A professor at Arizona State University allowed students to protest President Trump as a group project effort instead of taking a final exam.
Angeles Maldonado, a professor at ASU, gave her Global Politics of Human Rights class the option of completing a group project or taking a final exam.
Her students opted for the project, and the 20 students in Maldonado’s class decided that their final project would be a protest against President Trump’s policies.
The protest took place Thursday on ASU’s campus in Tempe, Arizona, the Arizona Republic reported.
“The class decided that as a group project they wanted to make their voices heard about the issues that are affecting them today, so instead of just reading about the human-rights violations, they’d speak out about the current violations that are happening,” Maldonado told the Republic, adding that she believed it was her duty as a professor to support their decision.
The students created signs and stood in a line outside ASU’s library to form a human wall.
Students from other classes joined the line and picked up more signs to spell out the slogan, “Wall Against Hate!”
“This was something that we all got together and said we would express some of the things we don’t like, so a lot of the other people here are protesting things like immigration, immigration ban, women’s rights, things like that,” Alex Corella, a student in Maldonado’s class, said.
The issues the protest brought to light included LGBT rights, women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and the prison system.
ASU employees asked the students to relocate in order to stop blocking the sidewalk, so the students stood in a staggered line to let people through. This did not placate the staffers, so they sent for campus police.
The students dropped their signs and linked arms as a result.
The police warned Maldonado directly, and the students moved their protest to the lawn to avoid further incident.
The ASU administration released the following statement when asked about the protest:
As an institution of higher education and an environment that promotes academic freedom, Arizona State University supports the free exchange and expression of ideas. All individuals and groups on campus have the right to express their opinions, whatever those opinions may be, as long as they do not violate student code of conduct and student organization policies and do not infringe on another student’s individual rights. This policy applies to all students.
Maldonado has been involved in protests throughout Arizona before. According to her university profile, the Mexican-born professor has participated “in the immigrant rights movement in Arizona” and has “spent many hours organizing protests against Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio.”