Denied: College refuses academic leniency for student protesters - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Denied: College refuses academic leniency for student protesters

A debate is stirring ever since students learned there was a price to pay for protesting social issues. (Source: WOIO) A debate is stirring ever since students learned there was a price to pay for protesting social issues. (Source: WOIO)
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OBERLIN, OH (WOIO) - There may be an academic price to pay for the hundreds of Oberlin College students who sacrificed their studies to protest in the streets of Cleveland earlier this month. 

According to the college's newspaper, 1,300 students signed a "no-fail mercy" petition that would eliminate all failing grades for the semester and make a "C" the lowest grade a student could earn.

"There are a lot of students who have been working tirelessly talking to administration, planning sit-ins, planning protests and vigils, and they are taking a hit academically," said Michelle Johnson, a senior at Oberlin College.

But in an e-mail, Oberlin President Marvin Krislov announced he would not honor the petition. Instead he is granting emergency incomplete requests for students who were impacted by the aftermath of the Mike Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner cases. 

Still, Some students at the liberal arts university hoped the administration would have been more lenient. 

"You can't sit idle and study for finals while something like this is happening," said Owen Kleiman, a student from California. "They tell us to change the world, but they're not facilitating that."

Students at Oberlin and across the country have been protesting against the lack of police indictments, but university officials at Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown have all agreed to let their students petition to reschedule their final exams.

"Oberlin has a history of being progressive and we wanted that to show in this grading system change, so it's just kind of a let down," said Gifty Dominah.

Oberlin has a history of reacting to national trauma. In 1970, Oberlin's administration decided to suspend the standard grading systems after the Kent State shootings.

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