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Georgia Law Students Call For Pass/Fail Grading Systems

As law schools across the nation adopt pass or fail grading systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, two schools in Georgia have held off on making the switch.

Both the law schools at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University have denied requests from students for a pass/fail system, The Red & Black reports.

STUDENT PETITIONS

Students have called on the University System of Georgia (USG) to implement a pass/fail grading system.

Yet, the university system has denied petitions from students to make the switch.

“In times of adversity, we should reach higher, not lower,” a statement from USG reads. “Maintaining high academic standards is critical to the success of USG students now and in the future.”

Law students have voiced their concerns over the inability to adopt a pass/fail system, especially given that classes have now switched online.

“The best people won’t get the jobs. Those who worked the hardest won’t do the best,” Nolan Hendricks, a second-year law student at Georgia State University, tells The Red & Black. “That kind of strikes me as unfair and inequitable.”

THE NEED FOR EQUITY

While both UGA and GSU have elected to adopt higher grading curves to combat the friction of switching online, students say the universities need to do more.

In March, law students from both universities sent a letter to the Board of Regents, which oversees 26 public universities in Georgia, urging the board to consider adopting pass/fail grading structures.

“While we recognize that the GSU may have sound reasons for preventing widespread adoption of pass/fail mid-semester by the twenty-six higher education institutions within its umbrella, we strongly believe that certain factors make law school uniquely warranting of special action by the Board of Regents to ensure student well-being and overall equity,” the letter reads.

Sources: The Red & Black, Tipping the Scales