5:15 AM  

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