Florida Atlantic University has recently subsisted underneath a mantle of scrutiny. In fact, one has to wonder if the university will make it to the end of the year without irritating every single ethnic, religious, and human rights advocacy group in the country!
In January, FAU professor James Tracy famously claimed that both Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombing was staged by the Obama administration to promote an anti-gun agenda. He has also strongly suggested the Navy Yard Shooting was staged. The university has simply said that James Tracy’s views do not reflect the views of FAU. While many have called for his removal, Tracy remains employed at Florida Atlantic.
In February, the school came under scrutiny again–because it accepted a naming rights deal for a stadium from private prison contractor, the GEO Group. Bob Libal, executive director of the criminal advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, pointedly stated that GEO has a habit of making heavy donations in communities where it has contracts or is seeking contracts–in other words, by accepting the gift and naming it after a company that has been accused of numerous human rights violations, FAU chose to willingly support the agenda of a shamefully expanding enemy of American citizens. After public outcry, the university canceled the naming rights deal with GEO.
Deandre Poole, an instructor at the school, recently faced right wing criticism over his use of a thirty-year-old exercise in which students write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper and step on it. The exercise was intended to demonstrate that despite the arbitrary nature of symbols, they take on strong emotional meanings. This exercise is done with the expectation that most students will not step on the paper, and is intended to lead to a discussion of why they are unable to do so. One student purported that Poole ordered them to “stomp on Jesus,” and that he was punished for a refusal to do so. This false claim sparked a nation-wide right wing hissy fit, garnering the attention of Governor Rick Scott. Scott proposed state legislation that would prevent the use of this exercise in higher education.
The university has come under fire again after an incident at the library. Senior Abdul Asquith wanted to check out a laptop for his communication classes, but his request was refused by the librarian. Why? According to Asquith, it had a little something to do with the librarian’s views on sexuality:
“She looked at the ID and looked down at it. She said, ‘You sound, look and act like a girl and in this ID is a man, therefore I’m not giving you a laptop….It looks just like me. I identify with my ID. I wasn’t dressed up. I didn’t have on a dress…’”
While Asquith sometimes wears “feminine” clothes he was, on the day in question, wearing shorts and a hoodie with his long hair pulled back.
This sort of treatment is, of course a violation of FAU’s anti-discrimination policy:
Asquith was finally able to use a laptop for his studies, but had to ask three separate librarians.
The librarian has chosen not to comment on the incident, and the University has not issued an apology.Watch a Video on the Incident Below: