To normal people this sounds crazy, but Oberlin is one of the most liberal colleges in America (See: Lena Dunham)
Via Red Alert:
Following the model set at several law schools, students at Oberlin College are pleading for leniency during final exams and the final grading period this fall semester in light of the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and the shooting of Tamir Rice.
A petition has been circling around the school community President Marvin Krislov to suspend the standard grading system because students of color, especially black students, are at risk of failing.
“I would really like to see the normal grading system suspended for this semester and replaced with a no-fail mercy period. Administrators should require professors to exercise complete flexibility in what students are saying they can produce academically. Require that every professor listen to what their students are saying and if that means rather than writing a paper students instead meet with their professor to simply discuss in groups their paper topics or if tests are taken collectively with professors there are ways to make sure we are learning what we are supposed to be learning in ways that are not so taxing in times like this,” the petition reads.
“Students in this moment should have complete access to alternative modes of learning while we process what’s happening. Basically, no student especially black students and students of color should be failing a class this semester. A ‘C’ should be the lowest grade students can receive this semester. Professors should be required to work with students, who would otherwise be at risk of failing, to create alternate means of accessing knowledge.”
The petition has garnered more than 1,300 signatures, according to The Oberlin Review.
Oberlin College is refusing to void any failing grades this semester despite demands from students who skipped classes and missed study time to protest the Ferguson, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner cases. A student petition, signed by more than 1,300, demanded for the college to institute a “no-fail mercy period” that would eliminate all failing grades and make a C the lowest possible grade a student could receive.
President Marvin Krislov responded with an email to students on Sunday, saying he and the college’s deans decided not to grant the request after giving it serious consideration.
“We are in firm agreement that suspending grading protocols is not the way to achieve our shared goal of ensuring that students have every opportunity and resource to succeed,” he wrote.
Hundreds of students participated in demonstrations in Oberlin and Cleveland in the wake of the fatal police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, the shooting death of Michael Brown by a suburban St. Louis officer and the death of Eric Garner in New York.
“People’s communities are being mercilessly murdered and beaten in the streets every day around the world,” junior Kiki Acey, a student who helped draft the petition, wrote in a Facebook post, the student newspaper reported. “Others are being locked away by the millions for petty crimes. And many of us are still working every day just to be able to afford this education that fails to tell us how to free ourselves.”