ASU professor allows students to protest instead of taking final exam

‘It’s like a random Thursday and nothing really happened in the past few days’

So, Arizona State students can skip a final in order to protest hate? Sweet.

Angeles Maldonado, a professor of Global Politics of Human Rights at Arizona State University, gave her class the option to skip their final exam if they did a group project instead.

A group of students decided that they would put together a protest that encompassed several issues such as immigration, the Muslim Ban, Black Lives Matter, and the Trump administration.

“The class decided that as a group project they wanted to make their voices heard about the issues that are affecting them today,” Maldonado said. “So instead of just reading about the human-rights violations, they’d speak out about the current violations that are happening.”

Although the students did draw attention by having a protest the message they were trying to give was lost on many of the people passing by.

“I was confused on what exactly they were protesting,” said Rebecca Howell, an Arizona State student. “It’s like a random Thursday and nothing really happened in the past few days.”

The protesters had a sign that said “Build a Wall Against Hate,” a general statement used to tie all the various topics of protest together but the lack of focus in the movement lead to confusion rather than solidarity.

“I agree with most of what’s being said but which am I supposed to focus on first?” Howell told The Tab, “I just don’t understand what they’re protesting.”

The lack of focus of the protest has also been a point of criticism for this group of students.

“Messages tend to get heard much easier if the focus remains consistent and all the protesters are on the same page, but that wasn’t the case with finals-skipping students and others that randomly joined the protest.” said Nick Kangadis, a writer for MRC TV. “It’s pretty clear these kids simply didn’t want to take a final exam,”

Whether or not the student’s motives were purely for justice or their own self-interest, According to The Arizona Republic, ASU has given its support to the students saying:

As an institution of higher education and an environment that promotes academic freedom, Arizona State University supports the free exchange and expression of ideas. All individuals and groups on campus have the right to express their opinions, whatever those opinions may be, as long as they do not violate student code of conduct and student organization policies and do not infringe on another student’s individual rights. This policy applies to all students.

Arizona State University