SAMRU Representatives bring forward student concerns at General Faculties Council
By Nathan Lawley, VP Academic
On March 25, an emergency virtual meeting of MRU’s General Faculties Council was held. At this meeting, I seconded a motion to adjust the University’s grading scheme for the Winter 2020 Semester, allowing students the option to choose either their assigned letter grade or a specialized Pass or Fail grade at the end of this semester.
In the past week, I have received nearly 300 emails from students. After reading your concerns and stories, I endorsed this motion at the meeting and relayed a number of the concerns I’ve heard from you.
All students will now have received an email with news that the motion passed. We hope that the pass/fail option offers students at least a slight reprieve from the stress they are experiencing while they make their way through their coursework. More information directly from MRU is in the email and has been added to the FAQ on mru.ca/covid19. As we continue our semester with this option now available, I strongly encourage you to speak with your professors and advisors about all of the available options, and to carefully review any information given about the Pass/Fail grade before making your final decision.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to email me. Having messages directly from MRU students is one of the ways your SAMRU representatives prioritize and structure our advocacy work. I know that sharing stories when we’re vulnerable is not easy, but I am grateful to each of you who felt comfortable to share your voice with me as your representative. I will be taking time to respond to each email personally over the coming days, if I have not already.
We are all facing unfamiliar circumstances during this global pandemic. Our community has suddenly had to adjust to confining ourselves to our homes, having as little human contact as possible, and waiting on authorities to make decisions. This is all happening in the midst of financial pressures due to unemployment or limited shifts, mental health concerns, and other situations which require us to allocate our time to things other than our courses. Just know that your Students’ Association has support services available for you if you need it, or we can work with you to find the support you require.
Your Students’ Association Representative Executive Council (REC) continues to lobby and work with the MRU administration to ensure some of the stressors facing students are being acknowledged and addressed. We encourage you to continue to reach out to any of us with your concerns.
Thank you. I hope you are staying warm and well during these extraordinary times.
Nathan Lawley, Vice-President Academic
on behalf of the Representation Executive Council