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Monday, January 25, 2021
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TCU attempts to combat unconscious bias through anonymous grading feature

History professor Jodi Campbell conducting research in her office in Reed Hall. Fort Worth, Texas. Monday Feb. 4, 2019, (TCU 360/ Brandon Ucker)

The adjectives ‘faceless’ and ‘nameless’ might not be associated with grading; but a new feature in D2L hides the identities of students during the grading process.

The goal is “to decrease unconscious bias in the grading and feedback process”by removing students’ names from assignments, according to an email sent to faculty by the Koehler Center for Instruction Innovation and Engagement.

Researchers suggest that unconscious bias can occur when people make quick judgments based on past experiences.

The benefits of anonymous grading has been studied.

“It’s a good way to prevent people not only from being bias against certain people or kinds of people but the other direction,” Vikram David Amar, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law. “It prevents instructors from playing favorites because they happen to like or think highly of someone.”

A Scantron is filled out with the name missing in the Mary Couts Burnett Library, Fort Worth, TX.  Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, TCU’s use of the new anonymous grading feature aims to eliminate unconscious bias in the classroom. (TCU 360/Brandon Ucker)

Although there is no information on the number of professors using this feature, Romana Hughes, who is also assistant provost of educational technology and faculty development, wrote in an email that the tool has been received well by faculty.

“[The] Anonymous Marking of Assignments feature gives instructors (or TAs with grading access) the ability to read and assign grades to submissions without knowing which student submitted which item until after publishing the grades to the Grades tool,” Director of the Koehler Center Romana Hughes wrote in an email.

“Instructors are always looking for ways to improve their teaching,”  Hughes wrote. “This new feature, as mentioned above will make their grading more objective and consistent by decreasing unconscious bias when grading.”

Jodi Campbell, a history professor at TCU said she has caught herself succumbing to unconscious bias and that it can affect anyone.

“Last night I was grading a pile of papers and I was reading one and was kind of surprised that it was a little better or worse than I expected, and I suddenly realized it was a different student than who I thought it was.”

Junior neuroscience major Lauren McCue said grades can be influenced by more than a student’s work.

She said one of her friends who is Hispanic told her that the friend wasn’t penalized from grammatical errors in a paper because the professor thought English was not his first language.

McCue believes there is potential for this new feature to fight against unconscious bias.

“I think if the professors actually commit to using it, it can make an impact,” said McCue.

Amar said blind grading is already used during standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, Medical College Acceptance Test (MCAT) and Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT).

“If you really want to judge the work on its own, then you should just look at the work and not the identity of the author.”

Amar said blind grading cannot work for certain formats, such as writing papers that require a student to get a pre-approved topic, but “where it can work, it seems so obviously superior.”

Hunger in America: Part 1

Photo courtesy: Haeven Gibbons

Hunger in America: Part 1

How the pandemic has affected the strategies of fighting hunger

Horoscope: January 25, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Gemini until 1:52 p.m., when the Moon enters Cancer.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Monday, Jan. 25, 2021:
Highly sensitive, talented and fascinating, you lead a difficult but interesting and rewarding life. This year, you meet challenges head-on, stay stable, and encounter great success. Your fortunes rise again in 2022. If single, relationships are in upheaval, and when you do commit it’s an achievement. You meet your soulmate in June. It takes time. If attached, you’re happiest with each other. SCORPIO lets you in — eventually.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★★★

An unusual person becomes visible in your neighborhood. Good or bad neighbors aren’t quite as they appear. You’ll have an opportunity to reevaluate the accuracy of your first impressions and satisfy the need to get both sides of every story. Tonight: Catching up with work.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★★★★

Today encourages you to examine what material possessions and wealth really mean. There is an urge to acquire new belongings and to discard those that are outdated and superfluous. Treasure and appreciate what really matters and let go of the rest. Tonight: Relief.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★★★★★

Your passion for everything from love to work to social concerns will be expressed dramatically today. Your capacity for effective action will astound and amaze. The winter months are about the proper use of this power. Tonight: You’re driven to explore new planes of expression.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★★★★

Your perpetually active inner life becomes more colorful and vivid, while you shun fanfare outwardly. It will surprise you if friends and relatives born under air signs accuse you of withholding information. Tonight: You’ll satiate their curiosity and still be discreet.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★★★★★

You will be motivated and encouraged by positive, productive friends today. Involvement with organizations and worthwhile causes or political issues adds new meaning to your life. Tonight: Your dream time helps you recognize long-range goals and select the proper group affiliations.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★★★★★

You question authority today and become more vocal and visible at work. Extra effort and attention to detail make the recognition positive. Sentiment is replaced by an affinity for all that is contemporary and progressive. Tonight: Mastering new techniques and technologies helps you move forward.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★★★★★

Your intellectual horizons widen through exposure to publications or other learning experiences. An email or call from afar suggests a worthwhile idea. Entries made in your journal will prove therapeutic and valuable when reviewed in the future. Tonight: Welcome new opportunities.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★★

Resist temptation. Seek fulfillment of wholesome desires. The positive and negative potentials of passions of every kind are evident today. Pursue expression through the spoken or written word, but be careful when writing to someone in particular. Tonight: Relax.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★★

Letting go of a destructive love that doesn’t bring you joy is often a prelude to finding true happiness. You must be careful of involvement in love triangles today or associations with those who have addictive tendencies. Tonight: Talk it over with a trusted friend.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★★★

The knees, skin and teeth tend to be vulnerable for Capricorn. Plenty of calcium in your diet is a must. Sage, which has an association with longevity and wisdom as well as purification, is the ideal herbal tea. Tonight: Be gentle and good to yourself.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★★★★

Friends include you in projects that combine pleasure with serious work. You have the opportunity to become more active in a worthwhile organization. Leisure pursuits will be stimulating mentally as well as physically. Tonight: Feeling well and an awakening of the senses.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★★★★

Balance sentiment and affection with humor and regard for the individual growth and goals of loved ones. It’s easy to be a little too protective and generous today. Add music or a new piece of art to your home. Tonight: A relaxing herbal soak.


Born today: Poet Robert Burns (1759), writer Virginia Woolf (1882), singer Alicia Keys (1981)


Horoscope: January 24, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Gemini.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021:
Admired, magnetic and active, you’re so attractive that you’re often worshipped. This year, you decide what you really want and go after it. It proves to be very successful and wins you even more fans. If single, a passionate yet sometimes stormy relationship is on the horizon. You don’t commit this year. If attached, your partner needs more encouragement and support from you. Then bliss ensues. GEMINI makes you laugh.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today heightens your communication. Your clever use of words will make an impression on someone important. Promote ideas and make suggestions. They will be very well received and win you admiration. Tonight: Catch up with old friends through emails and calls.

This Week: A new financial arrangement emerges.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today brings delight. It is time to relax, socialize and purchase some new trinkets. The financial picture has brightened, so you can afford to indulge a bit. Be good to yourself and spoil yourself a little. You deserve it. Tonight: The old rules are changing.

This Week: You’re given a new role to play.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★ ★ ★

Gemini is concerned with channeling words, thoughts and ideas. Today brings revelations concerning a close friend. There is time to reconsider the value of longtime associates and old goals. Learn from the past, then release it. Tonight: A more progressive trend begins.

This Week: You will feel more introspective than usual.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

You will be aware of the secret needs and worries of others. Quiet, good deeds generate positive karma. There are opportunities now to be helpful, almost acting like a sort of guardian angel to those less fortunate. Tonight: Feeling good about yourself.

This Week: You receive a prestigious invitation.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

A new sense of direction and purpose develops today. Accept invitations from friends or plan a get-together. You realize the blessings of friendship. You end the day in a pleasant, nostalgic mood. Tonight: You accomplish much in record time.

This Week: Greater recognition comes at work.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★ ★ ★

People from the past call or visit. You’ll feel haunted by an old wish or goal that proved elusive. Be very realistic if you’re tempted to give it another try. Practical guidelines provide the best route to success just now. Tonight: Mulling it over.

This Week: An invitation to a foreign land.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Your intellectual curiosity is heightened today. It’s a good time to enroll in classes or join a book club. Someone from another cultural or spiritual background can become a romantic prospect or at least a new friend. Tonight: Stimulating chat online.

This Week: You resolve a mystery.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★ ★

A dream or psychic vision should be heeded. Your intuition is right on target. Do background research and check claims that others make. Your feelings will be very intense today. Add a note of humor if you sense you’re coming across as overly opinionated. Tonight: Relax.

This Week: A brand new relationship blossoms.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★ ★

Choices must be made regarding loyalty and commitment. Others cling to you, a situation that can be uncomfortable for the free-spirited Sagittarian. Today illuminates your options and marks a turning point. Tonight: Talk it over with old friends who know you best.

This Week: A new project arises at work.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★ ★ ★

Today finds you faced with some rigidity. Play by the rules patiently. Make the most of the status quo. Short cuts won’t work right now. Hesitate if you’re considering a huge change. Ideas suggested in casual conversation are worth examining. Tonight: Write your mission statement.

This Week: Expect a sudden romantic attraction.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★ ★ ★ ★

Friends and lovers may change roles. Travel opportunities are very promising through the summer solstice, so you can start to plan. Don’t let your potentials slip away. Do your part to let a memorable experience unfold. Tonight: In some considerable wonderment.

This Week: A family member needs your help.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Make happy changes in living arrangements and help family members reach goals. Hang an updated photo of your family in your workspace to symbolize the positive interaction of home with your professional life. Tonight: Feeling very proud of yourself and good in the world.

This Week: You take the lead on projects.


Born today: Comedian John Belushi (1949), actress Nastassja Kinski (1961), comedienne Kristen Schaal (1978)


Women’s basketball rallies to beat Texas Tech

Senior Lauren Heard had her third double-double of the season in the win. Photo Courtesy of GoFrogs.com

Led by double-doubles from senior guard Lauren Heard and graduate forward Michelle Berry, the TCU Horned Frogs came from behind to beat the Texas Tech University Lady Raiders 61-53 Saturday.

Three different Horned Frogs had double-digit points in the win. Heard led the team with 23 points, and her 11 rebounds and six assists led to her third double-double of the season. 

Berry had her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Aja Holmes, first-year guard, had a career-high 14 points and drained four three-pointers.

The Horned Frogs went into halftime down 24-20 and were down by as many as 13 points in the first two periods, but came out of halftime strong with a 6-0 run late in the third period to tie the game 32-32.

In the fourth period, TCU outscored Texas Tech 27-14. Berry and Holmes each had three 3-pointers in the period. Heard scored 12 of her 23 points in the final period to help seal the win for the Horned Frogs. 

Graduate guard Aahliyah Jackson had a career-high eight rebounds in the win. Junior guard Caroline Germond also recorded a career-high five rebounds.

TCU out-rebounded Texas Tech 47-40, improving to 5-2 this season when out-rebounding opponents.

With the win, TCU broke a three-game losing streak to Texas Tech.

TCU moves to 7-6 with the win and will take on the No. 9 Baylor Lady Bears next. The Horned Frogs head to Waco on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Ferrell Center.

Horoscope: January 23, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Taurus until 2:43 a.m., when the Moon enters Gemini.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Saturday, Jan, 23, 2021:
Principled, individualistic and natural, you have a remarkably distinctive character that sets you apart from everyone else. Your integrity dictates this year’s choices, which prove extremely successful. If single, your expectations of a mate are so high it’s impossible to find the right one this year. If attached, the magic takes hold of your relationship and makes this a memorable year for love. SAGITTARIUS has ideals as valued as yours.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★ ★ ★ ★

Your writing and speaking abilities win you admiration and love. Your personality and appearance create a memorable impression on influential individuals. Take the lead in making suggestions and arranging projects. You are creating a kind of entourage. Tonight: Continue talking on the phone.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A time of prosperity and opportunity begins. You’re very progressive in analyzing new economic trends. Be aware of how past habits have affected your finances. Your financial history repeats itself. Tonight: Such are we in life precarious; you turn this all around.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Bright conversations greet the early morning. A decision is made, possibly involving a journey. Today encourages assertiveness, and you may assume the position of leader. Your personality opens new doors. Tonight: A new and larger sense of confidence develops.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Your attitude creates your reality today. Maintain a positive mindset. Your emotions serve as motivators. You will have a deep sense of direction. A meaningful love relationship can be a factor. Tonight: Others appreciate you, but companions can be high maintenance.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

New information comes to light, and your opinion may change concerning an important issue involving others. Be responsible. Seek truth. Recognize the need for flexibility. You move forward toward new levels of achieving goals. Tonight: Feeling proud of yourself.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Creative and competitive efforts on your part lead to genuine recognition. Your aspirations are expanding. Carefully write your goals on beautiful paper, then place the wish list inside a box to aid manifestation. Tonight: Examining the list closely for changes.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You honor beauty and peace. Your desire to maintain balance can generate indecision. Today brings improved self-awareness. Be your own best friend by making changes. A progressive mood develops. You are excited by the changes coming. Tonight: Cultivate kind and upbeat associates.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You’re ready to release old memories and emotional baggage. Self-love and self-acceptance strengthen today. You’re feeling truly grateful by the end of the day. An old friend is very willing to help you. Tonight: Let go of a relationship that isn’t mutually beneficial.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★ ★ ★

Relationships can be exciting in your life lately, but not peaceful. A relationship reaches a turning point. Others have valuable suggestions. Listen to them and be cooperative. Teamwork is the secret to success today. Tonight: Work on cooperation rather than competition.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★ ★ ★ ★

The well-being of the people and places in your life impacts your pets. Be alert to their needs, as they’ll be especially sensitive and emotional today. Clear out clutter and organize your desk and see how much better everyone feels. Tonight: A private disco night.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Accept and issue invitations today. You are loved and appreciated. If you’re drawn to the fine arts, great creative potential can be unleashed. The achievements of a younger person bring happiness. Tonight: Being in the best place at the best time. Happy with yourself.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★ ★ ★

You work hard to comfort family members. Your efforts are appreciated. Purchase needed household supplies and do home repairs. A feng shui treatment would be a good idea. Events will tend to turn in your favor. Tonight: Exploring which way your heart really leans.


Born today: Artist Edouard Manet (1832), guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910), actress Mariska Hargitay (1964)


Horoscope: January 22, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Taurus.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Friday, Jan. 22, 2021:
Charged, expressive and exciting, you exude a magnetism that is hard to resist. Controlling your impulsiveness allows you to finish a long-term project that is extremely successful this year. If single, you experience strong feelings and attractions. This year, you find your mate. If attached, you are transformed by love. With patience and insight to match your depth of feeling, you can make this last forever. CANCER sticks to you.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Bargains are found today. A friend’s assistance is a key factor in generating a windfall. An exchange of ideas in a brainstorming session generates new perspectives. Your enthusiasm remains, bringing fun and excitement. Tonight: The good times roll on.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Your energy and enthusiasm are at a peak. A creative project captivates you. Your charisma level and charm rise throughout the day. Both business and personal situations are promising. You will find much to feel grateful for. Tonight: Feeling the gratitude.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★ ★ ★ ★

Today you will feel more introspective. Listen to the small, still voice within you as you meditate by candlelight. A charm or picture featuring a snowflake design reminds you to cherish your individuality. You will embrace nonconformity. Tonight: A long, healing herbal soak.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★ ★ ★

You will want to right wrongs and share knowledge. You inspire others. This favors any legal issues you have pending. It’s also supportive of relationships. You will bask in the joyful accomplishments of someone who is near and dear. Tonight: Exhausted, you sink into bed.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

The winter has a solemn quality. You feel dedicated to high profile projects that are a challenge but also have the potential to bring great rewards. Commit to yours and work on it today as you can. Tonight: Celebrating a job well done. Bravo.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Today accents your social circle and generates refreshing new goals. Helpful, supportive people offer encouragement. Meetings are exceptionally productive. Unexpected events are pending, perhaps an upcoming move or job change. Tonight: Write down a list of your priorities and examine them.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Mysteries are resolved today. A lost item is found unexpectedly. You’ll be attracted to faraway places. Overseas travel is especially appealing. However, organization is essential in order to keep up with many projects requiring your attention at work. Tonight: Relax.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You will be able to extricate yourself from persons or situations that have been draining your energy and resources. Focus on what you would like to release. Reclaim your freedom in the peaceful darkness of winter’s long night. Tonight: Feeling calm and at peace.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★ ★ ★

Today generates an abundance of nervous energy. Pace exercise sessions today. Don’t overdo it with really strenuous activity all at once. A beloved animal companion facilitates improved health and emotional well-being. Tonight: You feel your well-being improving.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today generates a very sociable mood. Others will be attracted to you. Sincerity, a love of music and stability are qualities that you would seek in a romantic partner. Today the celestial patterns favor love. Tonight: You have the perfect backdrop for pursuing true love.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★ ★ ★

Consider redecorating or making household repairs. Place a bouquet on a table to bless your residence. Include snowdrops and other tiny white flowers, which represent hope. The needs of family members assume top importance. Tonight: Early beddie-byes with a restful sleep.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★ ★ ★ ★

Today generates solutions to complex situations. Helpful information arrives. Examine past patterns. They reveal what to expect for the future. Concentrate in order to follow through with projects and promises. Tonight: You will be juggling a variety of activities.


Born today: Poet Lord Byron (1788), choreographer George Balanchine (1904), actress Diane Lane (1965)


Judge won’t throw out claim that TCU officials were indifferent to discrimination

Scharbauer Hall
A federal judge issued her rulings in the lawsuit against TCU earlier this month. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

A federal lawsuit will move forward on claims that minority students face higher risks of discrimination and that university officials responded to discrimination allegations with “deliberate indifference.” However, many of the claims in the Jane Doe discrimination suit have been dismissed. 

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn issued a series of rulings earlier this month throwing out some of the claims and telling the young women who brought the suit they can no longer remain anonymous.

Lynn dismissed all of the claims made on behalf of Jane Doe’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 against five of the lawsuit’s eight defendants: Russell Mack, an instructor of strategic communication; Dr. Rob Garnett, the associate dean of the John V. Roach Honors College; Aaron Chimbel, a former journalism professor at TCU; Leigh Holland, a Title IX investigator; and Dr. Darron Turner, TCU’s former chief inclusion officer and Title IX coordinator.

Dr. Darron Turner’s retirement was announced this week by Chancellor Boschini. (Sam Bruton)

Chancellor Victor Boschini announced in an email to students and faculty Thursday that Turner recently decided to retire from his position. Aisha Torrey-Sawyer, director of diversity and inclusion, will serve as the interim senior advisor to the chancellor and chief inclusion officer. A search committee will be formed to find a permanent replacement.

Lynn also dismissed most of the claims against TCU and former Honors Dean Diane Snow. 

TCU issued a statement to TCU360 on the rulings:

TCU does not comment on specific allegations in pending litigation beyond the papers we file in court. Consistent with that practice, we can say that we respect the court’s carefully considered decisions that dismissed many of the claims and most of the individual defendants.”

Lawyers for the women did not respond to calls for comment.

The initial lawsuit, filed in January of 2020, accused Snow of verbally and physically abusing Jane Doe No.1 during a summer course in Washington D.C. It also claimed that TCU created an environment of hostility and discrimination toward minority students. 

Diane Snow, dean of the Honors College, is accused of verbally and physically assaulting a student.

The claim that Snow assaulted Jane Doe No. 1 in D.C. was not dismissed. 

Jane Doe’s No. 2 and 3 joined the lawsuit in April of 2020. TCU filed a motion to dismiss the suit in May, saying that the plaintiffs did not show how any alleged discrimination caused them to be deprived of educational or other benefits. 

Lynn severed the claim of assault against retired Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts Andrew Schoolmaster from the lawsuit. The claim will be heard separately from the lawsuit. 

Lynn dismissed all but one of the claims with prejudice, which means that they cannot be brought back to the court. 

In ruling that the young women must identify themselves to continue the case, Lynn wrote:  

. . .Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that the need for anonymity outweighs the presumption of openness mandated by procedural custom and constitutional considerations.”

All three women made similar claims of discrimination by TCU and university officials.

The women made most of the allegations under Title VI and IX – federal statutes that protect against discrimination on the basis of race and sex respectively. 

Lynn outlined the two main “avenues” on which Title VI and IX violations are based – official policies of discrimination and deliberate indifference towards alleged discrimination. The suit claimed both.

Official policy theory 

Lynn ruled that the women’s claims were “sufficient” to allege that TCU has an official policy of discrimination.

“The Court finds that these allegations, construed as true at this stage, are sufficient to allege that TCU’s policy or custom of inadequately handling reports of race and gender discrimination constitutes an official policy of discrimination that created a heightened risk of discrimination for Plaintiffs,” she wrote. 

The court will consider the question of whether TCU has an actual policy of discrimination at a later stage of the suit. 

Deliberate indifference 

Lynn addressed each woman’s claim of discrimination with deliberate indifference.  She dismissed the Title VI and IX claims made by Jane Doe No. 2 and Jane Doe No. 3. 

Lynn ruled Jane Doe No. 2 failed to present specific facts that proved discrimination based on her race or gender. 

She also ruled that Schoolmaster’s conduct toward Jane Doe No. 2 was not pervasive. She found that TCU’s handling of Jane Doe No. 2’s reporting of Schoolmaster’s harassment “do not show that TCU acted with deliberate indifference,” towards her allegations. 

Lynn agreed with TCU that Jane Doe No. 3 did not plead that “she was treated differently from similarly situated students in her protected class.” 

In the case of Jane Doe No. 1, Lynn ruled that the alleged facts are enough to show that a TCU official responded to discrimination allegations with deliberate indifference. Specifically, the judge mentioned the contention that Turner did not follow up on Jane Doe No. 1’s complaints until after this lawsuit was filed. 

Lynn also concluded that Jane Doe No. 1 pled sufficiently that she was treated differently from students in her protected class and intentionally discriminated against. The judge cited the treatment of Jane Doe No. 1’s  “white counterparts” on the D.C. trip as support for her decision.

Hostile environment claim upheld for Jane Doe No. 3

While Lynn dismissed Jane Doe No. 3’s Title VI and IX claims based on deliberate indifference, she upheld the woman’s Title VI claim based on the hostile environment theory. 

Lynn wrote that the allegations of harassment based on Jane Doe No. 3’s race were so “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive,” that she was deprived of educational benefits. 

The judge also cited allegations that Turner had knowledge of the discrimination occurring and acted with indifference as evidence that Jane Doe No. 3 was in a hostile environment. 

Title IX claims that Jane Doe No. 3 faced pervasive harassment based on her sex were dismissed.

More Title VI, VII, and IX claims upheld for Jane Doe No. 1

Lynn ruled that the facts presented by Jane Doe No. 1 were sufficient to claim discrimination under Title VI and IX. Jane Doe No. 1’s suit claimed she was deprived of educational benefits and retaliated against because of her alleged discrimination complaints to the university. 

Further, her claims of employment discrimination under Title VII were also upheld because of the alleged fact that TCU failed to “pay her an hourly compensation that was equal to that of her similarly situated white female counterparts because of her race.” The court also found Jane Doe No. 1’s retaliation claim under Title VII sufficient, because of the alleged fact that her work hours were reduced after she made a discrimination complaint to Turner. 

Jane Doe No. 1’s claim that she was discriminated against because of her claimed disability of asthma was dismissed by Lynn. 

“Her allegations are not sufficient to establish that Jane Doe No. 1 was denied benefits of the DC program, or any other benefit offered by TCU, due to her asthma,” the ruling stated. 

Legal duty of care claims dismissed 

All of the negligence claims made by the plaintiffs against TCU and other defendants were dismissed by Lynn.

The judge cited a Texas law precedent that plaintiffs must “produce evidence of a legal duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach of that duty and damages proximately caused by that breach.” 

Lynn was not convinced that TCU or defendants like Turner and Holland owed the plaintiffs a legal duty. Thus, the claims of negligence were dismissed. 

She also used this reasoning to throw out claims that TCU was negligent in its hiring and retention of the defendants. 

“Jane Doe No. 1 does not allege specific facts that any of TCU’s hiring, retaining, supervising or training practices are inadequate or that TCU acted negligently with respect to hiring Dr. Snow, Dr. Gooding, Dr. Garnett, Dr. Turner or Ms. Holland in light of Jane Doe No. 1’s alleged injuries,” Lynn wrote. 

DEI misrepresentation claim dismissed 

Lynn dismissed a claim that TCU misrepresented its environment and academic experience through its Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) campaign. 

Jane Doe No. 1 alleged that the misrepresentations aimed to “induce racial minorities and women to enroll in TCU despite its hateful legacy,” and should be considered an act of fraud. 

Lynn wrote that the DEI campaign and the statements it promoted about the university did not amount to “material misrepresentations” that can form the basis of a fraud claim. 

Horoscope: January 21, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Taurus.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021:
Exciting, colorful and passionate, you’re headed straight for the top. You’re both driven and pleasure-loving, and this year your star quality allows a project to grow and be very profitable. If single, you’re a heartbreaker and lovers never forget you. You don’t commit this year. If attached, you work hard if you wish to remain so. Your private life’s separate from your public life. AQUARIUS inspires you to go far.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today underscores how emotional impulses and early family conditioning have affected your financial choices, and offers insights into making changes for the better regarding this. You will feel unexpectedly grateful. Tonight: A cherished bond grows and matures through honest discussion.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today ushers in a renewed zest for life. Leadership skills are present, and you’ll enjoy physical activity. This inspiring pattern continues throughout the day. A touch of humor and tolerance helps you make the best of complex situations. Tonight: Up late burning the midnight oil.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★ ★ ★

Today finds you more reserved, cherishing private time. A dream conveys important messages. Others have opposing tastes and priorities. Compromise and tolerance will smooth over differences. Take more time out for yourself. Tonight: Early beddie-byes and a deep slumber, for once.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Healing and growth are due. A larger than life quality prevails, but stay grounded and keep your perspective. Seek efficiency. Kind, talented associates open appealing avenues of activity for you. Become more active in community work or groups. Tonight: Online networking.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★ ★ ★

Work hard and be patient today. Prepare a poster with pictures and affirmations portraying your aspirations. Use it to visualize where you want to go with your life. Protect your professional credibility by doing the very best you can. Tonight: Then just release the situation.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★ ★ ★

Today encourages thoughts of travel and exchanging information. Listen carefully. Worthwhile information comes your way during casual conversations. Foreign languages and imported items intrigue you. Tonight: Reach out to a foreign born friend or colleague residing in a land far away.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

The afterlife and reincarnation captivate you today. Heed a message brought by a spectral visitor or the fey folk. Strategy helps resolve any monetary glitches. The sunset offers glimpses into other dimensions. Tonight: Thinking what a strange day it has been.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★ ★ ★

Companions will present ambitious plans and ideas. Trust your instincts and all will be well. An established partnership is entering a new phase. A loved one is experiencing a temporary setback or facing a legal issue. Tonight: Your support and loyalty would be appreciated.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★ ★ ★ ★

Today favors learning more about wellness. Rethink your dietary and exercise habits. Others set a positive example and offer worthwhile suggestions. It’s an ideal time to make needed changes and to examine how hereditary influences might impact health. Tonight: Relax.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★ ★ ★ ★

Creative projects can be revamped. An old friendship is rekindled, but for good or ill the same patterns repeat in a relationship. Others will be attracted to you. Cultivate new friendships and follow through with artistic ventures. Tonight: Favors tender interludes.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today brings a surprise regarding your heritage. Happiness is shared with one you love very much. Make a special effort to communicate with family members. A house blessing would be very beneficial. Tonight: Use sandalwood incense to invoke a calming, helpful ambience.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today helps you focus and refine details. Others express enthusiasm for your suggestions. Have a brainstorming session over cups of hot mulled cider on the longest of nights. It’s a wonderful time to write that book you’ve been talking about. Tonight: Ideas and more ideas.


Born today: Designer Christian Dior (1905), tenor Placido Domingo (1941), actress Geena Davis (1956)


Landing zones to remain on campus for spring semester

In total, the landing zones will seat 97 students. Photo courtesy of Jack Washington.

TCU will continue to offer students areas to study outside of their room this semester.

The landing zones, which were introduced last semester as the university adopted new protocols for COVID-19, will return for the spring.

Assistant Director for Campus Planning Jack Washington said that they will also look different.

In total, the landing zones will seat 97 students. Photo courtesy of Jack Washington.

“I will say, the use was not particularly high last semester,” said Washington. “I would walk them a couple of times a week, so, in the spirit of continuous improvement, we’ve worked this semester a lot more with marketing and communications to get the word out there to students about the locations of those spaces.”

This semester, there will be three landing zones, as opposed to the five that existed last semester.

The landing areas spread across different campus locations: Mary Couts Burnett Library, Room 1208; Smith Hall, Room 1520 A/B and Sadler Hall, Room 30000.

They are open from 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Outdoor study tents will also return to campus in early March, Washington said.

The Smith Hall landing zone has a capacity of 37 seats. Each pod of seats will be equipped with a supplementary power station. Photo courtesy of Jack Washington.

Both zones and tents are equipped with power outlet towers and will be regularly sanitized.

An alternative environment

Tracy Hull, the dean of the Mary Couts Burnett Library, said the purpose of the landing zones is to give students a space to attend an online class outside of their dorm rooms.

Hull has worked for TCU for over 13 years and has been the dean for the past six months.

“I think it’s taking into consideration some of the challenges that students might face in terms of handling online classes,” said Hull. “You can’t assume that a student can sit in their apartment, home or dorm room. It’s a really nice outlet to allow students to use these spaces for their classwork.”

Hull also said that TCU does a great job at recognizing the needs of their students and she believes the landing zones are a good example of that.

Student Response

TCU updated the interactive map that highlights the location of the three landing zones.

Carla Robertson, a first-year theatre major, said she uses the landing zones and study tents every day because they give her a chance to be in-tune with nature.

Robertson also said the landing zones give students a peaceful place for their classwork without the distractions of being in a dorm room.

“For me, studying outside while sitting in the grass or under a tent with fruits and a shake is always peaceful and it gives my mind a chance to roam,” said Robertson. “The landing zones give us [students] the option to where we won’t always be confined to our rooms.”

Sophomore dance major Kira Daniel said she uses the landing zones because she doesn’t always have access to the dance studio, so the landing zones provide space for her to dance.

“I think they [landing zones] add a sense of freedom and fresh air,” said Daniel. “Having to deal with COVID and everything, we as students have been confined to one space (our room) and I’ve found that these landing zones have been the perfect place to go to get away from dorm life and people you know. Sometimes one just needs to be alone to breathe and get things done and the landing zones are perfect for that.”

The King Hall resident also said she thinks the landing zones do not get much use because of lack of knowledge about them.

Tiony Cooper, a sophomore political science major, said she does not use the landing zones because some students don’t follow COVID-19 regulations.

“I believe that the landing zones are probably the most beneficial to underclassmen who share spaces with people,” said Cooper. “Students who live in apartments or dorms where they have their own space probably feel safest in their rooms.”

Cooper also said her favorite landing zone was the furniture in the commons because she was able to hang out with her friends and feel a sense of community.

Brad Thompson, assistant director of student activities, said the furniture will return to the Campus Commons on March 1 and will remain there until the end of the semester.

Horoscope: January 20, 2021

A baby born today has a Sun in Aquarius and a Moon in Aries until 1:56 p.m., when the Moon enters Taurus.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021:
Intensely alive, improvisatory and kind, your resilience is all the stronger due to your good humor. This year, you stage a spectacular comeback, and it is extremely successful. Be patient, and it will do even better. If single, so freewheeling are you that you’re a better friend than a spouse. If attached, you share your hopes and dreams intimately, and it’s a mutually generous bond. LIBRA enchants you.


The Stars Show the Kind of Day You’ll Have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult


ARIES (March 21-April 19)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today should be especially happy and upbeat. You tend to act spontaneously, and business and pleasure combine gracefully. Pathways open to make life more comfortable and beautiful in many ways. Relationships stabilize. Tonight: A family member needs encouragement.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

★ ★ ★

Today finds you more introspective than usual. A dream brings insight. There is a strong focus on enhancing your public image and good name. Keep the importance of credibility in mind, and all will be well. Tonight: Enjoy a long herbal soak in the tub.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Today introduces new and novel ideas as well as some intriguing and bright acquaintances. Travel and adventure will beckon. Your vitality and enthusiasm will be high. A controversial issue can be successfully addressed. Tonight: Easy, clever expression of ideas.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

★ ★ ★

Expect some changes in your finances. Avoid risks. Seek bargains. If those around you are in need, offer advice and encouragement instead of financial resources. Make a game plan for your future work. Tonight: Reach out to fellow colleagues.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

★ ★ ★ ★

Problem solving and exchanging information are favored today. Meetings can be exceptionally productive. Attachments and relationships are in a state of transformation. Unexpected events are pending, perhaps an upcoming job change. Strong influences affect your sector of foreign places. Tonight: Especially memorable.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★ ★ ★

New long-term financial strategies are worth considering. A settlement could go your way. You’ll feel pensive and ready for something fresh and novel. The ideas of others offer a shift in perspective. Tonight: Accents the value of cooperation and support.


LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★ ★ ★

A partner is unpredictable. Do not worry. Others voice positive thoughts and plans that impact you. Cooperate and examine opposing viewpoints. It’s a good day for building relationships with friends and for expressing creative ideas. Tonight: Sorting it out with your partner.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★ ★ ★ ★

Old patterns are breaking. You might experience a sense of reinventing yourself. Dispel confusion with stronger light to work under. Getting organized is important as your daily agenda is busy. Others are more responsive to what you say. Tonight: Your social prospects brighten.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★ ★ ★

Passions are strong today. You may feel the need to right a wrong or to confront a problem. The past foreshadows the pattern of present events. Cultivate a creative outlet to focus your energy in a productive way. Tonight: A sense of deja vu.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★ ★ ★

Today evokes sentiment and memories. This can involve contact with someone you knew long ago. A real estate transaction, home repair or decorating project needs your attention. Family members share their thoughts regarding the future. Listen closely to them. Tonight: Stay open.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★ ★ ★ ★

Today brings some restlessness. Double-check facts and instructions. Verify plans. There’s a rushed quality prevailing. Much is happening simultaneously, yet you thrive on the fast pace. Tonight: Multitasking and examining new information affects your status quo.


PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

★ ★ ★

Opportunities to add to your income are presented to you. Hone your salable job skills or learn a new trade to enhance your financial prospects. Shop for an item you’ve longed for. It will make you feel better. Tonight: Reach out to an elderly relative.


Born today: Guitarist Lead Belly (1888), naturalist Joy Adamson (1910), comedian Bill Maher (1956)


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