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October 4 2017

Inevitable: Some Berkeley Students Now Protesting Taking Their Exams

by Charlotte Hays

Campus Reform reports that some Berkeley students have attempted to shut down their exams, demanding instead "take-home" tests with "significant time" to prepare. Campus Reform links to a video of the little darlings protesting.

The exam being protested was for a class taught by Professor Harley Shaiken, who specializes in labor issues, including in Latin America (apparently, the subject of the class in question).  The students claimed that taking the exam in the usual setting was too stressful:

“This is a campus that is truly related throughout Latin America to the notion of free speech,” Shaiken said, followed by laughter from the protesters, who went on to claim 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.”

. . .

“Are you trying to silence us right now? Is that what you’re trying to do?” one protester shouted back at him, to which he replied that he was simply “trying to take my test.”

“This is our mental health. This is our physical health. This is...um,” another demonstrator remarked as she scratched her head, turning to another protester.

But they also found fault with Shaiken, whom they accused of having benefited from his white privilege":

“Have you ever checked ‘unlisted’ or ‘undocumented immigrant’? I don’t think so!” one protester shouted at Shaiken, who wrote about and advocated for improved workers’ rights in Mexico, specializes in labor issues, and was presented in 1991 with the Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of California, San Diego.

Yet the protesters claim that he is unqualified to teach a class on labor issues in America and Mexico because he’s a white man, and went on to ask Shaiken to check his privilege.

Shaiken did not check his right to demand that students sit for a regularly scheduled exam, though he did offer to step outside to continue the--uh--dialogue while other students took their tests. This was insufficient, and the protestors headed over the Department of Ethnic Studies to lodge a complaint.

Students who opted to take the test were harangued:

“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,” one protester, who remained behind, stated, then accusing students of supporting white supremacists.

Exam question: People are dying out here? How so? Please explain.

Let's be clear here: what these students are saying is that, for whatever reasons, they are not up to taking and passing an exam administered under ordinary circumstances. Their inane rhetoric about "white privilege" (the all-purpose slur) may indicate that they have a point.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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