Talk:Brandeis University

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Trivia section[edit]

Another editor has requested a discussion be opened here regarding the trivia section that has been removed from this article. I removed the section because (a) it has been unsourced for over two years and (b) it is trivial information. If reliable sources can be provided showing that this university has had a prominent place in popular culture then I'd be happy to see that information added to the article. But an unsourced listing of items selected only by Wikipedia editors is completely unacceptable in any article. ElKevbo (talk) 00:28, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Professor[edit]

Brandeis University was the home of Arnold S. Shapiro when he died. It is only because of the work of David Buchsbaum that we know he died from leukemia. As it stands, we do not know the place or date of Shapiro’s birth. It sometimes happens that mathematics is appreciated most after its creator is gone, such as the case with Bernhard Riemann and William Kingdon Clifford. It is hoped that someone in Brandeis administration will take an interest and post on the University site a memorial note that would say where Shapiro came from and what his birthday was. The day he died is not known either, but enthusiasm for his ideas continues to grow.Rgdboer (talk) 23:01, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Improving this Article in General[edit]

Yo I'm not a super well versed Wikipedian in terms of discussion protocol. But I went to Brandeis, and well I read a lot of Wikipedia articles. This article could it be better? COuld it be a Good Article. Can it teach people what Brandeis is? Can it be super true and detailed in appropriate ways that don't give added weight to recent events and hella objective? I guess I'm gonna make bold edits to make it more better or whatever, and I think that will work. FuzzyBuddy2012 (talk) 14:29, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Hirsi Ali Controversy[edit]

User:Lx797 has been adding highly subjective and possibly inflammatory text (WP:NPOV). It also fails to contribute any useful information to the topic. The current revision has a NPOV. The user is insistent on adding WP:SPECULATION. This is his userpage which is partly the source of his text. 26oo (talk) 18:48, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Response to deleted posting.
All of the new text was deleted by user User:Vérité1789 and User:2600 without justification. It provided a balance between Brandeis and Ali's statements and had proper citations, sources and references. Both Brandeis and Ali's point of view together provide the proper

summary of what transpired. In any controversy there are two sides to the story and both sides have to be presented regardless of how they may be perceived by some. Use 2600 deleted all the new text posted by Lx797. In response to the above comments by user 2600, here are the responses:

User:Lx797 has been adding highly subjective and possibly inflammatory text (WP:NPOV).
RESPONSE ==> The claim is unfounded and represents user 2600's own personal biased opinion. If anyone disagrees with the new text (which is properly cited, referenced and quoted from major news organizations), then other points of view should be provided to allow readers to draw their own conclusion without censorship.
It also fails to contribute any useful information to the topic.
RESPONSE ==> On the contrary, the new text provides new information that sheds light on what transpired from Ms. Ali's perspective, by deleting the new text vital information is removed.
The current revision has a NPOV.
RESPONSE ==> The new text provides Ms. Ali's POV which is absolutely necessary for a balanced report.
The user is insistent on adding WP:SPECULATION.
RESPONSE ==> The "speculation" was expressed by Ms. Ali during an interview with a major news organization, which was paraphrased and properly cited.
This is his userpage which is partly the source of his text.
RESPONSE ==> The undelivered speech by Ms. Ali was published in the Wall Street Journal. User 2600 removed it and wrote, "no need for a full speech". The feedback was accepted and the speech was not reinstate.
In addition to all the above deletions, user 2600 deleted the following new text without any reason or justification:
Deleted: Section heading "Ayaan Hirsi Ali Commencement Controversy", the previous heading was, "Hirsi Ali Controversy", the new heading improves and clarify the title.
Deleted: the deleted text in the first paragraph was, "a staunch supporter of women's rights", this is a well know fact about Ms. Ali and the text is properly cited and quoted. .
Deleted: the deleted text in the first paragraph was, "honor killing"; as a women's rights advocate, Ms. Ali firmly stands against honor killing and various other forms of abuse and violence against women which she always talks about, no sense trying to conceal this fact. This is likely what user 2600 refered to as "inflammatory".
Deleted: the deleted text at the end of the first paragraph was "worldwide"; this was inserted to clarify the fact that the petition signed by 6,000 people had signatures from all over the world, a fact that can be confirmed by reviewing the petition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lx797 (talkcontribs) 21:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Response to User:Lx797
There are two problems with the paragraph in question. First of all, it is overwhelmingly the point of view of one person, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and is mainly speculation. While Lx797 is correct that well cited POV isn't a problem, giving undue focus to one POV over another is. Subsequent edits should attempt to strike a balance between POVs.
The second problem, and the more important issue, is that the added paragraph does not contribute to the article as a whole. This is the Wikipedia page for Brandeis University not for Ayaan Hirsi Ali's opinions (although the paragraph in question would probably be a good addition to Ali's Wikipedia page). Since this page is for a university, it should focus more on the university itself and academic perspectives and less on an single incident. (see "Improving this Article in General" for a similar opinion)
With this in mind, the current edit to this page attempts to balance User:Lx797 contributions with the objections raised by User:2600 and User:Vérité1789 by limiting the focus to a brief excerpt of Brandeis' statement and a brief explanation of Ali's reaction. Further feedback is welcome and encouraged. Vérité1789 (talk) 21:15, 1 June 2014 (UTC)Vérité1789

RESPONSE TO USER VERITE1789 FROM USER LX797: User Verite1789 replaced the precise description of what took place with a faint and watered down version. The deletions makes no sense and the paragraph loses its meaning without proper context and perspective.

VERITE1789 WROTE: First of all, it is overwhelmingly the point of view of one person, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and is mainly speculation. While Lx797 is correct that well cited POV isn't a problem, giving undue focus to one POV over another is. Subsequent edits should attempt to strike a balance between POVs.

RESPONSE: Firstly, the information regarding "selective quotation" issued by CAIR is not speculation, there's a new citation added from the Weekly Standard that provides a copy of the letter sent by CAIR to Brandeis. Secondly, the current information is overwhelmingly from Brandeis' POV, such as the remarks regarding "core value", "6000 signature by students" and "certain of her past statements". Ali's POV is needed to provide a proper balance. If anyone wants to provide more information regarding Brandeis' POV then they are free to do so but not by deleting Ali's POV to achieve an arbitrary forced balance, which is more akin to a forced censorship. It's like penalizing a student for submitting an extensive report because it's does not strike a balance with the other student's less extensive report!

VERITE1789 WROTE: The second problem, and the more important issue, is that the added paragraph does not contribute to the article as a whole. This is the Wikipedia page for Brandeis University not for Ayaan Hirsi Ali's opinions (although the paragraph in question would probably be a good addition to Ali's Wikipedia page). Since this page is for a university, it should focus more on the university itself and academic perspectives and less on an single incident. (see "Improving this Article in General" for a similar opinion)

RESPONSE: The new paragraph puts the event's leading up to the commencement into perspective and helps readers better understand what transpired and why. Although this information would be beneficial on Ali's Wikipedia's page, it must appear on Brandies' page because the incident took place at Brandeis.

Here are the reasons that clearly spell out the justification for reinstating and adding new information to the second paragraph:

Sentence #1: No change

Sentence #2: This sentence was previously added by Verite1789 on May 15, 2014. IT READS: According to Brandeis, Ali was never invited to speak at commencement, she was only invited to receive an honorary degree.

Sentence #3: This sentence affirms Ali's POV that she was invited to speak and the commencement and not merely receive an honorary degree. IT READS: Ali said that after having spent many months of planning for her to speak at the commencement she was surprised Brandeis used some of her past statements as an excuse to withdraw the invitation, especially since her views have always been public on Google.

Sentence #4: The Weekly Standard citation provides a copy of the letter sent by CAIR to Brandeis which shows the "selective quotation" that Ali talks about, which shows what she said was not speculation. IT READS: She was not surprised when the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against her for being honored, "My critics have long specialized in selective quotation ... designed to misrepresent me and my work".

Sentence #5: Here Ali describes what caused Brandeis to cancel her invitation, which is also confirmed by the letter from CAIR to Brandeis. IT READS: Ali stated that the university's decision was motivated in part by fear of offending Muslims.

Sentence #6: Minor change IT READS: She argued that the “spirit of free expression” referred to in the Brandeis statement has been betrayed and stifled.

To User:Lx797. Your post are inflammatory, incorrect and add no value to an already NPOV. "Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a staunch supporter of women's rights and an outspoken campaigner against Islam and several of its primitive practices that justify the abuse and mistreatment of Muslim women such as female genital mutilation, honor killing, child marriage and dowry death." This would be WP:Label. You then went on to add speculative text, "She went on to speculate that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) provided selective, out-of-context inflammatory quotes to discredit her and the university's decision was motivated in part by a fear of offending Muslims."
You even went as far as adding a speech. Wikipedia is not a soapbox.12 As User:Vérité1789 stated, the issue here is not your references but the context. 26oo (talk) 00:16, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

RESPONSE TO USER 2600 FROM USER LX797:

User 2600 has again made biased deletions that are not justified. The deletions were blindly made without reading the paragraph or having any regard to the content. For example, it's not clear what user 2600 means by claiming the information is "incorrect" when all the information is fully cited and referenced. Also complain about the reference to "child marriage and dowry death" in the paragraph 1, sentence 1, when those text were previously deleted and no longer relevant? Furthermore, user 2600 criticized the use of Ali's full speech by saying, "You even went as far as adding a speech. Wikipedia is not a soapbox", however that speech was deleted back in May 16 and never reinstated. It's helpful to read the text before making careless deletions.

In a free and open society people prefer to read and judge for themselves instead of having information censored. It's alarming to see all these attempt to suppress and whitewash information related to a black woman standing up for women's right in Islam. There are lots of critical comments posted on Wikipedia and if they were to be deleted because some view them as unsavory then we might as well pack it in and shut down the site.

Response to User: LX797

No one is attempted to censor you or suppress information. Your fellow Wikipedia editors are trying to work with you to come up with a version of this paragraph that is faithful to Wikipedia's purpose as an unbiased, informative encyclopedia. With that said, I think your current revision is an improvement. It addresses my first objection, since it provides a better balance between Ali's statements and Brandeis's statements. However, it isn't perfect yet since it doesn't entirely address my second, and more important, objection that not all the information in the paragraph has something to do with the university for which the article exists. As a result, my current revision, in an attempt to keep the paragraph relevant to the article itself, maintains the two perspectives of Ali and Brandeis, but removes any sentence that does not directly reference Brandeis University. I hope this revision is satisfactory and, as always, I'm open to further feedback and suggestions. Vérité1789 (talk) 00:35, 8 June 2014 (UTC)Vérité1789.

RESPONSE TO VERITE1789 FROM LX797 The sentence deleted by Verite1789 is: She [Ali] was not surprised when the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) protested against her for being honored [at Brandeis], "My critics have long specialized in selective quotation ... designed to misrepresent me and my work". Verite1789 states above, " ... removes any sentence that does not directly reference Brandeis University". There are three primary parties involved here; Brandeis, Ali and CAIR. It was mainly due to the letter issued by CAIR and the publicity surrounding it that caused Brandeis to withdraw its invitation from Ali. Brandeis acknowledged CAIR's letter as did Ali when she stated that, "my critics have long specialized in selective quotation". According to Verite1789, Wikipedia's requirement is to have an "unbiased, informative encyclopedia", therefore the revised sentence mentions CAIR's role in the controversy and "directly references "Brandeis" as it remains true to the stated objectives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lx797 (talkcontribs) 20:00, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Response to User:Lx797 Lx797 most recent revision is more clear on the sentence's connection to Brandeis. However, while Lx797 claims it was mainly due to the letter issued by CAIR and the publicity surrounding it that caused Brandeis to withdraw its invitation from Ali," that is entirely speculation. According to Brandeis University, the offer was withdrawn after students and faculty objected. In addition, while CAIR did send a letter to Brandeis, a brief internet search shows that many others also called on Brandeis to withdraw the offer. Singling out one group creates bias in an supposedly unbiased article. The previous version of the article was, in my opinion, by far the best version we could come up with. I am always open to further suggestions, but it seems it would be honestly be better to leave the article as is. At the moment, it meets Wikipedia's high standards, let's not take away from that. Vérité1789 (talk) 01:22, 15 June 2014 (UTC)