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Saint Mary’s study day trial continues

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, December 9, 2004

In an effort to help students relax and prepare for finals, Saint Mary’s will continue to observe its study day by not holding classes Friday. The first study day was implemented for the 2003 fall semester after many years of student government campaigning. Two years ago, the Academic Affairs committee approved a proposal to give students the Friday before finals off. On the study day, professors are prohibited from holding a mandatory class session. There are reports of teachers holding review sessions on this day, but none have been confirmed as mandatory class sessions. “Saint Mary’s was in the minority in the fact that it did not have a study day, compared to other institutions of higher learning,” Mary Pauline Moran, vice president of the Board of Governance, said. “Considering the amount of work students have in the last two weeks of each semester, I think the study day offers a little relief for students.”The purpose of the day is to allow students time to prepare their notes, study or simply relax prior to the onslaught of final examinations. Concern over how productive students actually were on the study day originally led to questions over its continuation. Students were invited to take a survey at the conclusion of the 2003-04 school year to indicate their feelings about the study day, and how they took advantage of their time out of class. Survey results are currently being evaluated by both the administration and the student government, and should be available soon. “It is my belief that the study days will continue in the future,” student body president Sarah Catherine White said. Although many Saint Mary’s students are grateful for their study day, some would like to see a second study day added onto the academic schedule. “I think that a second study day would be nice,” first-year student Christine Haunert said. “I have a goal to get a lot of things done on Friday, but in reality I will probably just end up sleeping in and then going to the basketball game. If we had two days, I know I would get something done on the second day.”Although the goal of the day is to provide students an extra opportunity to prepare for exams and rest, many students will use it as an opportunity to go out and partake in social activities. First-year student Alexandra Hathaway has decided to head to Chicago on Thursday night to see her sister and get some Christmas shopping done before returning to campus on Saturday. “I wanted to take a little break from this hectic week, clear my head and then come back ready to focus for the rest of the weekend,” Hathaway said. Other students like sophomore Sheila McLauglin plan to balance work and fun on their study day.”I think that the study day that we are given is a great idea,” McLaughlin said. “I’ll most likely sleep in and then hit the books – I have three exams to prepare for. I plan on hanging out with my friends too, especially the ones leaving next semester.” The study day is planned for the Friday before finals week next semester as well, and is expected to continue in the future, pending the results of the student survey.