Temple University Allow Pass/Fail for ALL Fall 2020 Courses.

Temple University Allow Pass/Fail for ALL Fall 2020 Courses.

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Brandon Trush started this petition to Temple University

The Fall 2020 semester at Temple University has been an unprecedented time for students and staff alike. We have faced challenges unlike anything we have yet to experience during our entire academic careers, in addition to and because of outside variables that have completely derailed what could have been a "normal" semester. Online learning, while carefully integrated into the courses that we are taking, has been an unpredictable, unfamiliar frontier that is very challenging to find success in. Despite our best efforts, it's clear based on student reception that we are finding immense difficulty managing with this environment, and it is because of this that the Fall semester should give students the option to opt in to pass/fail for all courses during this semester. 

Temple University was receptive to this disruption during Spring 2020, allowing students to opt in to pass/fail for all courses during that semester. As the state of the pandemic has remained alarming, there hasn't been much change to the learning paradigm of Fall 2020 from Spring 2020; we only had about one week of in-person instruction before switching completely over to an online format. As such, we were recently informed by Temple's vice president, JoAnne A. Epps, that we will have the option to choose one course to opt in to pass/fail for this semester based on reception from the students as noted by Temple's Student Government. While we appreciate this gesture, there are many reasons why this is indicative of the fact that Temple should take the next step of giving students the option of pass/fail for all courses.

The gesture alone is evidence enough that students are struggling. We have had to grapple with enough this year, between the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, civil unrest, and the stress of the 2020 election. Temple University has the ability right now to listen to the pleas of its students and help ease at least one significant burden on our shoulders by switching all courses to pass/fail. For those who feel confident in their progress this semester, they should be given the option to pursue letter grades; however, a significant amount of students are simply desperate to finish out the semester and gain credit for their efforts, and could therefore benefit immensely from a pass/fail option.

I challenge Temple to examine just how many students do choose to opt in for the option of pass/fail for the one course that we have the option to currently as an indication of how desperately students are seeking to have that option for all of their current courses. Additionally, let the signatures of this petition and accompanied reception be an indication of how this can help us find success this Fall.  

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