Shorter Exam Period Likely
Plan for Two Fewer Days of Finals May Begin Next Year
An Undergraduate Council proposal to shorten exam period by two days will likely take effect on a trial basis next year, academics committee chair Steven n. Kalkanis '93 said yesterday.
The proposal, which awaits approval from the University's Committee on Graduate Education later this month, would force about 200 more students each semester to take two exams on a single day, in exchange for an increase in the length of intersession and summer vacation.
Currently, only about 240 students each semester are scheduled to take two exams on the same day.
The Faculty Council, which serves as the steering committee for the full Faculty of Arts and Sciences, approved the proposal unanimously at its Wednesday meeting, Kalkanis said. He said he does not anticipate any objections from the graduate school committee currently reviewing the plan.
Kalkanis said he hopes the proposal's success will lead to further students-instigated calendar reform in the future. In the past, undergraduates "have never had a chance to affect the calender in any way," he said.
Kalkanis said that in previous years, council members have unsuccessfully requested significant changes in the calendar, such as holding final exams before winter vacation.
"In the past they've gone for far-flung reforms," kalkanis said. "This year we're tried to find a method that was workable within the constraints the administration gave us."
Some Faulty Council members said that the proposal was uncontroversial because it barely affected professors.
"The worst people it would affect would be students, and if they wanted it they would have thought about it." said Assistant Professor of Physics Melissa E.B. Franklin, a Faculty Council member.
Prior to passing the proposal, Undergraduate Council members conducted a poll of about 300 students, about 70 percent of whom said they favored the scheduling changes.
"I think it was broadly felt that it was supported by the students and didn't really impact that faculty one way or another," said McKay Professor of Computer Science Harry R. Lewis '68, a member of the Faculty council.
Lewis said that farther-reaching proposals that call for some give and-take might not receive much support from the Faculty Council. "There didn't seem to be much of a tradeoff on the issue," he said. "In an issue where there is a general tradeoff it's probably going to be more complicated."
Kalkanis said that a student poll at the end of next year will gauge support for the changes and determine whether the new calendar should remain in effect.