The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union’s (SCSU) Academic Advocacy campaign has successfully extended students’ ability to credit/no credit (CR/NCR) a course until the last day of classes. The CR/NCR choice allows students to opt for a pass or fail mark rather than a percentage grade on their academic transcript in up to two full credits. UTSC students can currently invoke the CR/NCR up to two weeks before the last day of classes, but the SCSU’s change will enter into effect in academic sessions after May 1.
The campaign aims to advocate for the academic rights of students and make education and information more accessible.
The CR/NCR extension was adopted by the university after the campaign submitted a report, supported by a petition, that included the extension as one of its ‘asks and recommendations.’ According to the petition, students are unreasonably expected to estimate their academic standing two weeks before they receive all their grades, and many students end up making uninformed decisions.
Beside securing the extension of the CR/NCR option, the SCSU campaign has worked to make students more aware of their academic rights and what infringements of those rights are. According to Christina Arayata, SCSU Vice-President Academics & University Affairs, the union has seen an increase in the number of students asking for assistance through appeals and petitions this year. Arayata said this increase of student awareness is a result of the information that the campaign has been promoting. “Students have been receptive to the campaign, especially now that a victory has occurred,” said Arayata.
The SCSU is also currently advocating for the introduction of self-declared sick notes, a five per cent cap on late penalties, and lifting laptop ban policies in classrooms. Arayata explained that the university has been supportive and is interested in the recommendations and pilot programs proposed by the union.
Students can expect this campaign to continue well into the future.“Academic advocacy and accessibility has moved from just conversation to actionable items that can be improved, expanded, and developed,” said Arayata. “The topic of accessible education and advocacy must not stop — it is an ongoing movement that needs constant care.”