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VSU Withdrawal Policy is not a free pass

The VSU Withdrawal Policy allows students five withdrawals from any class. After five withdrawals are used, an automatic F will show up on a student’s academic transcript for any subsequent withdrawals.

The Student Government Association disagrees with the policy and is hoping to get it revised to allow students to use more than five withdrawals.

SGA has been hosting town hall meetings for the past week so students can voice their concerns about the policy.

Students are humans.

Humans make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can be fixed.

However, when those mistakes are made repeatedly, a life line should not be warranted repeatedly.

According to the current VSU Withdrawal Policy, a withdrawal is “a mechanism for students to leave classes when they believe that they will not be successful.”

There’s no telling what causes a student to earn a failing grade in a class, but sometimes it’s not a student’s fault, which is why there are other withdrawal policies such as the hardship and medical withdrawal policies.

Some students, however, choose to take advantage of the withdrawal policy and use it as a way to sample certain classes before they fully commit, which is why VSU’s administration chose to put a limit on the number of withdrawals back in 2010.

Nonetheless, the withdrawal policy is not a glorified free pass. It’s more so a wakeup call.

The policy should be revised, but instead of increasing the amount of withdrawals for all students, the administration should examine a tiered policy according to students’ classification.

The tiered Withdrawal Policy would serve as a way to limit students’ abuse of the policy but still help those students in dire need of a lifeline.

What some students don’t understand is that withdrawals not only hurt them but also other students.

When students take up seats in classes that they don’t intend to stay in, other students who need the class lose out on the opportunity to take the class they need.

Using withdrawals will also cost you.

Even though students avoid receiving an F on their academic transcript, they don’t avoid losing financial aid that could have been used for other obligations.

Lastly, employers will still see a W on a students’ transcript. This can indicate to employers a student’s lack of effort and cause them to lose job opportunities.

We say all this to say that withdrawals should be available as a last resort.

Students would do better to find other solutions, such as talking to their professors or attending tutoring sessions if they find themselves in trouble academically.

If those methods prove ineffective, then a student should resort to a withdrawal.

There has to be a reasonable withdrawal mechanism for students to use who desperately need it.

But when withdrawals are abused, they’re useless.

The tiered withdrawal policy will hold students accountable while still serving its purpose.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator staff.

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