University of California, Berkeley students recently protested their midterm exam, demanding a take-home essay instead.
A Youtube video of the scene shows the Berkeley students commanding the in-class exam to be replaced with a “take-home essay with significant time to prepare,” but Professor Harley Shaiken declines their demands.
“This is a campus that is truly related throughout Latin America to the notion of free speech,” Shaiken responded. The protesters then laugh while asserting that their “well-beings are being put on the line because of the emotional, mental, and physical stress that this university is compounding with what is already going on in [their] everyday lives.”
Notably, Shaiken has been an advocate for improved workers’ rights in Mexico, writing an opinion piece for the New York Times, and focuses on labor issues as a society and cultures professor. He has also been awarded with the Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of California, San Diego in 1991.
The students continued to argue that Shaiken is unqualified to teach his course on labor issues in America and Mexico because he’s a white man, demanding Shaiken to “check his privilege.”
One classmate asked if the protesters were trying to “filibuster” the exam, to which one protester responded, “Are you trying to silence us right now? Is that what you’re trying to do?” The classmate responded, “I’m just trying to take my test.”
The protesters then use their health as an excuse not to take the exam.
“This is our mental health. This is our physical health. This is…um,” one protester said, scratching her head, and turning the attention to another student.
Shaiken requested to discuss the matter outside while others finished their exams, but the protesters denied, deciding to take their complaints to the Department of Ethnic Studies.
Another protester then stepped forward and said, “I don’t know why you’re still, like, sitting down, y’all. I don’t understand. I really don’t understand. Y’all can take your f**king test, but people are dying out there,” claiming that the students support white supremacists.
Do you think the students were just trying to get out of taking an exam? Let us know in the comments below!