Student Government Association leaders across Georgia created a formal petition to ask the University System of Georgia to implement a pass/fail system in response to the COVID-19 crisis. By doing this, students that pass their classes would receive the credits for the course, and students that fail wouldn’t.
The purpose of the system is so that the grade a student receives in each class wouldn’t have an impact on their GPA.
According to SGA Atlanta Executive Vice President Hamza Habibur Rahman, the USG pass/fail petition is a combined effort from the Student Advisory Council, a group of students from all USG schools, not just Georgia State.
The petition is still in its developing stages and has faced backlash on GroupMe chats.
Would higher-level institutions, namely law, medical and other graduate schools, accept the credits?
“Many accredited universities have adopted this already,” Habibur Rahman said.
Across Georgia State, many students have voiced their own complaints against the USG on Change.org.
“Petitions are our last resort,” he said. “It can divide the student body if it isn’t executed correctly.”
He said that the petition isn’t a direct response from the SGA since the Georgia State Senate is not in session. Instead, it is formally endorsed by the Atlanta EVP.
Academic Affairs Chair Nigel Walton, Speaker Pro Tempore Terry Fye and University of Georgia Sen. Ciera Thomas were one of the many students to help initiate the formal request.
“We truly hope that the Board of Regents will make the right decision and allow students to make the best academic choice for their current situations,” Thomas said.
Previously, the Student Advisory Council issued a written request to the USG to allow the pass/fail option. After a negative response from the Board of Regents on March 30, the response to create a joint petition began.
The petition includes a testimonial portion which allows students to voice their concerns and personal experiences on why the pass/fail system should pass.
The USG Students 4 Grade Reform released a statement on their Instagram with the support of both the College Democrats of Georgia and the Georgia Association of College Republicans.
“As the leaders of organizations across the political spectrum, we do not often find common ground on issues,” the organization stated. “Yet, today, as a pandemic rages and our communities look ahead towards a brighter future, we have decided to put our differences aside and advocate for the well-being of all Georgian students, who comprise the backbone of our organizations.”
As students finished their last week of the semester, the organization petitioned the grade reform more than ever.
“In my opinion, the USG will have failed its students if this doesn’t pass,” Habibur Rahman said.
Editor’s Note: Nida Merchant, the author of this article, is a College Democrats of Georgia executive board member.