More than 3,300 DCU students have signed a petition online safeguarding a “No Detriment” policy for third level students.
Universities across Ireland have been closed since mid-March to accommodate government social distancing measures, and students are yet to receive concrete information, as to how this pandemic will affect their final grades.
The “No Detriment” policy would ensure that students do not receive grades that are lower than what they already achieved at university before they closed.
UCC student Conall Williamson started the online petition on the 31st of March and as DCU, and universities UCD and TCD have used Williamson’s petition as the template for their own.
UCC issued an email to students on the 6th of April rejecting the calls for “No Detriment”. UCC said that they feared that it would create “an unfair two-tier education system”, decreasing the value of degrees issued to final year students.
Despite this development, UCC “No Detriment” campaigners are continuing to gather signatures for the petition.
All of DCU’s end of semester examinations have since moved online yet the petition details that some students are “exposed to toxic living conditions” which may hinder their performance.
“With online examinations approaching, many students do not have access to the resources they require, to achieve the grade they deserve, or to maintain their current grade. Students will now be required to complete assessment in an environment that is not conducive to achieving their true potential” reads the petition.
Daniel Cox is a fourth year Biotechnology student who recently posted a video on Facebook explaining the four reasons why he believes that “No Detriment” is an important policy for DCU to enforce.
Daniel told the College View “The disruption that Covid-19 has caused affects students massively, some more than others. It also affects faculty, as they have to come up with new methods of examination very quickly”
“Some form of compensation is needed and ‘No Detriment’ is the best for it, as it causes minimal disruption,” Daniel added.
“Emails have said that the university wants to keep assessments at the ‘same standard’. They forget that the students this year will not be at the same standard – how could they be with a pandemic?”
At the time of writing the four universities have received 19,876 signatures collectively.
The College View have asked the DCU Students’ Union for a comment but have not received one at the time of publication.
Image Credit: DCU