ASG passes resolution supporting the reinstatement of Credit/No Credit policy


Daily file photo by Joanne Haner

ASG Senate meets at an in-person meeting. Senators unanimously supported reinstating Northwestern’s Credit/No Credit.

Emma Rosenbaum, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the reinstatement of Northwestern’s Credit/No Credit policy.

NU created the grading option fall 2020 to provide relief to students during the 2020-21 academic year, when most classes were remote. Over the summer, 539 students signed a petition demanding the University reinstate the grading option for the new academic year. The petition inspired SESP Senator and sophomore Armaan Ajani to propose the legislation.

McCormick Senator and sophomore Marcos Rios said reinstating Credit/No Credit would especially help marginalized students. While many students didn’t use the grading option last year, and some students opposed using it because they felt it would weaken their transcripts, Rios said the policy is still valuable.

“It’s really important that we protect our most vulnerable populations and ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed and learn without the unnecessary stress and burden of hitting a certain target, that in the end doesn’t really matter,” Rios said.

Rios added the pandemic heightens inequities students face, like not having access to necessary resources, including high speed internet. He said he knew people who juggled school work with a full-time job or caring for sick relatives. 

It’s likely administration and faculty are unaware of the struggles students face, Rios said, because people often have one view of student issues. 

“The impacts are very real and very felt by students who are struggling to maintain coursework, which in comparison to the struggle of everyday life is not important,” Rios said. “Between caring for a dying relative or caring about a stats class and turning something in a week late, if the material is still learned, why does the deadline matter?”

While Rios said many students view the pandemic as less extreme now, the U.S. is seeing the highest daily cases of the whole pandemic. Last week, the University reported the highest number of COVID-19 positives it has ever seen, at 909. Both Ajani and Rios said the introduction of new variants makes academic accommodations necessary.

Rios spent the last week in Quarantine and Isolation Housing, and said taking classes online has been disruptive to his academics. He said this is exacerbated for students who don’t live on campus, don’t have meals delivered and don’t have online classes, which will end next week.

“(The resolution) really emphasizes how omicron has worsened things,” Ajani said. “The University hasn’t done anything to make learning more accessible while students are in quarantine, which really isn’t right.”

Ajani motioned to vote on the resolution a week earlier than planned to show NU students support reinstating the grading policy as quickly as possible. He said he hoped the University would notify them with a decision before the Winter Quarter class drop deadline, Feb. 11.

With the resolution passed, Speaker of the Senate and Weinberg sophomore Dylan Jost said ASG’s Executive Board will lobby for the change. He said the resolution signals not only ASG’s position on the issue, but the entire student body’s.

“That’s what ASG is really supposed to do,” Jost said. “It’s supposed to get things done for the student body by working with administration to make change for the students and make their lives as good as possible.”

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Twitter: @EmmaCRosenbaum

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