After overwhelming support for the implementation of the Credit/ No Credit flexible grading policy in the College’s Policy Council, we now wait for the final decision from President Michelle Anderson.
With nearly a semester’s worth of student voices calling for the continuation of the Spring Semester’s Credit/No Credit Policy, both students and faculty appear to have arrived at a consensus for the best path forward. The members of Brooklyn College’s Policy Council met on Wednesday night and voted largely in favor of a USG resolution urging President Michelle Anderson to accept a universal Credit/ No Credit grading policy for the Fall Semester.
CUNY announced Monday, Dec. 7 that the Credit/No Credit flexible grading policy can be extended to this Fall Semester with each college given their own discretion. The announcement came in an email which stated that CUNY will be extending the Spring 2020 C/NC Policy into the Fall while “providing colleges the opportunity to localize the policy.” The dean or president of each college can choose between full implementation, partial, or no use of the policy entirely.
The three options were clear, the first would be to allow the use of Credit/No Credit grades for all courses taken during the Fall Semester. The second would allow the use of C/NC grades for all courses “except those the college designates to be excluded.” And the third option would let colleges not allow the use of any C/NC grading but expand access to “existing flexible grading policies using the University’s P/NC grading framework.”
Of these three options, student activists and members of student governments across CUNY came out in near universal favor of the first option. At the opening of the discussion about C/NC during the Policy Council meeting, USG President Ethan Milich delivered a statement where he demanded that the members of the council, “Respect the autonomy and intelligence of the students, while also recognizing their concerns as an equal partner in the shared education experience.”
The Faculty Council met on Tuesday to vote for their preferred option and when the dust settled, nearly sixty percent of the body was in favor of option two. The majority opinion came with a stipulation that there were certain pre-requisite courses, which the administration estimates to be nearly 8% of the roughly 6,000 active courses, that required a passing grade in order to continue on the course pathway.
The Policy Council, however, was much more in favor of option one. Even some of the more dissenting opinions, such as Douglas Cohen, still came around to saying that, “our students are adults, they are making this decision. We should treat them as adults.” The eventual vote held for supporting the language of USG’s resolution to urge President Anderson to choose option one, concluded with 25 in favor, 3 against, and 3 abstained.
“[I’m] happy and relieved the BC Policy Council has voted in favor of supporting the students and our effort to extend the C/NC Policy,” Milich told the Vanguard after the vote. “The BC Community leaders have made it overwhelmingly clear that they support the students and choosing option one is the most humane and compassionate option. We really hope that President Anderson will make the right call.”
With finals around the corner and the stresses of a tough semester reaching a breaking point for some, this decision might serve as a sort of safety valve for some of that stress. A more flexible and lenient grading scale could give students some room to breathe as they submit their final papers and find time to study for their exams. While option three is off the table, we are still unsure if Anderson will side with USG and the Policy Council, or with the Faculty Council.