UC San Diego Students Demand Passing Grades Due to Riots

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 30: Protestors vandalize a police cruiser in Union Square on May 30, 2020 in New York City. Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Across the country, protests against Floyd's death …
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Students at UC San Diego are using the protests and riots following the death of George Floyd in police custody to demand passing grades on their finals exams. In a letter, student activists told administrators that they should be exempt from the standard grading policy due to the riots, which they argue have left students “paralyzed.”

According to a report by the College Fix, students at UC San Diego are demanding that they be exempt from the university’s grading policy due to the riots that have followed the death of George Floyd.

Breitbart News has reported extensively on the riots that have followed the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 during an arrest in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck. Rioters have looted businesses in major cities around the country including Minneapolis, New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and Portland.

Unlike many other institutions, UC San Diego did not adopt a “pass/fail” grading system for the spring semester. Instead, officials installed a modified policy that would permit academic departments to adopt “pass/fail” grading at their discretion.

In the letter, the students claim that they are “paralyzed” by current events and therefore should not be graded for this semester’s work.

Please do not force students that are paralyzed by the current events to disengage in their political environment. Please do not prioritize students’ exams over their mental and emotional health. Please do not force students to choose their testing and grades over their obligations to protect and care about human rights. Please do not remain idle while history is being made.

The students suggested that applying standard grading policies to students would “invalidate” their “feelings.”

Please do not force your students to become numb or compliant to their own history. Please do not set the precedent that UCSD is but another academic institution that invalidates their students’ feelings and concerns by discouraging their voice for change. The Compton Cookout remains a dark stain of injustice and racism from the UCSD community; do not let this become another one. We must do better.’

Some UC San Diego students voiced similar concerns on social media. One student argued that she would not be able to focus on her coursework because Black Americans are being “harassed” and “murdered.”

Alex De Leon, another student at UC San Diego, argued that black students should not be asked to focus on their coursework during this period. “In light of the current climate and systematic acts of violence towards the Black community, it would be entirely cruel and dehumanizing for us to expect our Black classmates at UCSD to have to carry on like everything’s good and normal,” de Leon said in a comment. “During these tragic and uncertain times, grades and finals should not have to be their top priority.

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