Now 3,500 people are demanding Sheffield Uni introduce ‘safety net’ policy

And the uni is silent

A petition calling on the University of Sheffield to change summer assignments to not hinder students’ overall grades, has drastically increased to 3,500 signatures.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that universities across the country have cancelled classes, closed campuses and libraries.

The proposal would ensure that any remaining assignments this academic year would only impact a student’s overall grade if they are at or above their current average grade, so long as they pass. The petition was only set up at around 5pm on Friday.

But despite the anger and the SU backing the petition, Sheffield Uni did not respond to The Tab Sheffield’s email asking them for comment.

Up and down the country, students are calling for their universities to take action with similar petitions gaining popularity at universities like Cardiff. The proposals have already been introduced at Exeter, Edinburgh, Southampton and Warwick universities.

This term, universities have also been affected by 22 days of strikes set across six weeks, meaning that many students have received very little teaching time even before the Covid-19 crisis.

The petition says: “Now all university buildings have closed, students can not access library books or other essential learning facilities. Many students mental health will be extremely negatively impacted by the pandemic, many will have to work in unsuitable environments that will not allow them to work to their full potential, and many will be hindered by coronavirus directly affecting them or their loved ones.

“It is about time our University did something to protect the welfare of their student body. This year has been rife with difficulties and it is not fair for assessment changes, communicated via email (in some cases, less than a month before the exams are to be sat) to determine our futures.”

Current SU president Jake Verity has backed the petition, saying: “We’re really supportive of students setting up this petition, and when we found out about the ‘safety net policy’, our entire Officer Team agreed that it is a good idea and that we are 100% supporting it.

“Our Education Officer, Charlie already mentioned this policy to the University when it was being set up, but now we know more about it we agree that it’s a fantastic idea.

“Our SU Officer Team are very happy to amplify the voice of students on this petition, and to take this to the University for the benefit of our students.”

Sign the petition here.