Dear Ada Christopher, Associate Director Academic Support Faculty of Science

Dear Ada Christopher, Associate Director Academic Support Faculty of Science:

I am writing to appeal to the decision made by the Faculty of Science committee from UBC to assign a FAIL standing and further discontinue my studies at the institution. From my performance over the last few courses, this decision was not at all surprising, but I would like to use this opportunity to explain the circumstances that led to this moment and plead a case for reinstatement into the faculty. I believe you will understand why my performance has declined radically owing to what I truthfully present and demonstrate herein.The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people differently. For a lot of y fellow students, the situation was much easier to cope with because of the closeness with family members and their community. As an international student, coping with the situation and the resultant impacts have been harder for me. I was very worried that my family members, especially my parents may contract the deadly virus. At some point, it got so bad that I develop anxiety that grew into depression. I was always worried that I might lose a family member to the virus. At some point, we had a real scare when my mother caught a mild flu. This is around the same time that we had exams. My mother is well and healthy, yet the feeling of hopelessness and despair has not gone away. I am finding it very hard to keep up with the demands of a new world where we have to constantly be vigilant on who we interact with, while doing everything possible to get daily sustenance.

The announcement of a vaccine has helped a lot to lighten the load. While my family is yet to get the much-sought after vaccine, I am hopeful that once we are all vaccinated that everything will go back to normal. I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everybody in the world. I am not making any excuses for my poor performance in the last few courses. However, I am making a truthful and sincere plea for you to understand that I have not been in the right mental state to perform as I expect and as your institution demands. You may see from my previous record that I am a hard worker. I accept my responsibilities with pride and also admit where I am wrong. I truly hope that you will see how I yearn to be better and will be willing to make a promise to you, the institution, and myself that I will do better and exceedingly so if you give me a chance.

I have taken some personal steps to begin rectifying the situation. I have therapy sessions at home with a counsellor to work on my anxiety issues. I am also working to create a schedule to cover the gaps created by the time differences that have also contributed to my poor performance. I am also working to find a way to have access to better internet. However, on a more focused perspective, I am working to ensure that I am at the right frame of my mind to get back to where I was before all these issues emerged. I know I will be better and I plan to show you this if you will consider my plea. I have not given my courses the attention deserved and for that I truly ask that you give me a chance. I will engage all of the resources that the Faculty of Science provides to guide students on matters relating to performance issues. If you can have a look at previous grades earned all other periods that I have been a part of UBC, you will see that the poor grades earned recently are very unusual for me. For that, I take full responsibility and I am not trying to pin it on anything other than a complete shift in focus to an issue that my mind could not quickly keep up with.

Going forward, I have a number of personal strategies that I plan to implement to ensure that I not only make the cut but also surpass the expectation of the faculty and the university regarding quality performance. I will create more time for my studies, ensure that I use all of the resources at my disposal to improve, and engage the advisory function in the school to ensure that I am at par with what I need to achieve. What I plan to do is basically correct all of the mistakes that have occurred leading up to this moment. While I have the confidence that I will do better, I sincerely ask for your support and understanding. I implore your committee and the faculty to give me a chance to be a student of the caliber that I know I can be. I truthfully ask that you hold my hand as I do all I can to improve my grades and work towards the career that I hope to make for myself in the future.

I have found a home at UBC. The institution has given me so much that I would hate to exit in this circumstances. The Faculty of Science is one that I desire to be a part of it record books. At the moment, tis dream has been hurdled by my poor performance. However, it would mean a lot to me to graduate with a degree from this institution. It would not only be a personal achievement but also a dream come true for my parents who have given and continue to give everything they have so that I can be successful. If I am reinstated, I want to make a promise that I will be an exemplary student. I am a very determined student who suffered one very bad semester. I will focus more on what has really brought me to this institution, schoolwork. I will manage my time better and complete all due tasks within the prescribed terms. As I continue to pursue my overall wellbeing from the anxiety issues, I trust that the committee will see my sincerity in all this, provide a way forward, and give me an opportunity to prove that I am worthy of a BAC degree. Thank you for considering my appeal.


Dong Ding