Request to Make Villanova's Spring 2020 Semester Have a Pass/Fail Option Due to COVID-19

Victory

Request to Make Villanova's Spring 2020 Semester Have a Pass/Fail Option Due to COVID-19

This petition made change with 10 supporters!
Blake Leonard started this petition to Villanova University and

The spread of COVID-19 has forced Villanova and many other learning institutions to end classes and move to an online platform. The school's handling of the situation has been commendable. The decision to end classes is laudable and has helped prevent the spread of the virus, but there have been many unintended consequences that have put many Villanova students at a disadvantage.

Many students have put themselves in self-quarantine as they fear they may have been exposed to the virus. Since some students have immunocompromised family members, they are practicing total social isolation. In study after study, it has been proven that social isolation has detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. It also has been proven to negatively affect the academic performance of students. Unfortunately, these are not the only issues that have come along with this transition.

The move from campus to home presented many initial challenges for students. Having to leave campus while still attending classes put stress on students and likely affected performance in those classes. Many people have lost their jobs as a result of the economic impact of the virus; this coupled with the fact that nearly all students lost their on campus jobs has put financial stress on a great number of students as well. This has only added onto the stress from being quarantined.

Perhaps the most difficult issue, and one that affects all students, are the technical issues presented by the move to online classes. Both students and professors are unaccustomed to this form of class and the sudden change has made it difficult for both to adapt suddenly. Some classes, such as those in science or engineering, cannot be truly replicated online. Access to physical resources such as labs at Villanova is now impossible as well. The lack of face to face meetings has made office hours and meetings less effective. Participation has also become much more complicated to grade than it had been. Time zones have also presented a challenge since students on the West Coast (or outside the United States) would have to be awake at odd hours to attend class. Students who attempt to be awake during these times may also have additional stress from a lack of sleep. Although recorded lectures can provide some relief, it can never truly replicate the experience of being in class. 

Several other universities, such as Vanderbilt University, Northwestern University, Grinnel College, and Georgetown University have created a pass/fail option for their classes. Allowing students to choose to make some of their classes pass/fail (or satisfactory/unsatisfactory if pass/fail is untenable) will alleviate much of the stress put on students by this sudden change. Having diminished grades could prove detrimental to students applying for internships, jobs, and post-graduate studies. Allowing for an option means that students can still accept their grade to try and improve their standing, but will not be penalized for a situation that was out of anyone's control. In order to best help students' mental health, Villanova should allow a pass/fail option for all classes.

"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are."  -Saint Augustine

Victory

This petition made change with 10 supporters!

Share this petition