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    CUNY invests nearly $5 million in fossil fuel companies

    CUNY invested more than $4.9 million last year in fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, according to documents provided by CUNY Prison Divest obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. CUNY Divest, a student-led organization founded in spring 2013, is pushing CUNY to divest from fossil fuels. The group uses methods to pressure CUNY to divest on social media and hosts regular meetings throughout CUNY to spread their message. Dan Asselin, a Brooklyn College alum and a founder of the CUNY Divest campaign, explained the group formed at a march in Washington D.C. two years ago. “A handful of CUNY students and alumni had been…

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    CUNY financially tied to private prison industry

    CUNY invests thousands of dollars into private prison companies, said documents obtained by CUNY Prison Divest through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents revealed CUNY invested $275,200 in total in private prisons as of September 2014. It invested $248,900 in G4S, one of the top private prisons in the U.K. Moreover, it invested $13,300, $8,400 and $4,600 in Corrections Corporations of America, GEO Group Inc. and Aramark, respectively. A private prison operates as a contractor for governmental agencies to house inmates in either public or private jails. Its use surged in the 1980s due to overcrowding, a result of the War on Drugs. This new information gave legitimacy…

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    Sexism runs rampant on Ratemyprofessors.com

    Using an interactive tool with data derived from ratemyprofessors.com, the reviews describing male and female professors showed gender bias depending on the word searched. Benjamin Schmidt, assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, aggregated 14 million reviews from ratemyprofessors.com and created a search engine to see how words compared between professors depending on field and gender, concluding that certain positive words were descriptive of males more than females. One of the most surprising results was the “spectrum from smart to brilliant to genius, where each one of those is more strongly gendered male than the previous one was,” Schmidt told the New York Times. Schmidt provided a list of words overrepresented in gender bias on his…

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    Queens College community retraces the footsteps of Dr. King

    Queens College went down to Atlanta, Georgia to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s “Legacy of Courage” in 14 different events, from marching with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to helping feed the needy. Eighteen students and staff traveled south, from January 18th to the 22nd, as an immersive, outside the classroom learning experience. The group also met with a few iconic figures from the Civil Rights movement. The first person the group met was Peter Geffen, the founder of Abraham Heschel Day School and veteran member of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education, a project that led white college students between 1961 and 1966 to help black communities in…

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    U.S. re-establishes diplomatic ties with Cuba after 53 years

    President Barack Obama struck a deal with Cuban Prime Minister Raul Castro to restore diplomacy once again between the United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 after 53 years of hostility. After a year of secret talks in Canada and the Vatican, ending with an hour-long talk between Obama and Castro, the leaders agreed on a prisoner swap. The Cuban government released two people, a subcontractor who was imprisoned for five years and an unnamed intelligence asset believed to be Rolando Trujillo, a spy working for the Central Intelligence Agency, who was imprisoned for 20 years. In return, the U.S. released the final three members of a spy ring known as the Cuban Five who were…