The grade bump for some, may have given grades an extra sparkle, or have been the wish become reality for that D+ to be rounded up to a beautiful C-. Whatever it may have meant to you last semester, it is Déjà vu for Auckland students as we enter our second round of lockdown and remote learning. The question arises as to whether this justifies another grade bump for this semester. Craccum talked to four students about their thoughts on reintroducing the grade bump policy for this semester.
“I’m doing an engineering conjoint degree, so when the idea of the grade bump was first mentioned by AUSA, it didn’t seem realistic that the university would actually take that policy on board, but by final exam time – I’m glad it did! Studying at home makes it really easy to fall behind on lectures so I’m thankful that COVID-19 (because of the grade bump) didn’t affect my grades all that much. For this semester, a grade bump should definitely be on the table especially depending on the government’s response after the current Level 3 lockdown period. If we end up dropping down to a stage where on-campus study can resume, then we’ve really only been in lockdown for 2-3 weeks, as compared to the 9+ weeks in Semester One. Because of this, I don’t think there is enough justification for there to be one in Semester Two (although I would definitely still appreciate it).”
“Last semester’s grade bump served as a major stress relief for many students who have found themselves needing to cater to other essential aspects of their lives, aside from their academics. Many students already tend to face hardships when it comes to needing to get through the average university day… However, due to current circumstances, those hardships have just gotten worse. With job losses, family to take care of, and general mental and physical stresses that accompany working at home, it vital that all, including the university, demonstrate manaakitanga during these times. Based on previous semester procedures implemented by the university, it can be said that the University of Auckland did a superb job and should prepare to carry that on into this ongoing semester, given the amount of uncertainty being felt by students.”
“2020 has been a ride a half, so I cannot thank AUSA enough for giving me just that little more room to breathe. I say grade bump for this semester, as a treat.”
“I think that the grade bump has both its pros and cons, however I feel that the pros very much outweigh the cons, for it helped people to achieve results that they otherwise wouldn’t have given the circumstances… Some people may think that it is unfair to those who genuinely try to get top grades which is fair enough – they’re entitled to their own opinion – but I think overall it did help a lot more people… Depending on how things go and the outcome of the whole situation, there should be some thought on having the grade bumps apply. For me personally, I come to university to learn because I enjoy it, so whether or not I get the grade bump does not matter so much, so long as I am able to do what I came for.
*Names have been changed to protect students’ identities