An Asian Studies class at the University of California (UC) Berkeley offered extra credit to students if they attended a student walkout to show solidarity with Palestine.
Extra credit: In the now-viral email shared on X, teaching assistant Victoria Huynh instructs students to participate in a "national student walkout" against the "settler-colonial occupation of Gaza.” Huynh also encouraged students to watch a short documentary on Palestine or contact their local California representative regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Additionally, students were required to provide photo proof of their participation in the extra credit activities.
Participating in these activities would have either contributed to a student's field trip portion of their grade or earn them five extra credit points. Huynh concludes the email by saying she will also dedicate time to discussing Palestinian history in the context of "concepts like colonialism, imperialism and Third World solidarity" in two of her class sections.
This is a real e-mail distributed at an Asian studies class @UCBerkeley.
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This is the same institution that welcomed in disgraced SF DA, Chesa Budin. pic.twitter.com/pAUmGvQslJ
— Ale Resnik (@AleResnik) October 25, 2023
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Huynh, a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies, is reportedly an aide in lecturer Harvey Dong’s course entitled “Asian American Communities and Race Relations,” according to the J. The Jewish News of Northern California.
Condemnation from pro-Israel: The post on X has since garnered more than 2.3 million views, drawing condemnation from pro-Israel activists who called it indoctrination.
“Another unconscionable attempt to brainwash students,” activist David Lange tweeted.
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UC Berkeley’s response: On Wednesday, UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof told J. The Jewish News that upon becoming aware of the assignment, the university administration acted swiftly to remove it. Mogulof cited a policy from the UC Board of Regents, established in 1970 and amended in 2005, which prohibits the misuse of classrooms for political indoctrination or awarding academic credit for activities unrelated to the course’s original purpose.
“Generally speaking, awarding academic credit to students for participating in civil disobedience activity, or for deciding not to attend their classes, would, in most circumstances, be ‘misuse of the classroom’ pursuant to this policy,” Mogulof said, adding that “the situation has been remedied.”
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