News | Academics

After Trump victory, some professors move to postpone midterms

Some professors have postponed midterm examinations following Republican nominee Donald Trump’s shocking presidential victory early Wednesday morning, and many students have asked others to do the same.

As of 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, over a dozen midterm examinations had been postponed.

“I think we should take a day—people say there's always hope, but I think we should seriously take a day to despair. I think we need that, to be honest,” Joe Braun, CC ’19, who attended last night’s protest on College Walk, said.

Engineering Student Council mobilized after the election and asked that faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Science push back midterms and homework deadlines to early next week.

ESC President Neha Jain, SEAS ’17, said that she floated the idea of asking for SEAS-wide extensions on assignments to other members of the ESC executive board, who agreed that exams should be postponed “given that the elections results have left people feeling triggered, anxious, and unwell.”

Jain emailed SEAS Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs Barclay Morrison asking for his assistance. As of publication, Morrison had not yet responded.

ESC also posted a message on Facebook, encouraging students to “practice self care.”

“If you need to ask for an extension please do it,” the post read.

After Barnard students also began circulating a “No class petition for Nov. 9” on social media early Wednesday morning, Barnard Student Government Association also unanimously agreed to email Dean of the College Avis Hinkson asking for some type of extensions.

“There was a lot of distress and a lot of anxiety that was coming through Facebook, personal accounts, live updates from students as they're watching this at midnight, 1 a.m., and the hours keep pushing,” SGA President Sara Heiny, BC ’17 said.

Columbia College Student Council had not brought the issue to administrators as of press time. Representatives from General Studies Student Council could not be reached for comment.

Math professor Héctor Chang-Lara postponed the midterm for his Ordinary Differential Equations class following requests from Chloé Suridis, SEAS ’19, and others enrolled in the course.

“I was not prepared for the outcome of this election,” Suridis, who posted in the Columbia Class of 2019 Facebook group to encourage others to contact Chang-Lara, said. “Instead of studying for my exam, I was glued to the election update. It's not fair to have a test the following day when something so monumental is taking place, especially when this event is threatening so many groups of people in our country.”

Other SEAS midterms and some midterms in Columbia College and School of General Studies courses, including African Civilization, have also been cancelled or postponed.

“I know a lot of you guys are emotionally exhausted after tonight—I am, too,” computer science professor Jessica Ouyang wrote in an email to students. “Let’s take the weekend to get ourselves back to normal.”

It is not yet clear how many other professors will postpone midterms or grant extensions.
Check back for updates. | @jjspitz


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