A's/B's FOR ALL STUDENTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

A's/B's FOR ALL STUDENTS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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Peoples Power started this petition to PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN THE UNITED STATES

IN LIGHT OF RECENT SIMILAR POLICY PROPOSALS SUPPORTED BY THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITIES ACROSS THE NATION DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE THE STUDENTS PETITION ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (ESPECIALLY THOSE MOVING TO ONLINE INSTRUCTION) TO GRANT A’s/B’s TO ALL STUDENTS WHO SATISFACTORILY COMPLETE A COURSE:
A:      TO THE TOP 25% OF A CLASS,
A-:     TO THE NEXT 25% OF A CLASS,
B+:    TO THE NEXT 25% OF A CLASS,
B:      TO THE NEXT 20% OF A CLASS,
B-:     TO THE BOTTOM 5% OF A CLASS
 
WE CALL ON THE FOLLOWING UNIVERSITIES IN THE MOST AFFECTED STATES (THOSE WITH OVER 200 CASES AS OF MARCH 17TH) TO LEAD BY SETTING AN EXAMPLE.
IN NEW YORK: BARNARD, COLUMBIA, CORNELL, HAMILTON, NYU, VASSAR, RPI, COLGATE
IN WASHINGTON: GONZAGA, U WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON STATE, WHITMAN, WHITWORTH
IN CALIFORNIA: ALL UC’S, USC, STANFORD, HARVEY MUDD, CLAREMONT MCKENNA
IN NEW JERSEY: RUTGERS, PRINCETON, STOCKTON, SETON HALL.
IN MASSACHUSETTS: TUFTS, WELLESLEY, MIT, BOSTON UNIV, BOSTON COLLEGE, HARVARD, NORTHEASTERN, AMHERST.
 
The health crisis currently going on has forced thousands (if not millions) of students to confront extremely challenging realities. Many students are unable to go home. Many students are trying to emotionally and financially cope with the current crisis. Many students have their family in a lockdown. Unable to go home and/or disconnected from their family due to a lockdown, many students have nowhere to go and are desperately trying to support themselves for food, water, and housing. This crisis has placed a heavy burden on all students to cope with unexpected difficult circumstances in addition to keeping up with online instruction without any in-person help (for students in universities moving to online instruction).
 
Because of this unprecedented health crisis, students are forced to choose between maintaining their wellbeing and academic success. For the thousands of students with disabilities, online instruction without any in-person assistance is a barrier to not only learning but also being at the same level as their peers. Transitioning to online instruction for higher education so rapidly is difficult for students and professors. Professors are often unable to address students’ questions/concerns. Students, on the other hand, are often unable to fully understand the concepts due to the mode of instruction. Students studying music and performing arts are unable to get critical feedback from their professors and are forced to rely on online notes/manuals on how to perform. Students in STEM fields are often unable to grasp concepts in-depth online due to their complexity. Social distancing guidelines make it even more difficult to work together with friends. For universities suddenly transitioning to online instruction, the inability to create a level playing field for students with and without disabilities as well as the many challenges posed by online instruction justify a significant change in grading policies for ALL students. 
 
In the midst of this pandemic, all students need to support their families and stay safe. Students are facing financial uncertainty. Students are anxious about their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Students should not have to choose between staying alive during a pandemic and getting a good grade. Students are trying their best to cope with tremendous stress. With many universities shutting down and students lacking in-person instruction, academic success is now an uphill battle for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic places undue burdens on every student thereby affecting our own health and making it unreasonable to expect us to perform as we would have without this crisis.
 
We request all universities to significantly ease their grading policies to make it easier for students to adapt to unexpected challenges during this difficult time.
 
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On a broader scale, we hope this starts a serious discussion on the amount of unhealthy stress and anxiety we place on students by emphasizing grades instead of learning, collaborating with other students, and the cultivation of an individual as a whole.

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