Compassion for the students of Marshall University

Compassion for the students of Marshall University

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Jennifer Ash started this petition to Jaime R. Taylor, Ph.D. Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Because of the spread of Covid19 the students at Marshall University have been moved to online classes. In the process of this many professors have increased their work load and provide less communication to their students. Many students returned to their emails after spring break to find nearly double the usual coursework that was usually assigned to them. 

These are students who for one reason or another have signed up to be taught in a classroom setting. They have paid to be taught by a professor, but this is not what they are getting. In order to make up for the lack of classroom participation, additional assignments have been added without instruction on how to complete these assignments. During this trying time that we all face, many of these students are now faced with the challenge of homeschooling their children, working from home, and caring for their loved ones while facing additional  course work and assignments. Some of these individuals have disabilities, time restraints, and an inability to complete these tasks because of the hardships that we currently face. This is a difficult time for everyone. This is not our choice and we should not be punished for the circumstances that surround our country.

The university has offered us an option of going to a credit/no credit grading system that will not affect our current GPA's. However, all coursework must be completed. While this may seem like a good idea on the surface, we are faced with greater difficulties and sometimes much greater challenges to be able to complete our assignments in this platform. This is not enough of an option to be compassionate to all students, but is narrowly focused on traditional young students who do not have school age children or the responsibility of caring for family members who face the risk of greater health complications if they are infected by Covid19.

We ask for compassion. We are currently in a world wide emergency situation because of this pandemic. Our situations are far from typical and we request that we have the option to receive credit for the work that we have already completed in the form of a traditional letter grade as of the last day of in person classes. This is our greatest chance of success. It should be an option that is available to us on a class by class basis. This would allow us to have the opportunity to focus on our families and the crisis that surrounds us. We do not need to be required to do twice the normal workload when we are not receiving the support of our professors and classmates in the learning process. We are in fact learning on our own. We need Marshall University to consider how emergency situations should be handled. There are times when this has been an option for other students in the past and we request that it be made an option for the Spring 2020 semester. We deserve the chance to become successful. 

We urge you to help Marshall University be an institution of understanding to shine as a light in higher education with compassion and loyalty to their students. 

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