News for the unnewsed, university-style

Fuck-bomb raises controversy at a U.S. student newspaper

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The editor of a Colorado university student newspaper­--the Rocky Mountain Collegian--David McSwane may lose his job over publishing the stand-alone headline "Taser this... Fuck Bush."

The Sep. 21 four word story was in reference to an incident that had happened at the University of Florida three days earlier. Student Andrew Meyer was tasered by police when he refused to give up the microphone while questioning former presidential candidate John Kerry. George W. Bush was in no way involved in the taser incident.

The issue made national headlines and has raised questions about free speech and caused advertisers to pull tens of thousands of dollars worth of advertising from the paper. Under the first amendment, the university is not allowed to censor the content of the Collegian, but the board of student communications both hires and removes editors.

The trial is ongoing.

BUCU declares proposed Israeli academic boycott aborted

Britain's University and College Union announced Fri., Sep. 28 that it would not continue discussion around the possibility of a boycott of Israeli academics. In May, the BUCU annual congress caused international controversy when announcing a proposed boycott of Israeli academics. By Sep., 11,000 academics had signed a petition against the boycott, including 33 Nobel Prize winners and 58 college and university heads.

In response to the May announcement, many Canadian universities issued a public statement, including the University of Calgary president Dr. Harvey Weingarten Wed., Jun. 27.

"The role of universities is to promote, permit and enable the free exchange of ideas, debate and civil discourse," the letter stated. "If universities do not support these values, which societal institutions will? The proposed boycott runs counter to these values and must be opposed and condemned."

Last Fri. the BUCU general secretary Sally Hunt said the worry was that the boycott could be considered illegal under anti-discrimination laws and noted that most of the unions 120,000 members would not back the bid.

However, some university lecturers have voiced concern that the decision will effectively gag academic debate, by prohibiting discussion on the issue.

Bush invited to speak at Iranian university

Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad spoke at the University of Columbia in New York Mon., Sep. 24.

Columbia's invitation came under fire from critics as it could have been used as a "platform for hate." The event drew even more criticism--from across the political spectrum--when the president of the university introduced Ahmadinejad as a "petty and cruel dictator."

Ahmadinejad's speech was not free from criticism either­--the crowd burst into laughter when he stated that there were no homosexuals in Iran. His questioning of the Holocaust also rose more than a few eyebrows.

In response to Columbia's invitation, one of Iran's largest universities, Ferdowsi University, extended an invitation for president George W. Bush to speak next time he is in town.

A White House spokesperson told press Tue., Oct. 2 that they were "not taking it too seriously." The spokesperson went on to say that the invitation may have been considered if Iran allowed freedom of expression, did not threaten Israel and did not have nuclear ambitions.

Ahmadinejad spoke at the school despite that lack of respect shown to him, countered the FU president--regardless of differences in political stance.

Two students shot at a Delaware university

Two students were injured at Delaware State University when a gunman opened fire on the campus Fri., Sep 21. One student was shot in the ankle, the other in the abdomen.

The alleged 18 year-old gunman is being charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm during a felony.

Officials at DSU have announced plans to set up an emergency text messaging system, allowing campus security to send a message to straight to students' cell phones in case of an emergency.

The U of C set up a similar system this Sep. To receive the alerts you must sign up for the free serv- ice through the ucalgary website.