Virginia Tech students returned to class Monday, April 23, a full week after the tragic shootings in Norris Hall April 16.
During the one week suspension of class, the Virginia Tech administration devised a new exam policy that would help students and faculty end the semester with a fair grading system while they continue to cope with the trauma of the campus tragedy.
p. The new exam policy was sent out to all students in an e-mail from University Provost Mark McNamee on April 20.
p. “We are providing you, the students, with the ability to make choices from multiple options,” the message read.
p. “Your welfare is a high priority for us,” McNamee emphasized in his email.
p. The policy enables students to choose from three options for each individual class.
p. The students can either choose to be graded based on materials submitted before April 16, on that material plus any other assignments the students wished to submit, or on all of the material that would have been regularly submitted in the course.
The campus withdrawal policy was also extended to grant the students an unlimited number of withdrawal hours.
p. Furthermore, a fourth option was extended to students in the College of Engineering, who can choose to change any letter grade to pass/fail.
p. “Flexibility will be the guiding principle,” McNamee stated in an e-mail to all Virginia Tech students.
p. Other changes on campus during the last week of classes included a drastic increase in police presence and a lingering media presence, which the students were warned about in an e-mail from Michael Deisenroth, the acting associate dean for Academic Affairs.
p. “When the media and the police presence are long gone, the Hokies will still be here,” Deisenroth said.
p. Commencement festivities were not canceled due to the Friday shootings. The events are still scheduled to be held May 11.
All of the shooting victims will receive honorary degrees.
p. “After this traumatic experience, it will be difficult to resume our lives and duties,” Virginia Tech President Charles Steger wrote in an e-mail to the students last week. “By working together with the spirit and bond strengthened by this tragedy, we will move forward in a way that will honor the memory of those we have lost.”