Following the implementation of policies across the UK, UCD students, along with students in Trinity College and UCC, are now calling for a ‘No Detriment’ policy to be brought into place. This action began with a Change.org petition posted earlier this week by Edie Connors, which has since been signed by over 4,700 users at time of writing.
The ‘No Detriment’ policies that have already been put in place propose that so long as students qualify to progress or graduate based on the marks they achieve, there will be no negative impact on their GPA based off of the results from this semester's examinations and assignments. The petition, which outlines the current situation as well as the proposed policy, states that this is necessary for UCD students as, with campus closed, students are without services they may need, like study areas, reliable WiFi, and essential library services, like physical texts and laptop rental. This, alongside the fact that many may be forced to isolate in situations that infringe on productivity or are unsafe, mean that many students will be unable to achieve their usual standard of work during this time.
While the University has relaxed its measures surrounding extenuating circumstances, this is felt by many to be not be enough, particularly as many are still unsure as to whether their situation applies, such as students who work in essential services, who are usually unable to apply for extenuating circumstances due to an increased workload from paid work.
On March 3rd, following the launch of the petition, a group of students set up a Facebook page to organise a unified call for a ‘No Detriment’ policy to be implemented. At the time of writing, this group had reached over 2,500 members. A UCD student involved with this campaign, Conor Nolan, said when asked about why he helped create the group, “Essentially, once I heard of the petition and researched what exactly "No Detriment" policy is, I knew it was the right call to help those who are struggling or now studying primarily in really disadvantaged circumstances. I felt passionate about it and I wanted to help people. Particularly when extenuating circumstances being relaxed was not the ideal solution to helping anyone.”
He then went on to explain how the group came about, ”After a class rep meeting, we were told to reconfigure and get a group statement from my course. My friend Caolan then notified me about what TCD was doing and suggested we do a similar thing. So we set up the Facebook group. My thinking was, why just get a signed statement from my course when it would be far more impactful to get a statement supported by hundreds or more and signed by class reps from various different schools and year groups. Accomplishing this was key, but now we are encouraging students to email en masse to ensure our voices are heard. I just wanted to try and help those who are struggling and this was the best approach we could come up with.”
“Luckily, the response has been amazing.”
UCD are yet to respond to a request for comment.