Southern New Hampshire University has taken swift action after one of its sociology professors almost failed a student on an assignment because she had the audacity to claim that Australia is a country.
As part of an online sociology class, student Ashley Arnold was assigned to complete a project outline comparing a social norm in the United States and another country. Arnold chose to compare social media use in the United States and Australia. She was shocked to find that her professor had given her a failing grade, noting, “Australia is a continent; not a country.”
When Arnold appealed to her professor to correct her grade (with links to back up her “claim”), the professor, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy, offered this haughty response, “I will gladly re-examine your week 2 milestone project report…Australia is a continent; it is not a country. That error made it nearly impossible for you to accurately complete your week 2 research outline correctly. As I mentioned above I will look over your week two paper once again and see if you earned more credits than I gave you.”
After some back and forth, the professor decided to give Arnold a B+. While she never apologized, she recognized her “misunderstanding about the difference between Australia as a country and a continent.”
“At first I thought it was a joke; This can’t be real. Then as I continued to read I realized she was for real,” Arnold told BuzzFeed News.
Shortly after this ridiculous story went public, Southern New Hampshire University took to Twitter, saying they had apologized to Arnold, replaced the professor, and refunded Arnold the $1,000 tuition she paid for the course. They also apologized to Australia and wished the country good luck in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
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