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Open Syllabus Project gives empirical insight into curriculum debates

As debates continue to smolder—and ignite, in the case of the “Who’s Teaching Us” campaign and the now-failed initiative to reinstate a “Western Civilization” requirement Stanford—regarding the prominence of the “Western Canon” in American universities’ curriculum, the Open Syllabus Explorer provides a quantitative backing to previously more speculative discussion.

Activism

While justice movements persist on Cal’s campus and our own— and on campuses countrywide—student protests register quietly, quickly, or not at all in the news. Activism, as an average, is now quiet smolder dulled by the apathy of mass opinion. There are passionate folks, loud and brilliant people standing up for what is right at Stanford and elsewhere, but their energy does not mirror the sentiments of their peers—student populations are no longer excited. There are few powerful causes that hold our attention, and a protest is unlikely to bring us out in force (unless there is a promise of free food, or a celebrity speaker).

Talking about abortion without having a uterus: my best attempt to not be a dick

When I begin to question my stance on abortion, I tend to reassure myself by putting the issue in the context of my own feminism. Access to abortion is good for women. I sincerely believe that: the ability to terminate a pregnancy puts women in control of their own bodies. But what matters more than what I believe is what the women in my life have taught me about abortion; what the female intellectuals and thought-leaders I respect have explained to me: access to safe abortions is a vital right afforded to all people with uteruses.

‘PC’ is a meaningless term

Something that could be called “PC Culture” does indeed exist, but the version of “PC” that Carson and others espouse is completely nonsensical and entirely self-serving. And if we’re to take this potentially dangerous phenomenon seriously, we have to create a set of objective definitions for what we’re seeing, and resist the urge to spin it in our own political favor

How to end a riot

The riots will not end with us shouting at the protestors to go home. It will not end with us chastising them for being violent. It will end when we tell our fellow Americans what they have deserved to hear us say for so long: We are listening. We must do better. And we will do better.