Topic

Colleges and Universities

1,667 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to American University Administration

Allow Unconditional Pass/Fail Grading- American University

Hello AU Administration, On October 19th 2020, The provost announced a partial pass/fail option for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semester. The reasons stated were “impacts of COVID-19” and “Zoom fatigue.” There are a plethora of issues that students are dealing with, including family members suffering with COVID-19, accessibility issues i.e. technological and physical barriers, challenges with employment, food insecurity, healthcare disparities, racism, mental illness, family burden, troubled/unstable home environments, the 2020 election, and many more. It is crucial that the University acknowledges the nuances of each student’s experiences and capacities. Simply expressing that there have been “impacts” is not enough—this broad statement does not address the actual burdens that have been placed on many of us. The pandemic emerged in the Spring 2020 semester, and we–as students–were given the option to opt for pass/fail for any amount of classes we wanted, under any condition. During this semester, we can now only opt for one non-elective class along with one elective class. Many of us are taking five or more non-elective classes, which does not align with the University’s restricted pass/fail option for Fall 2020. We deserve an option to opt for pass/fail for more than one non-elective class. When the provost announced the unconditional pass/fail option on March 26, 2020 for the Spring 2020 semester, there had been 16,988 COVID-19 cases and 877 deaths in the US according to the CDC. Today, we’ve had over 12.7 million cases and over 260,000 deaths. This stressful and uncertain environment is extremely difficult for students, combined with many of the factors listed earlier.  While we sincerely appreciate the accommodations made to allow students to declare pass/fail up to 5 days after final grades are posted, we feel that limiting the option to one non-elective class is not enough. GPA, while not indicative of one’s learning or academic ability, is incredibly important to graduate schools, scholarships and employment. We students are struggling with learning online, communicating via delayed emails, working on group projects remotely, not being able to concentrate on a digital screen, along with obstacles outside academics, given the fact that we are not on campus. We do not deserve to be penalized for our performance during a global crisis, and we plead for you to allow us to take more than one non-elective course pass/fail.  The stress of this pandemic will stain our transcripts for years to come if we are not allowed this accommodation. Graduate schools and employers will consider the fact that the Spring and Fall semesters were during the same year, so the effect on students was the same, when this is not the case. The climate during this semester is so much more dire than the Spring and therefore the accommodations should align with the severity of what students are going through. The students with advantages this semester will be looked at by graduate schools and employers as more capable than those without, which is disastrous for students’ futures.  Therefore, we are calling on the American University administration to allow for the unconditional pass/fail option for the Fall 2020 online semester. Also, so long as our semester is fully online and the pandemic continues, these issues will only get worse. If the issues that students are facing persist, we would like the same accommodations for the Spring 2021 semester. Sincerely, American University Students Co-signed by: Public Health Association @ AUAU Black Student UnionAU NAACPAU Best BuddiesAU Public Health ScholarsAerospace Society at AUAmerican University Class of 2024 CouncilAmerican University Meditation ClubAmerican University PrideAsian American Student UnionBlack Girls VoteBlack Wellness & Liberation CoalitionDelta Phi Epsilon at AUEthiopian and Eritrean Student AssociationFirst Generation Student UnionFossil Free AUGerman Language and Culture Club Hawai’i ClubMuslim Student AssociationRoosevelt Network at AUSaudi Student Association Sikh Student AssociationSister CircleSocial Enterprise AssociationSouth Asian Student AssociationStudentVoiceAUStudents Against Human TraffickingStudents for Justice in PalestineStudents for a Just SocietySunrise AUThe Blackprint AUThe Rose at AUUnited Students Against SweatshopsVisibleWomen’s Initiative

Public Health Association at AU
751 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to NCAA

Support A10 Champion UMass Women's Tennis VS The NCAA

Dear Friends and Supporters,  My name is Brittany Collens. I am a 2017 University of Massachusetts graduate who had the wonderful opportunity of playing on the UMass Tennis Team from 2014-2017. I am writing to you today to express the mutual frustration and sorrow that becomes of myself and teammates who were on the team during this time period.  None of us believe that we are an exception to the rules. However, we do believe that we have the right to be treated fairly and justly in accordance with all other athletes and universities. The decision of the Committee of Infractions per the NCAA states that because of a mistake that was self-reported by the University of Massachusetts, women’s tennis would lose all two years (2015/16 and 2016/17) of victories including the women’s tennis A10 Championship among other penalties.  UMass did the right thing by reporting the financial mistake. The mistake was that the students who lived off-campus received some portion of on-campus costs resulting in overpaid fees. I lived off-campus during this time and had NO KNOWLEDGE that I was being overpaid. I found out today that the money was a sum of $504 between myself and my friend and teammate over a telecom fee ($252 each). I don’t even know what that fee is. $252 individually in exchange for most of my UMass college career being erased alongside my teammates. That’s what I and my teammates have to pay for a mistake no one knew about and would later try to correct.   UMass itself cooperated by paying a self-imposed fine of $5,000 and will be under two years probation. Our athletics director Ryan Bamford announced that he stands by the tennis team and will appeal the decision because simply it was not our fault.  If you look at some of the most well-known sports commentators, such as Jay Bilas, they agree that this penalty is disproportionate and does not give any incentives for schools to come forward. In the history of the NCAA, there have been far bigger violations (done with intent) that have received less proportionate penalties.  We won the Championship fairly. No one knew about the money. There were no sports performance-enhancing violations resulting in any of our victories. The $252 made no difference. Just an unfortunate headline in what already is a tough year.  Character is something that we talked about in our locker room every day. We understood that in most cases we would be the underdog and we would fight as hard as we could to win. But always with character and the professionalism that represents the UMass Flagship. We will do the same for this matter.  We feel that it is the NCAA's responsibility to protect student-athlete well-being. By penalizing the tennis team it sends the message that we did something wrong. Because of misleading headlines and this message, we now see our pictures being posted online with labels such as "cheaters" and "dirty". The NCAA CoI is placing blame on student-athletes that had no part in a mistake that was made by a university in which the NCAA manages. A mistake that was self-reported in an effort, to be honest, and protect their student-athletes. This NCAA is wrong here on so many levels.  I ask of my friends, colleagues, opponents, to support this petition for the NCAA not to vacate at least our championship but also two years of competing during 2015-2017. I could not be more proud of the work and effort that went into this team. Many of you may not see the big deal because it does not affect you. But I can absolutely say that if you have ever poured everything you possibly could into something and were finally rewarded for that behavior, and had it taken away for something out of your control and by accident, then I think you can understand the devastation of the team, coaches, and athletic community. It is a truly powerful thing to get the current and former athletes of the NCAA to sign this to bring to the CoI and the NCAA but we would love the support of everyone as sports goes far beyond the players and teams.  Please see the following links to further inform yourself on this matter and verify the facts mentioned. These documents are news articles and the NCAA Hearing Document detailing the issue released by the NCAA CoI.  NCAA Decision Statement and Report of the Incident: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ncaaorg/infractions/decisions/Oct2020D1INF_MassachusettsDecisionPublic.pdf A10 Commissioner Response: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ncaa-penalizes-umass-violations-basketball-tennis-73658004 MassLive: https://www.masslive.com/umassbasketball/2020/10/umass-is-the-latest-victim-of-ncaas-embarassingly-punitive-overreaching-matt-vautour.html Boston Globe: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/10/16/sports/ncaa-plans-strip-umass-59-mens-basketball-victories-a-10-womens-tennis-title-financial-aid-overpayment-2014-17/ Thank you for your support.  Sincerely, The UMass Tennis Program  

Brittany Collens
7,089 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to The University of Iowa, The University of Iowa Athletic Department

Save Hawkeye Sports

Welcome Hawkeyes! This is our first newsletter to the broad group of people who stood with us to support saving the Olympic sports of Swimming and Diving for women and men, men’s Gymnastics, and men’s Tennis. If you are receiving this message, it is because you have done at least one of the following – signed the petition at Change.org, pledged to support reinstatement of the sports, a parent of one of the student athletes directly affected by this decision, asked how you could help of someone already on the team, or signed on to the letter Vickie Nauman sent to the Iowa Board of Regents. You’re a part of former athletes, parents, concerned alumni and others who see this effort as a just cause. So much has happened in a short amount of time, largely due to your engagement! Thank you. We’re making progress. Read on to learn the latest. What’s happening? After talking with several legislators from the Johnson County delegation, we were able to secure a meeting with Executive Vice President Rod Lehnertz. Special thanks to those legislative leaders – Senator Joe Bolkcom, Senator Zach Wahls, and Representative Mary Mascher. Their counsel and assistance made such a difference!  On Saturday, October 17, three of our team participated in a Zoom meeting with Rod Lehnertz where we discussed the desires of our group and the parameters that must be met from the University's perspective. Our focus was on implementing a new model for Olympic sports that could allow the existing athletes to stay in place at Iowa and to build something that was sustainable. It was a good meeting, very honest, transparent and with a substantive discussion that led to a list of assignments. We put together a short vision statement, and then itemized the discussed goals and shared that with the vice president. He then used that information to bring together a few key players from the University. We will meet with those individuals this week and will have a report for you sometime next week on next steps. There are three big ways you can help: Pledge to Donate to help us after we have these sports reinstated. www.savehawkeyesports.com Sign the Petition at Change.org. Recruit others to join this effort. We have these meetings because of the number of people who have indicated support AND because of the amount of money pledged so far. Sincerely,Mark Kaufman, Athletic Trainer, Class of 1986Ron Kaminski, Swimming, Class of 1991 Vickie Nauman, Swimming, Class of 1986Dave Carpenter, Men's Swimming, Class of 1990Emma Sougstad, Swimming, Class of 2017Frannie Malone (DeBord), Swimming, Class of 2000Ray Benton, Men’s Tennis, Class of 1963Larry Halpin, Men's Tennis, Class of 1962Coach Steve Houghton, Men’s Tennis, Class of ’71/Men’s Tennis Coach ’81 – ‘14Jay Maltby, Men’s Tennis, class of 1990 Jim Nelson, Men's Tennis, Class of 1986Dan Rustin, Men’s Tennis, Class of 1982Matt Purdy, Football, Class of 1994JJ Patton, Swimming, Class of 1993David Ferke, Swimming, Class of 1990 Mike Curley, Swimming, Class of 1985Kim Stevens, Swimming, Class of 1986, Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame, 2016Keith Gunderson, Swimming, Class of 1994Mike Buck, Swimming, Class of 1990Jim Mulligan, Swimming, Class of 1995Katy Fethke (Ketoff), Diving, Class of 1992Elliot Ptasnik, Swimming, Class of 2005Ashley Dell, Swimming, Class of 2009Andrew DeLashmutt, Swimming, Class of 2009Erin DeLashmutt, Swimming, Class of 2007Todd Trappe, Swimming, Class of 1991Greg Earhart, Executive Director, CSCAA

Michael Nelson
24,010 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to University of Georgia

Return University of Georgia Students (UGA) to Face To Face Learning

The purpose of this petition is to implore the University of Georgia to return students to Face to Face learning, rather that online learning, beginning the second semester of 2020/2021 school year. Continual online learning is not effective for many students, it is straining the mental health of students and the education level provided does not reflect the quality education that corresponds to the price being charged. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 people ages 18-24 have considered suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting UGA students back to the classroom is imperative for their mental health. I suspect having students in a classroom with their teachers would provide a sense of purpose for both students and faculty. In a In addition, the CDC reports survival rates for young adults ages 0-19 is 99.997% and for ages 20-24 is 99.98%. It is not deadly to send our students back to the classroom. Following recommended CDC guidelines of using masks and social distancing will aid in providing acceptable classroom conditions. The education our students are receiving in a primarily online environment does not reflect the educational standard established by the University of Georgia. Students are paying for a top tier education but receiving a deficient education. The small percentage of available face-to-face classes prevents students from a variety of majors from having the option to attend the educational style that best meets the needs of the students. If school systems across the country have been able to provide solutions to their classrooms, the University of Georgia should be providing acceptable alternatives for all students in all majors.       

Jennifer Dew
243 supporters