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Harvard Law will scrutinize use of slaveholders’ seal
It has long appeared in nearly every corner of the prestigious school. But now Harvard Law School’s official seal is under heavy scrutiny because it includes elements drawn from a slaveholding family’s crest. Following an outcry from students, officials from the school are examining the continued use of the seal, in what is the latest controversy over race and historic injustices on US college campuses in recent weeks. “Symbols are important,” Martha Minow
, dean of the law school, said this week. “They become even more important when people care about them and focus on them.”
Refugees Give Turkey Leverage With EU
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a new enemy in Russian President Vladimir Putin after Turkey shot down a Russian jet. But his new friends in the European Union more than make up for the loss. Desperate to stanch the flow of immigration, the EU has promised Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) to keep Syrian refugees there so they won’t go to Europe. Included in the bargain is the restarting of Turkey’s accession to the EU, stalled until now because of traditional European fears of Turkish economic migrants and worries about the country’s slow slide away from liberal democracy. The ironies are palpable and rich.
The Harvard Crimson
Law Professor Describes ‘The World According to Star Wars’
The force was strong at Harvard Law School on Tuesday during a talk by professor Cass R. Sunstein
’75, who discussed his upcoming book, “The World According to Star Wars.” The talk drew more than 200 people, filling a conference room decorated in honor of “Star Wars.” Sunstein presented from in front of a podium alongside life-sized cardboard cutouts of characters, including General Leia Organa and Finn from the upcoming movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
House Masters ‘Unanimously’ Agree To Change Title
The masters of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate residential Houses have unanimously agreed to change their title, a term that some students criticize as associated with slavery and has come under scrutiny as debates about racism take hold of college campuses nationwide. ... Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.
, a master of Winthrop House, called the change “the product of many years” of discussion, but said House masters collectively made the decision to change it in the past few weeks. That decision came in response to student requests and recent College and national protests over issues of race on college campuses, he said. “We cannot ignore the fact that the term ‘master’ has a particular salience in our culture given the very real brutal history of slavery,” Sullivan said. “A new term that appreciates the realities of the work we do in the 21st century is much more appropriate.”
The Harvard Crimson
Deaf Students Utilize Resources, But Still Face Barriers
...Harvard’s resources work to ensure that there are no academic barriers for deaf students. Still, some students say that Harvard needs to offer American Sign Language as a for-credit class—something done at many peer institutions, including Brown and the University of Pennsylvania—to fully welcome Deaf students to the University...Heather S. Artinian
, a culturally deaf first-year student at Harvard Law School, has a team of two interpreters who attend all her classes. Several members of Artinian’s family are deaf and identify heavily with Deaf culture, so she grew up using sign language. She was born unable to hear, but when she was 10 years old, she received two cochlear implants, learned how to speak English, and switched from a school for deaf children to a mainstream one. “I’ve kind of been going to school with the hearing world for a long time. And every time I go to a new environment it is always that cultural shock for everyone else,” Artinian said.
Obama Quietly Signs Guantanamo Freeze Into Law — But Hints at Executive Action
When President Obama vetoed the 2016 defense
authorization bill five weeks ago — in part because it wouldn’t let him close the military prison at Guantanamo — he did it with broad publicity and a photo op. Last week, he quietly signed the $607 billion bill, along with five others, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. But in his statement accompanying his signature, he signaled the fight’s not over yet. ... Obama might, for example, issue an “at the buzzer” executive order in January 2017. “
But can he really do it as he’s walking out the door? I don’t think so,” said Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith
, who served in the Bush administration as assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2004, and before that, special counsel to the Defense Department. Goldsmith told Defense One
the administration would have to start preparations in “early 2016, if not sooner…You can’t just put people on an airplane on Jan. 18.”
Milford Daily News
MassDEP launches statewide food donation resource page
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is putting a new emphasis on donating food versus trashing food. This November, RecyclingWorks, an organization funded by MassDEP, launched their "Food Donation Guidance for Massachusetts Businesses" page on the RecyclingWorks website. ... The organization partnered with Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic
to generate fact sheets on food donation and date labeling to provide to organizations and businesses free of charge on the Food Donation Guidance page. Likewise, the page also provides links and information on local food rescue organizations and food banks, as well as food temperature and storing guidelines.
Naked Shorts at the Supreme Court
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
When you’re trading securities, you generally think about being regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal law. Should you be worried about state law, too? That question isn't merely theoretical, as shown by the naked short selling case that was argued Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court. The answer has practical consequences for traders of all kinds. The case, Merrill Lynch v. Manning, arises from allegations by individual shareholders in Escala Group Inc., that traders at Merrill Lynch, Knight Equity Markets and UBS Securities, among others, engaged in naked short selling to manipulate the value of the stock. In essence, the original plaintiffs alleged that the traders made short sales without bothering to borrow the securities that would be needed to cover the trade.
How to build a better PhD
...The numbers show newly minted PhD students f
looding out of the academic pipeline. In 2003, 21,343 science graduate students in the United States received a doctorate. By 2013, this had increased by almost 41% — and the life sciences showed the greatest growth. That trend is mirrored elsewhere. According to a 2014 report looking at the 34 countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the proportion of people who leave tertiary education with a doctorate has doubled from 0.8% to 1.6% over the past 17 years....One reason is that there is little institutional incentive to turn them away. Faculty members rely on cheap PhD students and postdocs because they are trying to get the most science out of stretched grants. Universities, in turn, know that PhD students help faculty members to produce the world-class research on which their reputations rest. “The biomedical research system is structured around a large workforce of graduate students and postdocs,” says Michael Teitelbaum
, a labour economist at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Many find it awkward to talk about change.”
The Harvard Crimson
A Time for Reckoning at Harvard Law School
An op-ed by Jacob Loup`16.
In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Professor Randall Kennedy
shared his concerns about student responses to the recent taping-over of the portraits of Harvard Law School’s black faculty. As he says, much of the unrest is not about the tape itself but about a conviction that the episode gives us a “revealing glimpse” into the “soul of Harvard Law School.” Professor Kennedy resists this conclusion. In his view, too many students are becoming “unglued,” seizing on “dubious” claims of racism at school, “nurturing an inflated sense of victimization,” and “minimizing” past victories. Professor Kennedy’s op-ed reflects natural anxieties about change. Glue holds things together. Crisis pulls them apart. But glue can also cement centuries-old ideologies, making them hard to tear down even once they’ve been widely repudiated. Harvard Law School is glued together not by the supple bonds of a far-reaching fellowship, but by the hardened amber of a dominant class’s precedents and traditions. We must come unglued.