In an email sent out to students today, Registrar Mark Rodgers outlined the way in which UCD was changing their academic policy in order to help students who may be experiencing difficulties working from home.
The examinations period has been extended by one week, and will now take place from 5th May to the 23rd of May. Students have been told to make their module coordinator aware of any difficulties that they may be facing so they can accommodate them. The email went onto state “Where appropriate, alternative assessments have been put in place. These alternative assessments are designed to enable as much flexibility as possible for you to demonstrate that you have achieved the required learning outcomes, without compromising the integrity of the assessment process, and to maintain confidence and transparency in the quality of the degree and programme.”
However, many students have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the email, which completely ignores the calls for a no-detriment policy to be introduced in UCD. The students in the “UCD No Detriment Policy” Facebook page have said that these measures are not enough, and more work needs to be done to put pressure on the University to ensure the introduction of the policy. One student in the group, Luchia Leigh, said of the response "I’ve also had lecturers cut word counts of essays and given us messily 2-3 day extensions. And by then doing so, they have ‘ticked off’ accommodating students and therefore won’t be marking us according to the pandemic. They don’t realise that this is actually hindering us, not helping. It’s a joke".
This comes after a number of TD’s have supported the students calling for in introduction of the policy, including Gary Gannon of the Social Democrats, Sean Haughy of Fianna Fáil, Hildegarde Naughton of Fine Gael, and Denise Mitchell and Mairead Farrell of Sinn Fein.
SU President Joanna Siewierska commented on the email also, saying "We will also issue an update once we have more info!!! We are pushing to get this discussed as much as we can, so we can raise your voice in a structured forum and work together for a clear answer to this situation. With all of the good work that is ongoing in the university, it is still not good enough to make a decision without speaking with student representatives, especially when it's impacting everyone!"