Holy Cross College students petition for pass/fail grading system

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Seniors at Holy Cross College are feeling the impact of the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Concerns over containing the spread of COVID-19 have canceled all senior activities at Holy Cross College and it’s been a challenge for students to keep their grades up amid all the changes.

Bradley Matuszak, a senior at holy cross college, should be preparing for senior week activities, graduation, and getting a job lined up after college.

“Very tragic time for all of us seniors,” Matuszak said. “I was actually supposed to go to Italy for a study abroad trip and that was obviously canceled because of the coronavirus.”

His senior year has come to a screeching halt because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of focusing on the excitement of his senior year, he’s advocating for other students heavily impacted by the pandemic and the challenges they face taking classes online.

“Making sure you have Wi-Fi at the time of class, I’ve heard from students that don’t have these resources that are playing catch up with that. That’s part of the problem we’re trying to solve here is that not everyone has that advantage.”

In addition to online classes, many students are traveling home and even losing their jobs, which is why students started this petition for Holy Cross College to adopt a pass/fail system for this semester's grades, in place of traditional grades.

“None of us could prepare for something like this,” Matuszak said. “Everybody trying to get on so quick I think it’s only fair to give everyone an opportunity to still make it through college and adapt to this change and I think the only fair way of doing that is through the pass and fail.”

Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College have already adapted pass/fail systems for their students. Holy Cross College officials sent an email out to students saying they feel there’s enough flexibility in their policies to continue to issue traditional grades.

Students just don’t agree and they are continuing to fight the decision.

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