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Published on November 23rd, 2014 | by Flipside

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Professor sues student for negative course feedback

A professor in the Politics and International Relations department of the University of Edinburgh is suing a student who alleged in their course feedback form that the course tutors were “disinterested and incompetent” and that the lecturers were “high as balls”.

The student, whose identity was not revealed by the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, went on to give the course full negative feedback, denying having gained any insight or knowledge from attending the seminars and classes, adding that “the weekly seminars are too early, the choice of tutorial times too restrictive, and the material too goddamn impractical,” as laid out in the defamation suit.

The action is being brought by Professor Hans Brannestawm, lecturer and course organiser of Sex, Gender and Identity at the School of Social and Political Science of Edinburgh University, who claimed that the review was “privileged and oppressive”.

‘The student submitted these statements in accordance with the power structures that uphold, reinforce and bolster the dominance of patriarchal privilege and colonial capitalist interests in both the public and private educational sectors, with the specific intent of damaging the reputation of the course’, the suit read, according to a janitor at the Edinburgh Court.

“At best, their statements were made in ignorance and are thus merely malicious on their part, while at the very worst, the student was fully aware of what they were saying, and is thus part of a more insidious global scheme to subjugate and oppress.”

While the student responsible for the feedback has not been identified, the news follows claims by professors of a trend of students blackmailing their teachers into granting lenient grading on essays and exams in exchange for good feedback on course forms. The threats have allegedly come in the form of unmarked envelopes on professors’ office doors or on the front of their car windshields.

“What we are witnessing is a marked display of depravity and the diminishment of honest integrity within the student body of Edinburgh University”, said Professor Brannestawm. “Any hope we may have been clinging on to in recent months for a better world has been all but lost in the actions of these doomed souls.”

At the time of this writing, the course concerned was reported to have received generally indifferent reviews, with most students leaving the section “What should be done to make the course better?” unfilled.

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