School closures in light of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced colleges across the nation to make unprecedented decisions. Courtesy of

By: Jen Hasbun

Prompted by recent developments regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Mount Saint Mary College has made two major announcements: students will be offered a pass/fail grading option at the end of the current semester, and students who were sent home from the dormitories in mid-March will be issued a refund to cover the time spent off-campus.

Susan Whiteley, coordinator for academic affairs, said that a petition asking college officials to implement a pass/fail policy first came to President Adsit’s attention the week students were sent home, but was not a prominent factor in the college’s decision to revise the grading system. 

According to Whiteley, the decision was made dually by President Adsit and Michael Olivette, vice president for academic affairs – following consultation with other administrative officials and campus faculty – in order to lessen the academic burden for students impacted by “the stress of the pandemic, home life and total online learning.” 

“I must say I was impressed by the knowledge and concern that many of the faculty exhibited,” said Dean Goldberg, director of the Communication, Art and Digital Media Program. “This is a time for all of us to be as supportive as we can and realize that learning, not grades, is the most important thing.”

Room and board adjustments – which vary from student to student – were applied to billing statements on April 6, according to Shayna Toomey, director of student accounts. Students with adjusted room and board/meal plan expenses received email notifications giving them the option to select how their refunds would be processed.

Refund checks will be issued by default; the first wave of refunds was issued April 10.