University Students Demand all Grades Below ‘C’ be Nullified, and all Midterms be Eliminated
At many American universities, academic achievement is being sacrificed in favor of political correctness and activism; getting a solid education is no longer the main focus, as students are now demanding relaxed grading standards so that they have more time to engage in protests.
That’s not an exaggeration. At Ohio’s Oberlin College, more than 1,300 students have signed a petition calling for the college to drop any grades below a “C” for the semester. Many are also calling for the elimination of standard written midterm exams, suggesting that a conversation with a professor might serve as an alternative to a submitted essay.
From The Week:
“The students say that between their activism work and their heavy course load, finding success within the usual grading parameters is increasingly difficult. ‘A lot of us worked alongside community members in Cleveland who were protesting,’ Megan Bautista, a co-liaison in Oberlin’s student government, said, referring to the protests surrounding the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a police officer in 2014. ‘But we needed to organize on campus as well — it wasn’t sustainable to keep driving 40 minutes away. A lot of us started suffering academically.'”
In a piece published by The New Yorker, Nathan Heller addressed the situation at Oberlin, “a school whose norms may run a little to the left of Bernie Sanders.” Heller admits that the leftist constituency on American campuses has “stopped being able to hear itself think,” becoming as authoritarian in its opinions and methods as its theoretical arch-enemies on the far right.
The death of diversity – in the name of diversity
Heller spoke of incomprehension regarding the new paradigm among “old-school” liberals, such as himself:
“Wasn’t free self-expression the whole point of social progressivism? Wasn’t liberal academe a way for ideas, good and bad, to be subjected to enlightened reason? Generations of professors and students imagined the university to be a temple for productive challenge and perpetually questioned certainties. Now, some feared, schools were being reimagined as safe spaces for coddled youths and the self-defined, untested truths that they held dear. …
“At some point, it seemed, the American left on campus stopped being able to hear itself think.”
Liberal intolerance on American campuses
Other liberal academics have also made “confessions” regarding the existence of a climate of “liberal intolerance” on American campuses. Ultimately, the quality of education declines, with a truly diverse range of viewpoints no longer being tolerated.
As columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece:
“WE progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren’t conservatives.
“Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”
Kristof notes that conservatives are far under-represented within university faculties:
“Four studies found that the proportion of professors in the humanities who are Republicans ranges between 6 and 11 percent, and in the social sciences between 7 and 9 percent.
“Conservatives can be spotted in the sciences and in economics, but they are virtually an endangered species in fields like anthropology, sociology, history and literature. One study found that only 2 percent of English professors are Republicans. …
“Universities should be a hubbub of the full range of political perspectives from A to Z, not just from V to Z. So maybe we progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish — like diversity — in our own dominions.”
It’s clear that the left-leaning university system is not interested in tolerating any viewpoints outside of its own self-defined reality, and a few honest liberals, such as Heller and Kristof, are willing to admit it.
It appears that the campus progressives are also willing to forfeit a real education, as they pursue their precious social and political agendas. It’s been argued by the Left that if they are paying for an education, then they should be able to modify the parameters to serve their needs.
One can’t help but feel sorry for the poor student who simply wants to go to college to learn something useful. …