In light of the grand jury decisions regarding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Columbia Law School agreed last week to delay final exams. The school took into consideration a letter from the Coalition of Concerned Students of Color, which argued that its members “have struggled to compartmentalize our trauma as we sit and make fruitless attempts to focus on exam preparations.”
Most schools are going ahead with finals as scheduled, although some professors are using their personal discretion. One “typical liberal Berkeley professor” offered an extension on an essay to any of her students who were “teargassed, batoned or shot with rubber bullets” during the previous night’s riots rather than in their dorms writing their essays.
Kudos, then, to this Oberlin professor who answered a student’s lengthy plea to delay a final exam with one word: No.
It was a very generous request. The student, “a white, middle-class person,” was asking for the delay not on her own behalf but on behalf of students of color who “have to focus on their survival and are expected to put energy into finals.”