Editorial:Concordia’s administration is once again failing to take it’s students’ mental health into account by ignoring Pass/Fail plea

The Pass/Fail option needs to come back. Graphic Carl Bindman

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students have struggled to maintain not only their grades, but also their mental and physical health. The university is treating the pandemic like it’s over, when students are still feeling the effects of it every day. 

The CSU wanted to discuss accommodations that could be made to support students.  One of those accomodations was to bring back the Pass/Fail option, which they proposed during the CSU by-elections that happened from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18.  However, the administration refused to even entertain the conversation.

When the CSU proposed the topic, the administration refused to put it on the Senate meeting’s agenda. With many students struggling to simply get by this semester, the Pass/Fail option could be the deciding factor in students’ ability to graduate this semester or being put on academic probation.

During these times of uncertainty, it’s clear that their students’ wellbeing is not Concordia’s priority. Refusing to discuss the reintroduction of a Pass/Fail option for this semester is a blatant display of disregard and should not be ignored. 

Concordia University has failed its students with inadequate mental health services and surface level accommodations, such as allowing students only one Pass/Fail course last year—and they seem to be on track to keep ignoring student needs by not considering the option for this semester. It’s important for the administration to realize the pandemic is not over and students are still struggling.  

It seems that since in-person classes began in September, the school believes everything has gone back to pre-pandemic times, which isn’t the case whatsoever. Evidence of the pandemic is found everywhere, with students still wearing masks to class, vaccine passports being scanned before attending any sporting event, and limitations on the amount of people allowed per table at the library. 

While these are all important safeguards to protect health and safety, why are the invisible impacts of COVID-19 being ignored? Many students are still facing the repercussions of the past year’s isolation on their mental health, and they haven’t gone away after attending a couple classes on campus. Offering students the Pass/Fail option gives them a buffer to recover from the difficulties of the past year and time to get back on their feet.

Concordia’s administration should start listening to its students’ voices. During the CSU election, the majority of students who voted said yes to the Pass/Fail referendum question, and the administration needs to take that into consideration before shutting students down. 

The pandemic is not over and there is still time for the university to prove to its students that their wellbeing is a priority and not an inconvenience.