Petition for P/NP Option for Haas Core Classes & Major Requirements and Drop Haas Curve

Petition for P/NP Option for Haas Core Classes & Major Requirements and Drop Haas Curve

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Haas Business School Association started this petition to Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program and

Sign if you support our petition below for a P/NP option and to drop the Haas curve. Please share your anecdotes in this anonymous form here of how these policies would benefit you!

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During this Fall 2020 semester, UC Berkeley students have expressed a deep concern for their academic performance and general well-being, with 7,000+ Berkeley students petitioning in support of a P/NP option. Given the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate's recent endorsement of implementing a P/NP academic policy for major and minor requirements during this unprecedented semester, we demand that the undergraduate Berkeley Haas Program follow their recommendation to help alleviate some of the undue burdens of being a student in this unprecedented semester. We demand the following policies in the Haas/UGBA grading system:

  1. Rid the “Haas Curve” requirement that Professors must adhere to.
  2. Allow a P/NP option for Haas Core Courses and requirements to the Business Administration Major. 

As Haas undergraduate students, we are used to challenge and rigor and we understand the importance of these adversities in our development as young professionals. However, since March 13, 2020, our Haas experiences are drastically different than we expected. Thus, the grading system needs to reflect and account for these stressors for both students and professors. The justification used for Spring 2020, citing tremendous challenges during the pandemic and prioritizing the well-being of the community, is more relevant now than ever as these issues have only increased in severity.

As students, we are experiencing a vastly different Haas. We are trying to survive in a global pandemic, fearing contracting COVID-19, dealing with continued racial injustice, working jobs and having to become a conscious caretaker for people we live with, living in unsupportive environments, stressing about the employment uncertainty for internships/full-time employment. These stresses are more relevant than they ever have been before, on top of new California wildfires, uncertain power outages with online education, and anxiety surrounding the election. In the current climate of today, grades are not able to be the primary priority as they are in a normal year, and we strongly feel that it is fair to at least give the option to change this system. Student anxiety and depression levels are at an all time high, CAPS is overwhelmed, and there is an overwhelming agreement that students are burnt out with many professors stating student performance is worse than usual. The University’s Pulse survey identified that 35% of student responses were associated with major depressive disorder, and 39% with generalized anxiety disorder. Students are unable to perform at the standards set in front of them because we are living through a global pandemic, nationwide civil rights movements, wildfires across the state, and other global injustices. We are not asking for leniency, but an understanding and an acknowledgement to lessen our burdens. 

Additionally, we understand that our professors are under the same stress we are as they have needed to completely rearrange their curriculum to adapt online education in an engaging way. Getting rid of the Haas Curve at the very least alleviates some of the “bumps” that come with this adaptation. It is unfair to directly grade students on a curve when inequalities are present now more than ever.  The Pulse survey administered by UC Berkeley identifies nearly 52% of undergraduates lack a quiet study space and around 40% lack noise-cancelling headphones and a steady wifi hotspot. We are performing worse, learning less, and severely damaging our health to try and stay afloat.

The P/NP option and elimination of the Haas curve for the semester would significantly help students relieve their academic, financial, and mental-health concerns by allowing them to prioritize themselves while being able to continue their education. There needs to be an acknowledgement that the situation today we consider “normal” continues to bring out inequalities in education, devastate the mental health of students, and causes unnecessary burdens on those who are struggling for basic resources. In these extraordinary times, Haas has an imperative to show its commitment to being “the most inclusive, innovative, and sustainable business school” by prioritizing their undergraduate students’ well-being and collective health. The Berkeley Haas undergraduate program has the power to help students during a time when they need it the most, and we implore you to do so.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!