Trump’s Win Prompts Exam Cancellation

I was completely unaware that we as students are able to prolong scheduled exam times as long as we are stressed. As a student, I can not help but question whether Professor Snodgrass would have taken the same course of action had the election had a different outcome.

 

Liberal students across the nation watched in dismay as their worst nightmare became a reality in the early hours of November 9. Donald Trump was announced as the next POTUS, and the cries of disbelief started to ring, especially at the University of Michigan. However, despite suffering emotional trauma, some students found the courage to take a break from their tears and e-mailed their professors asking for class cancellations and exam extensions.

John Snodgrass, a psychology professor at the University, answered by moving his PSYCH 240 midterm back one week due to the distracting and upsetting period of time for students. He explained in an e-mail that he came to this decision after “receiving many e-mails in recent hours from students requesting to delay the exam due to associated serious stress.”

I was completely unaware that we as students are able to prolong scheduled exam times as long as we are stressed. As a student, I can not help but question whether Professor Snodgrass would have taken the same course of action had the election had a different outcome. As a worker, it is with great consternation to know that the tax dollars taken out of my paycheck every two weeks are going towards a man who is teaching the next generation that when the going gets tough, you can just take a seat on the sidelines.

Rather than finding strength and perseverance in a confusing time for some, students were taught today that calling it quits is just as suitable of an answer. And to them, it is an answer that will now be expected.

For those who expect to be coddled and sheltered in life outside of campus, please understand that the real world will not be filled with numerous Professor Snodgrass’s, and it shouldn’t be. Calling into work because you are experiencing “associated serious stress” from discovering something happened that you didn’t want to occur is not an adequate solution. If you want change and for others to hear your opinions, do not coward down when you are tested.

Although discouraged by the solution Snodgrass provided, I was reassured  when some of my peers challenged the status quo and insisted on taking the exam right on schedule. These students understand the idea that life may not always be in your favor. Life goes on, and to succeed, you must go about your daily life.

While this may be a confusing time for some, it is unfair to confuse students further by teaching the idea that life has a time out button in times of uncertainty.  

Read the full email here:

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About Megan Sugrue

Megan Sugrue is a sophomore studying Political Science with a minor in Law, Justice, and Social Change.
  • Elle Davio

    I understand how frustrating it might feel for students to seemingly get “handled with care” in this time. I encourage you to consider that one in four college-aged students suffers from mental illness, and the same number of college students have been diagnosed and treated within the last year. 25% is not an insignificant number, and if 25% of your classmates needed a make-up exam, it is not at all unreasonable to briefly postpone an exam. As an employee at UMHS, and the few other places I’ve worked as an undergrad have absolutely, absolutely understood and made available the need for a mental health day (like any other regular sick day). I understand your anger at the university attempting to accommodate students at this time. I’m very thankful that you have the privilege to be angered at this–if you were either a target of Trump’s harassment directly (which, actually you are, but I’ll elect to assume you decided your femininity was totally fine to be exploited how he has), or you are a target of one of the many, many hate groups that feel enabled/empowered by Trump’s rhetoric (KKK, anti-semitic groups, anti-Muslim groups, etc.) then you should not in ANY way feel ashamed if your mental health has been impacted by this election. This assumption that we are “coddling” students only contributes to an incredibly damaging stigma, one that leads to a suicide rate in college-age people that has been consistently uptrending across the past two decades. Again, I’m thankful you don’t suffer from mental illness. But don’t you dare attack anyone who is. Don’t you dare attack any professor who moves to support those students. Instead be grateful that you don’t know the terror or crippling anxiety, or the intractable apathy of severe depression.