COVID-19 Pandemic: DUSA Continues to Fight for Student Rights

Written by Chantelle Fowler

Deakin University’s Student Association (DUSA) is assuring members that it will keep fighting to fulfil the requests of all students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DUSA recently pushed for a change to the grading schema for Deakin University students after a survey was conducted that showed students were finding it difficult to achieve high marks during this challenging time.

‘The survey answered by Deakin students prompted us to continue pushing the university for academic leniency,’ says DUSA’s student council.

The newly implemented grading system involves a change from numerical grading to letter grading. In addition, results from Trimester 1 2020 will not go towards students’ Weighted Average Mark (WAM), keeping in mind that WAM is not noted on Deakin Transcripts in most cases.

However, many students have not been happy with this new update.

‘The new grading system is ridiculous,’ comments a student on DUSA’s Facebook post regarding the change in the grading system.

Students are now requesting an ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ option to these changes.

Communications student Emily Rawle says that each student scenario should be treated differently.

‘I wholeheartedly believe that there should be a case-by-case consideration in relation to grading assignments and WAM because you never know what someone is going through as a result of this pandemic,’ she says.

DUSA is ensuring it is doing the best it can to meet student requests during this time and it is aware of how important this is.

‘DUSA acknowledges the new system isn’t the solution but certainly a step in the right direction. We want Deakin to adopt an opt-in/out system for WAM. Student Council have been working overtime this weekend devising an alternate strategy. We have liaised with a number of student leaders from unions and guilds across the country, and we’re confident we can get the university to reconsider its decision,’ says the DUSA Student Council.  

As students wait in anticipation for further updates regarding the grading schema, DUSA promises students that they are listening to all feedback.

‘We understand the frustration this has caused many students, and we thank you for understanding the magnitude of this issue. It’s important you watch this space as we will be providing regular developments as well as more information about how you can help us get a better outcome.’

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