We Got What We Campaigned for, So Why Are Undergraduates Still Complaining?

Brooke Davies

It is undeniable that  lockdown brought forth a wave of uncertainty surrounding teaching and assessment, and in particular, grades.

And rightfully so; it is painfully obvious that students will not be able to achieve the same productivity as we would without a national health crisis. Students should not be expected to put maintaining and improving grades over their health and that of their families. Not only that, but without an academic environment for students to work it makes working consistently an strenuous task. 

So, the University listened, and we got the safety-net. A policy which calculates an average of marks already achieved and this score being the minimum one can pass with (granted all modules are at least passed with 40%).  Originating from the University of Exeter, we campaigned for and got a policy based on the ‘Exeter Model’. 

But, people are still complaining. 

Why? Because the score also includes marks from previous years, which quite frankly isn’t good enough for some, despite it being quite literally what we asked for. If you campaigned for the ‘Exeter Model’, you were campaigning for the use of your previous years grades. 

Humans really are impossible to please. 

Did students honestly expect the University and its staff (human beings like you and I), to create a model which graded students fairly while also easing expectations with absolute no drawbacks? If you did, take a step back and think. 

This would have been an administrative nightmare for staff; no one could have predicted this pandemic, and no one has prepared for it. 

Your grades are also not the only issue. The University has been working on other initiatives such as cutting campus accommodation rent, offering an emergency loan, while moving all library resources and contact hours online. 

I can imagine the hours put in by staff has been immense, and a little bit of gratitude and understanding will go a long way compared to the complaining I am constantly reading.  

So to the staff who have worked hard in ensuring students get the best service they possibly can: Well done, it must have been a bloody task.