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Oberlin Students: Replace Midterms with Conversations and Erase Grades Below Cs


Student activists at Oberlin College are saying how frustrated they are that the school is making it so tough for them to be on campus — and that it’s so unfair that the school won’t heed their demands for how to make it easier on them.

Now, in case you forgot, Oberlin made headlines in December when student activists started demanding $8.20 per hour for protesting. That was pretty ridiculous in itself, but interviews with student activists in a New Yorker piece written by Nathan Heller suggest that that demand was really just the tip of the ridiculousness iceberg. For example, a self-identified “Afro-Latinx” student named Megan Bautista said she was upset that the school is refusing to erase any grades below Cs:

Oberlin had modified its grading standards to accommodate activism around the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, and Bautista had hoped for something similar. More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester, but to no avail. “Students felt really unsupported in their endeavors to engage with the world outside Oberlin,” she told me.

Whoa. So, is she trying to say that under the current policy, if you earn a D then a D appears on your transcript? Yikes, that is insane! Totally unfair! How do kids even handle going there?

I’m being sarcastic, of course . . . but believe it or not, some students actually believe this to be unfair. A transgender student named Cyrus Eosphoros — an activist who had advocated putting trigger warnings on Antigone – told the New Yorker he had just dropped out because of what Heller said he’d described as a “want of institutional support.”

“There’s this persistent, low-grade dehumanization from everyone,” Eosphoros said.

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