Despite the best efforts put forth by faculty and staff members at the College of Charleston, the fall semester has failed to replicate a normal, in-person class experience in an online environment. COVID-19 has not gone away and remains a burden for the majority of the student body. With the added stress of the pandemic, a fast-tracked semester, and no breaks, the overall experience of being an online-student has been beyond stressful and frustrating.
While many professors have been supportive and understanding of each student's situation due to the pandemic, the overall educational experience has made it difficult for many students to be successful and truly grasp the material. As a result, many students grades are suffering or are lower than they otherwise would have been. In many cases, students are experiencing a heavier workload to compensate for in-class discussion or activities. No one doubts that as we enroll in upper-level classes the workload will increase, but in what scenario is a heavy work load on a fast-tracked semester the answer to a pandemic?
The pass-fail option would allow students to successfully complete their current coursework without fear and stress of a potentially impacting their GPA. Even if a student has done well this semester, a pass-fail option will benefit everyone by compensating for the general level of difficulty and stress that all students are under. A common opposition to the pass-fail argument is the concern for students who are planning on attending law, medical or graduate schools, as they are concerned about how this option will appear on the transcript. While this is a potential concern, students are free to make the decision that best benefits their future endeavors and therefore is not a fair argument to generalize to the entire student body.
Numerous, renown universities and colleges around the country have already opted to take this option. Colleges such as Yale, Princeton, UNC, and more have initiated similar accommodations. We ask you to sign this petition in hopes that the administration of the College of Charleston will consider our plea for a Pass/Fail option this semester.