In a puzzling turn of events, the University announced Thursday it would extend the pass/fail option to all undergraduate courses for the Fall 2020 semester.
The announcement came after a post on the Office of the University Registrar’s webpage outlining a pass/fail option for the fall semester was discovered and then deleted Wednesday, stirring confusion among students.
The pandemic has been hard on all of us — and UNC’s poor handling of the situation has only made things harder. Furthermore, the transition to remote learning poses unique challenges for students who may have learning disabilities, family and childcare hardships or an unreliable internet connection. Carolina’s unrelenting and falsely objective pursuit of “academic excellence” comes at the immense cost of the mental well-being of its students.
As a result, it is both unfair and unrealistic to expect students to perform to the same standards during what is, frankly, an unprecedented semester. The Editorial Board is grateful the University has chosen to extend the pass/fail option this semester — but the updated policy leaves much to be desired.
Mark Peifer, a professor in the biology department, said in a tweet that the new policy is “disingenuous, creating the appearance of change without real change.”
We couldn’t agree more.
At face value, the pass/fail option seems like a good thing. But there are a few key differences between the watered-down fall 2020 policy and the accommodations extended to students in the spring and summer.