ECU students push for pass/fail option in spring semester

COVID-19 and schools

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Students at East Carolina University are advocating for the university to re-offer a pass/fail grading option. The option was previously accessible to students during both the spring and fall semesters of 2020, and students say it needs to be brought back.

The school’s Admission and Retention Faculty Senate Committee is the group that makes those types of calls on campus. The committee’s recommendation for the spring 2021 semester was to not re-implement the pass/fail option. Instead, the committee chose to extend the withdrawal time period for classes in the spring.

Currently, the pass/fail option does not exist on ECU’s campus. The final decision is up to the school chancellor. Chancellor Philip Rogers will take his position on March 15.

The Faculty Manual states the chancellor has 30 days after the Faculty Senate’s recommendation to make a final decision. SGA President Tucker Robbins said that means it’s not quite over yet. Until the chancellor makes the final call, Robbins said he plans on doing everything he can to make that option available to students.

So far, over 1,200 students have signed an online petition to advocate for the option.

Kyleigh Burton is a dance performance and choreography major at ECU. She said she’s happy to be back on campus and she, along with fellow classmates, are just trying to make it through. She said she’s all for the pass/fail option.

It really stinks because you want your full college experience, and it’s hard learning dance over Zoom. I still have in-person classes and online classes, and doing both at the same time can be a struggle.”

Kyleigh Burton, ECU student

Kenyon Mosquera is an art and design major at ECU and believes the option isn’t a bad idea. He believes it should be looked at as something temporary to help students through a tough time, but it shouldn’t become something permanent.

”If people are still struggling from last semester I wouldn’t say the pass/fail option is a bad idea,” Mosquera said. But if people continue to do well with their grades, I don’t think it needs to be necessary.”

Mosquera says it could help keep certain students who struggle with this way of learning to stay off of academic suspension or probation.

9OYS reached out to ECU’s administration for a comment about the possibility of a pass/fail option. They tell us the decision is still under consideration so they are unable to provide any statements at this time.

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