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Jacob Thomas

The Fine Line Between Safespace and Segregation

Emily Deruy writes about how some colleges across the US are attempting to help
student minorities on campus. One way they are doing this is by creating safe spaces, a place
where students of a particular identity may go to escape certain situations where they may feel
uncomfortable. Deruys claim is that the addition of these safe spaces are actually damaging
majority and minority relations on campus. Her reasoning is backed by stating that college is
meant to be a place where you are meant to be safely uncomfortable. (Deruy 2016). This
phrase was coined by interviewee Tressie McMillan Cottom, who is an assistant professor at
Virginia Commonwealth University. My question is what situations are students getting into that
require the use of safe spaces?

First Step to Fixing Gender Bias in Business School

Nanette Fondas writes about how the Harvard School of Business had experienced a
problem with having grades turn out consistent among genders. Harvards initial investigation to
this problem was a school wide self-assessment. The outcome of this led the school to believe
it was bias coming from the teachers in the classroom. Fondas then goes to investigate further
into the issue. She interviews Professor Robin Ely, Senior associate Dean for Culture and
Community at Harvard Business School to learn how they intended to lower the grade gap
between genders. He explained how they strive to achieve a learning environment that helps
facilitate the best learning experience for all students in the classroom. My question is what are
the professors like? What leads them to think that a woman deserves a lower grade because
she is a woman?

How America's 2-Tiered Education System Is Perpetuating Inequality

Emily Chertoff writes about how the current situation of the United States higher
education system is two- tiered. Many low income and minority people are not receiving as
much federal funding and consequently, are not getting a higher quality education. Many decide
to go to community college and then transfer over to a 4 year college, but only 11.6 percent do
so. Chertoff states that because the US priorities more prestigious schools, students getting
into them receive better funding, creating this gap between those who are abnormally smart,
and the average individuals who make up the majority of the countrys work force. My question
is why do we need to rely so heavily on federal funding? Why is college so damn expensive? Is
it because the schools pay up to $300,000 for a particular political figure to speak for 30
The Post-Lecture Classroom

Robinson Meyer writes about how UNCEs school of Pharmacy is taking a new
approach to teaching. They are trying to implement a new system where students are more
prepared for class by watching and reviewing lecture videos before going to class. After three
years of studying this, they found a 2.5 percent increase in grades. Meyer claims that this will
be the future of the learning environment. This is backed by quoting a mother who is also a
student. She cant always attend class but lecture videos help when shes taking care of her
child. My question is what are the drawbacks? Are students showing up to class less frequently
because of this?

Wasting Time on the Internet 101

Terrence Ross writes about a new class at University of Pennsylvania titled Wasting
Time on the Internet. It is almost exactly what you think. Students go to waste time essentially
by surfing the internet and having their attention split between two things. At the end of the
course they are to write about their findings. Ross is in agreement with Professor Goldsmith in
that Writers today are more like programmers in that they often contextualize an already-
existing piece of work, a process as important as a completely original attempt. (Ross 2014).
This is taken directly from Prof. Goldsmith. This is interesting to me because I took two years of
programming in Java and this cant be more accurate. I was always looking on the internet for
different ways to do things, but it was always to become more efficient at what I did. In
something like programming, there is always a more correct answer because efficiency is what
everyone is looking for. In creative writing however, there are an infinite number of correct
answers. Is this process moral though? Is it more efficient to use concepts from other work or
should everyone strive to be original 100% of the time because of a moral dilemma?