***HIGH IMPORTANCE*** I am writing to suggest UH Manoa gives students the option to pass/fail all classes this semester. Below are the reasons why pass/failing classes is necessary for equity amongst the UH Manoa population:
1) Student workers who need income to provide essentials (rent, groceries, etc.) are at a large disadvantage as they are out of a job and searching for new revenue. These students must tradeoff study time for finding a new job, interviewing, and getting to and from work - they are more disadvantaged due to the pandemic than those more financially stable. Keeping classes graded proves a major disadvantage to former on-campus student-workers. 2) International students are at a large time zone disadvantage. Many students have been forced to move home overseas who would be required to wake up at times (such as 3 am) that go against their circadian rhythm, cultural norms, and affect mental & physical health. 3) While fantastic in their respective fields, not all teachers have the same technological proficiencies. Some classes will inevitably get harder due to differences in teacher's learning curves as we embrace online classes. 4) Testing/evaluating will not be equitable. Given tests on campus are without fail proctored, evaluations now will rely on an 'honor system' students have never practiced before. Assessing academic misconduct becomes near impossible. 5) GPA's determine scholarship eligibility. These scholarships are critical to allow the students who hold them to attain higher education. If a student is at a disadvantage of a more difficult environment because of COVID-19, they should not be penalized for something outside their control. 6) GPA's determine eligibility for most jobs. If a student is at a disadvantage of a more difficult environment because of COVID-19, it will be reflected in their GPA. Students should not be penalized for something outside their control.
I write to emphasize that because of COVID-19, there exists inequity amongst students in regard to their learning environment. The many impairments to learning are serious for those who do not have the privilege to avoid their environment.
I respect we are embarking into severe uncertainty and hope you seriously consider the students perspective.
Thank you for your consideration in this difficult time,
On behalf of UH students