We commend the College’s decision to move to a universal pass/fail system, which we believe is the best way to account for the unevenly distributed challenges to students’ lives posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Mandel announces universal pass/fail grading system for all spring courses in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Following deep uncertainty among students and faculty over the past two weeks, President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced yesterday afternoon that the College would adopt a universal pass/fail grading system to assess undergraduate courses this spring semester.
The Office of Admission sent letters of admission through regular decision to the Class of 2024 yesterday, bringing the total number of acceptances to roughly 1,250 — slightly more than usual. The small increase in acceptances is one of several adjustments the Office has made as it confronts the disruption and uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In early May, students at Williams and other colleges across the country went on strike in protest of the U.S. invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Fifty years later, at a virtual faculty meeting on March 11 after in-person classes were canceled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, President of the College Maud S. Mandel referred obliquely to the strike.
Seven students’ stories reveal the consequences of the College’s decisions and underscore the diverging home situations of the student body
Seniors snapped photos in cap and gown, unsure of whether graduation will happen in June. Storage pods, usually only seen in August and May, popped up as students began to move out.
In the days following the College’s announcement that it will move to remote learning, students receiving financial aid faced uncertainty as they prepared to return home without the resources available to them on campus.
When Megan Siedman ’20 heard the news, she immediately went to Weston Hall to figure out how online learning would affect her aid package. Like many students, administrators in the Office of Financial Aid were also scrambling, and the first 48 hours after the announcement were filled with confusion.
As President Maud S. Mandel noted in her email yesterday, this situation is unprecedented for all of us. When it comes to deciding which grading system is best, students have generally formed opinions based on their own experiences.
Eph alpine skier Maddie Dekko ’21, ranked second in the Eastern Division this winter, returned after the NCAA Championships announced their cancellation. A day after the College announced
its mid-semester move to remote learning on March 13, the NCAA issued a
cancellation of all winter season NCAA Championships, squashing the postseason
hopes of Div.
In Other Ivory Towers is the Record’s look at colleges and universities outside the Purple Bubble. This week, we are covering other NESCAC schools’ grading policies in light of decisions to transition to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of publication, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton and Trinity had not yet announced changes to grading systems. Here’s what other NESCACs decided:
Yesterday, President of the College Maud S. Mandel announced that Williams will transition to a universal pass/fail system for all students in all courses.