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AU, Macalester College Vow Support for Students Arrested in Election Protests

Faculty and staff from the American University in DC and Macalester College in Minnesota expressed their support for students involved in election protests.

Macalester College president Suzanne Rivera on Thursday offered to cover the costs of bail for students arrested during the demonstrations. She wrote in a tweet that she “care[s] deeply about both the wellbeing of students and their right to practice civil disobedience.” 

Rivera had also supported Macalester student activists during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations earlier this year, offering to “reimburse any fines they may receive due to civil disobedience citations.”

Macalester College is located at a stone’s throw from Minneapolis, where police arrested over 600 anti-Trump protesters last Wednesday.

AU Also Voices Support

Earlier, nearly 50 American University (AU) faculty and staff members extended their support for students involved in the election protests, including those imprisoned during such demonstrations.

Faculty members said they would provide extensions for assignments, grant excused absences, and allow other adjustments for students involved in demonstrations.

In a letter signed by 47 professors, associate professors, professorial lecturer, and other faculty, the teaching staff said they “understand that there are times when events and issues outside the classroom are more important than work inside the classroom.” This is clearly such a time, they wrote.

“Faculty among us commit to adjusting course expectations as necessary if student activities in urgent defense of democracy interfere with coursework,” they further said, adding “we encourage other faculty to join us in supporting our students’ social justice work in these and other ways.”

The signatories called on other staff and administrators to join them, asking that they do everything in their power to support students “at this critical moment in US history.”

Last week, hundreds of people headed to the Black Lives Matter Plaza and White House to protest, express solidarity, or just be a part of the scene.

As protests erupted in major cities like New York, Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, people also danced and shared art and music while awaiting the election results along with the rest of the country.