Campus, News

ASI Senate opposes proposed plus-minus grading system

Associated Students Inc. Senate on Wednesday opposed the potential implementation of a plus-minus grading system.

Sen. Jireh Deng said the implementation of a plus-minus grading notation would create more anxiety for students and could hurt their GPA. 

“I’d be so stressed out so I could get, you know, an A+ instead of an A-, because that could affect your GPA,” Deng said. 

Sen. Sumaiyah Hossain said her concern is that it is harder to get student input about the issue during quarantine and asked how ASI would receive that input before furthering the resolution.

Sen. Raquelle Hafen, author of the resolution, said the resolution opposed the change, but ASI still needs to determine which direction the resolution should go in based on further discussion and student feedback. 

“We’re pretty much saying that we oppose the implementation of a plus-minus grading notation, changing from its current scale because of the precedent that has been set on this campus,” Hafen said.

During the discussion, there was a conflation between the plus-minus grading notation and the idea of implementing a pass-fail grading notation which has been discussed recently following concerns about how COVID-19 may affect student’s grades. 

However, Vice President Leen Almahdi cleared the confusion up and said that the plus-minus grading notation discussion has been going on for a lot longer than the pass-fail grading notation.

Chief Justice Christopher Forestiere said during closing public comments that the issue has been discussed since 2006 and eventually took a year to get voted down.

He added that in 2020 the plus-minus grading issue still had a long road ahead of it. 

“Our thinking with this resolution was just to get going and get ASI’s comments on the record,” Forestiere said.

Faculty representative Jeff Jarvis said that ASI should clarify to students why they would take a negative stance before getting student input. 

“For my personal feeling, plus-minus grades can lead to more clerical errors and I think we want to avoid that at all costs,” Jarvis said.

The next ASI meeting will be held via Zoom conference on April 15. 

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