Posts tagged with Ku

KU student’s winning piano design is a work of art

Musical instrument? Art? Both? (I'm going to say both.) A Kansas University student’s striking sculptural piano design beat out more than 100 international submissions to be among seven winners of the first Roland Corporation Digital Piano Design Awards.

The design, entitled “Amber Unleashed,” was created by Rebekah Winegarner, an industrial design student from Overland Park.

Winegarner’s “free-form” piano, for now a digital design created using several kinds of software, would be cast in amber-colored resin with a keyboard, circuitry and pedals attached, according to KU. Winegarner said in KU’s announcement that she wanted a design that was kinetic and aggressive — “an energetic and fluid form as powerful as the music it creates.”

This digitally created image shows a piano design by Rebekah Winegarner, a Kansas University industrial design student from Overland Park, that was among seven winners of the Roland Corporation’s 2015 Digital Piano Design Awards. The design is entitled, "Amber Unleashed."

This digitally created image shows a piano design by Rebekah Winegarner, a Kansas University industrial design student from Overland Park, that was among seven winners of the Roland Corporation’s 2015 Digital Piano Design Awards. The design is entitled, "Amber Unleashed."

Her project was completed as an industrial design studio taught by professor of design Lance Rake.

Roland, a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, picked “Unleash” as the theme of the competition — winners of which look nothing like the grand pianos you’re used to. (To see them all, click here.)

“As Roland Corporation continues to set new performance standards and design expectations for the digital grand piano,” Roland said on the company’s website, “it’s possible that some of these unique and inspiring award-winning concepts could one day become a commercial reality.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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‘We promised’: KU provost shares list of diversity and inclusion steps made so far

The Kansas University provost’s office now has, on paper, a “Diversity Action Plan” listing things KU has done and things it will do in the coming semester and year to improve diversity and inclusivity on campus.

Interim provost Sara Rosen shared the plan Thursday in a letter to the campus. Last fall, a town hall forum on race and ensuing protests and meetings made clear KU needs to do more to create an inclusive environment, Rosen wrote.

“We promised to provide a list of action items to ensure members of the KU community are understood, accepted, and successful in their individual pursuits,” she said in the letter. “Today we are sharing with you the first iteration of coordinated diversity and inclusion activities at KU.”

According to the action plan, these are some of the actions KU has already completed (several of which we’ve had stories on, if you want to click the links to read more):

• Created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group to investigate issues raised at the Nov. 11 town hall forum on race. The group — co-chaired by Clarence Lang, chair of the Department of African & African-American Studies, and Sheahon Zenger, athletics director — had its first meeting in December.

• Held an all-day social justice and diversity training session for all deans and vice provosts. Held a workshop on faculty mentoring for department chairs.

• Made several key hires. Precious Porras is the new director of Office of Multicultural Affairs. Jennifer Brockman will be director of the new Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center. Catherine Johnson will be director of Accessibility and ADA Education. Interviews for director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access were completed Jan. 12, though a new hire has not been announced.

• Extended the Office of Multicultural Affairs Hawk Link program to support first-generation, low-income and minority students to include the spring semester.

• Started process of creating the KU Climate Study, beginning with small group discussions to help determine survey questions.

• Established several other work groups on diversity and inclusion issues.

Students hold signs in the back of Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union during a town hall forum on race. The group later took the stage and read a list of diversity and inclusion related demands for the KU campus. KU scheduled Wednesday afternoon's forum in the wake of problems at the University of Missouri, where the system president and chancellor resigned Monday under pressure from students who said the school failed to properly respond to racial problems there.

Students hold signs in the back of Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union during a town hall forum on race. The group later took the stage and read a list of diversity and inclusion related demands for the KU campus. KU scheduled Wednesday afternoon's forum in the wake of problems at the University of Missouri, where the system president and chancellor resigned Monday under pressure from students who said the school failed to properly respond to racial problems there. by Mike Yoder

The plan includes many more next-steps. Rosen urged KU community members to provide feedback by Feb. 16.

She reminded: “The plan should tie closely with the goals of the university strategic plan, Bold Aspirations, and be informed by data we are in the process of gathering now. A strong plan will take time.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Candidate visits kick off Monday for leader of new KU Student Veteran Center

As I reported last fall (on Veterans Day, to be specific), Kansas University’s Student Veterans Lounge is closing along with the Burge Union in March. But in its place KU is planning something bigger and better for vets: the Student Veteran Center, to be located in Summerfield Hall after the business school moves out.

KU has since identified four candidates to direct the new center, and they’ll be visiting campus starting this week. Each candidate will give a presentation, open to the KU community, on the assigned topic: “Transition challenges to student veterans and how the KU Student Veteran Center will address them in a resource-constrained environment.”

Here is the scheduled for their presentations:

Candidate 1: 10-11:30 a.m. Monday at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd.

Candidate 2: 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Kansas Room in the Union.

Candidate 3: 10-11:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at the Malott Room in the Union.

Candidate 4: 10-11:30 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Malott Room in the Union.

Members of the military present the colors to the crowd at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Memorial Stadium.

Members of the military present the colors to the crowd at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 at Memorial Stadium. by Richard Gwin

As usual, KU is not sharing candidates’ names until a couple of days before they come to campus. As names are announced, you can find them on this website: gmp.ku.edu.

KU’s veteran population has grown a lot in recent years. The new Student Veteran Center — set to open in January 2017 — is envisioned as a “one-stop shop” for student veterans and students who are family members of veterans, Randy Masten, assistant director in KU’s Office of Graduate Military Programs, told me back in November. He said the center will house a new veterans lounge along with offices student veterans need to deal with academic and GI Bill paperwork.

The university wants to be a national leader for comprehensive student veteran programming, according to a KU news release about the director search. The leader of the new center will be tasked with developing programming for “the four phases of the student veteran: recruitment, admissions and first-year experience, persistence to degree, and career services.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Time capsule: One year ago today, KU played host to perhaps its biggest VIP yet

On this day a year ago, the Kansas University campus was decidedly more abuzz than this cold, cloudy and slushy Friday. On Jan. 22, 2015, KU was busy welcoming arguably its biggest VIP visitor in more than a century — President Barack Obama.

Previously the last sitting U.S. president to visit Lawrence was William Howard Taft on Sept. 24, 1911. Taft’s visit was big news at the time, filling two of seven front-page columns of the next day’s Journal-World, which declared the visit “ONE GRAND SUCCESS.”

But nobody was tweeting selfies with Taft, blogging about his visit or posting videos to Vine. The Internet made this presidential visit a much more interactive experience — even for people confined to their desks miles (or even continents) away.

Here are a few highlights from the Journal-World’s coverage of Obama’s visit to KU. See much more at ljworld.com/news/obama-at-ku.

Long lines

The line for KU students to get tickets for the President’s speech was hours long, and very cold. I took this photo from the back stairwell in the Kansas Union — look at all the people way up on Jayhawk Boulevard.

None by LJWorld KU News

The main event

Speaking to a mostly enthusiastic crowd estimated at 7,150 people at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion, Obama stood in front of a banner bearing the central theme of his Tuesday night State of the Union speech, "middle class economics," the Journal-World reported.

Here are a few of my favorite shots by our staff photographers:

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd as he takes the stage for a speech on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd as he takes the stage for a speech on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. by Nick Krug

President Barack Obama gives remarks on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

President Barack Obama gives remarks on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. by Nick Krug

State representative Oletha Faust-Goudeau listens as President Barack Obama gives remarks on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

State representative Oletha Faust-Goudeau listens as President Barack Obama gives remarks on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 at Anschutz Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kan. President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. by Nick Krug

A security officer stands on the roof of Anschutz Sports Pavilion during President Barack Obama's speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

A security officer stands on the roof of Anschutz Sports Pavilion during President Barack Obama's speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. by Mike Yoder

President Barack Obama shakes hands with the crowd after a speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at Anschutz Sports Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with the crowd after a speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at Anschutz Sports Pavilion on the campus of Kansas University. by Richard Gwin

Selfies (sort of)

Some attempts at selfies with the President were more successful...

...than others.

None by Scott Morgan

Negative reception

Of course, there were protesters. Also, a number of event ticketholders were unhappy after being turned away because they arrived too late.

Protestors with Overpasses for America, display signs on the bridge over Iowa St., that links Daisy Hill to West Campus at KU. The group was protesting President Obama before he delivered a speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 on the KU campus.

Protestors with Overpasses for America, display signs on the bridge over Iowa St., that links Daisy Hill to West Campus at KU. The group was protesting President Obama before he delivered a speech Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 on the KU campus. by Mike Yoder

Pep talk

Obama took a few minutes to meet the KU basketball team, chatted with players and reminded them of the importance of academics. A quote from Coach Bill Self: “I said, ‘Hey Mr. President, overall team GPA 2.93.’ You know what he said? ‘You’ve got to get it up to 3.0, which basically tells you, ‘Don’t ever be totally satisfied,’ which I thought was pretty cool for our guys to hear.”

Members of the Kansas University men's basketball team head into Anschutz Sports Pavilion Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. The team met with President Barack Obama during his time on the KU campus. From left are Perry Ellis, Evan Manning, Wayne Selden Jr., Josh Pollard, Tyler Self and Christian Garrett.

Members of the Kansas University men's basketball team head into Anschutz Sports Pavilion Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. The team met with President Barack Obama during his time on the KU campus. From left are Perry Ellis, Evan Manning, Wayne Selden Jr., Josh Pollard, Tyler Self and Christian Garrett. by Mike Yoder

An insider view

In “Behind the Lens,” Journal-World photographer Nick Krug describes having a coveted position as press pool photographer for the visit. (Did you know the president’s visit to the local preschool lasted just 3 minutes and 40 seconds?)

President Barack Obama introduces himself to the a preschooler named Michelle and tells her that he also knows someone named Michelle, at the Community Children's Center at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, Kan on  Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 . President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

President Barack Obama introduces himself to the a preschooler named Michelle and tells her that he also knows someone named Michelle, at the Community Children's Center at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, Kan on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 . President Obama visited Lawrence to outline some of his themes delivered during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 20. by Nick Krug

My view

Thank goodness Krug was up close. I heard the speech and talked to all the crowd members I needed for the stories I wrote and contributed to. But this was my best visual of the president — sorry about the graininess; I had to zoom in.

None by Sara Shepherd

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU v. K-State court disagreement inspires Board of Regents to propose ‘Notice of Litigation Policy’

If one state university is going to sue another state university, the Kansas Board of Regents at least wants to know about it first. Same goes for when a university plans to file a brief opposing another university in a court case.

That’s the gist of a proposed “Notice of Litigation Policy” the Regents are scheduled to discuss at their monthly meeting Wednesday. According to a Regents memo, it falls under a board goal of addressing inconsistencies in the way state universities handle Title IX investigations and proceedings. (Reminder: Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education, and it requires universities to investigate and adjudicate cases of sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence that create a hostile environment for a student on campus.)

UPDATE: The Board of Regents approved the policy on Wednesday as written with no discussion.

A KU-versus-K-State situation inspired the proposed Regents policy.

It’s the case of Navid Yeasin v. KU. KU expelled Yeasin in 2013 when he tweeted a series of derogatory comments about an ex-girlfriend (also a KU student) after the university ordered him not to contact her. He sued KU in 2014.

KU argued that it acted according to its responsibility to provide a secure learning environment for its students, and that Yeasin’s off-campus actions created a hostile environment on campus for the woman.

Douglas County District Court Judge Robert Fairchild ruled KU did not have jurisdiction to expel Yeasin because there was no evidence that the incidents leading to his expulsion occurred on campus. In September 2015 the Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, because KU’s Student Code didn’t give the university authority to act when the misconduct occurred outside its campus or at university sponsored or supervised events. (Note: After being sued, KU updated the Student Code in November 2014 to clarify that the university does have off-campus jurisdiction in Title IX cases.)

According to the Regents memo, here’s how K-State got involved:

“They were interested in the case primarily because they had made the determination that Title IX did not require the University to investigate and hear student complaints of sexual harassment when the harassing activity did not occur on campus or at a campus sponsored event. Their concern was heightened when the case was appealed to the Court of Appeals, the ruling of which could have impacted all the universities by the Court’s interpretation of Title IX responsibilities. Though the attorneys for both institutions had discussed the situation and attempted to come to terms, they were unsuccessful in reaching a mutual understanding of the law and/or the practical effects of interpreting the law in various ways. Accordingly, Kansas State University filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals taking a position contrary to that of the University of Kansas.”

And the kicker, according to the Regents memo: “Board members became aware of the controversy only when it was reported in the news.”

When it comes to Title IX, “having state universities disagree about the parameters of this federal law was unacceptable,” according to the Regents memo. The proposed notice of litigation policy is envisioned as one step in studying current campus Title IX practices and policies, and ultimately developing a board policy to add uniformity.

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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KU professors who died over break remembered for focus on social justice, pioneering in pharmacy

The Kansas University community is mourning two professors who died over the winter break.

Toni Johnson, associate professor of social welfare, died Jan. 7 in Austin, Texas. She was 59. Johnson had worked at KU since 2005, according to a KU news release. Her field of study was children’s mental health.

“Toni was a stalwart advocate for social justice,” Social Welfare Dean Paul Smokowski wrote in a statement to the school. “Her research centered on vulnerable populations, such as offenders, families of offenders, and children of prisoners. She sought to design and evaluate programs, such as child asset accounts, meant to help disadvantaged families move out of poverty.”

Services for Johnson were held in Texas, according to her obituary.

Toni Johnson

Toni Johnson

Patricia Howard, who had worked at KU since 1983, died Dec. 16. She was 64. Howard was a professor and vice chair in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, held a joint appointment as professor of cardiovascular medicine at KU Medical Center, and was a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist, according to a KU news release.

“She entered the pharmacy field at a time when it was rare for women to be in the cardiology area. She had to be tough and at the top of her game at all times, because she was being judged by some on a different scale,” Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus said, in the release. “She met and exceeded those elevated standards.”

Howard died of pancreatic cancer, according to her obituary.

Patricia Howard

Patricia Howard

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from Bob Forer

Updates from the DeBruce Center, future home of Naismith’s ‘Rules of Basket Ball’

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about the DeBruce Center, the big glass building under construction adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse that will soon be home to James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball.” But things over there are moving right along.

When plans were first announced a couple years ago, the DeBruce Center was hoped to open in fall 2015 (which, obviously, it did not). DeBruce is now slated to open in March. (On a related note: with the new facility becoming available, that’s when the Burge Union will shut down to prepare for demolition and rebuilding.)

Kansas Memorial Unions on Friday announced a few other DeBruce Center updates, most importantly that it has named a director. Curtis Marsh, who is currently the director of KU Info, will continue in that role and also take on the new role of directing activation and ongoing operations at the DeBruce Center.

Here’s what Marsh said, in a news release, about leading the DeBruce Center: “The original rules of basketball serve as the jewel on the crown of the country’s most storied college basketball program. I am committed to making the DeBruce Center accessible to students, guests and the entire Jayhawk Nation so we can all enjoy the story of the game’s beginning, and what is quite possibly the world’s most valuable element of sports memorabilia.”

Marsh has been at KU in various roles for 20 years, according to Memorial Unions. Fun fact: In addition to professional accomplishments and awards, he was a member of one of the first organized basketball camping groups, “Cpt. Jayhawk and the Superfans.”

A little more on what’s coming in the new facility, according to KU Memorial Unions:

• Square feet: 32,000

• Pièce de résistance: James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball.” KU alumnus David Booth and his wife, Suzanne Booth, purchased the document at auction in 2010 for $4.3 million — a sports memorabilia record, according to Sotheby’s in New York City.

A photo of the original basketball rules, written by James Naismith, and sold at auction Dec. 10, 2011. The rules sold for $4.34 million.

A photo of the original basketball rules, written by James Naismith, and sold at auction Dec. 10, 2011. The rules sold for $4.34 million.

• Gift shop: It will be named The Original Rules Gift Shop.

• Dining options: The Courtside Cafe, with seating for more than 200, and a Roasterie coffee shop.

• Displays: Celebrating Naismith, former KU athletics director and basketball coach dubbed the “Father of Basketball,” and Forrest "Phog" Allen, the "Father of Basketball Coaching.”

Rendering of KU's DeBruce Center by Gould Evans Architecture.

Rendering of KU's DeBruce Center by Gould Evans Architecture.

Rendering of KU's DeBruce Center by Gould Evans Architecture.

Rendering of KU's DeBruce Center by Gould Evans Architecture.

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 2 comments from Sara Shepherd William Woody

Kansas university employee gun survey results are in; KU generally more anti-gun than other schools

Most — 70 percent — Kansas state university employees said they’d like to see state law amended so guns won’t be allowed on campus starting in 2017, and 7 percent want to keep the current law but extend universities’ exemption past 2017. Of the other university employees, 19 percent want to allow guns on campus, and 4 percent answered “don’t know.”

That’s according to opinions revealed in a statewide survey of Kansas Board of Regents university employees, which closed last week. It was prepared and administered by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University for the Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents.

Not unlike preliminary results from a similar survey of students statewide, percentage-wise KU’s Lawrence campus was overwhelmingly more anti-gun than any other school in almost every category.

Statewide, the employee response rate was 54 percent. KU had the second-highest response rate with 64.7 percent, behind Fort Hays State University with 67.1 percent.

Following are a few other figures from the employee survey — I’m highlighting employee-specific ones. This is only a sliver of the many survey questions, though. If you’d like to take a look at the entire results for yourself, click here.

Image from state university employee gun survey results, Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University.

Image from state university employee gun survey results, Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University. by Sara Shepherd

• 54 percent of respondents said campus carry would negatively affect how they teach, and 52 percent said it would limit academic freedom. (At KU, 65 percent said guns would negatively affect how they teach, and 64 percent said guns would limit academic freedom.)

• 51 percent said campus carry would make them less likely to work at their respective schools. (At KU, that number was 61 percent, again the highest of any state school.) 42 percent said campus carry wouldn’t affect their decision. Eight percent said campus carry would make them more likely to work at their respective schools.

• Generally — including at sporting venues, offices, lab spaces, classrooms, dorms and open areas —respondents were more OK with employees carrying guns than students and visitors (recall, as I previously reported, the students themselves felt the same way). Specifically, 29 percent of faculty and staff thought faculty and staff should be allowed to carry concealed in faculty offices, but only 14 percent thought students should be allowed to carry in offices. There was even less support for visitors carrying in offices.

Do this and the student survey matter? Most people I’ve heard talk about this don’t think it’s realistic to get the Kansas Legislature to backtrack on this law, though some anti-campus-carry folks have indicated they want to try.

It sounds more likely that survey results could inform how each state university decides how to implement the law on their respective campuses. The Regents are scheduled to approve a statewide policy next week, which will leave it up to each school to determine specifics such as which buildings to install security in to prohibit guns and where on campus to offer secure storage for guns.

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 2 comments from Robert Lutz Teri Griffin-Guntert

Here’s what’s happening at KU for MLK Day

Kansas University’s spring semester classes start Tuesday, but there will be activity on campus on Monday — and into the week — for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The main event is a candlelight vigil and walk followed by a reception with live music.

KU’s MLK Day walk will begin at Strong Hall at 4:30 p.m. Monday. A reception with entertainment by Genuine Imitation will follow at the Kansas Union, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. KU’s Black Student Union, National Pan-Hellenic Council and Student Senate representatives will lead the march. The event is free.

Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity from across the United States marched with hundreds of others Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, from Kansas University’s Strong Hall to the Kansas Union. In the front row, from left, are Kareeem Wall, Elden Mitchell, DeVante Green and Adam Khalil. The march was one of several events Monday in Lawrence in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity from across the United States marched with hundreds of others Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, from Kansas University’s Strong Hall to the Kansas Union. In the front row, from left, are Kareeem Wall, Elden Mitchell, DeVante Green and Adam Khalil. The march was one of several events Monday in Lawrence in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. by Richard Gwin

King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” will screen at 3 p.m. Thursday on Level 4 at the Kansas Union, during the weekly Student Union Activities Tea @ 3 event. The event is free.

Throwback Thursday, featuring Freedom Songs, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. Also free.

KU faculty will be featured at several other MLK Day and related events:

• KU School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi will be the featured speaker at the MLK Day Community Breakfast, set for 7:30 a.m. Monday at Maceli’s Banquet Hall, 1031 New Hampshire St. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. The breakfast is organized by the Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club.

• KU associate professor of film and media Kevin Willmott will be on hand for a screening and discussion of his film, “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America,” at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

• KU professor of American Studies and African and African-American Studies Randal Jelks will present “More Than a Dream: The Broader Vision of Martin Luther King Jr.” at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Lawrence Public Library. Admission is free.

For information on other community-wide MLK Day events, visit mlklawrence.com.

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from Teri Griffin-Guntert

Hoverboards still have a green light at KU, even as other universities ban them

Dozens of universities nationwide have recently banned or restricted hoverboards, The Associated Press reported last week. But hoverboards still have a green light at Kansas University.

Disclaimer: the battery-powered devices aren’t actually hoverboards like those in the movie “Back to the Future Part II,” which actually hover. They’re more like motorized skateboards with two wheels, propelled by the operator's body movements. Universities banning the devices have called them unsafe, citing the risk of falls and collisions as well as warnings from federal authorities that some of the self-balancing scooters have caught on fire, according to the AP.

Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard walks beside hoverboard-bound junior Frank Mason III as they shop for a local family at Wal-Mart, 3300 Iowa Street, on Wednesday evening, Dec. 16, 2015.

Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard walks beside hoverboard-bound junior Frank Mason III as they shop for a local family at Wal-Mart, 3300 Iowa Street, on Wednesday evening, Dec. 16, 2015. by John Young

Hoverboards are still allowed on the KU campus, even on the sidewalks, according to Capt. James Anguiano of the KU Office of Public Safety. He said they fall into the same category as the two-wheeled motorized scooters with upright handles manufactured by Segway.

“If we see one on Jayhawk Boulevard, we treat it like a Segway, we don’t treat it like a skateboard,” Anguiano said. “You wouldn’t get a citation for it.”

Lawrence city ordinance does ban skateboards and roller blades from Jayhawk Boulevard and 1,000 feet on either side of it, according to KU policy on skateboarding and rollerblading on campus. No KU policy specifically addresses hoverboards, and that includes in residence and scholarship halls.

“There isn’t currently any policy or rule prohibiting hoverboards on campus or in Student Housing units,” said Kip Grosshans, associate director of KU Student Housing. “We are aware that bans exist on several US campuses but no action has been taken at KU at this time.”

I haven’t myself seen anyone riding a hoverboard on campus, but at least one University Daily Kansan opinion writer recently wrote that it isn’t uncommon to see them coasting along Jayhawk Boulevard, or even inside campus buildings and elevators. Matthew Clough said in his column he thinks KU should ban them throughout campus.

“Capable of speeds somewhere between 6 and 10 mph, self-balancing scooters disrupt the normal pace of those walking down the boulevard,” he wrote. “It also doesn’t make much sense that people are able to ride self-balancing scooters on campus given the University’s stance on similar vehicles of transportation ... University officials need to take a stand on their usage before they continue to grow in popularity.”

For a visual, here is a YouTube video of some guys who are pretty good at riding hoverboards. Below that, a video of KU basketball player Wayne Selden gliding along a line of fans. For a balanced perspective, just Google “hoverboard fail.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 1 comment from David Goldstein

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