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Petition for Pass/No Pass Grading

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Lacey Hickey, a senior at Oklahoma State University, started a petition to try to get a "pass/fail" option at OSU this semester.

A senior strategic communications major is exploring the possibility of a second “Pass/No-Pass” option for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Lacey Hickey, 21, has created an online petition to help struggling students, which received more than 3,000 signatures as of Tuesday. She said she noticed The University of Oklahoma had a similar petition circulating on campus and felt it was worth considering for OSU.

According to an email document, Hickey sent the petition to the office of Provost Gary Sanderfur on Sept. 23. The next day, she received a reply email saying that it would be reviewed. She said that was her last communication. 

 “This semester has proven to be so much more difficult,” Hickey said. “We’ve been basically expected to return to normal in what couldn’t be farther from a normal situation.”

Hickey said students made it through most of the previous semester before COVID-19 became a concern.  Students on campus this semester are adjusting to smaller class sizes, in-person classes being moved online and problems with technology.

The petition, created through Change.org, reads “The variability in knowledge of technology among different professors only further implicates an inconsistent learning platform.”

She said that the problems range from things not being posted to professors not recording lectures. The pandemic also creates problems for some students who are not comfortable or able to attend classes in person, such as Hickey who said she had compromised immunity. 

OSU students received criticism earlier this semester when video was released of many ignoring the COVID-19 guidelines while packed into a local bar. Now, they are receiving negative comments for the petition posted on Twitter on Sept 23. 

One user questioned whether the students asking for this option had paid for their own education. Another user said they assumed “they are failing.”

“Yeah let not do s--- and still get a degree. What a lazy generation,” said Twitter user B Johnson.

Hickey, who said she had a 4.0 GPA last semester, said she feels most of the backlash is coming from alumni or older generations. 

 “I hate to break it to them but we all get the same piece of paper in the end,” she said.