What we’re reading

On Saturday, President Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” a day in which Alabama State Troopers attacked over 600 non-violent protesters marching for voting rights. Obama spoke of the progress that the United States has achieved in race relations since Selma, also emphasizing how far the nation still has to go, citing the Justice Department’s recent report on Ferguson. The Atlantic‘s report entitled “The Gangsters of Ferguson” breaks down the findings, mainly that the City’s policing focuses on revenue, which discriminates against African Americans and further increases racial disparity. Obama expressed hope, however, in the youth of America today, saying:

You are America. Unconstrained by habits and convention. Unencumbered by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be. For everywhere in this country, there are first steps to be taken, and a new ground to cover, and bridges to be crossed. And it is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow.

In higher education this week, we saw dissent, deception, and demographic shifts. The Wall Street Journal reported on the increasing tension between the newly-unionized graduate-student employees at New York University and the university’s administration. The grad student employees are threatening to go on strike, citing the university’s lack of cooperation and perceived false commitment to collective bargaining.

The Atlantic told the story of Guillaume Dumas, “The Man Who Snuck Into the Ivy League Without Paying a Thing.” Dumas from 2008 to 2012 “attended” several schools, including Brown, sitting in on classes and going to parties without paying a single cent to the universities.

The Economist broke down the findings of a recent Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) report. The report found that in the United States, not only are there 50 percent women than men on college campuses, but they also are more likely to graduate and get better grades along the way. The report does note that the breakdown in private institutions tends to be more balanced.

On the arts front, the Museo del Prado in Madrid is making strides by changing art so it’s more accessible to blind individuals. The New York Times reported on their use of new techniques, such as adding three-dimensional features to paintings so that blind people can feel the paintings and get a better sense of some of the world’s most famous art.

Lastly, we’ve all just gone through the dreaded motions of Daylight Saving Time, but have you ever wondered what life would be like without it? Allison Schrager at The Atlantic posits a new way of organizing time zones in the U.S. Maybe DST will soon be a thing of the past?

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