End the Spring '20 Semester Early

End the Spring '20 Semester Early

April 1, 2020
Petition to
Elon Students and
Signatures: 19Next Goal: 25
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Why this petition matters

Started by Duncan MacLeod

GOAL:     End the Spring 2020 semester early.

METHOD:     Determine a curve for each class and award each student either their predicted grades based on that curve or a Pass/ Fail grade, depending on which option the student chooses.

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                                 MISSION STATEMENT     

     Fellow students, professors, faculty and staff of Elon University, this petition is for all of you. This petition would benefit not only students, but Elon professors, the Elon faculty, the Elon staff and all of the families of the Elon community.

     These are trying times. All of us are out of our elements and doing our best to live in ever-changing circumstances. In some parts of this country there are cities overwhelmed with those currently fighting for their lives against the coronavirus with hospitals fit to burst and resources stretched paper thin. All of us have family and friends who are struggling. Many of us have been laid-off and have been kicked-off of the campus that we call home, and as a result are now sheltering in place in our homes across the country. Many of us have seen our form of income freeze and are relying solely on benefits to survive, and to add to this none of us have any idea when all of this will end. 

    I, for one, find myself sheltering at my off-campus house some 900 miles away from my closest family member, afraid that if I return home I will get my elderly father, my grandparents and my other relatives sick. I have been laid-off from both of my part-time jobs and am spending every day trying to penny-pinch in order to make sure I can go another week. 

    I am sure many of you find yourselves in similar situations. Professors who find themselves working from home answering emails from nearly 100 students and trying to balance family life with kids who are out of school. Staff and faculty who, despite being absent from campus, are having to maintain and manage the university's essential functions such as keeping OnTrack and Moodle working properly, ensuring that the Library is still accessible and devising methods whereby students can be given back credit for unused campus meals, to name just a few jobs. And to those who still find themselves going to Elon's campus to work every day, I have the utmost respect for your commitment given all that is currently going on.

    And so with all of this in mind, why are we allowing the semester to continue? Why are we straining our faculty and students to carry-on as if everything is back to normal when it clearly is not? Why are we forcing our students to adapt to online learning and to risk failing their classes because the entire layout of their classes has changed? Do we all not endure enough stress and anxiety in our lives with the current COVID-19 outbreak? Why would we pile on top of that all of the worryings about the next quiz we have to take or the next group project we have to complete? The International Baccalaureate has canceled exams worldwide, meaning that a quarter of a million students will be given their predicted grades for their final exams which will determine which university they get into. If the IB has made such a big decision as this that affect over 250,000 students, why has Elon not made a similar decision that will affect approximately 7,000 students?

     Elon is renowned around the world for its professors and their natural abilities to teach and to inspire students to learn in small class environments where students and faculty can work one on one with their professors. In addition, students cannot even go to the tutoring center or use the writing center because most of us are not on campus. Elon students, faculty and staff are known for their resilience and for their commitment to the school and all that it stands for. As a result, I firmly believe that Elon's community has earned itself a break and must instead focus on what really matters at home and in the world around them rather than on their classes.

     Students should maintain the ability to keep their letter grade or elect to receive a Pass/ Fail grade and should be given the option to do so immediately. This way of online teaching is unsustainable and puts more pressure on us all. So let us put a stop to this by ending the Spring semester early so that we can return to our families and friends and properly support them and ourselves during this global pandemic.

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Signatures: 19Next Goal: 25
Support now