Students at U.C. Berkeley have decided to protest an exam and instead demand a take-home essay as well as “significant time to prepare”
“Our well-beings are being put on the line because of our emotional, mental, and physical stress that [Berkeley] is compounding with what is already going on in our every day lives,” they stated in the video.
“The content of this class and the way it is being taught is not satisfactory. And even if it is … we feel that we haven’t had the opportunity to interact with the text and information. We demand that you make and [hold space] to [study] the voices of students of color,” one protester stated.
After nearly four minutes of non-stop speaking, one student asked if this was “a filibuster.” A female protester was outraged by his sarcasm:
You listen! You have to listen, okay? Listen to us, okay? You talk so much already, okay?… Are you trying to silence us right now? Is that what you’re trying to do?
The student responded: “I’m trying to take my test.” Another protester snapped back: “We’re trying to live our lives … white boy with privilege.”
When the protesters finally allowed Professor Harley Shaiken to speak, he only eked out about one sentence before he was interrupted:
On a campus like the University of California, Berkeley, I am not about to let 50 right-wing demonstrators —
“There’s not 50, there was over 200. In [an] email, it said over 200 people,” one of the protesters interjected.
Professor Shaiken continued:
Let’s say it’s 200. To allow 200 right-wing demonstrators [to] shut down a university — I am in demonstrations all the time in Latin America — as recently as the end of August, just before the first day of class. You keep the integrity of the institution you are a part of. For 50 people or 200 people or 1,000 people to be able to shut this enterprise down I think is deeply flawed.
A female protester wearing a striped dress countered:
That’s not the point of the matter. We are talking about communities of color. You have people in our homelands who are experiencing devastation … students that are undocumented … how can you [inaudible] to prepare for this exam with all this going on?