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COVID 19: Pass/No Pass & Student Supports – A Message from President Clark - April 15, 2020

Office of the President
Wednesday 4/15/2020

Subject: COVID-19: Pass/No Pass & Student Supports – A Message from President Clark


Dear fellow BSU Bears,

How are you? This has certainly been a challenging semester; coping personally with the impacts of COVID-19 on you, your families and friends; the move to online classes, and not being physically present on campus. If you are graduating, the last months of being a BSU student are not what you or any of us could have possibly imagined. I wish that we could take away the adversity, but what we can do at BSU is our very best to support you during these difficult times.

Pass/No Pass

That support starts with the unanimous vote this evening by BSU’s All University Committee (AUC) to adopted an opt-in Pass/No Pass (P/N) grading system for Spring 2020. This decision was taken in direct response to your overwhelming support for such a policy (one-third of BSU’s undergraduate students signed a petition asking BSU to adopt P/N and your Student Government Association unanimously adopted a resolution urging this action). With this decision, undergraduate students will be able to choose Pass/No Pass grades for individual classes, all classes or no classes following receipt of their final Spring 2020 semester grades.

Under the new policy, all Spring 2020 courses will be eligible for P/N grades in lieu of traditional letter grades unless otherwise specified. A “P” grade will earn credit toward graduation but will not be calculated into your GPA, either overall or in your major. A “NP” will not earn credit toward graduation but will also not be factored into the calculation of your GPA.

Additional information about P/N can be found in the Student FAQ on BSU’s COVID-19 web page and by talking with your faculty and academic advisors.

We sincerely hope that this decision alleviates certain anxieties caused by the move to online classes and helps you to better focus on learning and your other responsibilities during this unprecedented period.

Student Emergency Fund

For many of you, the pandemic only adds to financial strains you already face. To assist you with COVID-19 related hardships, BSU has created and mobilized a new COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund to provide those in need with immediate assistance. Applying for this assistance is easy; after logging in, just fill out this simple online application. You will hear from us within 48 hours with either a decision or if we need additional information to finalize your application. Funding is limited, so awards may be made on a first come, first serve basis.

Other Resources

I also would direct your attention to two sets of resources: the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice web page and the Resources in Support of Excellence (RISE) page. These resources are filled with information on how you can access help with food, shelter, clothing, fuel, transportation, childcare, family resources, health and mental health, legal aid, student loans and finances.

Academic Supports

Don’t forget that during this difficult time, the Academic Achievement Center is open virtually Monday to Friday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm to support you. For information on accessing specific resources, such as disability resources and learning assistance, please see the Student FAQ on Academic Services.

We are here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you need it. We are, after all, one big BSU family.

And finally, a word or two for our graduating students. You are in our thoughts every day, and we know how sad you feel for having your last few months of college spent as students in a virtual university setting. One of you even posted last night on our BSU Mobile App in the Lost and Found section for help: “I lost my senior year, if you find it please get it back to me.” We hear you and we miss you too. You will always be a Bear, and this separation is temporary. As I promised, we will celebrate your graduation from Bridgewater State University at a commencement ceremony in person and welcome you to the proud group of alumni who still call BSU our home.

Take care my friends and stay safe,

Fred Clark
Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq.