Concordia Senate vote against the implementation of pass/fail

Twenty nine senate members vote against motion with fifteen votes in favour

Concordia’s Senate held a vote to implement pass/fail for the 2021-2022 academic year. The motion failed to gain approval. Photo Courtesy Emanuele Barbier.

The Concordia University Senate voted against the implementation of the pass/fail option for the 2021-2022 academic year. The motion was ruled out by a vote of twenty nine against versus fifteen for. 

“We had a joint presentation between the administration and the CSU where the CSU outlined all of the pros of pass/fail, and the administration outlined the so-called cons,” said Concordia Student Union general coordinator Eduardo Malorni. “We then had a discussion that lasted close to an hour and a half. A lot of students, professors, and admin got involved in the conversation. Ultimately, all 15 who voted in favour were students.” 

This vote was held within the context of the recent CSU by-election which posed the question of implementing pass/fail to Concordia’s student body. 6,709 students voted on the issue, with 94 per cent agreeing with the motion. 

CSU academic & advocacy coordinator Hannah Jamet-Lange said this vote in the by-election was the main reason the CSU was able to present pass/fail to the Senate at all. 

“This Senate vote shows that 29 senators can vote against what [thousands] of students wanted. It amplifies how much was even needed for it to even be put on the agenda in the first place,” they added. 

According to Malorni, the fact that a senate vote has now been conducted means the issue is unlikely to return to a vote for the remainder of this academic year. Despite this, he said that being able to demand a vote on the issue was a victory in itself.

“We were told there was no way this was going to Senate, and we said, ‘Well then we’ll go to the student body.’ All of a sudden now there’s a discussion on it,” he said. “We were told repeatedly ‘No’ along the line, and yet were somehow always getting to the next step. This ‘No’ isn’t the end of anything.”

As an alternative to pass/fail, the university had extended the late DISC option from Nov. 8 to Dec. 7. The option will return for students in the winter 2022 semester.