5 times colleges canceled classes, events for political reasons in 2018
- Campus Reform rounded up five instances when colleges canceled classes for political reasons in 2018.
- The examples include cancellations at Yale, Kent State, and University of Alaska Southeast.
In recent years, and especially in 2018, politics seeped into various aspects of everyday life. From sports to entertainment to comedy, it seems as though any medium nowadays touches politics. College courses and campus events are no exception. But, what are the implications of colleges altogether canceling classes for political reasons?
Campus Reform reported on several of these instances this year. Here are the top 5 examples.
In September, Campus Reform gained exclusive access to emails confirming that nearly 20 professors at Yale Law School canceled or rescheduled classes after students demanded the cancelation of classes so they could protest the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
“While I respect the right of the students protesting to make their voices heard, I disagree with professors’ decisions to cancel classes at the request of those protesters,” Emily Hall, a student at Yale Law school and Campus Reform correspondent, told Campus Reform in a statement. “It effectively encourages students to participate in the protests and penalizes those who choose not to by disrupting the class schedule."
[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Emails show Yale profs cancel class for Kavanaugh hearing]
2. EXCLUSIVE: Class canceled, students excused for Kavanaugh accusers 'moment of silence'
In similar fashion to Yale, Mississippi State University professors also decided to cancel classes or allow students to miss class if they attended an organized “moment of silence” for the alleged sexual assault victims of Kavanaugh.
“If you are on campus, meet on the Drill Field at noon,” one professor who canceled class told his students in an email. “ If you aren’t able to meet with these two groups, please walk out and take a photo, posting with the tag #BelieveSurvivors.”
Those who attended held signs saying “We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” and “#MeToo.”
3. University cancels classes for day of 'privilege' programming
The University of Alaska Southeast canceled classes on Nov. 6 for students, faculty, and staff to attend the annual “Power and Privilege Symposium.” Previous symposiums focused on discussing controversial issues like colonialism, race relations and the many intersectionalities of age, race, and gender.
“The 3rd Annual UAS Power & Privilege Symposium is a one-day conference-style teach-in designed to give members of the UAS & Southeast Alaska communities an opportunity to come together and engage in difficult, thoughtful, and honest conversation about the ways social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in our communities,” the university website explained.
4. Holy Cross cancels classes for sensitivity summit
In response to an alleged anti-gay assault in November, the College of the Holy Cross canceled classes in lieu of a “sensitivity” summit to discuss “respect and inclusion” on campus. The summit consisted of workshops and panels for students to discuss sexuality, how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and sexual violence.
While the college claims the assault was reported and investigated by the campus police, according to a Worcester County police spokesman, no hate crime had been officially reported.
5. University play canceled after not having enough 'Latinx' actors
Kent State University canceled a theater production of West Side Story following complaints from students claiming that the play did not have enough “Latinx” students in major roles.
The Romeo and Juliet inspired play features three Puerto Rican characters all of whom were to be played by non-Latinx students. For example, the president of Kent State’s Latin/x in Theater club lost out on a lead role to an African American student.
Following the students’ complaints and concerns, Kent State School of Theatre and Dance officially canceled the production and replaced it with another musical.
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