USG proposes fall classes should offer pass/not pass options

UI Student Government voted to call on the university to provide a pass/non-pass grading option for students.

University+Iowa+Associate+AD+of+Student-Athlete+Academic+Services%2C+Liz+Tovar+speaks+to+the+Undergraduate+Student+Government+over+Zoom+on+Tuesday%2C+October+6th%2C+2020.+Student+government+is+discussing+the+Class+Pass%2FFail+legislation+being+passed+tonight.

Tate Hildyard

University Iowa Associate AD of Student-Athlete Academic Services, Liz Tovar speaks to the Undergraduate Student Government over Zoom on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020. Student government is discussing the Class Pass/Fail legislation being passed tonight.

Morgan Ungs, News Reporter


The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government voted unanimously on Tuesday to suggest the university offer a pass/not pass option for all undergraduate students this fall because of the increase in online classes.

When the UI sent classes online in March at the onset of the pandemic, the UI extended its deadline to opt to take a class without a letter grade, in an effort to ease a harsh transition from normal operations.

Senator Yara Moustafa, the co-author of the pass/not pass legislation with Senator Joycelyn Jorbedom, pointed to that spring semester option, noting that COVID-19, and campus disruption did not end as the fall semester began.

Moustafa said this legislation is necessary in the midst of COVID-19 and that the legislation speaks for itself.

“We all know what’s going on,” Moustafa said, “People are getting sick and people still don’t have stable internet connections. BIPOC communities are being disproportionately affected.”

According to the legislation, students with a lower socioeconomic standing are more likely to have poor internet access and often need to work, potentially influencing their grades this semester.

Moustafa said it’s important for students that worry about the appearance of their transcript for graduate school that pass/not pass is an option, and no student is required to elect for pass/fail grades.

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