If it ain't broke, don't fix it
We at the Echo would like to officially join the public student outcry against the proposed changes to the reading period and exam schedule. For specifics on the proposed changes, please see “Deans explain reading period scare” on page three in news.
Even though the changes allow more time for in-class exams, students writing papers rely on the reading period to complete much of their work. We feel the current time allotted is sufficient, and we don’t believe there is a large learning benefit to adding this extra hour of exams, but we do feel there would be a great stress increase. Since preparing for exams is an extensive process, the longer, continuous reading period also allows students the opportunity to attend their professors’ office hours, form study groups and manage their study time more autonomously.
One of the arguments in favor of shortening or moving reading period is that the long Loudness weekend encourages dangerous drinking. We counter that the cause of any excessive celebration at the end of the school year has much less to do with having Monday and Tuesday off, and much more to do with the inherent joy of having finished school and students’ desire to want to spend one last weekend out with their friends before parting ways for the summer. While partying obviously does not help academic performance, we think it is safe to say that the Colby community should continue to focus on working to change how we drink, rather than having decisions handed down from the administration about when we drink.
We do not feel that there is anything wrong with the current system from a student perspective, and changing the process has much more potential to cause problems and make exam period even more stressful than it is already. We understand that some professors feel there is a benefit to adding additional time to exams, but the student sentiment on campus appears to be overwhelmingly against making any change. Therefore, given all of the other problems the College could currently be addressing, unless there is an even more overwhelming advocacy from all academic departments and the administration and faculty are able to produce convincing evidence that the benefits of changing the reading period and exam schedule (neither of which we believe has happened), the College should leave this issue alone and focus its attention on more pressing issues.
The most positive thing we can take away from this situation is the active response students have taken. Many students have sent concerned emails to Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics Lori Kletzer, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics Michael Donihue and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students James Terhune, and the Student Government Association (SGA) has already actively solicited student input on the changes. We encourage students who are still upset by these proposed changes to continue to make their voices heard.
—The staff of The Colby Echo