Pass/Fail, or just fail?

By Justin Daher

Students across Cleveland State University are feeling cheated. New online systems are adding more stress to their education. For many students, being online is not how they planned to attend school. However, they are being forced into this situation, due to new COVID-19 regulations. Taking a gap semester is not an option for most students because it could lead to a loss of scholarships, as well as holding back the progression of their professional and educational careers. These new conditions are causing students who normally do well in class to struggle.

One reason students feel they are struggling is that there is a lack of communication between students and professors, as well as among students themselves. Previously, communication between anyone in a given class was expeditious- somebody had a question, they asked it out loud, and it was answered for all to hear. Now, students frantically write emails and chats, hoping the professor will see it and answer it in time to complete their work. This process is turning minor questions into major inconveniences for students and professors alike. 

Not only do students doubt themselves for having questions because they are unable to tell that others are struggling, but the professor may have to address the problem individually many times over the duration of the course.  This slowing of communication causes students to stress over deadlines, rather than learning. 

Along with the lack of communication, courses taught at CSU underwent little to no changes in the amount of information they fit into their curriculums. To judge these courses on the same basis that they have been judged in the past is unfair to the student who has to do just as much work in a more hindering environment. 

These issues, along with many others, are reasons why students across CSU are asking the board to provide a pass/fail option for this semester. The past spring and summer semesters were provided a pass/fail option due to the impact of COVID-19 and a sudden shift to online schooling, and this fall semester is not immune to the fallout from the virus either. This would give students relief by allowing them to focus on learning the material given to them rather than stressing over a deadline that was designed for a different situation. To show support for this cause, please sign our petition.