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The Blue & Gray Press | December 13, 2018

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Pass/Fail Deadline Pondered: Faculty senate recommends student decision period extension

The College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate passed a motion yesterday to extend the pass/fail deadline to align with the deadline for course withdrawal.

The University Faculty Committee, the highest governing level, will now consider the motion.

The considered motion would align the pass/fail deadline with the withdrawal deadline, giving struggling students the opportunity to continue in a course rather than withdrawing due to the threat of an eminent bad grade.

The motion did not pass without debate.

Mariam Liss, senator for the Department of Psychology, worried that extending the Pass/Fail deadline would encourage “grade shopping.” Liss continued, stating, “Pass/fail should not be used to salvage a GPA.”

Angela Pitts, associate professor of classics and faculty senate president elect said, “I personally support the motion, but I am aware that there are faculty that have legitimate concerns about the motion.

Pitts also wished to emphasize that the senators, acting as representatives, were not necessarily expressing their own opinions, but the opinions of their own departments.

Senior Ryan McClure commented on the motion, stating, “It’s an interesting idea. It will allow students to avoid dropping classes as often.”

McClure countered the opinion of the Psychology department, saying, “More classes will be taken pass/fail, but they still won’t be able to do that on majors classes.”

Fellow senior and student senator Mike Kappert, said “I fully support this decision, as I think it will give students the opportunity to get an accurate feel for the class before they are forced to switch to pass/fail.”