I didn’t read the fine print

By Kellie Quinn

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As a freshman in Math 127, my professor informed us on the first day of class that after every exam we would have one lecture cancelled. This was because we had our exams at night instead of during class, and so she was giving us back the time she had taken. In order to take exams we had to go out of our way and cut into our free time by coming back to campus at 7 p.m. According to my professor, it was University policy to give class time off for evening exams, but she is the only professor I have had to actually do this.

At first I thought that the subsequent professors I had who did not cancel lectures following evening exams were going against University policy. As it turns out they are not, since this policy does not exist.

In the last few years there have been adjustments made to the evening exam policy, but these adjustments are in regard to priority. For example if you have a night exam that will conflict with a class, or if you have two exams scheduled in the evening, this policy will dictate which event has priority — there is no information regarding a policy around canceling class time after an evening exam.

The one place in which I did find reference to this type of policy was on the chemistry department’s website. In the “Frequently Asked Questions” section someone asks, “I have heard that courses that give evening/night exams are supposed to give time off from regularly scheduled lectures. Is this true?” The answer is that although this was a policy of the University at one time, it is not part of the evening exam policy anymore.

Though it is now off the books, at some point this policy did indeed exist and it has to have been in existence somewhat recently. My math professor was an undergraduate and graduate student here and then a professor. At some point during her career it was a part of the academic regulations, but there does not seem to have been a meeting of the faculty senate on record at which they changed this.

Canceling a regularly scheduled class when evening exams are given is a great policy, as night exams cut into the free-time of students. When students sign up for classes they commit to the scheduled time, and to add time to the standard schedule without compensating students is unfair.

When I added the organic chemistry course I am presently in I committed to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:120-1:10pm. However, it turns out that this course has evening exams, meaning I unknowingly committed to additional time.

It seems appropriate that the other students in my class and I should be getting the time back that we had to sacrifice in order to take the exam. I am not totally sure why the exam needed to take place outside of class time anyway, but especially not as an additional time commitment. I spend approximately three hours each week in lecture, plus countless hours outside of class doing homework and studying. I should not be asked to take time out of my free hours to go back to campus for an exam. I do not live on campus, and it is an inconvenience for me to finagle my schedule for class commitments that do not take place during actual class time.

I do not understand why exams need to take place outside of class time, but if they do the University should reinstate an evening exam policy that calls for giving regularly scheduled class time off. Students commit enough time to each of their classes without needing to add extra time for exams.

Kellie Quinn is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected]