Screenshot from change.org
Over 1,500 people have signed an online petition calling for classes to become pass/fail as Quinnipiac University moves to online instruction due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Francesca Napolitano, a senior sociology major, created the petition using the website change.org. The petition was put together after Napolitano was inspired by students from other colleges and universities who are also petitioning for the same change.
“I originally saw petitions for pass/fail classes at Georgetown College and Fordham University,” Napolitano said. “I figured why not and created the page so that Quinnipiac students would have the same type of options.”
The online page states that the shift to online courses creates a hindrance to both students and faculty. The petition lists off a wide variety of challenges, including professors lacking training to teach online, syllabi that were originally created for in-person lectures that cannot fit an online format, unreasonable times for students to attend class who are in different time zones (across the U.S or internationally) and lack of technology provided for students to be enrolled in an online class.
“It’s important to remember that there are students who are potentially going to struggle with the transition to online classes and there are also students who have learning disabilities.” Napolitano said.
The online petition asks Quinnipiac’s administration to consider giving students different grading options as a consideration to help students’ grade-point averages (GPA) during a time of stress and adjustment.
“I understand that not every class should be pass/fail,” Napolitano said. “But if the university even compromises and allows specific courses to have that option, students will benefit more.”
Napolitano said that no one from the university has reached out to her yet. She planned to send the petition to administration at 1,500 signatures and as of writing, it has reached that goal.
“I’m hoping to make this whole situation a little bit easier for students that are going through a difficult time,” Napolitano said. “I want to make people less stressed out in a stressful time and to be able to give them the best learning opportunity that would work for them. Students should not have to suffer more than they already have to.”