University announces pass/fail option and closes campus early due to rise in COVID-19 cases


Twitter @PaceUniversity

Alexandra Puga, Executive Editor

On Nov. 18, University students received an email from Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Vanya Quiñones offering the option of pass/fail for the fall semester.

Students, staff and faculty also received an email from President Marvin Krislov in regards to campus closing early on Nov. 19.

Both undergraduate and graduate students received emails for the New York City and Westchester campuses. 

The decision for pass/fail was made by both campus faculty councils due to COVID-19 and the “unique circumstances this semester has placed on everyone.”

It is important to first consult your instructor and advisor before making the decision to implement pass/fail in a course while following the policy put in place by the faculty councils, as well as confirm with the Financial Aid Office to choose what is most appropriate for you.

University senior Carter Boyd said, “While pass/fail is great, it enforces the idea that the students are the only reason their grades might suffer during a global pandemic, an economic free fall, and a reliance on technology making faculty extremely unequipped and unqualified to provide an adequate level of education comparable to that of in person classes.”

Boyd continued, “I think pass/fail is a bandaid over a larger and deep ingrained issue with our education system.”

The guidelines for the pass/fail grading options includes several factors. Some schools may not be eligible for this grading option due to major and certification requirements, and financial aid may be affected based on their academic history prior to the fall 2020 semester.

The COVID-19 Pass/Fail Form can be found in the email sent by the Provost and this decision becomes final by Dec. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Also on Nov. 18 through the Pace Safe app, text message and email, the University announced that all campuses “will move to remote learning and work where possible beginning Thursday, November 19. Our buildings and residence halls will remain open as planned through Tuesday of next week.”

In a statement from President Marvin Krislov, he emphasized that this is not a campus closure and that campus will close as scheduled on Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving break. Dining services are still available but the library facilities are closed and will return to remote services. 

University junior Greyson Corley who resides at 33 Beekman said, “I was pretty shocked when I saw the announcement that Pace was going to close campus early.”

“It didn’t really affect me as much because I had already made plans to go home the Friday before break, however it really felt like the spring all over again which was not a fun feeling,” Corley added. 

In regards to classes moving to remote learning early, University senior Brooke Sufrin said, “All my classes are virtual so I’m not personally affected class-wise by campus closing early. I think it’s a wise and proactive move because keeping the Pace community health should be the top priority right now.” When asked about her on-campus job, Sufrin responded, “I do have an on campus job but I should be able to work virtually.”

In regards to campus closing early, Boyd added, “I think the University is doing what is right with an online-only end of the semester.”

Boyd continued,“Going online, and frankly closing the residence halls prior to finals, forces students to return “home” to inadequate work spaces, abusive environments, or places where our diverse population cannot actually be who they are.”

The statement by President Krislov said, “We are making these moves in an effort to keep the Pace Community safe. Unfortunately, COVID-19 positivity rates are increasing in our area. Today (Nov. 18), the New York City Department of Education announced that public schools will move remote starting tomorrow.”

“In our remaining in-person days, we want to minimize the risks of exposure for all our students, faculty, and staff,” he continued. 

For up to date information regarding COVID-19 on campus you can find information here