UNC-Chapel Hill

1 petitions

Update posted 10 months ago

Petition to Kevin Guskiewicz, Robert Blouin

UNC-Chapel Hill: Keep Pass/Fail Optional, Not Universal, for Undergraduates

The UNC-Chapel Hill administration announced an Emergency Grading Accommodation on March 20, 2020, and later extended it through the Summer 2020 term. It stated that -        All courses will be graded as normal (letter grades). Undergraduates can choose to make their courses pass/fail. -        Courses graded as pass/fail under this exception during Spring 2020 will count towards applicable curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements. -        For the Spring 2020 semester, undergraduate students can elect to place a course on pass/fail or remove the course from pass/fail by no later than Friday, August 7, 2020.   We are thankful for the administration’s thorough consideration for its undergraduate student body and fully support the current decision which we believe best accommodates most students’ diverse situations. However, a recent petition on this platform suggests making pass/fail universal, which, if realized, will bring undue stress to many undergraduates who believe this semester’s grades are meaningful to their academic and career pursuits. It will also predictably create more disruption to the success of online classes and will thus bring unforeseeable damage to our school’s reputation. We respectfully ask the administration to keep the current grading policy for this year’s spring and summer semesters.   A universal pass/fail system will bring additional stress to students whose letter grades are significant for their future academic and career endeavors. For those who are already working extra hard to overcome the difficulties this pandemic brought to them and seek to improve their cumulative GPA, a mandatory pass/fail policy makes their effort and commitment worthless. For students who are taking specific courses of great significance for a specific industry or academic field which they are pursuing in the future, they will no longer be able to have these grades displayed on any official UNC transcripts. For those who are entering the job market or applying to graduate schools, a mandatory pass/fail may bring them unpredictable hidden disadvantages and will very possibly cause them to change/delay their plans accordingly. For the same reasons, making pass/fail universal will not add fairness to our school’s academics, but will only bring extra disadvantages and hardships to students from diverse backgrounds, especially those who are international or come from socially disadvantaged groups, who cherish the perhaps life-changing opportunities to apply to specific scholarships, academic programs or career options.   On the other hand, a universal pass/fail policy will significantly discourage students from keeping their usual effort and will further damage the already disrupted class arrangements for the semester. Switching to online classes and modifying course syllabi has already been challenging, and establishing mandatory pass/fail will only make the situation even less controllable as instructors will most definitely see lower levels of class participation and quality of work from students. The current plan, in contrast, largely maintains the originally-designed course structures and is the only plan that accommodates most students and at the same time properly rewards those who overcome all difficulties and still perform outstandingly in their courses.   We also recognize that there are students whose learning environment is more severely impacted by the pandemic than the rest of undergraduates, and would like the UNC administration to consider their specific situations and provide additional accommodation individually.   We thank the UNC administration and all members of the Carolina community for their excellent work during this trying time, and respectfully ask the school to keep the pass/fail policy optional, but not universal, for undergraduate students.     Sincerely, The Students of UNC

UNC Student
682 supporters