RMIT University Lecturer Offered Students Full Marks For Attending Climate Strike
A senior lecturer at Melbourne's RMIT University offered his students full marks on an assessment if they attended Friday's climate strike.
In an email to students, seen by 10 daily, Dr Hormoz Marzbani said his students could skip his lecture to attend the strike, and receive full marks for that day in return -- worth about 5 percent of a project mark.
"Considering that the whole time of the lecture today was to be consumed by the group meetings you do not need to attend the session in case you are planning to join the strike," Marzbani said.
Marzbani said he had just one condition: "All you need to do is email me a group selfie in the crowd," he said.
"Photos with less than half of the group members will not be accepted. In case you do not have enough people for the photo I suggest you attend the lecture and the group meeting."
The email's subject line read, 'Wanna get full mark (sic) for today's assessment?', and included details of the Melbourne strike.
In a statement, an RMIT spokesperson said the students were completing a design project, a component of which related to environmental impact and ethics.
“While the teacher has determined that the conversation at today’s global climate strike is educational and relevant to the learning for this project, RMIT will of course be looking at the decision to ensure that assessment integrity is maintained," they said.
The university said operations were running as usual on Friday, but that staff had been working to ensure students who wished to participate in the strike could do so without being disadvantaged.
“Climate change is a serious issue for us all and we know that many of our students and staff are passionate about how they can make a change," its climate strike statement reads.
It's estimated more than 100,000 people attended the climate strike in Melbourne on Friday, one of thousands of strikes around the world.
Several universities around Australia made allowances for their students to attend the rally. At the University of Technology Sydney, an email to students said it had asked staff to "make accommodations where possible for missing classes".
At the Sydney strike, a lecturer from Macquarie University's Law School was in attendance with her students.
"I'd encourage the politicians to look around, these are your constituents," Zara Bending told 10 daily.
"We've got students, we've got doctors, lawyers, tax accountants, construction workers, unions -- we're just asking you to do your job. And if you can't do your job, well, take a cue from students and grow up. "
The movement is inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, and has three stated goals: moving to 100 percent clean energy, keeping fossil fuel in the ground, and helping climate refugees.
At the last strike in March, an estimated 1.4 million people around the world took part. Numbers for this strike are expected to eclipse it.
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