Erica Taicz, who just graduated from Johns Hopkins, and others want to retain “covered grades” in the first semester. From left are: Taicz; John Hughes, 20, a rising junior; Jonathan Liu, 21, who just graduated, and Kwame Alston, 20, a rising junior. Photo: Algerina Pena, Baltimore Sun
To ease pressure on new students, Johns Hopkins University hides their first-semester, first-year grades: Students know what they earned, but their transcript says only Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (or the failed course is removed). Plans to change the decades-old policy in 2017, have distressed students, reports the Baltimore Sun.
A group of students who call their effort #ReCoverHopkins say reporting first-semester grades will cause mental-health problems.
Hopkins students experience anxiety, depression, and suicide at high rates which cannot continue to be tolerated for the sake of competitive academic performance.
Students from low-income backgrounds, first generation students, students struggling with mental health, students with disabilities, international students, and sexual assault survivors—as well as students whose experiences exist at intersections of marginalized race, gender, and sexuality—are disproportionately affected by the policy change.”
Students aren’t asking to be coddled, organizer Erica Taicz told the Baltimore Sun. “I’m paying to have a support network, academically and mentally. I can’t be expected to do well in class if I’m depressed and have anxiety.”
“What Hopkins students are actually paying for is a rigorous education and, eventually, a degree that demonstrates their intellectual competence in some area of study, responds Robby Soave on Reason.
“Having to receive letter grades is not a traumatic experience, it’s a normal one,” responds Katherine Timpf on National Review. “Any potential students who think they can’t handle it should really just go somewhere else.”
When my daughter was looking at colleges — it was awhile ago — I noticed that Johns Hopkins had a reputation for unhappy students, possibly because so many are competing to get into medical school. Apparently, it’s the anti-party school.
I don’t think hiding first-semester grades is a terrible policy — or terribly effective at sheltering students from academic pressures. A few other elite colleges do it. But, gee, is this the Intersectional Snowflake Generation?