We are writing this brief memo to inform our student community about the revised and optional compassionate grading options that have recently been announced for UWindsor students, with exceptions, for the Winter 2021 semester. A message was released earlier this week by the Office of the Provost & Vice-President, Academic describing these new options in length; they are as follows:
- Students will be able to request one Pass/Non-Pass course grade for one course of their choosing during the Winter semester. Pre-service students in the Faculty of Education, however, are ineligible.
- The Voluntary Withdrawal (VWC) deadline for all Winter 2021 courses has been extended until the end of the semester. Pre-service students in the Faculty of Education and students in the JD or Dual JD programs of the Faculty of Law, however, are ineligible.
The past year has not been easy for many students. The UWSA is committed to preserving fairness for all students, and will always be present for advocacy, representation, and service, on top of support and guidance, for all. Recognizing the hardships of students last semester, we have actively been pushing for increased compassionate grading accommodations through the Senate, meetings with the Provost, and other academic decision-making channels. While our asks were more expansive, we can appreciate the considerations of the Deans, Provost, Associate VP Academic, and all others involved in the decision-making process coming together to provide this flexibility in grading. We consider these provisions for compassionate grading a step in the right direction, but also encourage all instructors to provide ongoing flexibility and accommodations in their courses, where possible and needed.
As we move toward a future for UWindsor that is supportive, accommodating, and fair for all students, we hope the University will continue to consider the struggles students face on a daily basis. We also advise that preliminary institutional snapshots of academic performance indicating grade inflation during unprecedented times need not suggest ill motives on behalf of students.
We are thankful for all student, faculty, and staff advocates who have supported the asks for additional grading and academic accommodations and those who have pushed for the University to take on a more compassionate stance during a time and semester that has been tough for many. Thank you for recognizing the major hardships that are present universally.
For students who are struggling or having a tough time this semester, please consider accessing free 24/7 call/text counselling through the My Student Support Program app, or through the Student Counselling Centre, which is taking virtual appointments. We also wanted to send a friendly reminder that our Peer Support Centre is operating online via Zoom and will continue to operate for the remainder of the semester. One-on-one drop-in sessions are available five days a week. You can find a time that fits your schedule and be connected in minutes and receive the support you need, with no appointment required. If you are feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, or just want to see a friendly face to get you through the day, please access the PSC via the UWSA website at uwsa.ca/psc.
If you have any further questions about these grading options, are seeking additional academic support or accommodations, or believe you are experiencing inequitable treatment this semester, please reach out to our VP Student Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paramjot Singh Gogia
VP Student Advocacy
See original statement in PDF form here.