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UT updates the grading scale for spring semester

by Gabriela Mendez

On Saturday, March 21, The University of Tampa  sent an email stating that “In light to online instruction, UT is adjusting its current policy regarding the S/U grading option.” 

The email stated how students in good standing for the Spring 2020 semester may elect whether to have their courses graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis instead of the usual letter grading scale used at UT. The deadline for one to make this decision and submit a form to request for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading is Monday, May 11th. 

This grading scale is based on that grades of “C” or above will be graded as satisfactory and grades below “C” will be graded unsatisfactory. 

Yet, there are exceptions to this where the email stated “courses that may be needed for pre-health such as pre-MED, pre-VET, nursing, OT, PT, PA, and graduate schools should not apply a form for the S/U option. Being that, they advised students to talk to their advisor and faculty in their major department before applying for S/U grading.”

The email also stated how “any course a student elects to have graded S/U in Spring 2020 will not count toward the total of eight credit hours graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis normally allowed.”

Many students are relieved at the fact that UT allowed this change in grading for this semester in regards to the stressfulness that the whole pandemic has been for many. 

Faviola Baez, a sophomore Nursing major,  stated that “Although I can’t be a part of this change in grading scale due to my major I find UT did good by allowing this. Seeing as I’ve seen my friends stress over how their grades may be affected during this time and I find this grading style may increase one’s success academically during this tough period in all of our lives.”

Some find this change in grading scale could have been influenced by a petition that was made to change UT’s grading to pass or fail for Spring 2020. 

Mariana Rodriguez Kretz, a sophomore applied sociology major stated, “I think that UT was influenced by the student body while making this decision. If it wasn’t for all the petitions made by students, I don’t think that this grading system would have been added.”

The petition titled “Change UT to a Pass/Fail grading system (with a letter grade option) for Spring 2020” was created on the website Change.org two weeks ago by Imaeyen Effiong. 

“I know executives are doing their best to transition classes to being online, and I believe I can confidently say we all appreciate this,” said Effiong. “However, this system isn’t working. This outbreak isn’t anyone’s fault, but our response matters. Moving students to online classes in the middle of the semester should mean altering the way we are being graded. Even if it’s an option so that those who need letter grades can still have it. All of our circumstances have changed and using the same grading system isn’t productive. Change is possible. It’s just a matter of getting those who can make a decision to hear us out.” 

The petition has since been closed but received up to 5,851 signatures to catch the administration’s eye. 

Once UT sent the email in regards to S/U grading change for Spring 2020, Effiong commented that “students just received an email stating we have the option (with limitations) to have courses converted to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades. Congrats  everyone, you got your voices heard. I hope this helps relieve as much stress to as many of you as possible.”

Some students at UT find that this action is really taking the student’s interest to heart and trying to make their lives better by making such changes. 

“I think UT took the best approach to this situation regarding COVID-19,” said Kretz. “It is obvious that they care for all members of this community so they did what was necessary to protect students, faculty, and staff.”

Gabriela Mendez can be reached at gabriela.mendez@spartans.ut.edu

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