The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Student starts petition to extend pass/fail deadline

The petition, which asks Vanderbilt to extend the pass/fail deadline until after final exams, currently has 1,362 signatures
Emily Gonçalves

Vanderbilt sophomore Sarah Fishbein started a petition on requesting that the university extend its pass/fail deadline for students.  The petition – which was created on April 6 at roughly 2:00 pm CT – has 1,362 signatures and counting as of Monday evening.

Chancellor Wente first informed students on March 17 that in light of “extraordinary circumstances,” the deadline to declare classes as pass/fail would be extended from Jan. 17 to April 10. The decision was announced in an email after Vanderbilt student Cameron Sheehy created a petition on March 11 requesting the university allow students to move to the pass/fail grading basis. This petition garnered 1,284 signatures.

“I was personally very stressed about making the decision about whether or not to pass/fail my classes,” Fishbein said. “After talking to my friends, I realized that a lot of other people felt the same way. My friends not only agreed with me, but kept coming up with examples of different schools with better policies so I figured that it was worth a try.”

“We, as Vanderbilt students, feel as though this is extremely unfair and want this deadline to be extended to after final exams,” the petition states. “As of now, students do not have the information needed to make this decision, as many professors have modified their syllabi and are behind on grading. Extending this deadline would allow students to make a more informed decision once they have a better understanding of their standing in the class.”

The petition continues to cite peer institutions’ decision to extend the deadline further. The last day of Vanderbilt classes April 20, and final exams are slated to end April 30.

“A number of other schools including Carnegie Melon University, Lehigh University, University of Southern California, University of Michigan and Tulane University are not requiring students to make this decision until after final grades are posted. Other prestigious institutions, such as Yale University, have extended this deadline to the last day of finals while others, such as Cornell University, Princeton University, Duke University, and Georgetown University do not require students to make this decision until the last day of classes.”

“At first I was surprised at the support I received, but then the more I thought about it the less surprised I was,” Fishbein said. “I think everyone agrees that the April 10 deadline is both arbitrary and unreasonable because so much can change between April 10 and the end of the semester that would impact someone’s decision to take their classes on a pass/fail basis.”

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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About the Contributors
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
Emily Gonçalves
Emily Gonçalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!
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