Political Campaign Events and Extra Credit

October 12, 2018

An associate professor of criminal justice at Clayton State University in Georgia offered students extra credit for attending a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, at which Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also appeared, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Andrea Allen, the professor, wrote to students in an email first obtained by WSB-TV, “Although I never offer extra credit, I’m making a onetime exception.” Of the event organizers, Allen said, “They would like a really big turnout. To help out I’m offering the following opportunity: If you attend, take a selfie of you at the events, and upload a pic to [a shared class file], I’ll add 2 bonus points to your final grade.”

The university said in a statement that “administrators have advised the professor that extra credit should be offered on an equal basis to those participating in events by all political parties.” Allen acknowledged “she had made a mistake and agreed to fix it by offering extra credit for all political events,” it said, noting that it does not support individual political candidates or parties. The Abrams campaign said in a separate statement that it did not “suggest to this or any professor that extra credit should be offered to students.” Allen reportedly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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