Dawson to go ahead with in-person exams, warns boycotting students they'll flunk
MONTREAL -- A court has granted Dawson College the right to hold in-person exams, ruling against an injunction filed by the Dawson Student Union or DSU.
The union says it now expects hundreds of students to boycott the in-person exams when they begin on Thursday. And the school is warning them, be ready to flunk.
The students had sought the injunction on the grounds that in-person exams are unsafe right now. But the college argued that while most exams have been moved online, some need to be held in person to test students' practical skills.
The college also filed its own injunction to ban students from blocking the entrances to the exams.
On Wednesday, the college pleaded with students to attend their exams and say it's taking measures to make them safe.
"At noon today, the Dawson Student Union announced that 51% of students have voted in favour of a boycott of exams," it wrote in a statement.
Nearly 3,000 students, or about 30 per cent of the student body, voted, so it's not clear exactly how many in total won't show up, but a significant chunk can be expected to follow the boycott.
But those who do will fail the exams, it stressed on Wednesday, with hours to go before exam day.
"We have had discussions with the DSU to find solutions that protect the health and safety of our students, including significant accommodations for students who are immunocompromised or have immunocompromised family members," the school wrote.
"With today’s court ruling and approval from the Direction Régional de Santé Publique (DRSP) for all our health protocols regarding in-person exams, the College’s position is that students who do not show up for their exams will be given a grade of zero."
It said its exam system was created with the help of health authorities and that "academic integrity must be upheld if we are able to do so under safe conditions."
It also said that the exams being held in person are for classes that have also had some in-person elements.
"For certain disciplines, there is a need for an in-person evaluation due to either the practical nature of the assessment or difficulty in preserving academic integrity," the school said.
"Most of the students coming in for final exams have already been on campus for essential learning activities this semester."