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Grades are one of the most important aspects of a student's life because they impact whether or not they earn their scholarship or bursary. Image: Dasser Kamran/Fulcrum.

What are U of O students supposed to do while they wait for professors to finalize their marks?

We know: 2020 was exhausting. Many things have drastically changed and the world has had to adjust to make ends meet and society has had to push forward. The lives of post secondary students, in particular, were caught in the middle of a tornado of change. 

The education system this past year has taken drastic measures along the way to ensure continual education — sometimes at the cost of leaving students in the dark. With campuses closed, virtual learning was implemented with little to no preparation for both students and professors. Four semesters in, technological issues continue to pile up and be used as an excuse for subpar education. 

Amongst students, there is an overwhelming feeling of burnout. With the current provincial lockdown, students are feeling the effects of isolation from their peers as social gatherings are prohibited. Add-in a heavier workload and you have a perfect recipe for increased anxiety and burnout

But these are factors students have been dealing with since March. The one thing that students were not ready for, however, was the added stress of not receiving their final 2020 fall semester grades. The decision is not only detrimental to students’ academic success, but also their daily life. 

In the post-secondary education system, grades are one of the most important aspects of a student’s life because they impact whether or not they earn their scholarship or bursary. Then, in turn, depending on the grades they earn, the money students receive can go beyond just tuition and help with daily life essentials such as rent and food. 

But what happens when deadlines for final grades are pushed back? What happens when the university doesn’t directly communicate the delayed release? That’s the situation many U of O students currently find themselves in at the moment — and frankly, it’s unacceptable.

A pushed-back tuition payment deadline might solve a future administration issue, but it doesn’t solve the current financial problems students have outside of their university bills.  

Many students are now in a state of precarity for the month of January, caught wondering about scholarships that may never arrive because they are unaware of how they fared in their courses.

At the same time, their bank accounts dwindle and their living expenses add up. 

What are U of O students supposed to do in the meantime while they wait for professors to finalize their marks? That’s a question we don’t have the answer to. 

Scholarships are a reward for high marks – marks which have been even harder to achieve in the face of mandatory virtual learning. The fact that they have been delayed is a slap in the face to those who have succeeded in producing outstanding work during unprecedented times and rely on financial assistance to continue their education.

Editorials are written by the Fulcrum’s thirteen-person editorial board and express the shared views and opinions of the Fulcrum’s editorial staff. To share your own views, email editor@thefulcrum.ca.