University Remote Teaching - Improving Mental Health

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Disclaimer: This petition is in no way aimed at undermining professors’ efforts to make the transition to remote teaching smoother. We recognize that the entire Mcgill Community is under a great amount of stress, and we would like to take the initiative to help firsthand! 

(This petition concerns students in any faculty who might feel concerned).

Since March 2020, both professors and students have been enduring the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The start of the 2020-21 academic year was rocky, to begin with, and we as students have gathered around to share our experiences thus far. 

Students have seen an increase in the workload and assignments, which has made it difficult to efficiently manage our time. 
- Students are in different time zones, where the COVID impact varies for each country. Not everyone has access to high-speed internet, and not everyone owns a device where they could work on their assignments for several hours a day.
- Spending 7-9 hours per day in front of a screen is both physically and psychologically unhealthy. 
- A common misconception is that remote teaching will help students study more when in reality it makes it more difficult to meet the deadlines.
- Students have other responsibilities during this COVID pandemic, which they individually might not be comfortable sharing with their professors. 

Studies have shown that during this pandemic, anxiety, and depression levels have increased significantly: COVID restrictions, students away from their families, who have financial issues, etc should not have to see education as a burden.

We realize that pointing out issues without finding potential solutions is ineffective, which is why we came up with the following:

- Re-explore the S/U option
- Fewer assignments and quizzes assigned per course.
- For the Arts faculty: less reading intensive.
- Make lecture recordings mandatory, to facilitate the matter for students in different time zones.

Although some might be coping well with these abrupt changes, others are not fortunate enough, let us all keep that in mind!