From the May-June 2016 issue of News & Letters
by Natalia Spiegel
During the week of March 20, hundreds of faculty, students, staff and community members held a variety of protests at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., against white supremacist author Charles Murray. Murray, author of Losing Ground and co-author with Richard Herrnstein of The Bell Curve, was invited to speak on March 25 by the Virginia Tech administration as part of BB&T Bank’s “Capitalism and Freedom” lecture series. Events included a Teach-In Against Hate that drew over 200 people, counter-lectures and a protest at the site when Murray spoke.
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On March 3, Fossil Free MIT, a student group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology reached an agreement to end a sit-in in the administration building that began in October. The students want MIT’s endowment to sell off holdings in fossil fuel companies, and the university refuses to do so. But MIT did commit to taking steps toward carbon neutrality on campus, and to work on benchmarks and guidelines for MIT’s engagement with climate change off campus, including its ties to government and businesses.
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In March hundreds of Minneapolis students walked out of their classes to protest recent immigration raids and the whole U.S. immigration policy under President Obama. They marched through south Minneapolis until they reached Martin Luther King Jr. Park. At Southwest High School, more than 100 students took part in a sit-in, then joined the march. Close to ten high schools participated in the protest.