The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Campus reflects on study day changes

Jim Ferlmann | Thursday, December 10, 2009

Students will have fewer days off at the end of this week than in years past to study for final exams.

Traditionally Thursday and Friday have been set aside as study days, but like last fall, Thursday will be the last day of University classes, reserving just Friday as a study day.

This policy applies only to the Fall Semester and was introduced to the academic calendar last year after a meeting in 2007, University Registrar Dr. Harold Pace said.

“This is the second year that the University had had this policy, and it was the product of compromise between student representatives and the faculty,” Pace said. “Three years ago, we looked at the issue of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a travel day for students. The concern was that we were seeing low class enrollments on that day. It would be logical for students to travel the day before so they could be with their families on the holiday itself. We felt that Wednesday should be a travel day.”

Pace said the loss of one day at Thanksgiving, however, had to be made up at another time in the semester.

“It was very important that we maintained the total number of class days for the semester at 70,” Pace said.

Deciding on a day to make up the classes, he said, required additional deliberation.

“We originally suggested making the Monday before classes, originally a class registration day, as a school day to make up the difference. The student representatives, however, disagreed with this idea, saying that a day of acclamation before classes was beneficial to the students. We therefore reached a compromise that students would have classes on what was once one of their study days.”

While some students are unhappy with the University’s new policy, others are more accepting of the change.

“From my experience, I think that students should have a full week of studying for finals,” Bipasha Deb, a chemistry graduate student, said. “Finals are always intensive, and students should have time to study for them accordingly.”

Junior Kevin Danchisko said he supports the change.

“I would much rather have a travel day before Thanksgiving than an extra day of studying for finals,” he said. “Seriously, it’s a really big help in getting home for Thanksgiving.”

Another junior, Brittany Schmier, echoed Danchisko’s sentiment.

“I’d rather have four study days, and I think you could get more done on that extra day, but I still think it’s a small price to pay for having a travel day before Thanksgiving. It’s much more convenient this way.”