Students mixed on grading system

May 06, 2020


The coronavirus global pandemic caused drastic changes for Claflin University and its students.

The pandemic led to students and teachers transitioning quickly from traditional classes to online instruction, with students leaving behind their friends and social lives. The coronavirus emergency even pushed back huge events such as graduations, Cala-bash and athletic tournaments.

With the change of the class atmosphere, students wanted grading to become pass-fail. But Provost Karl Wright had a different idea.

Claflin adopted a special grading policy for the spring semester. Professors are not be able to give out an “F” grade, with a “U” for unsatisfactory being used instead. A “U” will not affect a student’s grade-point average but will result in students repeating the class.

Students also have the option of choosing “S,” meaning satisfactory completion of a course. The “S” counts toward graduation but also does not affect GPA.

Students have very different views on the new grading system.

Khameron Pierson, a sophomore business major, said, “I like it. I feel like it is somewhat fair considering everything that is going on right now. It also gives some of the students a chance, you know, who are struggling, to put that ‘U’ and to have it not affect your GPA. It’s a nice cushion, if someone needs it.”

But another student looks at the concept differently.

“I don’t like the new grading system. I feel that it does not help at all. I would have opted for the pass-fail option instead. Also, none of the options affect your GPA, so it’s kind of no point to put an ‘S’ if you have ‘C+.’ Choices like that make it difficult. Do you want credit for the ‘C+’ and risk you rGPA moving up or down or do you take the ‘S’ and it does not move at all? It just put more stress on students in my opinion,” said Eriyana Braswell, a sophomore biology major.

Alongside the grading dilemma, the fast and drastic transition to online classes has some students stressed.

Pierson said, “I am not a fan of online classes and I know a majority of my peers feel the same way. You really have to be on your Ps and Qs when it comes to online classes. When you’re at school, you have distractions, but not the same as being home. At school, it’s like you can do so much like go out, but I just feel like being there at school and only having to worry about classes just makes it easier rather than being at home with your family members and having to work and things like that.”

James Quarles, a sophomore criminal justice major, feels the same way.

“I feel like I constantly have to check things over and over again and reread certain things. I feel like I am going to miss something or an assignment. It’s just not the same as being in a classroom and I feel like I strive better in a physical classroom rather than online looking at my computer screen.”

Along with in-classroom lectures, social gatherings have been ripped away from students. Many students miss their friends and connections with students who live all across the Unites States. Claflin has tried to fix that problem by creating virtual parties to keep the Claflin family close and entertained.

Freshman, business marketing major Shareef Robinson said the virtual parties are somewhat entertaining.

“I love that Claflin is trying to keep us altogether during this time. It’s cool to see that even though we are not at school, we still come back to party together. Nothing beats being at an actual party, but until we can get back to normalcy, this will do.”


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