Started 1 petition
Extend the Decision to Choose Pass/Fail Grading After Final Grades
On March 30th, Robert B. McMaster, the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities updated the decision date for S/N or "pass/fail" grades from April 15th to April 30th. We are extremely grateful for the university's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the many issues that are appearing alongside. We appreciate the many forms in which our university is supporting its community, however, we believe further change should be made regarding the newly implemented grading policy for this spring semester. Universities around the country have moved their pass/fail grading decision dates after final grade postings. Some Universities with this grading change include Carnegie Mellon University, University of North Carolina, Tulane University, as well as the school most similar to our own, the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We believe the University of Minnesota should extend the decision date of pass/fail grading at least a week after final grades are posted. There are no definitive answers as to what's to come for our society, economy and University. While the world waits for a vaccine, we have no clear idea as to how long and frequent social distancing and quarantining will be mandated. In The Atlantic's article titled, "Our Pandemic Summer," Author Ed Yong writes, "...but the dozens of experts whom I have interviewed agree that life as most people knew it cannot fully return. 'I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks,' said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. 'This is about the next two years'." We must listen to Professor Osterholm and other internationally recognized experts when accommodating and managing our new lives. Currently students are under specific anxieties having to do with their education and future careers. Will my GPA be high enough to get a job? Will I be in online school next year? What will the economy look like? Will there be room for me in the workforce when I graduate? Will I be competing for work with other graduating classes by the time I graduate due to the economy? Students and faculty alike are experiencing anxiety surrounding their mental health, physical health, the wellbeing of friends and family, financial decisions, and much more. On top of this, the extension is necessary for students to have enough time to weigh the grade decision for each class with guidance from their families and academic advisors. While the University has made tremendous strides to transition online, it is obvious that this new reality is not synonymously engaging or beneficial to brick and mortar education. This extension is a message from our President and educators that they deeply care about the student body's wellness, our success as Gophers, and our futures as alumni. We perceive that message as the University's need and aspiration to keep us students proud and loyal Gophers for the remainder of our college experience, even when the future of in-class courses or on-campus living is undecided.