Okay, this has nothing to do with running, but I have dilemma and perhaps you guys can help solve it. I have a student who is bothering me to get his grade changed. Here are the facts:
Student profile: Constantly late, often absent, turns in late work, all work was either F or D quality. He is, apparently, very involved in clubs, organizations, and student council, and claims to have been too busy with all of those committments to focus on my class (I'd had a conversation with him mid-term explaining that while it's great to be involved in activities, he's in college for an academic purpose and he'd better get his priorities in order). I gave him a D for the course, which -- trust me -- already felt generous.
His petition: He turned in his last paper after I had already submitted grades (which means it was over a week late); therefore, I didn't fully assess him. He needs a C to pass the course (college requirement for writing courses), but he's not asking for that; he wants a C- or D+ (yes, college has a + and - system) because if he doesn't bring up his GPA, he's out of college (he must be on academic probation).
My stance: He knew through the course of the semester that he was doing poorly, yet I saw no real initiative to improve his grades, his attendance or his tardiness (something that particularly irks me). I think he deserves the D. However, I'm not cold-hearted and I think students do deserve another chance if they are truly deserving or have had some major difficulties in the course of the semester (though, I don't think that being busy with student council is a justified "major difficulty" -- I had a student who was diagnosed with cancer this term and she finished the semester and finished all her work!).
My dilemma: Will standing my ground on his grade cause more problems than it's worth? On the other hand, I do still think of myself as an instructor with integrity (god knows how many more years that will last) and is it fair to change this student's grade when there were other students who worked hard all semester, were on time, were there every time, turned their work in on time? If I'm willing to change a grade willy-nilly, does their hard work count?
These are the troubling questions, my friends. What's the consensus? Do I change his grade from a D to either a D+ or C-? Or do I stand my ground and leave his grade, and subsequently, he will be kicked out of the university?