Proposed grading scale creates controversy at BGSU


The Undergraduate Student Government office in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Jake Pietrasz and Jake Pietrasz

A new proposed grading scale change at BGSU is creating controversy for students and faculty.

On Oct. 22, the Undergraduate Student Government held a town hall in Olscamp Hall at 7 p.m. There, approximately 50 students and faculty members were informed about the proposed plus/minus grading scale by Assistant Vice Provost Andy Alt. Following the presentation, students and faculty were able to voice their opinions on the grading scale and also through an anonymous survey. 

“The results of the plus/minus town hall have been quite interesting. The vast majority of students in attendance reported that they did not support this policy, approximately 85%. The survey was only taken by a little over 50 people, so it is quite a small sample size. However, the immediate results are not favorable of the policy,” USG Academic Affairs Chair Alex Chiarelott said.

This is not the first time this plus/minus grading scale has been proposed. It was first proposed back in the 2017-2018 academic year by a committee of faculty, staff and academic administrators, and then again during the following 2018-2019 academic year. Each year, the policy was revised due to a lack of support for the grading scale.

“The Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution two years ago formally stating they do not approve of this policy. That resolution is still our official stance,” said Chiarelott.

Even though there has been a lack of support from BGSU students over the past few years, not all students think this way. Despite being either for or against the grading scale, some students think about the possible benefits of it.

“I believe a plus/minus grading scale would be beneficial for the students who go above and beyond in their educational careers and want to set themselves apart. They can stand out because it shows that they truly are hardworking and caring if they want to receive the ‘plus’ grade,” said sophomore business major Jason Hernandez.

Each year, the proposal reaches more people, but there is no way to tell how many students are being informed. Many students who know about the proposal have expressed their concerns with the problems the grading scale could possibly cause.

“I personally do not support the policy. The students and many faculty have expressed issues and concerns for the policy, and I fear it would cause too much disruption and confusion. There are still thousands of students on campus who could very well not know about this policy, or be misinformed about it, which is a major issue,” Chiarelott said.

Along with the students, many faculty members have also expressed their concerns and even some confusion about the grading scale.

“I am not a fan of the plus/minus grading scale because I think it will create more confusion for professors and students. However, if it does get approved, I would think about adopting it to be fair to students. Because if other professors are using it then those students have an advantage over those who aren’t graded with the plus/minus grading scale,” economics professor Katharine Sobota said.

An official vote deciding whether or not the grading scale passes will take place on Nov. 5 at 2:30 p.m. The Faculty Senate, along with some members of the USG will have the final say on whether or not the grading scale will go into effect. If the policy should be voted through by the senators, it will go to the president’s cabinet for approval.