Fordham, Extend the P/F Deadline
Dear the Administration at Fordham University,
We appreciate the response from the university to place the well-being of its students at the forefront. We also understand the difficulty of the decision and appreciate the care of the instructors in working hard to transition to an online coursework. However, the sudden change has left a large majority of the students under emotional stress regarding the academic consequences. We believe that a change must be made on the grading basis to reflect the transition.
We, the student body, propose that the pass/fail option be extended until the end of the semester and after we receive our final grades.
The added stress of coursework on mental health during these unprecedented times can cause students to underperform and will not be reflective of their true potential. An extension on the pass/fail deadline will help alleviate some of the emotional burden and allow us to academically progress, especially with finals week approaching.
Because of the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, students without food security, internet access, and/or reliable housing are expected to perform at the same level as students who have stable situations at home. International students who have been abruptly relocated into time zones that do not align with regular EST class times will have severe difficulty attending classes that require live participation.
Many students also have to care for siblings whose K-12 education has been suspended and are expected to provide childcare at home. Others may be caring for family members who are at grave risk during this time, or may be immunocompromised themselves. When the lives of yourself and your loved ones are in jeopardy, academics should not be your primary concern.
There remains a couple weeks left in the semester along with the final, the greatest contributor to our grades. Finals week is extremely stressful for us students, especially with the change in our final structure which still remains unclear in a majority of classes. With financial, physical health, and mental health concerns, we ask you to extend the deadline to consider our well-being as an individual in these next couple of weeks of uncertainty.
Most professors are still adjusting to the work-from-home lifestyle, and a majority of students remain unaware of where they stand in each course. With the lack of grade transparency, students are incapable of making a decision that will affect their GPA and their future plans. Many of our friends and families have been affected by COVID-19. As a result, most students are unable to sit and calculate our grades, which was unable to be done by our professors for similar reasons.
Most universities have extended their pass/fail deadlines until the semester is completed, allowing students to determine their academic standing after they learn of their grades from each course. As you wish for our success, you should be aware that us Fordham students will be competing with students from other universities for fellowships and other graduate opportunities. We do not want to be disadvantaged as a result of being unable to fully consider the academic consequences involved.
As a part of the Jesuit community, we must strive to uplift one another during these times. As men and women for others, we ask you to consider extending the pass/fail option so students can have a fair opportunity to determine the outcome of their semester.