Concordia University Wisconsin students are signing and circulating a digital petition calling for administration to adopt a pass/fail grading system for the 2020 spring semester.
Junior Jack Terry started the petition March 27 hoping that it would convince administration to at least consider the grading alternative. The petition also serves as an outlet for students to voice their opinions.
“It’s important for students to look at the petition as a way of making our opinion heard and not something that is the only factor in the decision,” Terry said.
The goal of the petition is to reach 1,000 electronic signatures. Currently, there are over 700.
According to Provost Dr. William Cario, administration is working to determine how many of those signatures belong to students.
“We are trying to ascertain how many of the signatures on each petition are actually student signatures,” Cario said.
Although some might be concerned the grading system would result in a lack of effort among students, Terry disagrees. In fact, he believes it’s the opposite.
“I would caution against the notion that this means not trying for the rest of the semester. Students should still put in their best effort to achieve the grades they would normally desire because, in general, this looks better when applying to grad school or in the job field,” Terry said.
According to Cario, as soon as CUW administration received the petition, it was immediately presented to academic leaders and the university’s deans. However, no final decision can be made until the plenary faculty meets to discuss the issue. The plenary faculty has full responsibility for the assessment and grading of student work.
“We’ve developed a couple of different options to address the student petitions. Those proposals have already been vetted by Concordia’s faculty senate and will be presented to plenary faculty at an emergency meeting next week,” Cario said.
Even if the petition is unsuccessful, it has connected the student body for an important cause. It also helped students feel less alone as they realized their peers have also been struggling with the transition.
“At the very least, I think the petition is uniting students to spread the news that this is going on elsewhere and that the struggles that come with transitioning to online classes aren’t specific to them,” Terry said.
To view the petition, click here.
Written by Gina Cuccio.