New graduates receive diplomas this weekend at the University of Rhode Island. Like grads across the state, they enter a job market showing signs of recovery. But Rhode Island still suffers from one of the worst unemployment rates in the country.
As we continue our series Rising Tide, looking at whether Rhode Island is emerging from the Great Recession, Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison checks in with college students to find out how they view the future.
The University of Rhode Island is arming its police force as of Friday. Preparations have been underway for a little more than a year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison has details.
A gun scare in 2013 led to the decision last year to arm police on URI's rural Kingston campus. Though it turned out there wasn’t any gun, the false alarm pointed out the drawbacks of unarmed officers, who had to wait for armed police to respond to the incident.
The University of Rhode Island opens a new center Wednesday for Gender and Sexuality. The campus has struggled in the past with incidents of aggression against gay students and faculty. Now, it is the first school to in the country to design and construct a center dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender programs.
The center will also provide programs for straight students to help them understand what their peers may be facing.
Graduating senior Jessica Brand says as a transgender woman, she welcomes the new resource.
Activists rallied at Providence College Monday to call attention to what they say is racial profiling. Professor Julia Jordan-Zachery has complained she was interrogated by campus police for parking in a faculty space. The demonstrators said the incident is part of a larger pattern of targeting minorities by campus police officers.
Jordan-Zachery filed an official complaint with the college last fall. Providence College Spokesman Steve Maurano said the complaint was resolved quickly, and the head of campus security ordered additional training for campus police.
College professors are raising concerns about a plan to tie state funding for higher education with performance. The proposal calls for targets in areas like graduation rates and degrees in high demand fields. Schools would have to meet the targets to qualify for part of their state funding starting after 2016.
Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Anthony Amore says students and faculty need to play a role in setting the performance measures.