No online exams for QUB Students

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, face to face lectures and classes cannot go ahead at universities. To aid social distancing and reduce risk of infection spreading, Queen's University Belfast has wisely decided to close all buildings for teaching, and to close the Library and other study spaces. However, as it stands, there is currently a lot of uncertainty around the exams that were due to start in April. It would be completely irresponsible and dangerous to expect students to come into the university to sit exams, and many students have already flown home after being told this was okay by the University. Unfortunately this means there has been a lot of talk about online exams, which has caused a lot of anger and worry among the students for several reasons. Firstly, many students rely on the internet within the university to access online content, and now that they have gone home or can no longer use this resource, they may have no computer or laptop, or internet access with which they can complete these exams, or even access the online lectures taking place this week and next. Also, the exams would have to be open book, but many fear this would mean harder questions and harsher marking, meaning lower marks for the students. Aside from the practical issues, this pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime. It is understandibly causing a lot of stress to students, who are worried for their own health and the health of their friends and families. Many will have lost jobs and may be struggling to pay rent or afford food, while others who work in supermarkets may be under pressure to work extra hours to provide an essential service in this time. The last thing this students will want to think about is exams, and by continuing to run the assessment period at the normal time or online, QUB will contribute to the worsening of the mental health of a lot of their students, which will also have an adverse effect on the exam results across the university. 

Right now, exams don't matter. Lives do.