Pass/Fail Grading Option for UST Students for Fall Semester

Pass/Fail Grading Option for UST Students for Fall Semester

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Maya Sloane started this petition to University of St. Thomas students and

Hello students, staff, and community members of St. Thomas. These are unprecedented times for every individual at the university. We, as a student body, are incredibly grateful that we are still able to take classes, with some even being in person. Nevertheless, there is not same quality of learning available online. Despite the fact that students are slowly coming to terms with learning how to utilize online learning, many are still having issues both online, and in other aspects of their lives. For these next reasons, the University of St. Thomas should consider moving to pass/fail grading using the S/D/R system that was applied to the spring semester: 

  1.  
    Since the fall semester has started, many new covid cases have been reported. Unfortunately, this has led to new precautions placed by the state, and many students are now worried more than ever about their health and safety with the rising number of cases both at home and on campus.  
  2. Due to the rising cases of covid, many businesses are now shutting down (again), or limiting hours. This includes jobs on campus, and with less working hours available, more students are struggling financially now more than ever. Without government stimulus, many are struggling to find new ways of income. Due to this financial stress, many students are overloaded in their responsibilities both to finances and schoolwork. These newfound difficulties have caused many students to have to put their schoolwork on hold.  
  3. As consequence of safety, many students are finding themselves more isolated than ever, both from others on campus as well as families off campus. Lowered social interaction has caused a lot of students to feel the burdens of inhibited mental health. In addition to the decline of mental health, many students are facing a decline in physical health as more students are facing the realities of either becoming ill or watching loved ones battle illness. The mental and physical strains are becoming a labor in itself for many to bare.  
  4. For some students dealing with disabilities, online learning has not been the most capable source of education. Much of online learning is not immediately engaging for those who struggle day to day to understand the course material as is, let alone online. Even for those without disabilities, it is difficult to learn through online work, and is not compatible for many students.  
  5. In addition to these issues, many students are continually struggling to maintain grades in classes as many professors are still using attendance in their grading scale. During a time when many are either succumbing to covid, or watching loved ones fall sick, students need more understanding with the grading system than what is being granted. 

 Many schools such as the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Michigan have all been switching to pass/fail (S/D/R system) in order to give their students a break from other stresses within their daily lives.  


The motto of the University of St. Thomas is "All for the common good". UST is a community of people, and more so, it is the responsibility of the community to care for all of those included. Compassion for the well-being of our community is the common good. We, as a community, must think of the betterment of the lives of everyone involved. The administration is worried about "losing credibility" if they choose to change the grading system, however, as a Catholic institution we owe a certain amount of empathy, kindness, and understanding to this community of students and staff. If we fail those who need us most, we fail as an institution.  
 

The students of St. Thomas humbly ask the administration for these reasons to grant our student community the ability to choose pass/fail options for grades this semester. We are asking that for the welfare of our community that we make a change regarding our grading system. 

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At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!