Reinstate Pass/No Credit Option for Fall 2020 at SBU

Reinstate Pass/No Credit Option for Fall 2020 at SBU

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Sophia Zhukovsky started this petition to President of Stony Brook University Maurie McInnis and

To the SBU Administration, 

 

Key points of this petition:

  • The unusual learning circumstances of the Fall 2020 semester warrant an accommodating academic policy
  • Students are grappling with the same concerns over their academics as they were in Spring 2020, when the P/NC policy was implemented
  • The new online learning format is a significant adjustment for professors as well, who may struggle with formulating a new curve or grading system
  • Our ask: Extend the P/NC grading option of Spring 2020 to the current Fall 2020 semester in order to replace the current GP/NC policy

Explanation:


As a third-year student at Stony Brook, I have seen my fair share of academic ups and downs. I had the good fortune to attend Stony Brook before the pandemic upended all of our lives and the way in which we conduct our classes. That means I have also seen that under no circumstances could this semester be considered “business as usual,” nor should it be. As we have transitioned to online classes, myself and others have struggled to adjust to this new structure and the similar, if not increased, workload that we have on a significantly less defined schedule. Students such as myself are struggling to adjust to this “new normal,” especially those with concerns over their home or living situations, access to technology or WiFi, different time zones, and/or general anxieties surrounding the pandemic. Grades are almost certainly sure to reflect that reality this semester, just as they did in Spring 2020, when we were all sent home amid a rapidly evolving situation. This is not only a significant adjustment for students, but one for professors as well, who are facing a similar degree of uncertainty regarding how to grade their courses this semester — many of which are being taught online for the first time ever. This is why I am writing to the SBU administration today to ask for an extension to the Pass/No Credit policy of Spring 2020, applied to Fall 2020. 

Based on the GP/NC policy, but considerably more accommodating to students, the P/NC option allowed us to select a grade of ‘Pass’ if we were unsatisfied with the grade that we had received, no matter what the outcome was but providing the course was passed. We did not have to select a grade threshold beforehand, as we do under GP/NC. The P/NC option served as a contingency plan for students whose grades had been sharply affected by the change in learning structure. A ‘Pass’ under this option was still applicable for major credit, where a ‘Pass’ under GP/NC is not; nor does it fulfill SBC, DEC, or minor credit. For Fall 2020, we have defaulted to the typical GP/NC option, that allows us to set a certain letter grade for a class above which we will receive that letter grade, below but passing we receive a ‘Pass’, and a failing grade earns a “No Credit.” This can also only be applied to one class a semester where P/NC could be applied to more than one. However, the rapidly upcoming deadline of Friday, October 23rd to select GP/NC grading is insufficient time for many students to determine how their online classes will go; particularly those dealing with grading delays.

I am arguing that our learning structure has not returned to normal, and many students are still struggling greatly to adjust,  and thus the P/NC policy should be applied to our fall semester. This would provide greater peace of mind to students and allow for more comfortable adaptation to our new learning arrangements. After all, an option is just an option, and students that do not wish to make use of P/NC do not have to — but the choice would alleviate concerns over grades for many. I realize this petition is being started quite close to the GP/NC deadline, but I did not realize we were not being afforded the P/NC option of last semester until early this week after an email from an academic advisor. I have already spoken to a number of students who also did not realize this change, but expressed their need for P/NC. I have, however, realized that there are other universities across the country that have already implemented P/NC for this semester — and Stony Brook should follow suit. I understand that I am making this request in the eleventh hour, but it is my firm belief and the belief of those that signed this document that the P/NC option should be restored for Fall 2020. We know that this option is possible, because all of the necessary administrative guidelines already established for Spring 2020 with regards to how this would operate are still available; we need only to carry over these guidelines to this semester. Thank you for your attention to this issue, and we hope to see this change reflected in our grade policy for this semester. 

Sincerely, 

Seawolves

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!