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In an email sent on behalf of President Michael K. Young and Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will allow students the temporary opportunity to choose their preferred grading scale for the remainder of the spring semester.

The email sent out by the Office of Provost outlined details regarding the Faculty Senate’s decision and what students can anticipate moving forward.

“Students will have the opportunity to choose Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading for any course in which they are enrolled in the spring semester 2020,” the email stated. “Students have until 5pm on Tuesday, April 28 to make changes to their grading options.”

The email also stated the Q-drop and Withdrawal deadline has been extended 10 days after its initial deadline to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 24.

“Q-drops after Spring Break will not count toward the institutional limit of 4 nor the state limit on drops,” the email stated.

Students can choose on a class-by-class basis whether or not to implement the S/U option. As stated in Student Rule 10, courses graded S/U will not count toward GPA hours. In addition, U and F grades this semester will not count toward a student’s GPA.

While surprised by the administration's decision, psychology sophomore Jett Reinhardt said he appreciates the university finding the best solution to accommodate every student. 

“Offering a choice to students, especially for each class, along with the temporary changes to Q- drops, etc. is pretty gracious,” Reinhardt said. “I’m glad it was a choice and not a forced change.”

However, Reinhardt said he sympathizes with those who may have Q-dropped a course before spring break, as they did not know they would have more time to consider their decision. 

"In a situation as drastic as we're in though, I think it’d be impossible to find a truly perfect solution for every person involved and affected," Reinhardt said. 

Students seeking to opt-in to the S/U grading scale are encouraged to speak with their academic adviser to avoid potential issues involving degree progress and financial aid.

“This may not be applicable to students in first professional degree programs who should contact their program for grading information,” the email stated.

Aerospace engineering senior Jerod Venable said he is satisfied by the university's decision to accommodate all of their students, but finds the timeline to accept the grade scale confusing. 

“The late deadline seems odd to me,” Venable said. “I would think it’s best for students to choose now and...commit to a decision. Leaving the option open until the last moment makes it easier for a student to abuse the system by simply switching to pass/fail in any class in which that student is performing poorly.”

Additional details as to how students can opt-in to S/U grading will be provided as early as next week. A full text of Faculty Senate recommendations regarding the new grade scale can be accessed here:

https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/temporary-changes-to-grading-q-drop-and-withdrawal-deadlines.html

Life & Arts editor

Hollis Mills is an English and communication senior and life & arts editor for The Battalion

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