On December 8, The Educational Policy Committee (EPC) of the Academic Senate announced they will allow undergraduate students to retroactively select Pass/No Pass as their grading option for Fall 2020 courses. According to an email from the UCSD office of the Registrar, undergraduate students can change their grading option for Fall 2020 courses from January 4 to January 29 2021.
This announcement comes after EPC initially dismissed the motion to extend the P/NP deadline without a vote on December 2. Another motion to extend the drop deadline passed in the EPC but failed in the Academic Senate.
Following the failure of these policies, Associated Students (AS) President Kimberly Giangtran and several other student leaders sent a letter urging the EPC to implement the same measures they put in place Spring Quarter 2020: an extension of the Pass/No Pass (P/NP) deadline to the end of week 10 or finals week.
This letter pointed out that UCSD’s P/NP deadline has remained the end of week 4 during Fall Quarter 2020 while all other University of California campuses have extended their P/NP deadlines to at least the end of week 7.
Students have been encouraging the Academic Senate to make this change throughout the quarter in light of the ongoing pandemic. According to Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, David Hickman, he and other AS senators have been meeting with student leaders from other campuses within the UC system and within San Diego County in order to find the most effective way to advocate for these changes.
In a statement to the Triton, Hickman and Giangtran emphasized that this change should have come sooner than week 9.
“While we are glad that our advocacy efforts led to this change, it does not dismiss the fact that this decision took way too long to happen. It has been a long, agonizing waiting period for students and as student leaders, we had to do our jobs and continue to jump through hoops to ask for something that seemed so simple and right for the student body,” said the two senators.
Other UCSD students have been pushing for this change by launching online petitions and encouraging students to email the administration in mass. One such petition,“Demand for UCSD to allow Universal P/NP for the rest of the academic year,” written by Victoria Alanis via Change.org, currently has over 3,200 signatures.
Alanis writes, “UCSD should follow the example set by the other UC schools and major universities and create more P/NP options for students to continue their education in a way that allows for flexibility during unprecedented and stressful times.”
In the email notifying students of this new policy, the EPC warns students that it is up to departments, programs, and colleges to decide if courses taken P/NP will count toward major, minor, and college general education requirements.
The EPC also notes that courses taken for P/NP during Fall 2020 will count towards the 25% maximum set by the university.
Negotiations are still underway to determine exactly how this policy will be implemented. It is currently unclear whether the ECP intends to extend this policy to Winter 2021 and Spring 2021.
According to Hickman and Giangtran, the Office of Academic Affairs plans to continue advocating for the extension of the P/NP deadline through the end of Week 10, the extension of the course add deadline to the end of Week 3, and for these courses to be exempt from the University’s 25% P/NP maximum, for both Winter and Spring 2021.
Sarah Naughten is a staff writer for the Triton.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Thursday December 10 at 7:10pm PST. The phrase “President Kimberly Giangtran and several other members of AS sent a letter…” was changed to “President Kimberly Giangtran and several other student leaders sent a letter…”. This change was made because several of the signatories on the letter were part of student government bodies that are not part of AS. Furthermore, the sentence “Hickman also noted that efforts made by Giangtran, specifically via the aforementioned letter, were instrumental in enacting this change” has been changed to “In a statement to the Triton, Hickman and Giangtran emphasized that this change should have come sooner than week 9” and the phrase “According to Hickman” has been changed to “According to Hickman and Giangtran”. These statements were only signed by Hickman when the Triton received them, however, the two senators collaborated on them and should be credited as such.