Petition to implement “no detriment” policy in DCU hits over 1,000 signatures

Tadgh McNally

A petition to get DCU to implement a “no detriment” policy due to students working from home has passed over 1,300 signatures on Change.org.

The policy, which would be brought in to alleviate pressure brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, would apply for all end of semester exams or final assignments.

It would allow students to only receive their average grade or better for the second semester, with grades being unable to fall below that average regardless of exam or final assignment results.

The petition argues that this is the fairest action to take, as many students are currently living off campus. This could lead to students not achieving their potential due to a lack of key resources, like wifi, laptops and a suitable working environment.

“Students will now be required to complete assessment in an environment that is not conducive to achieving their true potential,” reads the petition.

“We would urge DCU to consider the impact that these unprecedented measures have on students, both in terms of their academic performance but also the toll it is taking on their mental health during this difficult time”.

Conan Munier, a final year Business Studies student started the petition because University College Cork students had done the same. He’s concerned about how assessment will be carried out, with his final year being worth 80 per cent of his degree.

“I’m in final year and all the uncertainty around how we’re going to be assessed is really stressful, and no access to a quiet working space and having to conduct all group projects over Zoom isn’t helpful”, said Munier.

Munier does say he understands that it would be difficult to rework a university to work entirely online, but more contact is needed.“They owe it to the students to have a continued dialogue with us and keep us updated on the measures they are planning to help us deal with this,” said Munier.

Comments have been left under the petition sharing their experiences, with Jack Lafferty saying: “I’m a final year student from Donegal and I find it difficult to find the peace to do work in a busy household with no desk and poor internet”.

Student Eniola Owoeye said: “I am a third year student with two toddlers, since we are all grounded at home I find it difficult to do college work around them”. 

The College View have asked DCU for a comment, but have not received one at the time of publishing.

Find the petition HERE

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: Alison Clair