EXTEND UPENN'S PASS/FAIL DEADLINE

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Across the globe, the Coronavirus is having a profound impact on everyone, at an uneven pace depending on an individual’s circumstance. I am fortunate to be in the safety of my own home, with access to virtual classes and the space to work and adjust to this surreal situation. Many students, however, struggle without these privileges, trying to continue their education in an environment that doesn’t feel supportive. Access to quiet studying space and stable wifi are not available for all students. There is also widespread uncertainty to the quarantine timeline as restrictions continue to extend across the country. Over the course of the next month, we can assume that many Penn families will continue to struggle, in fear, with these restrictions. I therefore believe the April 13 deadline regarding pass/fail status to be arbitrary, unnecessary and harmful to many students. Adjusting to online learning, in an atmosphere of fear and stress, is a heavy enough load for the student body without adding the unnecessary strain of the April 13 deadline. What harm can it cause to allow students up until the end of the semester to make that decision? The students who will struggle the most during this period will be the ones most hurt by the early deadline. Other Universities have shown the compassion of allowing students to navigate the pass/fail decision up until after their finals. As Penn has been flexible in other ways regarding the evolving nature of the Coronavirus, I hope you will now consider reevaluating the April 13 deadline and extend it to after finals, as so many other schools have done.  Thank you.