Maybe this is just me… but I have had dreams of taking classes Pass/Fail almost as much as I dream of the joy of the end of semesters. The benefits are endless: I finally could take Music Theory or heck, maybe even a computer science class! If we truly are a liberal arts institution, why not enable this measure that will even further facilitate the ability of students to embrace creativity and exploration — without the fear of ‘failure’ by destroying their GPA?
We’d finally be joining the ranks of a myriad of schools that offer this option. Schools such as MIT, Amherst, The University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Barnard, William & Mary, Virginia Tech, and UNC Chapel Hill (who even created a video demonstrating how to take a class this way) all boast pass/fail options.
The Student Government Association has repeatedly tried to usher Pass/Fail into action here at Middlebury.
Unfortunately, though the resolution readily passed through the SGA Senate, the Student Educational Affairs Committee (SEAC), and Educational Affairs Committee, it failed to pass through the last step — Faculty Council with a mere simple majority. A simple majority vote by the Faculty Council would finalize the deal and send it to Old Chapel for an implementation plan.
Cook Commons Senator Michael Polebaum ‘12, however, is reviving the fight and has my full support! The proposal would allow for a Pass/D/Fail system that enables students to take 2-4 courses Pass/D/Fail during a student’s time here at Middlebury. The courses must be outside of a student’s major and cannot count towards distribution requirements (a similar policy to peer institutions). The professor teaching the course would not know if a student is taking the class Pass/Fail, and the student would require a signature by their adviser in order to take the class Pass/D/Fail.
The vote on the Pass/D/Fail resolution will be happening this Sunday, 7pm, Crest Room (and remember, they’re open meetings so feel free to come by), so be sure and stay tuned.
Do you have any opinions regarding SGA’s support of this resolution? Do you think Pass/D/Fail is a good idea for Middlebury?