Students voice opinions on Saturday finals

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Liberti Jonas-Jongebloed, General Assignment Reporter

As finals week is coming to an end, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students will be taking finals from May 9 through May 13. According to the final exam policy, “A finals week exists to allow students time to read, review, write, integrate, synthesize, and collaborate to maximize the student learning outcomes of courses.” With this, “Instructors are encouraged to use finals week for significant papers, assignments, exams (cumulative or not; take-home or in class), etc. in order to allow students the maximum time to distribute their workload and attend to quality.”  

With this, study days are built into the final exam schedule to provide students with adequate time and space for exams. According to the final exam policy, “No final examination shall be given to any student on Study Day. Study Day is a day to prepare for the final examination period.” The policy said that “No student activities of any sort with the exception of optional review sessions for final examinations shall be scheduled on Study Day. This includes make-up classes or tests, committee meetings involving students, and athletic practices or events.” 

In a fall semester, finals would take place through the weekend to provide adequate time to maximize the learning outcomes of the course, according to the final exam policy as well as provide the beginning of winter break by Sunday. Students’ thoughts on weekend finals vary immensely across campus.  

One student, Lizzie Noland a junior at UWL, discussed weekend finals and said, “When I was a freshman, taking a final [for Chemistry 103] on Saturday meant that I could go home earlier for winter break. I would’ve otherwise had to wait until Monday, and then plan with my parents for when they could come to pick me up.” Noland said, “However, I think the majority of students would prefer to have their weekend for a variety of reasons, including studying, possible work requirements, rewind/self-care time, etc. Taking away a day of the weekend and dedicating it to taking exams isn’t part of the Monday-Friday curriculum that we signed up for.”  

In discussing finals on the weekends, Noland discussed possible solutions to implement for the administration to adjust to the needs of students. Noland said, “I think structuring both semesters similar to how spring semester is scheduled would be beneficial. Fall break makes this difficult, but I know of other universities that get all of Thanksgiving week off from school.” Noland additionally said, “If this was implemented, I understand that an additional week to the beginning of the semester would probably have to be added, but I think having an extended break for students would benefit everyone. We all know how rejuvenating a break can be, which could help push students through the rest of the semester and allow for finals to only be given during the weekdays.”  

Another student, Taylor Trost, a Junior at UWL, discussed finals and said, “I had a final on Saturday for Biology 105. The professor didn’t explain why the final was on Saturday, but since the class was taught by many professors, it was standardized across the sections.” Trost discussed her thoughts and said, “I felt like having a final on Saturday at 7:45 in a class taken by so many students was just poorly scheduled and like they wanted us to be tired and ill-prepared for the test.” I think finals always impact your life, but I think it would’ve greatly impacted my schedule and ability to move out had it been in the spring semester. At that time, I went to bed earlier than I would’ve on a Friday night.”  

Kristy Nachreiner, a sophomore at UWL, discussed taking a sociology 100 final exam on the weekend of her freshman year and said, “[Weekend finals were] inconvenient because weekends are my time to recharge from school. I spend more time doing school than I would be working a full-time job, so I feel students deserve weekends just like a working person.” In discussing finals on the weekend, she also discussed implementable solutions for administration, she said, “I feel administration should hold exams during the time given for the class. For example, if someone has stats from 11-12 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then the exam should be on one of those days during that time.” 

More information on examination periods, dates, and times for this semester can be found in the Office of Records and Registration’s Final Exam Schedule.