Student members of the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) yesterday proposed a moratorium on holding hourlies and presenting new material during the last week of reading period.
Nancy J. Northrup '81, a CUE member, said at the meeting students need the last half of reading period to absorb and synthesize course material, adding that natural science students are often overly burdened with hourlies and new topics right before exams begin.
"There's a problem of equity--some students go into exams having been able to review for two weeks and some don't," she said. "That week--although it wouldn't make the system perfect--will at least make it better," Northrop added.
William J. Skocpol, professor of Physics, said at the meeting the proposal represents either an encroachment on professors' autonomy or a change in the academic calendar.
"I'm not sure that it's a proper matter for Faculty legislation. It raises issues that go far beyond the specific change," he said, adding that the proposal would deal with calendar reform in a piecemeal fashion.
But Steve C. Gold '81, a CUE member, said at the meeting that looking at larger questions may be valuable, but smaller changes can be important to students as well.
"In discussing a small thing you naturally get people interested in the big issues," he said.
The meeting did not agree to propose legislation, but Glen W. Bowersock '57, associate dean of the Faculty for undergraduate education, said he would bring up the idea at next week's Faculty meeting.
"It really ultimately boils down to a calendar issue," Bowersock said after the meeting, adding that simply ending the term earlier would avoid having to deal with an individual professor's rights within the classroom.
The students said professors could still use that week to collect papers and problem sets and hold review sessions or addition lectures to synthesize course material