Best and worst of this week’s headlines

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone.

The responsibility of being a student during the health crisis has contributed to increased rates of depression and anxiety. But on a more hopeful note, the Student Association is pushing GW to allow classes to be taken on a pass/fail basis, which would allay some concerns as we approach a remote semester.

Here’s the best and worst of this week’s headlines:

Thumbs up:

SA leaders are demanding that the University set us up for a successful online semester. The SA released a survey earlier this month that revealed 93 percent of students are in favor of continuing a pass/fail policy used in the spring.

The SA’s ability to continue raising student voices and advocating to make the best out of a dire situation is admirable. The students within the SA are students first, facing their own struggles and hardships during this pandemic. But they are still coming together to call on the University to do what they think is right.

If officials saw it fit to allow classes to be taken on a pass/fail basis in the spring, it seems intuitive that the policy would be adopted during a remote fall semester. Students learn best in different ways and are suddenly expected to succeed academically this fall in a home environment that might not be best for learning. The University cannot control how this pandemic is impacting its students and faculty, but they can control the resources they provide to ensure students succeed.

Thumbs down:

A study from the Journal of Medical Internet found that college students are more anxious and depressed than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is easy to understand why. Many have needed to find jobs to help support themselves or their families, and the pandemic itself has left many students isolated and feeling lonely. Students, like many people, are understandably struggling with mental health.

As officials ready for another remote semester and students are left at home for at least another few months, it is imperative that students take care of themselves. It’s easier said than done, but with so many things out of our control, the best thing students can do is control what they can. Our health and well-being are more important than any class, grade or job.

Hannah Thacker, a rising junior majoring in political communication, is the opinions editor.

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