SAT/UNSAT for the Fall semester of 2020 for more than 0​.​5 credits

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As many of you may have experienced, this semester's course load has been heavy considering the fact that the pandemic is still ongoing. It is as if the professors have decided that we have more time in the day, even though we clearly do not and moving online has not helped at all.

Here are some of the challenges students face during online learning:

  • Not having a place to study: The library at university is operating at very limited hours and many are left with the option of studying at home, where not everyone has a place to properly study. Especially when living with others, which makes it hard to study without being disturbed.
  • Lack of social interaction: Usually in university you have a chance to interact with others whether it be in labs, lectures or even simply bumping into someone you know and engaging in small talk. Social interaction is crucial for an individual's mental well-being, yet many have been deprived of it during this pandemic.
  • Lack of support for those struggling with their mental health: Since counselling has moved online due to COVID-19, many students who live with others can not utilise it. As they may have no privacy, to allow them to speak comfortably about their struggles with a counsellor.
  • More chores: Spending your whole day at home results in more cleaning at home, which does take from a person's studying time. This affects many of those living alone, as they will have more to do than usual. Whereas under normal circumstances, students have the option of spending most of their days on campus which helps minimise the amount of chores/cleaning required to do.
  • Unreliable access to Internet: This is an issue that lengthens the process of watching lectures, as they are more prone to freezing every few minutes. Which can be taxing on an individual's focus and attention.
  • The inability to perform labs: Performing labs plays a key role in understanding the theories at play. Thus not being able to perform them has made it more challenging to write lab reports, yet students are expected to complete them in the same amount of time they usually would under normal circumstances.
  • Unreliable access to the gym: The laws surrounding the gym here in Ontario keep changing. Moreover many people are uncomfortable with the idea of going to the gym during a pandemic. Going to the gym has been a stress outlet for many students and not having access to it, has made it harder for many to cope with the stressors of university.
  • Losing Scholarships: Many students are not able to preform at their fullest capacity due to the lack of resources students have access to during this pandemic. Therefore the grades will not be an accurate reflection of their abilities. This will affect many students who have strived throughout their years in university to maintain their grade point average as well as their scholarship.

These are only a few of the issues students face with online learning.

The fact that students were given the option of SAT/UNSAT for all their courses during the previous winter semester of 2020, yet now are only allowed 0.5 credits to set as SAT/UNSAT is absurd. Its not like students are only struggling with one course only.

To elaborate, by the time lockdown was put into action during the winter semester of 2020, students had already completed the majority of their coursework, lab reports, midterms and assignments. As a result, students were able to earn most of their marks offline, whereas now everything is online from start to finish making it much more challenging for students.

A lot of the things that make university and its stressors more bearable are not available, meanwhile students are expected to perform like they usually would under normal circumstances. This is why students need to be given the SAT/UNSAT option for more than 0.5 credits during this Fall semester of 2020.