A professor at Arizona State University allowed her students to protest the policies of President Trump last Thursday instead of taking the final exam. Professor Angeles Maldonado gave the 20 students in her Global Politics of Human Rights class a choice: They could either take the exam or they could work together on a group project.
Naturally, the students chose the project.
Maldonado said the students also chose to stage a protest, although she had no problem with their choice.
“The class decided that as a group project they wanted to make their voices heard about the issues that are affecting them today, so instead of just reading about the human-rights violations, they’d speak out about the current violations that are happening,” she said.
So, these students sat through a class on global human rights violations for four months and they still think President Trump’s policies are worth protesting? We don’t have her syllabus in front of us, but if Maldonado taught her students about the brutal, totalitarian conditions found in various Middle Eastern, African, and South American countries, it’s hard to believe that these students would have much outrage left for Trump.
Apparently they did, though, because they took to the campus grounds with signs and chants and choreographed protest maneuvers. The grand finale came when the students and others ASU sympathizers stood shoulder to shoulder and held up signs reading: “Wall Against Hate.”
Many tears were shed, undoubtedly.
AZCentral.com explained that the theme of the protest was “opposition to President Donald Trump’s policies, with deportations and a call for a new border wall the major focuses.”
From the site:
“This was something that we all got together and said we would express some of the things we don’t like, so a lot of the other people here are protesting things like immigration, immigration ban, women’s rights, things like that,” said Alex Corella, 22, a student in Maldonado’s class who participated.
The group and those who joined them drew attention to a variety of issues, including LGBT rights, women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and even the prison system.
Many of the protesters eventually dispersed, either running to class or to another engagement, except for Maldonado’s class who remained on Hayden Lawn. Corella was glad to be there with his fellow students and said, “This is better than a final.”
We don’t necessarily blame college students for finding a way to stage a fun, low-effort protest instead of taking their final exam, but we do blame Professor Maldonado for her failure to show them what an actual human rights crisis looks like. If she hadn’t failed to do so, these students would know that basic border security is not among the world’s great atrocities.