Campus Reform | Profs at Biden's alma mater cancel classes, host coddling sessions to help students 'cope' with election

Profs at Biden's alma mater cancel classes, host coddling sessions to help students 'cope' with election

In order to help students “cope” with election stress, some Syracuse professors cancelled classes during election week, while others spent their class time holding therapy sessions.

One professor's class met outside to make friendship bracelets and other crafts. She spent grant money on bracelet supplies and adult coloring books to distribute to her students.

The university added its own "Rock Balancing for Mindfulness” activity, placing stones out on campus that students could play with.

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In order to help students “cope” with election stress, some Syracuse University professors canceled their classes during election week, while others spent their class time holding therapy sessions. The university even added its own "Rock Balancing for Mindfulness” activity, placing stones out on campus that students could play with and attempt to balance on top of each other.

One professor, Jenn Grygiel, had her class meet outside to make friendship bracelets and other crafts after Election Day. According to the Daily Orange, Grygiel spent grant money on bracelet supplies and adult coloring books to distribute to her students. She even asked those studying remotely to disclose their favorite colors so they could receive their own bracelets.

[RELATED: Syracuse vice chancellor calls for excused absences, pay for protesters missing school & work]

Grygiel spoke in a university-sponsored post-Election Day panel discussion with a representative of the Lincoln Project, an organization run by self-proclaimed Republicans who opposed President Donald Trump’s re-election. She took to Twitter, demanding that censors “pre-moderate” Trump’s tweets, reviewing each one before they are allowed to be published. 

Philosophy professor Luvell Anderson made his Race and Identity class optional, post-Election Day. He told the Daily Orange that sticking to the regular lesson plan could cause more stress for students. Therefore, students who did attend his class that day spent time discussing the election instead.

Other professors, however, believe that the normal process of education shouldn’t stop to cater to the feelings of students.

[RELATED: Syracuse protesters call for heads to roll after being told no]

Carl Schramm, a professor at the university’s iSchool of Information Studies, saw no reason to deviate from the scheduled lesson plans he had for his class.

“On the day after the election my honors seminar continued consideration of deficit financing in municipalities, an understanding of which might prove important to the students' career success in the real world,” Schramm told Campus Reform.

“Later, my innovation seminar discussed methods of orthogonal thinking and met with the CEO of a company that has successfully converted an unexpected innovation into a new category of consumer products.”

Campus Reform spoke with students who shared similar sentiments against the post-Election Day distractions.

“SU is rapidly becoming a glorified kindergarten that students and their families pay $70 grand a year to attend,” said Syracuse senior Cesar Gray. “It therefore doesn’t surprise me that professors and students decided to use a routine democratic process (our election) as an opportunity to turn class into feelings hour,” he told Campus Reform.

Syracuse freshman Mauricio Luna told Campus Reform that one of his professors cancelled their post-Election Day class and called it a “mental health day.” Samantha Groves, a sophomore, noted that other universities cancelled all classes that day.

“Students definitely could use a break at this point of the school year, but using ‘election stress as an excuse doesn’t seem to be effectively preparing young adults for stress after graduation,” she told Campus Reform.

[RELATED: Syracuse University professors cancel midterms because students are stressed]

Carson Gambaro, a Syracuse junior, said that he can understand why people would want their classes cancelled on the day after the election, noting that most people probably stayed awake past 2 am on Election Night. But he called the distribution of bracelets and coloring books “kind of childish.”

“It might be just me, but we’re adults now as much as some of us, myself included, might not want to believe it,” he told Campus Reform.

“Part of becoming an adult is learning how to cope with life,” added Groves. “I don't think the election added any extra stress on students this year, given this year’s circumstances and the stress that obviously came with it,” she noted.

Gray added similar thoughts, noting that if most college students are old enough to vote, they “should be expected to handle an election like adults.”

“Making ‘friendship bracelets’ might actually keep these college snowflakes from melting into puddles at the mere thought of a Trump second term, but for the sake of academic integrity at SU, professors shouldn’t enable them.”

[RELATED: Syracuse protesters had no plans of ending month-long sit-in, even amid COVID-19 pandemic. They've now changed their minds.]

Campus Reform reached out to Grygiel for comment but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Justine_Brooke