This ASU Class Organized a Protest in Lieu of a Final Exam

An Arizona State University professor, Angeles Maldonado, provided her students with an alternative task during this final exam season. Rather than administer a formal test, Maldonado gave her Global Politics of Human Rights students a chance to do a group project instead. Naturally, the 20 students decided to organize a human-rights protest as their project. A protest instead of a final exam—where can I sign up for this class?

Maldonado explained to The Arizona Republic, "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.”

Alex Corella, a student in Maldonado's Global Politics of Human Rights class, told The Arizona Republic, “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." The protest displayed a wide variety of human-rights issues. Surely, Maldonado is proud to see her students create a public spectacle from her lectures.

During the approved group protest, the students stood shoulder-to-shoulder, chanted, held signs and encouraged onlookers to join their peaceful assembly. Their signs said, “Wall Against Hate!”

Student journalist Chris McCrory tweeted photos of the protest, and reported that at one point the school police were called because the protest was blocking a walkway.

Since the protest, the ASU administration has issued an official statement to The Arizona Republic. “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.”

Kudos to the ASU administration for respecting every student’s right to protest and the expression of their ideas. While the students may not have been causing any harm during their protest on the sidewalk, the group may not have had proper written permission to block a private walkway which is against most universities’ policies. Regardless of their location, these students gained a lot of recognition for their human-rights protest.