Friday, April 28, 2017

Harvard

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outrage

At least two minority student organizations have issued apologies after fake news regarding deportation circulated on campus scared students.

Notices from the imaginary “Harvard Special Investigations Unit” warned students that a student, residing in their dorm had been apprehended to be detained indefinitely. According to The Harvard Crimson, the notices were posted by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee and cosigned by Harvard Concilio Latino, the Harvard Islamic Society, and the Harvard Black Students Association.

“This is not a real notice,” the notice said on the back. “However, we hope that the unsettling nature of this notice allows Harvard community members to reflect on the reality of people who face these kinds of unwarranted disruptions of life in unexplained suspicious circumstances before a state power that can hold ‘suspects’ indefinitely.”

Reportedly, numerous students were outraged with the way the notices were distributed and how they deceived some students into believing the news was true. The outrage prompted the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Concilio Latino, to issue apologies.

Co-president of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, Fatima M. Bishtawi, wrote in her email that she “would like to unequivocally apologize for any trauma and pain provoked by the seriousness of this notice,” The Harvard Crimson said.

In a joint statement Monday evening, the board of Concilio Latino wrote: “[The fliers] are fake, but the effects they may have had on any of you are beyond real and represent something entirely antithetical to what Concilio stands for.”

Concilio Latino further elaborated that it did not have complete knowledge of the exact contents of the fliers before they were distributed on campus.

Members of the Black Students Association and Islamic Society did not respond to The Harvard Crimson’s requests for comments.

Notably, this is the second time the Palestine Solidarity Committee has evoked outrage for fake notices. According to the College Fix, the student association also stirred controversy in 2013, by posting mock eviction notices to rebuke Israel’s settlement policies and actions in the West Bank.

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harvard-swimmer

What started out as a record-breaking competitor for the Harvard University women’s swim team has been transformed in the space of a year into a member of the men’s swim team instead.

According to Swimming World, Schuyler Bailar was a top female swimmer in the country in high school, helping to set a high school record in the girls’ 400-meter medley relay.

However, after graduating in 2014, she took a year off to come out as transgendered and undergo gender reassignment surgery to become “man”. The gender switch means Bailar will be the first transgendered swimmer to compete on the men’s team at the collegiate level.

Since going public with her new identity in May, Bailar has posted pictures of his/her transition from women to man on Instagram – photos that show her metamorphosis to encourage other young people coping with gender identity issues.

As a woman, she was a record-breaker in the pool but as a man, Bailar’s ability to meet or beat his fellow men’s team members will be sharply curtailed – even with hormone therapy to build muscle and body mass needed to win.

For its part, Harvard is thrilled to have Bailar on their team even though he/she will be stellar achiever on the team.

“I want Schuyler on my team for the same reasons I want all of my athletes,” Harvard men’s coach Kevin Tyrrell told Swimming World. “I believe he wants to push himself academically and athletically.

When all of our swimmers and divers have this mindset everyone improves daily in every aspect of their lives. This process will contribute to them being outstanding members of society.”

Moving to the men’s team for former women is easier than moving to the woman’s team as a former man. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) office of “inclusion”:

“As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”

“The Office of Inclusion will provide or enable programming and education, which sustains foundations of a diverse and inclusive culture across dimensions of diversity including, but not limited to age, race, sex, national origin, class, creed, educational background, disability, gender expression, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation and work experiences.”

Under NCAA guidelines, female-to-male transgendered may immediately switch to a men’s team without restriction, as long as they obtain a medical exception for testosterone treatment (as testosterone supplements are otherwise a banned substance).

A male-to-female transgender must receive testosterone suppression for at least a year before being allowed on a women’s team.

Bailar acknowledges that it will be difficult to compete with men as a former women but believes that being true to his/her chosen gender identity was more important saying that, as a girl, she was depressed in high school from trying to fit in to gender norms adding that feels far happier now.

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