Finals schedule prompts debate; reasons explained

With finals rapidly approaching, the two questions on many students’ minds are: what is the point of having study day, and why must finals week be cut into two weeks?

The fact is, there just weren’t enough days for classes.

Lubna Alam, academic vice president of the Student Government Association, said the problem this academic year was that, with the Masses and breaks that were scheduled, the University did not meet the required number of classes for the semester. There are supposed to be 14 classes for each day of the week, and with the current schedule, Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes get shortchanged, she said. Alam is part of the University Calendar Committee.

“Next year the problem comes up again, and several solutions were proposed,” Alam said. The solutions included crunching the finals schedule into four days, having school over Labor Day, Saturday finals and starting school a few days earlier in August.

In the beginning of this semester, SGA senators sent out e-mails to their constituents and addressed the dilemma in their classes, asking students to respond with their opinions toward the topic.

According to Alam, despite the negative attitudes toward study day, many of the students chose to keep study day over the other options.

Freshman Yamil Alvarado, who said he received no email from SGA about the issue, thinks that starting the school year earlier would be the best option.

“It’s somewhat beneficial to have the study day, but it would be even better to be able to go home earlier,” said Alvarado, a Californian. “I have to wait until Tuesday to fly back to the West Coast, when I could be leaving on Friday. I think the issue should have been voted upon by all students, not just a select few.”

Freshman Dan Lohse likes having the extra day to study for finals, but he also thinks that the schedule is inconvenient. Although he is from St. Louis and doesn’t have to travel home for the holidays, he thinks the other options would be more suitable to students’ schedules.

Junior Lauren Gawrys, however, doesn’t see a problem with finals spread over two weeks. “I live in St. Louis, so it really isn’t a problem,” she said. “I can remember when they were all in one week, which I definitely liked better; but it isn’t a big deal to me.”