Courtesy of App State SGA
The Student Government Association has again pursued the pass/no credit option for the spring semester.
A bill by the academic affairs committee is currently in SGA. The committee is structuring the bill, researching and reaching out to administrators for support.
“Why not do it again? Let’s go down swinging. No matter what admin and faculty say, it can’t hurt,” said Bailey Gardin, SGA director of academic affairs.
A few channels within the university can propose this including SGA, graduate SGA, faculty senate, council of deans, council of chairs, or through an academic department, program, college or school. SGA is the only group that has done so.
Members of those groups must report to the academic policies and procedures committee, which makes curricular changes. The committee is made up of faculty and undergraduate students.
At an SGA meeting March 1, the academic affairs committee decided to move forward with passing the initiative.
The pass/no credit option was first offered in the spring 2020 semester in response to academic hardships caused by the pandemic and classes transitioning online.
Once it is complete, it will go through SGA and be voted on by the Senate. If it passes, a representative from the academic affairs committee will go to the academic policies and procedures committee and advocate for the bill.
Academic policies and procedures will then vote on pass/no credit.
On Feb. 23, the U.S. surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.
“You never know who that’s impacted. For all I know 10 App students could have had family members pass,” Gardin said.
Without mental health days and relaxed attendance policies, Gardin says the only other way to help students during the pandemic is to offer pass/no credit.
Schools like UNC Chapel Hill have their own wellness days for their spring semester. They are held on different days of each month and are meant to take the place of a spring break. App State also doesn’t have a spring break.
SGA’s academic affairs committee will look at last semester’s pass/no credit bill and update it as needed to reflect last semester’s issues.
Gardin said that university administration saw that some students weren’t taking advantage of the policy, accepting F’s instead. To this, Gardin suggests implementing the policy earlier, providing an instructional video on using the option and having advisers speak to students about the policy.
The bill will be sent to SGA senate and the committee will fight for it throughout the month of March. Upon its approval within senate, it will make its way to the academic policies and procedures committee, Gardin estimates, by the first week of April. They will be the last to vote on enacting the policy.