Re-implementation of UH Interim Grade Policy for Spring 2021

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Re-implementation of UH Interim Grade Policy for Spring 2021

This petition made change with 7,172 supporters!

Angela Lynn Rabalais started this petition to The University of Houston System Board of Regents

Last year, the University of Houston graciously implemented an Interim Grading Policy due to the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus, which has impacted millions in more ways than sheerly physical health. Though contracting the virus does likely remain the leading reason for students needing to utilize the Policy, the effects that the global crisis also has on mental health mustn't be overlooked. We are dealing with unprecedented times of stress, anguish, fear, grief, and new or amplified pre-existing conditions, such as depression and anxiety, as well as the demise of a well-established daily structure. As can be imagined, these issues would take some time for a young adult to resolve, and because the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down soon, we believe leniency proposed to accommodate such factors should be considered with a perspective of grace and understanding. Besides mental health reasons, the possibility of contracting COVID-19 continues to be a very real threat, and falling victim to it would still hinder a student's ability to perform at their peak academic capacity due both to feeling unwell for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks while the body is actively fighting the virus, as well as the lasting effects that the virus can sometimes have on the human body, such as brain fog and prolonged fatigue and memory issues. Several other notable points have been brought up by a number of other UH students during the circulation of this petition, including the fact that attending face-to-face classes is unsafe, and because the quality of online education is notoriously subpar to that of in-person (as one student put it, "Zoom Academy just isn't the same"), direct negative impacts on a student's academic performance brought on by the disadvantages of remote learning are inevitable. Until there is accommodation for these disadvantages or until students and professors have had sufficient time to adjust to the shift, work quality will continue to suffer for the many who require a traditional classroom setting for optimal education, and average grades and learning outcomes will not be in correspondence with those of in-person meetings. Expanding on this is a student's lack of or impeded access to important learning resources such as tutoring, their ability to get a hold of professors with questions regarding course material and expectations, having little to no student-teacher interaction, or their otherwise being prevented from receiving the guidance and clarity that a dedicated student deserves. The barrier to these resources has led students to resort to ultimately teaching themselves in many situations, the most obvious of which is in classes that are now offered only asynchronously. Others have brought up that many of us are obligated to take on more hours and responsibilities at work to help ease financial stress brought on by the pandemic, and now by the recent tragic winter storm as well. Lastly, neither the severity of the pandemic nor the now-dominant teaching method of online schooling have improved since last year, making the Policy just as appropriate to adopt this semester as it was then. This petition is to formally but humbly request the re-implementation of the Interim Grading Policy that was amiably applied last year for the students of the University of Houston to ensure that we receive a fair, un-compromised grade, and that the pandemic cannot have an influence on our GPA in the same way that it does on things that are beyond all of our control. We remain grateful for the voluntary Policy put forth last year by the clearly compassionate UH administration, but extending that spirit of grace until the pandemic shows signs of regression, or until students and professors have had adequate time to adapt to the new ways of learning and teaching, would be greatly appreciated by all UH students and help the Cougar community as a whole to continue to exercise a culture of respect for others, a dedicated focus on health, and to ultimately uphold our established, long-term mission of transforming lives and communities through our outstanding ability to conduct research and be of service to lives and communities of all facets.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and we look forward to hearing back from you.

-University of Houston Students of Spring 2021

 

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This petition made change with 7,172 supporters!