All posts by Andrew Mytelka


Energy Secretary Rick Perry Attacks Texas A&M Election as ‘Stolen’

Rick Perry, the U.S. secretary of energy, took time out of his day job on Wednesday to assail the outcome of a recent student-government election at his alma mater, Texas A&M University at College Station.

Mr. Perry, who was the state’s Republican governor from 2000 to 2015, said that the election for student-government president, in which an openly gay candidate won for the first time, had been “stolen,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Mr. Perry, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president in…


Trump Will Propose Shutting Down National Arts and Humanities Endowments

President Trump plans to propose eliminating the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities in his budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which is scheduled to be released Thursday morning, The New York Times reports.

The Times report cited two unnamed officials with knowledge of a meeting on Wednesday at which Jane Chu, chairwoman of the arts endowment, disclosed the plan to her staff.

The news was not unexpected, as The Hill reported in January that Mr. Trump, who at the time had not yet ta…


Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Second Effort at Travel Ban

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected the White House’s second effort to impose a travel ban that colleges have said would damage their appeal to international students and scholars but that President Trump has defended as necessary to protect the nation from terrorism.

In a 43-page ruling, Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court in Honolulu granted a request to issue a temporary restraining order, effective nationally, to prevent the new travel-ban policy from being carried out.

The …


Trump Administration Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance on Transgender Students

[Updated (2/22/2017, 11 p.m.) with additional details.]

The Trump administration withdrew Obama-era guidance late Wednesday on the rights of transgender students, to allow the Education and Justice Departments to “further and more completely consider” the controversial issue.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter, the departments said they were dropping the earlier guidance, which cited Title IX as the basis for requiring public-school districts to allow transgender students to use restrooms that match t…


Grad Student Finds Lost Novel by Walt Whitman That Hints at ‘Leaves of Grass’

A graduate student at the University of Houston has discovered a previously unknown novel by the young Walt Whitman, reports The New York Times.

The 36,000-word Life and Adventures of Jack Engle was published anonymously in a little-known New York newspaper, The Sunday Dispatch, in 1852, when the writer was in his early 30s and worked at various newspapers. That was three years before the poet first published Leaves of Grass, which scholars say the lost novel foreshadows in various ways.



Mexican Immigrant May Be First DACA Participant Arrested Under Trump

Federal authorities have arrested a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and who might be the first participant in an Obama-era program for such immigrants to be detained since President Trump took office, reported the Reuters news agency.

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the National Immigration Law Center called the news “unacceptable and horrifying.”

The immigrant, Daniel Ramirez Medina, has a 3-year-old child and no criminal record. He was det…


U.S. Court Reinstates Ban on College’s Mandatory Drug Tests of Students

In the latest ruling in a five-year-old lawsuit, a federal appeals court has reinstated a ban on mandatory drug testing for most students at the State Technical College of Missouri.

The ruling, by a 9-to-2 vote on Thursday of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the court and restored the original trial judge’s finding that the college’s drug-testing policy was unconstitutional.

The trial judge, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the …


Alabama State U. Trustees Fire President After She Loses Their Confidence

Six weeks after she was suspended as president of Alabama State University, Gwendolyn E. Boyd was fired by the institution’s Board of Trustees on Friday, according to WSFA, the NBC television affiliate in Montgomery, Ala.

The vote to remove Ms. Boyd was 8 to 6, the same as the vote last month to put her on administrative leave. The trustees’ rationale for dismissing her was also the same as it was last month: her failure to maintain the confidence of the board.

Ms. Boyd defended her tenure durin…


Washington U. in St. Louis Suspends Men’s Soccer Team Over ‘Degrading’ Comments

Washington University in St. Louis on Friday suspended its men’s soccer team for reasons that have become increasingly familiar in recent weeks among elite institutions of higher education: what the university described as “degrading and sexually explicit comments” online by team members about their counterparts on the women’s team.

Friday’s announcement followed a similar move this week against the men’s swimming and diving team at Princeton University; the wrestling team at Columbia University…


Princeton Suspends Men’s Swim Team Over ‘Misogynistic and Racist’ Email

Princeton University has suspended its men’s swimming and diving team after finding on the team’s email list what it described as content that was “vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist.”

The university did not spell out the nature of the offensive content.

“We make clear to all of our student-athletes that they represent Princeton University at all times, on and off the playing surface and in and out of season, and we expect appropriate, respectful conduct from them at all ti…