Grant students a Pass/Fail option at the University of Richmond

Grant students a Pass/Fail option at the University of Richmond

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Thomas King started this petition to University of Richmond and

The 2020 fall semester presented a unique series of challenges to students stemming from the covid-19 pandemic. The effort to return to normal was an admirable one that saw many professors make broad changes to their syllabi and curriculum to adapt to the new rules. While these efforts were commendable and the staff deserves praise for their hard work, this semester also presented a slew of new challenges and obstacles to the students at the University of Richmond. 

As a student at U of R, I see that perseverance and flexibility are two of the most defining characteristics of our student body. We are expected to make the necessary changes to excel even in unusual circumstances. Despite this, the challenges presented this semester are too great to overcome for a lot of our students. Too many of my peers have disclosed to me that they are more stressed than ever before, and are battling with suicidal thoughts. The mental well-being of our student body has never been lower. 

Some of the best, most hard-working students I know have seen their GPA's plummet this semester. Beyond the damage to mental health, online schooling creates many barriers to effective learning. Providing a pass/fail option like the previous semester would allow for students to continue succeeding and keep their academics in good standing. Many schools in Virginia and around the country have already made this change such as UVA, JMU, VCU, and W&M just to name a few. To make this change late in the semester doesn't represent a failure or mistake of the University, it is just an adaptation to the new normal like many other updates to standard protocol.

This semester was a memorable one, with many happy moments, but some changes were very challenging to become accustomed to. On behalf of the students at U of R, I urge the university to implement a pass/fail option for this semester. 

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