Professors at Penn and other schools cancelled classes and postponed exams after Donald Trump was elected as the US president. Several students all the over the US were distressed with some deeply agitated over the results. However, there were some conservatives and critics who were wondering whether Penn classes will be suspended and exams postponed if Hilary Clinton won instead of Trump?
The choice of suspending or moving classes is under the control of individual professors but sometimes, their decisions draw a lot of criticism from the public. An accommodation to the midterm scheduled for November 9 at Yale University received national coverage with an article on Fox News labelling the students as “snowflakes.” At Reason.com students were described as “unprepared to cope with reality.”
Beth Winkelstein, vice-provost for education suggested that faculty should take into account the importance of understanding the needs of students following the election results. Undergraduate deans must be sensitive to students and be flexible in considering their requests regarding assignments and in reminding them of the school resources available on campus to support them.
Students with colour were scared and emotionally charged with Trump’s election. A vicious and racist series of attacks through GroupMe messages targeted black freshmen days later. The messages came from people using pseudonyms like “Daddy Trump” which was linked to students from Oklahoma.
Regardless of their political affiliations, the students who were interviewed believed that scheduling assignments or exams near significant events may be met with problems. It is irresponsible to schedule exams after an election because if the school authorities want students to be involved, they should not be required to study.
A critic thought it was in bad taste to postpone exams and cancel classes. There is a problem if students cannot function because their candidate lost. The results however had a critical significance to their sense of self and safety.
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