College students and parents have been asking the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to adopt an optional pass-fail grading system this spring semester in consideration of the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The system’s answer, however, has been and remains a resolute “no,” according to USA Today.
While many U.S. colleges and universities have adopted optional pass-fail policies in recent weeks — often citing mental health and the unequal disadvantages students face while at home during the pandemic — the University System of Georgia said it’s confident its students will “rise to the challenge” despite problems.
In a statement released in March, the university system wrote, “We are confident our students will rise to the challenge. In times of adversity, we should reach higher, not lower.” Last week, the system reaffirmed that it would not allow pass-fail grading.
In response, more than 10,000 people have signed a petition demanding the regents allow a pass-fail grading option. Among other reasons, the petition notes that many students may not have reliable access to the internet; others may be returning to a stressful home environment; and classes may not effectively translate online.
Student governments at the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Georgia Tech have also passed resolutions calling on the regents to reverse their decision.
“We think it’s an important issue of ethics, not politics,” said Briana Hayes, one of the student organizers of the campaign, to USA Today.