SFU heroically lowers their own bar even further with P/CR/NR grading for electives

We didn’t expect a lot given the current circumstances, but wow . . .

PHOTO: Gudrun Wai-Gunnarsson / The Peak

By: Nancy La, SFU Student

After almost a full year of online classes, SFU finally wakes up from its slumber and decides that yes, students do deserve some help with their grades during a pandemic, but not too much help. 

On January 14, SFU students received a mass email sent out by Student Services with the subject line: “Approval of temporary pilot P/CR/NC undergraduate grading system.” Truly putting the “brutal” in “brutalist architecture,” the university’s administration approved the comprehensive grading scheme . . . but only for elective courses. 

This was not the first time that SFU took students’ hearts on an emotional roller coaster ride, hinting at some sort of salvation only to unbuckle the safety belt and throw them out of the upside-down carriage. The legacy continues of students pushing the giant boulder of the Tuition Freeze movement up the hill only for SFU to increase the incline of that hill and the tuition. This hurdled boulder of a tuition hike was all in the name of the “overall health of the university.” In the end, all students were left with trust issues and a fear of the Indiana Jones movies.

How does the pass/credit/no credit system work for Zoom-fatigued students? Well, if you are among the fortunate ones who receive C- or higher, then congratulations! You get a P grade! If you are in the group of students who, due to a global health crisis, could not get a grade of C- or higher, you receive a CR grade. Imagine, your grades slipping? Surely not! This is the same level of education, after all. Just ask the four unopened emails to my TA about an assignment due in two hours. Last, but of course not least, the NC grade for those who did not pass the course(s) ensures no decreased GPA and no increased morale for next semester at all.

Keep in mind that these grades only apply for electives, and that P/CR/NC grades cannot be used for, say, scholarships and financial aid purposes. Fear not, the university’s gatekeeping bursaries are here to the rescue! But not for you, or you, or you . . .

At this point, this program is so full of holes it cannot be called a band-aid for suffering students since that would be derogatory towards band-aids around the world. 

With this program, students will now enjoy the privilege granted by the Senate to have 12 elective credits that will not affect their grades. Already taken your electives? Well, here’s a box of tissues — wait, sorry. You have to pay for those.

With this monumental decision from SFU, the school has proved itself to be empathetic for students’ struggles and is willing to reform, as long as those reforms are approved by the Senate and aligns with the interests of the university, of course. SFU’s astonishing ability to do absolutely nothing for its students is so prevalent that for the sake of efficiency, writers at The Peak are brainstorming for an automated response for every time SFU passes a new policy that does nothing for students while giving themselves a pat on the back. Suggestions welcome.