Support A's for All at American University

Support A's for All at American University

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Nicholas Farrell started this petition to AU President Sylvia Burwell and

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, American University should enact an A's for All policy in order to both alleviate the stress from students amidst a global pandemic to ensure that all students are not unfairly penalized for their academic efforts.

We are in the midst of daunting times and the biggest public health crisis of modern times. With classes going digital and students having to return home, the learning environment as been completely changed. Many students are not only concerned about their grades, but additionally are concerned about their wellbeing. 

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented crisis for American University students, and many will have their academic success hindered due to the inequities in resources, increased joblessness, the need to support their families, and a continuous battle with remote learning. Additionally, students with learning disabilities may not be able to adjust and succeed in online courses at the same rate as other students.

Given the current climate, it is not reasonable to hold students to the same academic standards we did in the past. And while American University has enacted the pass/fail option for students, this simply is not enough. While at home, students could be battling a toxic home environment, fearing for their own health and well-being. Additionally do not have access to resources that would typically be available on campus, such as the library, in-person office hours, study groups, and support from peers and faculty.

We have students who are being faced with withdrawing from the school, faced with financial stress, and faced with the possibility of having to take additional semesters to fulfill their graduation requirements. Many students are worried about opting into the Pass/Fail option and how it might affect their future with scholarships, graduate school, and their future careers. Students with financial stress (and the number will only grow as unemployment rises nationally) are also disenfranchised as the possibility of failing a class can hinder one's ability to receive financial aid and would require students to enroll in the same class next semester, which could push back graduation and only worsen financial stress. Performing poorly this semester can jeopardize a student's future success at American.

We advocate for the modified Triple-A Model, with the first 30% of the class receiving an A, the middle 30% receiving an A-, the bottom 40% receiving a B+.

If this proposed model is not feasible, we additionally support the idea of extending the value of letter grades to ensure that no student fails a class this semester.

We ask for American University to do its part in promoting the wellbeing of students by alleviating academic stressors during this pandemic.

We stand by the decision that it is best to prioritize student wellness and commitment to academics. We ask that American University. becomes a leader in the university response to COVID-19

 

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