American U profs promise to accommodate students jailed during potential election protests

They said that the “urgent defense of democracy” should not interfere with coursework.

American University professors are promising to accommodate students who may be imprisoned during any post-election demonstrations.

Professors at American University promised to accommodate students who choose to protest the results of the presidential election, even those who are imprisoned while doing so. 

“There is a significant chance that demonstrations and other forms of activism calling for social justice and democracy will be a regular part of the days and weeks after the election,” says the letter, which was signed by nearly 50 professors. “If this does occur, we expect that many AU students will want to participate in and lead such efforts.”


The authors wrote that the “urgent defense of democracy” should not interfere with coursework.

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Stating that “there are times when events and issues outside the classroom are more important than work inside the classroom,” the professors pledged to adjust class expectations if a student misses coursework as a result of a variety of different scenarios, including “imprisonment or injury.” The letter promises to grant students extensions on assignments and to excuse class absences for students participating in protests, or perhaps riots.

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The authors encouraged other professors to sign as well. 

Adrienne Pine, an anthropology professor at American University and a signer of the letter, encouraged students to “share widely.”

Pine responded to Campus Reform’s emailed request for comment through Twitter, stating that she believes the letter does not encourage students to riot.


American University is located in Washington, D.C., which is expected to be an epicenter of potential post-election rioting.

Campus Reform reached out to American University but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft