Bethany Montgomery, Staff Writer
Saint Martin’s University announced that going forward, starting this year, professors will no longer be allowed to consider attendance to classes mandatory. Furthermore, all assignments and testing will be optional, and are now considered “learning tools.” Grades will be based entirely on participation. The school released the following statement regarding their decision:
“It was recently brought to our attention that the courses we offer are causing students to feel an immense amount of stress and pressure to excel in their classes. We were horrified to hear that the demands of school can be too much for students to handle, and they were not able to live their best lives and enjoy themselves while in college. What could be more important about the college experience than having fun with friends and living it up as a newly liberated young adult? By changing all grades to participation-based, students will be able to work on improving other areas of themselves, such as developing socially, exploring new hobbies, and so on.”
The school stated that moving forward, students should now participate in school as they see fit. According to a member of the Board of Trustees, “It’s egregious to think that anything more than participation is required to win or be deemed successful. At first, I was against the new policy, but looking back, I now realize I would have enjoyed college life much more if I had not had the pressure of due dates and grade expectations that I would work hard. Students shouldn’t have to be pressured about anything. That’s why we have our acceptance rate at 96 percent.”
Some students protested this new policy change, saying that they are working hard to get their degree, and did not deserve to have the stress, papers, group projects, and finals mean nothing in the end. One of these concerned students expressed in an interview with the Shallot apprehensions about the recent changes.
“This is a ridiculous policy. Students need to learn. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing stress, it’s a part of life. If it gets really bad, there are options that students have to deal with the stress. That’s totally okay. Working through these feelings is a part of growing up. But avoiding any kind of stressful situations is just going to make post-college life extremely difficult to endure.”
Parents also expressed their trivial concerns for their students not attending class, asking the school about “grades,” and how their student would be “ready for their field without learning the material.”
Additionally, many professors have stated that they are rewriting their course syllabi to reflect the new philosophy at Saint Martin’s on education. According to an anonymous professor from the College of Arts and Sciences, “I have rewritten all the syllabi for my classes to give 100 percent of the grade based on participation points. Just to be clear, this won’t be participation based on attendance. Rather, it will be whether or not people show up some days, not every day, with a smile on their face, or a frown, and an eagerness to participate in whatever discussion we have in class that day.”
COR100 classes, which replaced UNI 101, will now have mandatory nap time.
In a recent interview with The Shallot, a member of administration stated that, “We understand how stressful this time of life can be. Many students find it difficult to find the time to sleep. Hopefully, by making grades strictly based on participation, students will be able to bring enough sleep back into their lives, but we feel like it is important to teach that in the classroom. From now on, all COR100 classes will include at least a half-hour of nap time, and professors should feel free to extend that as they see fit.”
This trend of making college easier will also extend to athletics.
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference has recently announced in a joint statement with Saint Martin’s University that “All awards will now be given on a participatory basis. The idea is to make it so that everybody gets a trophy and no one is left out. Student-athletes have enough on their plate with the sport, schoolwork, sleep, maintaining a social life, and other activities. We recognize that all teams across all sports work incredibly hard, so we want to remove any stress associated with the competitive part of the sport. All sporting events will now be treated as exhibitions, and there will be no playoffs. In the Pacific Northwest, everyone’s a winner!”