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2016 Election Education

Yale Students Traumatized by Election Returns Allowed to Opt Out of Midterm Exam

Written by Philip Hodges

Democrats watched in horror and disbelief as their candidate went down in flames on election night. She was supported by the upper crust in political and media circles across the board. She was supported and propped up by one-percenters in the financial world. She had the support of foreign countries and dictators. She was supposed to win. She was going to be a shoo-in.

When all their hopes were dashed, people started to cry and lament, “What do we tell the children?” How could people be so hateful as to not elect the first female president? How dare Donald Trump not give Hillary what was rightfully hers from the beginning.

All this emotional trauma and anxiety caused by the wrong person winning is leading a Yale economics professor to make a final exam optional. The message was published on Twitter by Yale Daily News managing editor Jon Victor:

Dear Econ 115 Students,

I am getting many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns. (Although as I write this the election has not been called.) The ones I find most upsetting are those who fear, righty or wrongly, for their own families. These students are requesting that the exam be postponed.

On the other hand, I am sure that many students have sacrificed to prepare for the test. Further, it is not easy to reschedule exam rooms at this late date. Finally, postponing the exam would throw off the rest of the schedule as well.

Therefore I am making the exam optional. I will calculate each student’s grade both with and without exam 2, placing all of exam 2’s weight on the final exam when exam 2 is omitted. I will then take, for each student, the maximum of the two final grades (with and without the exam). Those maximum scores will then be used for the final curve.

So, feel free to make either decision tomorrow (or today if you are reading this in the AM).

If Trump had lost like he was supposed to, do you think there’d be this kind of leniency on students “traumatized” by the election returns?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Philip Hodges

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