Petition for Umass Boston to make all Spring 2020 classes Pass/Fail given the circumstance

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Given the stressful circumstances and disruptive action taken by UMass Boston officials, we are asking that all online classes adopt a pass/fail grading system. This change comes at a stressful time in the semester and moving to online classes is going to create obstacles in our education. Whether it’s professors who can not even use blackboard correctly, or the large amount of international students that will be in different time zones for live lectures, this newfound plan of teaching does not allow for optimized student learning. 

While it is a student’s responsibility to take their education into their own hands, this method of learning is not how students do that. Students take responsibility for their learning when they choose to sign up for in person classes, where you are encouraged to go to classes on time, at a particular classroom, with other students to engage and participate in class, where professors can answer students inquiries directly as they appear, where professors can adjust and change the course directory based off the classrooms wants and needs. None of this is possible in an online forum, students are going to be disadvantaged by this disruptive change, even if it is what needs to be done for the best of society. 

This new online forum for learning is also putting Professors at a disadvantage, for online learning will not be conducive to professors goals and expectations as well. These professors will have a whole new added layer of stress that will not be beneficial for students needs and education. 

We are asking, Chancellor Newman to do what needs to be done for the best of our community and change the grading system to Pass/Fail for the remainder of the semester, to help relieve students of this unwarranted stress and lessen the disaster that this disease is making for everyone. By changing the grading system students will have more flexibility to learn and pass classes rather than stress and worry over getting a certain grade.